OU football: Tuberville rears his head
For going on two years, Tech fans and Mike Leach defenders and Tommy Tuberville critics have all been issuing the same declaration: Tuberville can’t win like Leach.
If Tech beat Iowa State on Saturday in Lubbock, that statement will be false. At least in terms of winning percentage.
Tech’s 41-38 upset of Oklahoma has changed Tuberville’s profile. Not to mention his record. Tuberville is 13-7 in 11/2 seasons with the Red Raiders. If he beats Iowa State, Tuberville’s record climbs to 14-7, which is a winning percentage of .667. Leach was 84-43 over 10 seasons, a winning percentage of .661.
And you can’t argue that Leach clearly left the Tech program in better shape than he found it. Because while Leach did leave Tech in excellent shape, he took over a program in good shape. Leach’s predecessor, Spike Dykes, produced winning seasons his final five years, and the two seasons before that, Tech was .500. Tech faced easier conference schedules (SWC) in the early ’90s than what Leach encountered in the Big 12, but that was offset by much-tougher non-conference schedules.
The point is not to denigrate Leach. He did an excellent job, and his style of football elevated Tech’s profile nationally. But the idea that Tech took some big step down by hiring Tuberville, well, that’s just silly. The guy went 110-60 in 14 years at Ole Miss and Auburn. He coached Auburn to a 13-0 season in 2004, and he recruited well. The juniors and seniors on Auburn’s 2010 national title team — and there were a ton of seniors — were recruited by Tuberville, with the notable exception of Cam Newton.
The Big 12 South has been a division that has ranked with the SEC West as college football’s toughest in recent years. Now, the Big 12 no longer has divisions, but the schools in the old Big 12 South still remain tremendous forces. The current BCS rankings include five old-Big 12 South teams: No. 3 OSU, No. 9 Oklahoma, No. 16 Texas A&M, No. 20 Tech and No. 24 Texas.
Tommy Tuberville is a p
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