May 25, 2024

Texas Tech preparing to shake up the Big 12 race against Texas

Texas Tech Red Raiders Football

(Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

Texas sits atop the Big 12 standings in week 13, and is a lock to play for the Championship in Arlington if it takes care of business against Texas Tech Friday night.

However, the Red Raiders are looking to play spoiler in the last week of the regular season, and make things interesting for the rest of the conference. Currently Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Kansas State are in a three-way tie for second place.

If Coach Steve Sarkisian leads his team to victory, and those other three squads win their final game, then Texas and Oklahoma State will be playing for the Big 12 Championship next week. Regardless, games aren’t played on paper, and there are a bunch of scenarios that can happen this weekend, and it all comes down to Texas Tech.

It’s going to be a David vs. Goliath matchup in Austin. The No. 7 Longhorns have everything to play for, including Senior Day, a Big 12 Title, and a first-ever berth in the Playoffs. Meanwhile the Red Raiders have nothing to lose, considering they’re already bowl eligible, and that’s what makes them dangerous.

Texas Tech (6-5) has played solid over the past two months. It’s hard to argue with that when the Red Raiders have won five of its’ last seven games overall, including three-straight. Which is why the Longhorns can’t afford to overlook them. After all, Texas Tech beat Texas in overtime in Lubbock last year. Texas has won four of the past five meetings though. The Red Raiders haven’t left Darrell K. Royal with a win since 2017.

Most of the battles between the two teams have resulted in offensive shootouts. Not to mention the scores in 2020 and 2021 resembled the final results of a basketball game. This matchup has all the ingredients for another offensive shootout too.

The Red Raiders would love nothing more than to do the rest of the league a favor and give the Longhorns a nice parting gift to the SEC. Texas (10-1) can still lose to Texas Tech and play for the hardware, if the three teams in second place win their games. It’ll get interesting though if BYU defeats Oklahoma State, TCU defeats Oklahoma or Iowa State defeats Kansas State. So nothing is set in stone.

Texas is the No. 2 one-loss team in the country, behind Oregon and ahead of Alabama. It’s no mystery the Big 12 will be out of the Playoff race if the Red Raiders win. That should be more than enough motivation for Coach Joey McGuire’s boys to lay it all out on the field under the lights Friday, with all eyes on Austin.