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Baylor Football

Texas Tech needs to stick with Matt Wells and not think too highly of itself

November 14, 2020

Matt Wells confounds me. The second-year Texas Tech coach seems to me to be a fit in West Texas, but his time with the Red Raiders has been tumultuous on the field to say the least.

His team is so up and down. They have had their moments within games, but they don’t know how to close. This is common for teams in transition, but it’s quickly soured the Tech faithful on him. 

Wells had a nice run at Utah State and in the aftermath of Kliff Kingsbury’s tenure, Kirby Hocutt’s hire was sensible, something that’s not always the case for programs who make a change. In a college football world that wants to make a splash and draw attention to itself, Wells was not a splash hire. And that’s fine.

What is unknown is what he could do in Lubbock. 

It’s tough to build something anywhere, but in Lubbock, two perfect fits have had the bundle of their success: Spike Dykes and Mike Leach. Every other hire has been a failure which means Wells is not stepping into a historically dominant program. Even with that expectations are still high for the fans that watched Leach raise the program to its highest level ever. That’s why Matt Wells has been a disappointment. Despite being a decade ago now, Tech fans don’t feel that era was that long ago. 

But truthfully, maybe I am not confused by Wells. Maybe I am confused about the Red Raiders. 

The best player in the NFL now played his college ball in Lubbock and the team around him flopped while he was there. That coach, who was a beloved former player, was run out of town. He now is seen as a young, innovative coach in the NFL who is leading a resurgence in Arizona with the Cardinals. How could this not work when they were together? (Now I know it’s early on Kingsbury, but you see how this feeds the confusion.) 

What Texas Tech needs is consistency. Pick a coach and let him build his program with his players. Let Wells figure out what this team can do well and let him develop a quaterback.

If Wells is not a fit in Lubbock, who is? Who can make this team successful? It’s not impossible. But it’s harder at Tech than a lot of places. 

I would love to make jokes about Matt Wells like I do the other coaches I do these columns on. It’s all in fun. But I am at a loss. I blame West Texas. It’s a bit of a wasteland out there. Hard to plumb good comedy out of nothingness. 

So I will wrap it up with this, in order for Matt Wells to find himself, Texas Tech needs to do the same. Almost two years in and I don’t know what to think of the head coach, yet I hope he gets another chance to find himself.

If Tech pulls the plug on him, they are just throwing themselves down the rabbit hole of a restart again and then they will be just as aimless as the tumbleweeds that blow across the West Texas desert. 

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