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Texas Tech's Path to the Big 12 Title

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What do the Red Raiders need to do to clinch the Big 12?

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

With the regular season winding down, Texas Tech baseball finds themselves in the driver’s seat for its first Big 12 championship. Let’s take a look at their path to the title with nine regular season games remaining.

THE STANDINGS

Heading into this weekend’s slate of games, it appears the Big 12 regular season baseball championship is a two tiered race. Texas Tech and TCU, who meet up in Fort Worth for a three game series this weekend, are in the first tier. Oklahoma State and Texas also have a realistic shot at the title if the chips fall just right for them

The current standings are as follows:

1. Texas Tech: 12-3 in Big 12 play

2. TCU: 10-5 in Big 12 play, two games back of the lead

T3. Oklahoma State: 9-6 in Big 12 play, three games back of the lead

T3. Texas: 9-6 in Big 12 play, three games back of the lead

THE SHOWDOWN IN COW TOWN

It’s nearly impossible to overstate the importance of next weekend’s series against TCU in Fort Worth. In fact, the results of this series are likely to ultimately decide who emerges as the champion.

A Texas Tech sweep of the Horned Frogs would seemingly put the championship battle to rest, barring an epic collapse by Tim Tadlock’s squad in the season’s final six games. Taking two out of three would also be a great result for the Red Raiders, allowing them to extend their lead on TCU by one game leaving the weekend.

Going 1-2 in Fort Worth this weekend wouldn’t be an awful result. Texas Tech would still be in first place and in control of their own destiny for the final six conference games. But a sweep at the hands of the Horned Frogs would mean five straight losses, and needing to win a lot down the home stretch as well as hope for some help, which is far from ideal.

REMAINING SCHEDULE

After this weekend, Texas Tech will have their three toughest conference opponents (TCU, Oklahoma State, and Texas) out of the way, leaving just a pair of three game series’ against Kansas (3-8 in Big 12 play) and West Virginia (6-8 in the Big 12) remaining on the schedule. Regardless of what happens in Fort Worth, Texas Tech should be able to finish the season strong.

TCU also has a favorable slate after this weekend, with a series against Baylor (5-10) and Kansas State (5-10) remaining. Essentially, whoever leaves Fort Worth with the Big 12 lead will be in a good position to remain atop the standings to finish out the regular season.

Unfortunately for the Cowboys and Longhorns, they have yet to face off. They face off in Austin this weekend, and unless one team can sweep the other, it will be difficult for either squad to gain much ground on either Texas Tech or TCU.

Anything can happen with these four teams. But with the way the schedule is set up for the season’s final nine games, it appears the Big 12 regular season championship is on the line between Texas Tech and TCU this weekend.