Rumor Mill: Three men connected with vacant Texas Tech head coaching position

Texas A&M Aggies offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury coaches against the Sam Houston State Bearkats during the first half at Kyle Field. Texas A&M won 47-28. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Big 12 blogger David Ubben put the Red Raiders’ coaching search in no uncertain terms. Whereas teams in the Big Ten and the SEC have proven over generations of games that they will stick to running the ball and defense, Tech has built its’ reputation as a pass-happy, offensively inclined program.

“Texas Tech has found its identity in college football as a program built on offense. Look for the next hire to reflect that identity, something Tuberville’s defense-first mentality never quite did.”

Despite the success Tommy Tuberville had in Lubbock, his decision to shock the school’s athletic department and bolt to Cincinnati has left Texas Tech scrambling for a replacement.

With all the talent the school possesses on the offensive side of the football, sustained success may be easier with a coach who boasts offensive expertise.

Thus, three names immediately jumped to the forefront of the conversation when news of Tuberville’s decision broke.

“That promise (of something better) might lie in Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris or Baylor coach Art Briles,” Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal wrote. “Each one understands the Texas football culture and is a potential target.”

Kingsbury helped nurture redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel’s Heisman Trophy-winning 2012 campaign, and he played quarterback at Tech.

Briles coached Robert Griffin III to a Heisman in 2011, and he helped RGIII’s successor, Nick Florence, lead the nation in total yards per game while leading the Bears to yet another bowl berth.

However, Briles would seem an unlikely choice if only because coaches rarely accept lateral positions within the same conference.

Clemson finished the 2012 regular season ranked sixth nationally with a stellar 42.3 points per game average. If Tech is looking for firepower, they could do far worse than Morris, who understands what it takes to recruit stud offensive players and how to get them to perform at the collegiate level.

It remains to be seen, of course, who the Tech decision-makers have their eye on.

Source: Brent Sobleski

Latest from the Rumor Mill >> Could Nick Saban be on the Cleveland Browns’ short list?