The 2016 college football season is starting to inch its way here. Media days have been happening and the college football talk is starting to pick up across the national media outlets. To shine a different light on the Red Raiders schedule, I'm going to look at the schedule broken down into 4 3-game quarters. I'll see what each quarter is going to look like and what some outcomes might be.
September 3rd: Stephen F. Austin in Lubbock, TX at 7:00 PM
September 10th: Arizona State in Tempe, AZ at 9:00 PM
September 17th: Louisiana Tech in Lubbock, TX at 6:00 PM
The first thing you may notice is that the first 3 games are all 6:00 PM or later. Last year Texas Tech's first 2 games were at 2:30 PM and 2:00 PM. As everyone knows, it's super hot in the middle of the day even in September so the evening/night games are a good change. SFA will serve as the FCS tuneup game and hopefully the Red Raiders are clicking because they'll be heading out to Tempe the week after. After the Arizona St game, Texas Tech hosts Louisiana Tech in the Battle of the Techs. I believe the Red Raiders can get off to a 3-0 start even if the defense isn't running on all cylinders just yet.
September 29th: Kansas in Lubbock, TX 7:30 PM
October 8th: Kansas State in Manhattan, KS
October 17th: West Virginia in Lubbock, TX
After the Louisiana Tech game, the Red Raiders will actually get to enjoy a week off this season before hosting the Jayhawks. This game was originally scheduled for a Saturday but was later switched to a Thursday night game on FS1. I actually like this because the Red Raiders will be one of two games (Houston vs UConn on ESPN) on and Texas Tech can showcase its offensive power against a lowly Kansas team. After the KU game, Tech heads to Manhattan then back home to host the Mountaineers. Out of the 3, I believe West Virginia will be the biggest concern but I do have a feeling the Red Raiders will be 6-0 after their first 6 games.
October 22nd: Oklahoma in Lubbock, TX
October 29th: TCU in Fort Worth, TX
November 5th: Texas in Lubbock, TX
This quarter will be the toughest of them all. Texas Tech does get to host Oklahoma and Texas, but still this quarter isn't going to be easy. Oklahoma is the favorite to win the Big 12 and I expect the atmosphere for this game to be crazy especially if both teams are undefeated heading into it. College Gameday, anyone? After what I expect to be a 12-round heavyweight fight, the Red Raiders head to Fort Worth where they lost 82-27 the last time they were there. By this point in the season we'll know what a Boykin-less TCU team looks like. The Red Raiders then return home to play host to the Longhorns. No matter what their record is, the Longhorns always show up in rivalry games and I don't expect anything different this season.
November 12th: Oklahoma State in Stillwater, OK
November 19th: Iowa State in Ames, IA
November 25th: Baylor in Arlington, TX
In the 4th quarter of the season the Red Raiders don't necessarily have a home game even though they're technically the home team against Baylor at AT&T Stadium. When Texas Tech goes to Stillwater expect another very tough game. The game against the Cowboys could very easily be the 2nd toughest game other then Oklahoma. After what is going to be a draining game, the Red Raiders have to head to Ames which is no easy task. Iowa St can make magic happen when they play at home. Texas Tech then wraps up the regular season at AT&T Stadium against Baylor in a rare Friday (Black Friday) game. It'll be interesting to see just how good Baylor will be at this point with all the crazy stuff happening in Waco.
If I had to rank the quarters by difficulty I'd go 3, 4, 2, 1. What say you VTM readers?