Texas Tech fares surprisingly well in ESPN’s preseason FPI for 2018

Texas Tech football fared better than many fans may have expected in ESPN’s preseason FPI rankings, which were released on Wednesday.

The Red Raiders checked in at No. 38 on the list — just four spots behind 2017 Big 12 runner-up TCU. Texas Tech earned a No. 44 ranking on offense and a No. 32 ranking on defense, good for an FPI rating of 6.8.

While Texas Tech’s rating is nowhere near the top of the food-chain in the Big 12 — or on a national scale — it is a bit surprising given the metrics that go into the FPI rankings.

Returning quarterbacks and recruiting rankings are just two of the factors that are used to determine the position for each team. As you may recall, the Red Raiders hauled in the lowest rated 2018 recruiting class of any Power 5 school in the nation last week, per the 247Sports composite rankings. 2017 starting quarterback Nic Shimonek is also graduating.

Team-performance in recent seasons also plays a role in the FPI rankings. Texas Tech, while boasting one of the most electric offenses over the last few years, has not posted a winning season since 2015. The Red Raiders finished that year 7-6.

Alas, Texas Tech finds itself higher than Iowa State and Kansas State — both who defeated the Red Raiders in Lubbock last season.

Oklahoma led the charge in the Big 12 with the No. 9 overall ranking — including an offense that is projected to lead the nation once again this fall. Kansas, to no surprise, was last among the Big 12 at No. 82 — trailing several Group of 5 schools in the rankings.

Texas Tech opens up the 2018 season with a neutral-site game vs. Ole Miss at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Sept. 1. It will be the first meeting between the schools since the 2009 Cotton Bowl — a game which Ole Miss won, 47-34.

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