Texas Tech football reportedly to open Big 12 play vs. UT

It is being reported that the Texas Tech football program will open Big 12 play against the Texas Longhorns on September 26.

Now that we know the Big 12 conference intends to proceed with the 2020 season, our attention turns to the updated schedule release, which is expected sometime on Tuesday.  Already, a few details are starting to leak out and it appears Tech will have a rather interesting conference opener.

According to Brett McMurphy of Stadium, the Red Raiders will open Big 12 play on September 26 against the rival Texas Longhorns.  He also reports that other games that day with be Kansas at Baylor, West Virginia at OK State, Kansas State at OU, and Iowa State at TCU.

Originally, the Red Raiders were set to open conference action against Iowa State in Ames on September 26.  The game against Texas was supposed to take place nearly a month later on October 24.

It is unclear as to why the conference feels the need to rework the schedule that is already in place given that the Big 12 already plays a round-robin schedule.  But for whatever reason, that appears to be the plan.

What hasn’t changed though is the fact that Tech’s conference opener did not get any easier.  While playing the Cyclones on the road to get league play started was going to be a daunting task given the fact that ISU is a darkhorse Big 12 contender, hosting the Horns will be no walk in the park either as UT was picked third in the preseason conference poll.

Of course, beating Texas in Lubbock hasn’t been easy for the Red Raiders in recent years regardless of how tough or weak the Horns may be.  In fact, the last time the Horns lost in the Hub City was in 2008 when Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree had their most famous moment.

Since then, the Red Raiders are 0-5 in the series at Jones Stadium.  And every loss has been painfully close.

In 2010, the Red Raiders fell 24-14, and two years later, they dropped a 31-22 decision.  In 2014, UT prevailed 34-13 in the only Lubbock blowout in the last ten years as Pat Mahomes was knocked out of the game in the first quarter forcing walk-on QB Vincent Testaverde to play the rest of the game.

In 2016, Mahomes was picked off in the endzone on Tech’s final drive in a 45-37 defeat.  Meanwhile, in 2018, the Horns scored in the last minute to pull out a 41-34 triumph that came after they blew a 17-point second-half lead.

Hopefully, this year will be different and the Red Raiders will get off to a strong start to Big 12 play.  If they are to do that, it will mean finally putting an end to a frustrating streak of futility against the Horns on the South Plains.