9-3 overall, 6-2 conference, 2nd Big 12 South
Against the spread
4-6 (3-3 home, 1-3 away, 0-1 grass)
3-7 (2-4 home, 1-3 away, 0-1 grass)
+.75 per game
2005 Season Summary
Head coach Mike Leach had produced five bowl teams in five seasons at Texas Tech and provided fans with an explosive and entertaining offense in the process. Leach’s system was so effective that quarterbacks proved to be interchangeable and it seemed as if each new signal caller was breaking the records set by his predecessor.
Value was eroding
While Leach was posting solid straight up records and bowl appearances, the Red Raiders’ value was eroding as they fell to 6-6 against the spread in their 8-4 straight up season of 2004, which followed three consecutive years in the black against the sportsbooks. The “word” was out on Texas Tech and as more mainstream gamblers began to back the Red Raiders, the less valuable they became.
Another fascinating aspect about Texas Tech was the fact that they were one of the highest scoring teams in the land and also had a porous defense. Tech went over a whopping total of 10 out of 12 times in 2003. In 2004, with seemingly all mainstream gamblers betting the over on Tech games, the Red Raiders went UNDER 7 out of 11 times as the oddsmakers adjusted and compensated for the public demand. The Red Raiders remained an explosive team but an “undertakers” delight as the mainstream gambling public went off the cliff like lemmings on the “over” without considering that the oddsmakers were on to all of this.
Fourth consecutive year with a new QB
For most college football programs, the transition from a departed to new quarterback is a disruptive ordeal that features growing pains but Tech and Leach had proven over the years that it was not a problem for them and they began their fourth consecutive year with a new QB in 2005. The opened the 2005 campaign against “expansion” Florida International as 34.5-point chalks and scored an easy 56-3 blowout win and cover. This was followed up with back-to-back wins over 1-AA competition at home by scores of 80-21 and 63-7.
In their next game on the board at home versus Kansas, the Red Raiders were 18.5-point chalks and failed to get the cash in a 30-17 win. In their next game at Nebraska, in one of college football’s toughest road venues, the Red Raiders were 5-point chalks and barely escaped with a 34-31 win to lose two straight games against the number as overlays. At home the following week against a Kansas State team that was down a notch or two from their glorious era of the 1990’s, the Red Raiders scored a 59-20 win as 15-point chalks to stand at 6-0 straight up and 2-2 against the spread as they entered the meat of the Big 12 schedule.
Texas Tech next went to Austin to face undefeated national championship contender Texas as a 17-point dog. Many touts and mainstream gamblers felt that the Red Raiders could stay within that large number due to their high octane offense and were proven to be fools as the Longhorns exposed Texas Tech in a 52-17 win.
Reached their peak
Tech’s loss at Texas helped restore some value as they were relatively small 12.5-point chalks in their next game at Baylor, which was a nice 28-0 bounceback win. In their next game at home against Texas A&M, the Red Raiders reached their peak for 2005 with a 56-17 blowout win and cover as 13.5-point favorites to stand at 8-1 straight up and 4-3 against the spread.
Value as depleted
Texas Tech was a 23-point chalk in their next game at Oklahoma State and suffered a 17-24 upset loss to the Cowboys. At home against Oklahoma in their next game as 7-point chalks, they escaped with a 23-21 win on a late controversial touchdown to clinch a Cotton Bowl berth against Alabama, which they lost 10-13 as 3-point chalks for their third consecutive loss against the spread as their value was depleted. “Undertakers” remained pleased as Tech quietly went under 7 out of 10 times in 2005 as reality was yet to catch up with their reputation with the public.