Texas Tech Finishes Season Among AP Top 25|
Jan. 8, 2008
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech put the proverbial cherry on top Tuesday as the Red Raiders finished among the Associated Press Top 25 for the third time under eighth-year head coach Mike Leach. Following Texas Tech's second come-from-behind bowl win and third nine-win season since 2000, the Red Raiders are ranked 22nd in the final AP Poll of the year.
The ranking is the first since the 2004 and 2005 teams finished ranked in back-to-back years for the first time in school history at 18th and 20th, respectively. Since its first postseason ranking in 1938, Texas Tech has found itself in the final AP Poll nine times with a high ranking of 11th in 1938 and 1973.
Three Red Raider opponents from 2007 were listed in the poll, all finishing among the top 10 - Missouri (4th), Oklahoma (8th) and Texas (10th). Texas Tech's bowl opponent, Virginia, is the first team outside of the top 25 receiving votes. With eight bowl teams from the 2007 season dotting next year's slate, four of those are ranked or receiving votes. In addition to Oklahoma and Texas, Kansas finished the season at No. 7, while Tulsa received votes.
Texas Tech secured its third nine-win season under Leach with the 31-28 Gator Bowl win over then-No. 20 Virginia on New Year's Day, closing the season with a 9-4 mark. The win total matches those of the 2002 (9-5) and 2005 (9-3) seasons. Leach joins former Red Raider coach Pete Cawthon as the only coaches in school history with three seasons of nine or more wins. Cawthon posted two 10-win seasons and a nine-win campaign during his 11-year tenure from 1930-40. Additionally, the Gator Bowl win marked the 10th postseason win in Texas Tech history, with five of those coming during Leach's tenure. Quarterback Graham Harrell also became the first Red Raider quarterback to win two bowl games.
Harrell led the nation in passing yardage in 2007 with 5,705 yards and is the first Texas Tech signal caller since Sonny Cumbie in 2004 to lead the country in the final rankings. Kliff Kingsbury (2002) and B.J. Symons (2003) also led the nation in passing at season's end. Harrell is first in total offense (5,614) as was Symons and Cumbie. After having its four-year run as the NCAA passing title holder snapped last season, the Red Raiders reclaimed the honor in 2007. Texas Tech led the nation in passing in 2002-05.
Texas Tech opens the 2008 season at home against Tulsa on August 30.