November 20, 2007

What a difference a game makes

What a difference one game makes. Following Texas Tech's late-season swoon, which was comprised of road losses to Missouri and Texas wrapped around a home defeat at the hands of middling-at-best Colorado, the Red Raiders stood at 7-4. Not a terrible mark by any means, but Tech's season-closer was a bout with #3 Oklahoma, and most sensible individuals duly foresaw a loss and a 7-5 final record.

Had the consensus prediction come to fruition, the mood in Raiderland would be mighty sour right about now. In the 7-5 scenario, Tech's most impressive victory would have been its now ho-hum stomping of a lowly Texas A&M team in The Jones. Baylor and Iowa State would have been its only other conference wins. And when confronted by good teams such as Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma, and merely respectable ones such as Oklahoma State and Colorado, the Red Raiders would have been 0-fer.

Looked at in such a light, the assessment of the season and the state of the program would have been grim and depressing. Sure Tech is young, but given the money flowing into the Red Raider football program, shouldn't we get more smack for the samolian than that?

Something strange and wonderful transpired in the final game of the regular season, however, which short circuited the mopes, the misery and the inevitable recriminations. In short, the Red Raiders rose up and played easily their best game of the season against what Mike Leach called the best team on their schedule, and put a hurt on the Oklahoma Sooners.

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