The Red Raiders must continue to beat teams that the fan base cares about
In the minds of coaches and in the standings, all games count the same. However, for everyone else, who you beat matters almost as much as your final win total.
Last year, the Red Raiders finally started beating teams that the fans hate, specifically Texas and OU. Also, the wins over Houston and Ole Miss were meaty in that they brought more satisfaction than the type of wins that Texas Tech football had been providing on a yearly basis over the past decade.
By now, everyone knows that 2022 was the first season in which Tech beat the Horns and Sooners in the same campaign. However, the program has not taken down TCU since 2018 and has only beaten Baylor once in the last five tries.
Those are programs that fans want to beat almost as much as they want to beat Texas and OU. What’s more, given that OU is not on this year’s regular-season schedule, Tech fans will have extra reason to be passionate about beating the Bears and Frogs.
For far too long this program could only manage to consistently beat the likes of Kansas in the Big 12 while cobbling together the occasional conference upset and adding that to the destruction of an FCS team and scratching out a win over the Group of 5 team that showed up on the schedule each season.
In fact, since the end of the Leach era, Tech has endured losing streaks of ten games to Oklahoma, nine games to Oklahoma State, six games to Texas, five games to Baylor, and three games to TCU. All of those opponents matter to the fan base and last year, wins against OU and UT helped make the season special and put an end to those respective streaks.
However, with OU and Oklahoma State both off of this year’s schedule, Tech needs to take down TCU and Baylor along with Texas to keep the feel-goods rolling in for a fan base starving for bragging rights. Toppling Oregon in a nationally-televised game in week two would also carry a ton of weight as well because for 2023 to be even better than last season, Tech must figure out a way to keep winning games that get the fan base excited.