Texas Tech football: Beating TCU is important for multiple reasons

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 11: Jett Duffey #7 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders runs for the game winning touchdown against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 11, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 11: Jett Duffey #7 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders runs for the game winning touchdown against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 11, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Saturday, the Texas Tech football program will look to even its record at 5-5 by beating TCU, something that is invaluable on a number of different fronts for this program.

When conference realignment put an end to the Texas Tech football program’s most fierce rivalry, the one with Texas A&M that gave us so many memorable moments over the years (long live Gap Kid and classless clowns!) there was a hate void in the Red Raider fan base’s heart.  The closest we’ve come to filling that has been with our ire towards TCU (and possibly Baylor) and while the vitriol we spew at the purple life-force drainers from Forth Worth will never approach that which we spat at the Aggies for all those years, this has become an important rivalry for both programs.

This will be the 59th all-time meeting between the two programs with Tech holding a 32-26-3 series lead.   That includes a record of 18-8-3 in Lubbock.  Interestingly, all three ties in this series came in consecutive games in Lubbock (1979, 1981, and 1983).

But this has been an odd series at times.  Most notably is the fact that the last four games have been won by the road team.

When thinking about this series, it’s worth keeping in mind that over the years, these two teams somewhat swapped places in the college football program before coming back together in the Big 12.

In the early years of the sport, TCU was a powerful program.  With star QBs like Sammy Baugh and Davey O’Brien, the Horned Frogs were a cutting-edge program in the pre World War II era.  It was during that time when TCU had the advantage over Tech, which didn’t start playing football for three decades after TCU played its first game in 1896.

Tech and TCU first met in 1929 in Ft. Worth and in the years prior to Tech’s inclusion into the Southwest Conference, the boys from Fort Worth held an 8-5 series advantage.  But once the two were on the same footing in terms of conference affiliation, the tables flipped.

In SWC play, Tech owned a 22-14-3 edge.  That included a streak from 1973-1990 when the Red Raiders went 13-2-3.

The programs met only twice with Tech in the Big 12 and TCU relegated to the role that the Red Raiders once had to play, that of an outsider looking in at the big boys of the sport while toiling away in a lesser conference.  In 2004, the Red Raider notched a 70-35 win in Lubbock and in 2006, TCU returned serve with a 12-3 win in Fort Worth.

Big 12 play has seen the series even up as Tech holds a 4-3 lead after last year’s 17-14 win at Amon Carter Stadium.  Now, the “Battle for the Saddle” returns to Jones Stadium and it’s time for Tech to finally protect its home field against the program that has become a measuring stick.

While every Big 12 game is critical for this program, the reality is that beating TCU (and certain other conference teams) with consistency is more important than say, beating next week’s opponent, Kansas State.

Make no mistake, this is a huge game and an important rival that Tech needs to exert some superiority over.  Here’s a look at how taking care of the Horned Frogs can benefit the Texas Tech football program in a number of ways.