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Red Raiders Top 25 in ESPN 'Way-Too-Early' Football Rankings

With the success of the program under first-year head coach Joey McGuire, Texas Tech Red Raiders appear in ESPN's Way-Too-Early Top 25.
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The Red Raiders have had one of their most successful seasons in recent memory in coach Joey McGuire's first season at the helm, posting a 7-5 overall record and going 5-4 in the Big 12. 

It's because of that success and the Red Raiders' top-25 recruiting class for 2023 that ESPN has them listed in their 'Way-Too-Early' college football rankings:

23. Texas Tech Red Raiders

2022 record: 8-5, 5-4 Big 12

Expected returning starters: 9 offense, 7 defense, 1 special teams

Expected key losses: DE Tyree Wilson, LB Kosi Eldridge, S Marquis Waters, RB SaRodorick Thompson, G Weston Wright, K Trey Wolff, LB Krishon Merriweather

Expected key additions: WR Drae McCray, S CJ Baskerville, C Rusty Staats, DT Quincy Ledet Jr., DE Dylan Spencer, QB Jake Strong, S Brenden Jordan

Outlook: Texas Tech's hiring of Joey McGuire, a former Texas high school coach who was Baylor's associate head coach, is already paying big dividends.

In his first campaign, the Red Raiders beat Oklahoma and Texas in the same season for the first time, had a winning record in Big 12 play for the first time since 2009 and won their last four games, including a 42-25 victory over Ole Miss in the TaxAct Texas Bowl.

Tech rewarded McGuire with a new six-year contract before the bowl game. Tech's talented receiver corps is going to get even deeper with the addition of McCray, who led the Atlantic Sun in receptions and receiving yards at Austin Peay in 2022. Staats, a two-time All-Conference USA center at Western Kentucky, will help shore up the offensive line. Quarterback Tyler Shough has already announced he's returning, along with six senior starters on defense who will take advantage of a COVID-19 bonus season.

Tech beat two ranked teams in 2022 in Houston and Oklahoma and registered victories over both Texas and Oklahoma in the same season for the first time in program history.

McGuire has also improved the Red Raiders' recruiting efforts and inked the No. 23 class nationally per SI99 rankings for the 2023 cycle. Tech also posted its all-time best semester in the classroom with a 3.13 team GPA this fall as the Red Raiders have 27 players on their Texas Bowl roster who have already earned their college degrees.

Tech also boasted a second-consecutive postseason victory with a 42-25 win over Ole Miss in the TaxAct Texas Bowl on Dec. 28.

For all his hard work, the Red Raiders inked a six-year, $26.6 million contract extension just before the Texas Bowl victory that will keep head coach Joey McGuire in Lubbock through the 2028 football season.

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