Texas Tech Football is Back to Dreaming Big in 2022
Exactly a year ago, there was broad conference realignment speculation in the Big 12, Texas Tech's media day featured a lot of returning starters and the new offensive coordinator returned home to his alma mater.
Fast forward and it's all the same and so much different.
This season, the conference realignment discussion is about the Pac 12's death and not the Big 12's. There were still a lot of returning starters, including two quarterbacks, two running backs, a tight end, and a bevy of defensive players. There's even a returning Red Raider as OC, along with a brand new head coach and defensive coordinator.
I've been interviewing players at Texas Tech Media Days since 2016 when I accidentally called Kliff Kingsbury, 'Big Dog'. Coincidentally, he now calls his franchise quarterback the same thing.
Back to media day. In 2016, Texas Tech was coming off a Bowl Game against LSU and had all the optimism in the world that they'd win a Big 12 title. In 2017 and 2018, to varying degrees, that was the goal too. I mean, it's media day, of course, everyone is going to tell you their goal is to win the conference.
In fact, that was pretty much the vibe at every Texas Tech media day until 2021.
Last year's media day was absolutely pitiful. And, I do mean pitiful.
Not a single Red Raider told me their goal was to win the Big 12. The huge goal that was on the table last year was just to make a bowl game. No grand aspirations whatsoever.
Now, maybe there's something to be said about setting realistic goals and achieving them, but there's something so unconfident about setting your big dream as winning half of your games.
I'll tell you this about 2022, this team isn't hoping to just float into a bowl game. They are dreaming of a Big 12 championship and maybe even more.
Reggie Pearson talked about how the culture he walked into last season after starting his career at Wisconsin was a shock. In his first season in Lubbock, last year, he said the team didn't feel like they could win every game. There were certain games the team prepared like it would be a loss. Pearson said the staff change has brought an entirely new attitude into the building.
It wasn't just Pearson that had confidence in himself, the defensive backs, and the team. Adrian Frye echoed the sentiments that this defensive back room was the best it's been since he got to Lubbock in 2017. Pearson said it was the best the University had ever seen.
I don't know if this team will achieve the goals they've set for themselves this year, but I do know this. If they do achieve the goals, they will have had a monster season because this team is dreaming big.