There's nothing wrong with Texas Tech that a few wins won't cure.
The Red Raiders are sitting at home with a surprising 3-3 record, and next-to-last in the Big 12 Conference with a paltry 1-3 worksheet. If anyone saw this coming after the Raiders fired coach Mike Leach last winter and replaced him with Tommy Tuberville, they're simply not telling you the truth.
"We’re not proud of our wins and losses, but I am proud of how hard these kids are working,'' Tuberville said. "If they’ll continue to work, we’ll win our share.’’
Before he was fired, Leach said the 2010 group of Red Raiders would have been his most talented bunch since he arrived at Tech in 2000. The only problem with that is, Tuberville might not actually agree with him.
This is why I'm against firing coaches following a successful season. Particularly after a team went 9-4 and won the Alamo Bowl.
Most of the time a coach gets the boot when the program has been down in the dumps. Coaches are not usually canned after taking a school to 10 consecutive bowl games, while improving the football team's graduation rate to the point where it's one of the best in the nation.
When a coach does these things, they usually name a stadium after him and erect a statue of him outside that stadium. They may even name a hamburger or latte after him.
Such was not the case with Leach, who is Tech's all-time winningest coach.
Then again, I never thought it was fair to Tuberville and his players to be asked to pick up where Leach left off. Usually, a new coach is given time to get his own recruits in town, and to get his players adjusted to his new system and to his way of doing things.
Fair or not, Tuberville doesn't have that luxury. EVERYBODY expects him to win now.
The Team Leach folks will say karma has struck at Tech for the way the administration ousted Leach. Firing him one day before he was to receive an automatic $800,000 bonus?
As they say, you know who don't like ugly.
Tuberville is left to put the pieces together on what's left of the Raiders. And he will get it turned around.
It may not be this year, or it may be this year. But he will get it turned around.
"I never say have patience and don't worry about us,'' Tuberville said. "We'll get better. We're here to get it done.''
At the rate they're going, the Raiders should become bowl eligble this year. The obvious three winnable games on the schedule to get them there are Saturday at Colorado, and the final two games at home against Weber State and Houston.
Other than that, the Raiders have road games remaining at Texas A&M and third-ranked Oklahoma, and at home against No. 18th-ranked Missouri.
Still, to get to bowl eligible status the Raiders have to cut out the foolish penalties, reduce the mental mistakes, get off to a faster start, and take some pride and stop somebody on defense.
When Iowa State scores 52 points on you, something wrong. That's the same Iowa State team that followed the 52-38 upset of Tech with a 68-27 home loss to Utah, and then suffered a 52-0 beatdown at the hands of Oklahoma.
Tuberville should be commended for not making any excuses for his team's issues. He hasn't mentioned the many injuries on defense unless he's asked.
And he doesn't talk about talented defensive end Scott Smith -- a star in the making -- who he suspended two weeks ago for the rest of the season for violating team rules.
"Injuries are not our problems,'' Tuberville said. "Consistency (or lack there of) is our problem.
"Guys have got to step up, coaches have to step up. We’ve got to do a better job in all areas.''
In the mix of this .500 season, Tuberville has been cool under fan criticism. He knows the fans are angry and expect results now, and he hopes positive changes are coming.
"We can't worry about winning or losing games right now,'' Tuberville said. "We've got to worry about getting better. We've got to coach better and play better.
"We've won three and we've got six left. We can win all of them or none of them.''
-- Dwain Price