Texas Tech University first fielded a football team in 1925. In the 90 seasons of football have followed Texas Tech has played 1,012 games. With an overall record of 544-423-32, 11 conference championships and 36 bowl appearances, the program has risen to national prominence as a member of the Big 12 conference.
Texas Tech ranks 17th in the nation in bowl appearances and 13th in bowl victories with 14. The program that started playing football in a dirt lot on campus now has a stadium that holds over 60,000 fans and has seen hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements and renovations in the past two decades alone.
Selecting the top 30 games from almost a century’s worth of contests was not easy. There have been so many memorable battles with storied rivals and life-or-death struggles to pull out a victory that it is possible some truly memorable and classic games have been left of this list.
I did not start closely following Texas Tech football until I stepped on campus as a freshman in 1999, the final year of the Spyke Dykes ear and one year prior to Mike Leach’s arrival. Therefore my knowledge of Texas Tech football prior to the mid-1990’s has come only from what I’ve read and stories I’ve heard from the old-timers (a group that I will probably join in the blink of an eye).
But I tried my best to include games from every era of Texas Tech football and I attempted to honor those eras by highlighting the accomplishments of those teams and players that built the foundation upon which the program I’ve come to love has been built.
If I left a game off of the list, I ask for your forgiveness. This collection of games is in no way definitive and meant only as a means to take fans everyone’s favorite street, memory lane. Enjoy reading about the 30 greatest games in Texas Tech football history.
No. 30 – Texas A&M 2001
The 30th greatest game in Texas Tech football history will be remembered more for what happened in the stands after the game than what took place on the field. On November 3rd, 2001 Texas Tech shut out the Aggies 12-0 in a fairly boring game.
Had the game been against another team, a 12-0 victory would be a snooze-fest. But beating the Aggies is always an exciting event for Texas Tech fans.
The victory was the biggest win to date in the Mike Leach era as Kliff Kingsbury led Texas Tech with 303 yards passing and running back Ricky Williams scored a touchdown with just two minutes to go in the game to seal the win.
But the defense was the story of the upset of the No. 17 Aggies. Safety Ryan Aycock intercepted a pass in the end zone just before halftime to thwart the only true Texas A&M scoring threat of the day.
While the victory was satisfying, the most excitement of the day came after the game.
Texas Tech students stormed the field and tore down the south goalpost after the game. They then proceeded to carry the goal post to the section of the stadium where the Aggie faithful remained in the stadium and pushed the goalpost into the stands.
As tempers flared, a brawl broke out between the fan bases adding yet more bad blood to the already heated rivalry. Eventually, video of the incident revealed that the first punch in the brawl was thrown by one Aggy fan to another Aggy yet Texas Tech fans were blamed for the incident.
The moment was ugly and not a high point in Texas Tech history but it is most certainly one of the most memorable games in program history. While the game was not very entertaining the aftermath makes this contest one fans will not soon forget.