4 game titles Crimson Raiders will have to win in 2021

LUBBOCK, TX – SEPTEMBER 15: Antoine Wesley #4 of the Texas Tech Purple Raiders can make the capture versus Nick Watkins #9 of the Houston Cougars in the second 50 percent in the course of the video game on September 15, 2018 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech received the game 63-49. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Pictures)

Practically lost in the chaos of the previous 10 times and all the chat of impending convention realignment is the point that we are now just about a thirty day period from the start out of an additional Texas Tech soccer period.  And 2021 is shaping up to be one of the most essential seasons in latest background for the Pink Raiders.

1st of all, let us tackle the phony idea that what happens on the industry this 12 months is going to in any way effect what occurs with Texas Tech’s long term as considerably as conference affiliation goes.  Rather, this round of meeting realignment is likely to center close to dollars and what every institution can likely carry to a conference in phrases of eyeballs on television sets and subscriptions to streaming platforms.

Really don’t agree?  Feel about the actuality that Iowa State finds alone in as precarious of a situation as Tech irrespective of the Cyclone’s recent run of on-area accomplishment.  What’s much more, lots of men and women believe that Kansas is far more very likely than in-point out rival Kansas Point out to be in a secure spot when the songs stops even with the reality that the Jayhawk football application is arguably the worst in the FBS.

Consequently, even if Tech were to haul off an improbable 10-acquire year this drop, that won’t sway the outcome of the impending convention merry-go-spherical.  So why is this year so crucial?  Since it could quite nicely determine the fate of Crimson Raider head coach Matt Wells.

Coming off of consecutive 4-earn seasons to open his tenure at the helm in Lubbock, most imagine that Wells ought to access a bowl game this time in purchase to conserve his position.  If he doesn’t attain that not-so-lofty goal and is fired, it will signal nonetheless a further coaching transition for the program and which is far from what Tech demands as it would indicate the method would be under the steering of a fourth head mentor considering that 2010, which is not a recipe for good results.

So if Tech’s most humble goal is to get to six wins in the typical year, there are four online games that the Purple Raiders should win in buy to give them selves a likelihood at viewing the postseason.  And this year’s 1st should-get comes suitable off the bat.

vs. Houston

Some years, Tech opens the period with a activity that is very little but a glorified scrimmage from an FCS opponent.  But some decades, Tech opens with a legitimate test as is the case in 2021 when the Red Raiders journey to Houston to experience the College of Houston Cougars in week a single.

That’s a recreation that most imagine will be a toss up but it is just one that Tech merely should set in the win column.  Dropping this game to Houston would indicate that to get to six wins, Tech would have to capture at least 4 convention wins to get to bowl eligibility this slide.  That’s anything that this program has not done since 2015 and has completed only once in the last 7 years.

What will make this game possibly tricky is the reality that Tech will be breaking in a new starting up QB (Tyler Shough) in opposition to a Cougar workforce returning nine defensive starters.  Which is not likely to give Shough and the offense any time to ease into the time and do the job out any early kinks.

On offense, the Cougars will be hunting for their QB, Clayton Tune, to have a breakout season.  Coming into 2021 with 15 commences underneath his belt, he has thrown for above 4,000 career yards and 34 TDs.  But he’s also been picked off 21 periods demonstrating that he’s nevertheless to thoroughly come into his have as a passer.

This could be a defensive struggle as the two offenses in this match have lots of concerns to remedy (Houston dropped its top two WR from previous 12 months) this drop and usually individuals solutions don’t come correct away in week a single.  What’s much more, we know that when Houston performs a Significant 12 opponent, particularly one particular from the point out of Texas, they raise their intensity amount to usually make up for any possible absence of expertise or depth.

This will be only the next time considering the fact that 2013 that Tech has opened the season versus an FBS team with the other coming in 2018 against Ole Miss out on.  That video game also took location in Houston and resulted in a 20-level decline for Tech.  If the Crimson Raiders do not get off to a improved commence in 2021, Wells’ destiny this calendar year could mirror that of Kliff Kingsbury in 2018.

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