The schedule sets up well for Texas Tech to make a run
There were certainly some reasons not to like the way Tech’s non-conference schedule was set up. Opening in Laramie, Wyoming at an altitude of over 7,500 feet was less than ideal. Then, taking on No. 13 Oregon just one week later was a tough task. That meant that the Red Raiders didn’t get to work out the kinks against an FCS team until the season’s third game.
However, that part of the season is over, and now, the Big 12 schedule actually sets up well. That’s another reason the Red Raiders could be in the conference title mix in November.
First of all, there are no back-to-back road tilts in league play. (Of course, there are also no back-to-back home games either.)
Also, the two best teams Tech will face outside of the Longhorns, Kansas State and TCU, each come to Lubbock this year. Now, the Red Raiders haven’t managed to beat either one of those programs at Jones Stadium since 2015’s win over the Wildcats. Still, having each of the purple teams playing in Lubbock is more advantageous than having to play them on the road.
That isn’t to say that the road games that lie ahead are automatic wins. Beating West Virginia, Kansas, BYU, Texas, and even Baylor away from West Texas will require the Red Raiders to play better than they have so far this year.
However, those teams are all beatable and Tech has a roster that, on paper, measures up with any outside of Texas. Also, keep in mind that Tech doesn’t have to face the Sooners this season, meaning that the second of the conference’s two ranked teams won’t be a roadblock to a potential conference title game appearance in 2023.
It is sad to see that the round-robin format that defined the Big 12 for over a decade is no longer possible. The death of that format means that some teams are going to get a boost from the schedule makers each year (this year, that team is Oklahoma).
Tech didn’t get a breeze through the Big 12 in 2023 but the schedule is manageable. It is one that is balanced but doesn’t require any herculean feats of Joey McGuire’s team until likely the final game of the regular season.