Look who is bowl eligible after 10 games.
No, not the Texas Tech Red Raiders. But the East Carolina University Pirates, led by former Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill.
McNeill and the Pirates reached bowl eligible status with Thursday's wild 54-42 win over the University of Alabama-Birmingham. ECU trailed 35-27 after three quarters, but outscored UAB 27-7 in the fourth period to run its record to 6-4.
Along with Tommy Tuberville, McNeill was one of the two finalists for the Tech head coaching job last winter after Mike Leach was unceremoniously fired.
After Saturday's 45-7 loss to Oklahoma, Tech is 5-5 this year under Tuberville and needs to win one of its next two non-conference home games against Weber State or Houston to become bowl eligible.
Tech's 3-5 Big 12 South record is its worst since it went 3-5 in 2000. That was Leach's first year coaching the Red Raiders.
Leach hired McNeill in 2000 as his linebacker coach and eventually made him his defensive coordinator in 2008. Tech offered McNeill a job with the Red Raiders after Tuberville was named its coach, but McNeill instead beat the bushes and eventually wound up as the ECU coach.
And even with East Carolina only returning six starters and thought to be in a rebuilding season, McNeill found a way to bond with his players and get them to play hard for him. It's a formula he used during his success as an assistant/defensive coordinator at Tech.
Now, McNeill is already bowl eligible -- even before Texas coach Mack Brown -- with two regular season games remaining. It's a status the Red Raiders and Longhorns are still hoping to achieve this season.
-- Dwain Price