Texas Tech is in the opening stages of an unexpected coaching search, and the early favorites are Chad Morris, Kliff Kingsbury and Sonny Dykes, according to the Austin American-Statesman's Kirk Bohls.
The Red Raiders are replacing Tommy Tuberville, who left Lubbock to take over as head coach of Cincinnati. After three years with the defensive-minded Tuberville, it appears as if Tech is ready to get back to its offensive roots.
Morris and Kingsbury are two of the brightest young offensive coordinators in the country. In 2011, Morris took over a Clemson offense that had struggled in recent seasons and immediately turned it around. The Tigers averaged 33.6 points and 440.8 yards per game last season, and this regular season, they put up 42.3 points and 518.3 yards per contest. Morris recently interviewed for the head coaching job at Auburn, which went to his mentor, Gus Malzahn.
Kingsbury played quarterback at Texas Tech from 1998 to 2002, and he set 39 school records in the process. He took over as offensive coordinator under head coach Kevin Sumlin in 2010 and moved with Sumlin to Texas A&M before the 2012 season. During the regular season, the Aggies led the SEC in scoring and total offense, averaging 44.8 points and 552.3 yards per game, and quarterback Johnny Manziel put up huge numbers en route to winning the Heisman Trophy. Perhaps the only downside to Kingsbury is his age. Just 33, he may be perceived as too young to hold a head coaching job at a BCS school.
Dykes is a Texas Tech alumnus and the son of longtime Red Raiders coach Spike Dykes. While Sonny Dykes could be a top choice for Tech, he may be unattainable. After three successful seasons at Louisiana Tech, he was named head coach at Cal on Dec. 5.