My apologies for not posting the Week 5 preview before the Oklahoma game last week. First, I didn’t figure the numbers would have moved much since Texas Tech was coming off of a bye week. Second, with the Andre Emmett news and some travel for work it just got away from me.
I’ll be back on track with a weekly update to this for the rest of the year. I must say, this weekly series was a lot more fun during basketball than it has been for football season so far. Let’s hope the tide turns soon and Texas Tech can get some momentum back.
Here’s what the analytics say following Texas Tech’s toughest matchup (and hopefully their worst performance) of the season.
ESPN’s Football Power Index
|Team||National Rank||FPI||Big 12 Title Odds|
The FPI score is the expected margin of victory against an average team on a neutral field. West Virginia is currently the most average team in the country according to FPI, with a perfectly average FPI of 0.0.
Texas Tech’s FPI of 1.6 is their lowest FPI so far this season, and is 6.6 below (largest deficit this season) the Big 12 median of 8.2 (highest Big 12 median this season). Below are Texas Tech’s odds according to FPI for their remaining schedule.
Texas Tech Win Probability (%)
|@ West Virginia||46.3|
Texas Tech’s average remaining win percentage is 37.9 percent. Below are the odds that Texas Tech finishes with any given season record that has more than a one percent chance of happening.
SP+ measures the same thing as FPI; expected margin of victory against an average team on a neutral field. For reference, SP+ has Oregon State as the most average team in the country with a perfectly average SP+ of 0.0. Texas Tech’s SP+ of 7.9 this week is 7.3 below the Big 12 median, the largest deficit to the median so far this season.
Adam McClintock ranks all 130 FBS teams every week and predicts the margin of victory for each FBS vs. FBS matchup. Below is how he ranks the Big 12.
My Two Cents
Saturday was ugly. If it wasn’t clear by now, Oklahoma is a legitimate playoff contender, has the Heisman front runner, the best offensive coach in football, and had home field advantage. To top it all off, a pair of Texas Tech’s backup QBs were tasked with leading the charge against the Sooners in their first meaningful action all year. It was a recipe for disaster, and unfortunately Tech wasn’t able to rise above the low expectations.
The next three games don’t offer much opportunity for a rebound. Other than the trip to Austin in the final week of the season, it appears your three hardest games are your next three. If Tech loses all three and drops to 2-5 on the year, it’s difficult to see any scenario where this season could be spun as a positive.
One of the next three is a must-win, and it probably would be better if it were against Oklahoma State or Iowa State in front of a home crowd. Win one in this tough stretch, then get to 4-4 against Kansas as the schedule lightens up a bit. The trip to Morgantown would be the next easiest game on the schedule. A win there would get the Red Raiders to 5-4 and just one win from bowl eligibility, with three opportunities to make it happen. Obviously the Texas game is daunting, but two chances to punch your ticket to the postseason against TCU and Kansas State at home would at least offer the team and the fan base a bit of hope.
Hang in there, everyone. Maybe it needs to get worse before it gets better. Or maybe the team could salvage a bowl game and generate positive momentum for this coaching staff and recruiting in year one. That sounds great to me right about now…