Texas Tech Football is making its first bowl appearance in five seasons as they will venture to Memphis, Tennessee to play in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl against Mississippi State on Tuesday, December 28th.
There will be time to look at the match between the Red Raiders and Bulldogs, but we need to address the pirate looking elephant in the room and some retconning of what actually happened in Lubbock in the first decade of the 21st century.
First, Mike Leach did do some offensive wonders on the South Plains while at Texas Tech, but never quite got over the hump in winning a conference championship and going a combined 5-15 against Oklahoma and Texas.
Second, while Leach did compile 84 wins in his ten seasons Tech only had to play 8 Power Five teams a seasons while the current Texas Tech schedule has featured 9-10 Power Five games.
There’s a huge difference between playing Indiana State, North Dakota, and Rice and the recent matchups with Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Arizona State.
The Team Leach crowd believed every season was 2008 and that 11-win seasons were the norm, but the forget the embarrassing losses when it mattered to get over the mountain top of the conference and beyond 8-4.
The match up is more than just Big 12 versus SEC, but it’s Mike Leach against Texas Tech and the memories of lawsuits, closets, and sovereign immunity.
A certain segment of self-proclaimed Red Raider fans are going to cheer against Texas Tech and for Mike Leach because they feel he’s owed his money and that he wasn’t fired for cause.
I cannot stress this enough, but if you or a loved one claim to be Red Raider fans and end up cheering against Tech because of the old pirate then you’re not really Tech fans.
There is no divided loyalty for me in this bowl game. I want Texas Tech to kick the dog out of Mississippi State and finish the season on a high note for their first bowl win since 2013 and have the season finish strong going into 2022.
This second hander attitude of blind loyalty that some fans on the South Plains still have toward Leach is a sad display of devotion and frankly is a cry for help.
If anything comes from this bowl game I hope it can bury the hatchet for many Red Raider fans to move on past Leach and support Tech in beating an SEC squad and looking to the bright future with new head coach Joey McGuire.
Allen Corbin is a special contributor to Raiderland.