The worst part of the schedule is over with. Texas Tech’s last four games have been against four of the Big 12’s top half, and all were top 25-30ish teams nationally. Sprinkle in the fact that two were played on the road and one was a coulda-shoulda-woulda won type of game, and I’m choosing to look at the glass as half full (though I reserve the right to change my mind in a hurry if things head south on Saturday). The caliber of opponents will decrease considerably this coming month, and let’s just hope Texas Tech can come away with enough wins to qualify for postseason play.
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. San Diego State is the most average team in the country according to FPI with a score of -0.2.
- Texas Tech’s First Four Big 12 Opponents’ National Rank in FPI: 18.25
- Texas Tech’s Next Four Big 12 Opponents’ National Rank in FPI: 61.75
Below are the odds of victory for Texas Tech against each remaining opponent.
Texas Tech Win Probability (%)
|@ West Virginia||57.9|
Texas Tech’s average remaining win percentage is 49.86 percent, with three pretty distinct toss-ups sandwiched in between a game where Tech is a considerable favorite and a game where Tech will be a considerable underdog. Below are the odds that Texas Tech finishes with all possible season records. FPI currently projects Tech to finish 5.5-6.5.
SP+ measures the same thing as FPI; expected margin of victory against an average team on a neutral field. For reference, SP+ has Syracuse as the most average team in the country with a SP+ of -0.1.
- Texas Tech’s First Four Big 12 Opponents’ National Rank in SP+: 15
- Texas Tech’s Next Four Big 12 Opponents’ National Rank in SP+: 51.75
Adam McClintock ranks all 130 FBS teams every week and predicts the margin of victory for each FBS vs. FBS matchup. He gives Texas Tech a 63.5 percent chance to beat Kansas and has the Red Raiders as six-point favorites.
- Texas Tech’s First Four Big 12 Opponents’ National Rank per AM: 22
- Texas Tech’s Next Four Big 12 Opponents’ National Rank per AM: 60
Sagarin gives Texas Tech a 71 percent chance to win on Saturday and has them as eight-point favorites over the Jayhawks.
- Texas Tech’s First Four Big 12 Opponents’ National Rank in Sagarin: 15.5
- Texas Tech’s Next Four Big 12 Opponents’ National Rank in Sagarin: 51.75
Kansas losing to Texas on a last second field goal garnered considerable national attention. As such, I think Vegas was counting on a bunch of Kansas action when the line opened at Texas Tech -8. It’s quickly shifted to Texas Tech -3.5 or -3 depending on where you look. I think Vegas knew the public was going to pound Kansas and it will make them a lot of money when Tech covers. Nothing is ever a sure thing, but Texas Tech -3.5 and -165 on the money line are good value bets.
The Kansas money line is +140, which implies they have a 41.67 percent chance to win the game even though the analytical consensus is the Jayhawks have about a 30 percent chance to win. Vegas tricked the public and they fell for it. According to the Action Sports Network, 73 percent of the public money is currently on Kansas to cover the spread.
My Two Cents
Before the three game stretch against Oklahoma State, Baylor, and Iowa State, I said it was critical to win at least one and then get to 4-4 against Kansas before a bye week and three more winnable games after that. Well, here we are.
As illustrated above, the toughest half of Texas Tech’s Big 12 schedule was undoubtedly the half they’ve already played. And while you’d love to be better than 1-3 in conference right now, I think the caliber of opponents Tech has played has definitely contributed to some struggles on the field and fan frustrations. The remedy to that is winning games against teams you should be competitive with.
My sights have turned to another key three-game stretch that I think will ultimately define Texas Tech’s season; at West Virginia then at home against TCU and Kansas State. The Red Raiders could go 3-0, and they could go 0-3. When we look back after game number 12 this year, I think we’ll point to one or two in that stretch and say “that’s what made/broke our season.”