Opinion: Why Texas Tech Fans Need to Jump Off the ‘Fire Kliff’ Bandwagon
Yes. We all saw it. Texas Tech has been outscored 53-13 in the last five quarters of football after giving up 22 unanswered against West Virginia last week. We know. But I’m here to tell you that firing Kliff Kingsbury mid-season, or even as soon as the 2017 season is done, will only make things worse for all of us fans.
Let’s start with some basic reasons why Kingsbury will be here at least through the 2018 season.
First off is his contract. In order for Texas Tech University to fire him, they would have to buy out the rest of his contract. This means they would have to pay just over $6.75 million dollars at the end of this season. Let’s put that into perspective: the new sports performance center that was just officially opened was $48 million dollars. That’s right -- just to fire Kingsbury, Texas Tech would have to cough up more than an eighth of what it cost to build that state-of-the-art building. Let that sink in for a minute.
While you’re chewing on that concept, let me ask this question: Who would replace him? If you just said Mike Leach, stop reading this and move away. Far away. That’s not happening. Ever. So stop it. Let’s be a little more realistic.
For firing Kingsbury to pay off immediately, Texas Tech would have to go out and find a proven coach who is 100 percent capable of taking this team to a National Championship in three years or less. Because let’s be honest, that’s what we want.
Let’s use Dabo Swinney just as a top-notch prospect example. Swinney was just awarded an eight-year, $54 million contract. So now not only would Texas Tech be paying Kingsbury his $6.75 million, but they'd need to buy out Swinney’s contract and offer more. I know that’s an extreme example, but the point is, firing Kingsbury would cost a lot more than it’s worth.
So why not just hire someone that isn’t as good as him, you say? Great question. The answer is because if we didn’t hire a top-notch coach, we’d be worse off than what we are now. A new coach that isn’t top-notch would likely come in and have three or four losing seasons before he overcame the issues of learning a new program and weeding out Kingsbury-era players and coaches. If that were the case, fans would then be screaming for said coach's head…again. It’s a vicious cycle. One that needs to stop.
Kliff Kingsbury is young and has promising talent. Great coaches aren’t made overnight; they’re built one block at a time. Kingsbury finally has a coaching staff under him of his choosing, and we need to give them time to figure it all out.
The fact of the matter is, this is the closest to a 100-percent cohesive team that we've seen so far under Kingsbury, and it only promises to get better. The players and coaches this year are more determined than ever to change football culture in Lubbock from that of being constantly disappointed to one of pride in your team.
Yes, the Red Raiders have dropped two in a row. Yes, those two losses have been extremely tough to swallow. But how about this: Instead of immediately calling for Kingsbury’s head and turning your back on your team, stay until the game is over, put your guns up, and show those on the field that you are with them through thick and thin. Because they need us just as much, if not more, than we need them.
The only way we change the culture is if we ALL change the culture. The team is only half the battle. #TTVE #WreckEm
Robert Wright is part of L&R SportsTalk which airs Sunday mornings at 10 on SportsRadio 1340 The Fan. He also contributes to 1340TheFan.com and Countdown to Kickoff before Texas Tech Football games.