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Texas Tech's Footprint All Over Big 12 this Season

The Red Raiders' Big 12 influence is abundant for the first year under coach Joey McGuire

The Texas Tech Red Raiders enter the 2022 - 23 season with loads of optimism despite having a better finish to the end of last season than some might expect.

A 7-6 record and a win in the Liberty Bowl isn't exactly something to pop champagne over, but it's notable considering the coaching change the team went through midseason with the October 25th firing of Matt Wells.

Now, new coach Joey McGuire arrives in Lubbock after spending the past five seasons as an assistant with the Baylor Bears. He's now one of many coaches in the Big 12 who have made more than one stop within the conference.  

This includes Baylor coach Dave Aranda, who spent two years in Lubbock as a graduate assistant over two decades ago. With McGuire now departed from his staff in Waco after two seasons, Aranda spoke during Big 12 Media Days Wednesday in Arlington on the hopes he has for his former assistant next season. 

“I have a lot of respect and administration for Joey," Aranda said. "I think, as an assistant coach, was very hardworking, was a great teammate to all the rest of the coaches, was a hard worker, is very well respected, especially in the state of Texas,” said Aranda. “With the exception of one game, man, I want (Tech) to get them all.”

McGuire started as a tight ends coach when he arrived at Baylor in 2017 but moved to outside linebackers upon Aranda's arrival in 2020. His former players credited him with helping Baylor grow into a dark horse College Football Playoff contender next season. 

“I think (McGuire) was a big part in growing what Baylor has become,” Baylor linebacker Dylan Doyle said Wednesday. “I’m happy for him and I wish him the best of luck.”

Tech's extensive reach in the Big 12 also includes one of the best players in program history. Former quarterback Graham Harrell, the Red Raiders' all-time leader in passing yards (15,793), is set to take on a major role as offensive coordinator under coach Neal Brown for the West Virginia Mountaineers this season. 

Brown spoke at Big 12 Media Days about how Harrell's experience in the Big 12 brings a major edge to the team in more ways than one.

“He’s brought a different energy about him. He’s confident without being arrogant. He’s extremely humble,” said Brown. “It helps that he was a great player in this league, and I think that gets the players’ attention on your current roster but also in recruiting.”

West Virginia receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton was one of the Mountaineers' participants at media days. He gave some top-notch props to the Texas Tech football program as he prepares to be one of West Virginia's top receivers under Harrell this season. 

“Me and Coach Harrell have a good relationship, he’s a cool guy,” said Ford-Wheaton. “He played at Texas Tech and that gets our respect automatically as being a player.”

While Texas Tech's in-conference rivalries remain as heated as ever, an admiration remains throughout a Big 12 conference that has more familiar ties than some might think. 

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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