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Big 12 Power Rankings: How Far Away are the Red Raiders in '22?

Texas Tech enters the Joey McGuire era with some catching up to do with the rest of the league
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The Texas Tech Red Raiders football program enters Year 1 of the Joey McGuire era in 2022, and expectations for the program are high. McGuire has already exhibited a knack for recruiting, especially in the state of Texas, with 21 current 2023 commits with 19 of those from in-state.

"The kids and their families learn that we are player-centered - our players come first,' McGuire told of the theme of his program. "We have a great university to recruit to, where you can study a wide variety of things and get a great education in addition to playing football.

"It's our jobs to make our players the best version of themselves.''

Will this translate to immediate success on the field? Probably not, but that doesn't mean the team won't be better than last year - a year that saw Tech finish ninth out of 10 teams with a 7-6 overall record and a 3-6 mark in the Big 12.

Athlon Sports recently released its preview for the 2022 Big 12 season with overall records and conference win totals. Where do the Red Raiders fall?

9. TEXAS TECH: 5-7 (3-6 BIG 12)

This projection from Athlon is a regression for the Red Raiders from a year ago, though it might say more about the difficulty of Texas Tech's schedule than anything if it comes to fruition. A nonconference slate that includes a road trip to NC State and a home game against future Big 12 foe Houston — both are projected to open the year ranked — are formidable challenges for Tech, and all bets are off once conference play arrives. The good news is that three potentially difficult opponents – Oklahoma, Texas and defending Big 12 champion Baylor — all come to Lubbock this fall, but how much the Red Raiders can use home-field advantage in those games will hinge on the on-field product Tech showcases in Year 1 under Joey McGuire. 

With the schedule not being a friend to McGuire and the Red Raiders, it'll take some work for Tech to finish ahead of teams like TCU and West Virginia, even though the Red Raiders might be better on paper.

One thing seems apparent, though, that McGuire has this program on track to make significant strides from here on out.

You can follow Timm Hamm on Twitter at @IndyCarTim

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