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Texas Tech has struggled at home as a ranked team

Night games in Lubbock? Haven’t been that frightful recently.



Photo Attribution: USATSI

Photo Attribution: USATSI

I got a really interesting email from long-time follower of the blog, Doug Drinen earlier this week. He said that he’d been seeing online where night games in Lubbock are supposedly a death trap for opponents (yours truly said that, I believe) and he showed me some data that might suggest otherwise.

I’m an admitted sucker for the whole “you want to play a team during the day” thing. I think it’s what saved the 2011 season early in College Station and I think it’s something that’s been important at Boone Pickens Stadium since it was renovated.

I say that because I’ve experienced it and night games just feel different. Everybody’s drunk (figuratively or literally) and there seems to be an air about teams in late October/early November at home.

But what do the numbers say about Texas Tech at home in night games? Here’s Doug:

OK, so this is kind of a pet peeve of mine. I don’t get why night games are supposedly so much more intimidating than day games. OK, I guess I do get it. The fans have had all day to get drunk/excited and are therefore much rowdier.

Fine, but is there any actual evidence? I’ve never seen any.

October 24, 2009 — Unranked Texas A&M beats No. 21 Texas Tech by 22 in Lubbock. At night.

October 29, 2011 — Unranked Iowa State destroys No. 20 Texas Tech in Lubbock. At night.

November 3, 2012 — Unranked Texas beats No. 20 Texas Tech in Lubbock (not at night).[1. It was a 2:30 game in November though so it ended at night.]

Tech is 3-3 in its last 6 games in Lubbock as a ranked team.[1. They won many, many games in 2008 as a ranked team — at home, on the road, everywhere.] All six were against unranked teams. Two of the wins were this year (Texas State and Iowa State) and one was last year (Kansas).

That’s pretty interesting.

I agree with Doug, though it’s hard for me to string together the years. This is Kingsbury’s squad, not Mike Leach’s, definitely not Tommy Tuberville’s.

Don Williams pointed that out in the Oklahoman today:

“Boy, the Red Raiders have their hostile home field back. I didn’t think Kingsbury could pull that off in less than a year’s time, but he’s doing it. Under Tommy Tuberville the last three years, Tech went 3-8 in Big 12 home games and the air went out of the stadium.

“I expect Saturday to be more like the atmosphere OSU encountered for the 2008 game when both teams were ranked in the top 10.”

Still, I’m a bit dubious. Don’t get me wrong — Tech is good (not great) but so is OSU (on defense anyway). I think the only thing we know for sure is that Saturday night is going to be freaking weird (#letsgetweird, see below), but it might not be as frightful as some believe.

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