Texas Tech football faces make-or-break season under Kliff Kingsbury


The 2016 college football season is a crucial one for the Texas Tech Red Raiders and head coach Kliff Kingsbury if they want to be relevant in the Big 12.

Related Story: 20 Best NFL Players from the Big 12

Close your eyes and go back to Christmas in 2009. Conjure yourself a mental picture and realistic assessment of the perception of the quality of the football programs at Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma State and Baylor. On this day, most would agree that Texas Tech was the best of this group and the most likely of the group to proceed to the next level as a program.

Tech’s quest for permanent resiliency was very short-lived however because head coach Mike Leach was dismissed and the other three programs have raced past the Red Raiders.

Kliff Kingsbury was the guy who was supposed to restore Tech football. He won his first seven games in 2013, then lost his next five before upsetting Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl and all appeared to be well. The excitement and aura had seemed to return, Kingsbury was awarded a huge contract extension and it was just a matter of time before Tech was relevant again in the Big 12.

Kingsbury’s second season was a major disappointment, finishing  4-8 with a loss at TCU where the Tech defense gave up 82 points. Year Two was eye-opening for not only Tech supporters but Kingsbury as well. It was unacceptable and could not happen again.

More from Saturday Blitz

Year Three of the Kingsbury era was a rollercoaster that ended with an excellent example of how far away Tech is from being a solid football program. Tech did some good things but not near enough to seriously challenge for anything. They did get wins at Arkansas and Texas, and it did expose perhaps the best and most important player in Tech history in Pat Mahomes. If Tech has the season it needs to have in 2016, look for Mahomes to contend for the Heisman

Kingsbury is a good guy and a good young coach who has shown a willingness to learn and grow with his program.  He is perfect for Tech. Mahomes is truly a special player who will drag his team beyond their capabilities. But they haven’t shown the ability to win enough, yet.

More saturday blitz: 50 Best Big 12 Players of All-Time

It will be a real shame if 2016 is anything like 2014 and the Red Raiders have another losing season. It would be a waste of Mahomes’ talent and could spoil Kingsbury’s homecoming in Lubbock.