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Texas Tech Hoops | Time for Big 12 Games to Begin

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The Red Raiders went 10-3 in their non-conference schedule, but now it's time for the best league in the country to start playing games head-to-head. Are we ready for it?

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

According to the non-conference records of all the Big 12 basketball teams; the Red Raiders currently sit in 8th place at 10-3. This is in front of Oklahoma (8-3) and Kansas State (7-5). But, according to the power ranking opinions of some of our conference foes we are dead last.

From Our Daily Bears...

10. Texas Tech

Poor Tech. First they lose Jared Stidham, and now they're 10th in the ODB basketball power rankings. Just can't catch a break, those Red Raiders.

Let's not sugar coat this: Texas Tech is bad at basketball. They are by far the worst Big 12 team per KenPom, ranking 148th, aka 100 spots behind TCU. Read that sentence again. One more time for clarity. There's not a lot more to say after that.

It's not totally Tubby Smith's fault, either. He walked into a bad situation. Talent is thread bare, and the fans might have more fight than the team. Just ask Marcus Smart, who is no stranger to run ins with the brand of aggression particular to the Red Raiders. Even still, Tech has the ability to surprise a lackadaisical team on the road -- as they did last year to Baylor -- and if TCU could beat Kansas 2 years ago, literally anything can happen.

The guys that run the Baylor blog obviously go off KenPom stats more than watching our team when they catch fire. I think Tech can hang with Baylor in Lubbock any day of the week. We go on runs, and are fueled by transition baskets. We have yet to lose at home this season. Let's hold off on thinking Tech is "bad at basketball". Baylor does remember how bad we were at basketball last year in Lubbock against the Bears... we knocked off a ranked #12 Baylor team by double digits. As they say in the post, "anything can happen".

From The Smoking Musket...

10. Texas Tech Red Raiders, 10-3 (previous rank: 9)

This probably should have been Tech's place in the rankings all along, but K-State had so many more losses than everyone else I had to put them here. No longer. The Red Raiders lost by double-digits to both Loyola Illinois and Houston.

The guys that run the blog over at West Virginia don't have too much faith in Texas Tech this year. They believe that all along we should have been in the basement of the Big 12. West Virginia has a good team. But, please remember that the Mountaineers only loss this season was to LSU in regulation. Yeah, the same Tigers team that Texas Tech lost to IN OVERTIME.

The point is that most people are not giving Tech a chance at anything in Big 12 play this year. We are being overlooked, and TCU is no longer the team in the conference cellar. It is going to be an uphill battle playing in the best conference in the league, but we will have to prove to everyone we are not the dead last team. How tough is our conference? Here is clip from a story in the USA Today...

Still, no other league can claim six Top 25 teams. There was a league-record seven before TCU (13-0) was replaced in this week's poll by Georgetown.

After No. 13 Kansas and Oklahoma State won Tuesday night, the Big 12 has seven teams with at least 10 wins and an overall record of 101-20 (.835 winning percentage). That is the nation's best. No. 11 Texas, No. 17 West Virginia, No. 22 Baylor and Texas Tech also have won 10 games or more, with No. 9 Iowa State possibly joining that group Wednesday.

The Big 12 is on track to win at least 80 percent of its non-conference games for the first time in league history, and there was a two-week stretch earlier in December when its teams won 28 consecutive games.

There is a 24-14 record (.632) against the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC, helping push the Big 12 to No. 1 in RPI for conferences.

Our Big 12 conference is damn good. But, that does not mean Texas Tech is going to curl up and let the opposing schools walk all over us. We are going to play Tubby Smith style basketball, and turn up the heat on defense. Our weakness might be on the offensive end of the court, but we can keep working on swinging the ball and getting the open shot.

The first real test will be the #11 Texas Longhorns (11-2) in Lubbock on Saturday. Others might think we are dead last in the league right now, but that does not matter. Let's show them all what we got brewing in Lubbock. We will not be dead last after conference play is over this season. Wreck 'em Tech!