I know what you all are thinking. A top 25 team? Well Tech has had a habit of making the top 25 by upsetting at least one team each year. Except for 2014 and 2015, Tech has performed some impressive upsets against Top 25 teams in recent memory.
In 2011 they beat #3 Oklahoma to jump to number 19. In 2012 they beat #5 West Virginia in a blowout to climb to #18. During Kliff's first year in 2013, he lead Tech to an upset of #24 TCU at the time to crack the rankings at number 25. After the upset, the Red Raiders climbed all the way to #10.
While the Top 25 rankings have not been officially released yet, I believe there are a few Big 12 schools who will make it heading into Week 1. I know Oklahoma will be in there, likely in the top 10. I also believe TCU will be there, maybe in the 20s, and I can see Baylor making it in the 23-25 range. What does this mean for Tech? It means they'll have to perform an upset against one of these schools at some point during the season to be a Top 25 team if those schools remain at their positions by the time they play Tech.
Here's my best scenario for Tech to crack the Top 25: They have to start out 6-0 and beat Oklahoma at home. The 6-0 start for Tech is very possible given their non-conference opponents (Stephen F. Austin, Arizona State, and Louisiana Tech) and their first three Big 12 schools (Kansas, Kansas State, and West Virginia). Oklahoma could be undefeated by the time of this game as well. The only two possible games I could see them lose are against Houston and Ohio State. Whether the Sooners are 5-1 or 6-0, I believe they will still be a high-ranked team and an upset by Tech could definitely plead their case for being put in the Top 25.
A win against TCU or Baylor could place Tech in the Top 25, but those two schools are not as talented as Oklahoma in my opinion. It is also uncertain if either of them will be ranked by the time they play Tech. Based on TCU's schedule they may be 5-2 and in the 20s of the Top 25 and Baylor looks like they might be 6-4, well out of the Top 25 (if they were even there to begin with). Beating either of these two teams would obviously be great for the Red Raiders, but would not be enough to put them in the Top 25.
I know it's all speculation at this point in the offseason, but who knows? The Red Raiders have pulled upsets to crack the Top 25 before and maybe they could do it again. If they pull it off, they will definitely catch the nation's attention!