2013 Record: 8-5 (4-5)
Bowl Result: 37-23 Win vs. Arizona State
Offensive Returning Starters: 8
Defensive Returning Starters: 4
Reasons to be Optimistic
Texas Tech has had every reason to be optimistic ever since they dumped head coach Tommy Tuberville in favor of up and comer Kliff Kingsbury. The young Kingsbury has sparked a lot of excitement on the offensive side of the ball and as long as he is in town I expect Texas Tech to put up huge statistical numbers on offense.
The Red Raiders started last season 7-0 as they worked their way into the top 10 of the polls. Unfortunately injuries, coupled with a tougher schedule had them finish the regular season 7-5. The good news is they brought themselves back to their old form for their bowl game as they handily beat a solid Arizona State squad. The bowl game gave us a glimpse of how good this squad can be.
This potent offense returns nearly everyone including top 2013 performs like QB Davis Webb, RB Kenny Williams, and WRs Jakeem Grant and Bradley Marquez. The offensive line also remains almost entirely intact for the 2014 season.
Reasons to be Pessimistic
Texas Tech started last season 5-0 with freshman walk on QB Baker Mayfield leading the team, but after an injury he ended up losing his starting job to Davis Webb. Mayfield has since left the Texas Tech program and he is no longer a safety valve at the QB position.
Arguably the Red Raiders' best player last season was TE Jace Amaro and he declared early for the NFL draft as a potential first round pick prospect. Amaro caught over 100 passes for 1,300+ yards last season. Top WR Eric Ward will also be gone due to graduation.
Texas Tech has to replace 7 starters on defense which dealt with a number of injuries during last season. Texas Tech will win games strictly because of their offensive potency, but they could struggle competing against top competition because of a lack in defensive strength.
Prediction: I expect Texas Tech to clean up in the non-conference and against the weaker teams in the Big 12, but I have my doubts with them in their games against teams like Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, TCU, and Kansas State who all have the potential to finish above the Red Raiders in the conference standings.
Record: 8-4 (5-4)