In the College Football Playoff Era, one debate resurfaces every year in regards to scheduling: should teams put together a non-conference slate filled with easy wins and try to make the playoffs at 13-0, or should they schedule Power-5 titans that will make their team better but risk their postseason spot with a quality loss?
Apologies to the late, great Robert Wernsman for that unnecessarily long lede which surely eclipsed the recommended 28-32-word-range – you taught me better than that – but the world is currently upside-down and I don’t possess the capacity to write an article that would satisfy even your mildest standards.
In any case, today I want to talk about scheduling. Texas Tech has done a mediocre job in this category for the coming decade, securing matchups against Pac-12 power Oregon and middling SEC program Mississippi State (will Mike Leach still be there at 67 years old???), but outside of those two opponents, it’s basically a snooze-fest for Tech’s nonconference lineup in the new roaring 20s:
Confirmed non-conference opponents (of note) over the next 10 years:
- 2020: Arizona
- 2021: Houston
- 2022: Houston and NC State
- 2023: Oregon
- 2024: Oregon
- 2025: Oregon State
- 2026: Oregon State
- 2027: NC State
- 2028: Mississippi State
- 2029: Mississippi State and Fresno State
- 2030: Fresno State
For brevity’s sake, let’s just dive into who I’d like Tech to schedule at some point over the next 10 years (doesn’t mean they have to play each other in the next 10 years - there’s not enough room on the schedule - but at least we could start reaching out to these teams for matchups in the 2030s.
This school probably needs the least explaining of any program on this list, but it’s worth repeating a win over our former Big 12 rivals would do wonders for our trash talking for the foreseeable future.
2. USC Trojans
Kliff Kingsbury was the first Red Raider to go to L.A. and embarrass the Trojans, why not make our football team the collective second?
Thrashed them in last year’s NCAA Tournament on the hardwood, I think it’d be equally gratifying to pull off an incredible upset over the Big Blue on the gridiron, too.
4. LSU Tigers
While Lubbock doesn’t necessarily border Louisiana, there’s always been that rivalry between the two states so even though Tech would likely get throttled by the Tigers in any era, it’d still be a fun home-and-home series.
Another former Big 12 adversary that could potentially rejoin Tech in a conference during the next realignment phase, both programs are historically comparable and would make for a competitive matchup.
Continuing the trend of teams that will “only make us better,” Ohio State fans would pack the stadium and make for a ridiculous atmosphere at the Jones.
Texas Tech will (sadly) always be an Air Raid program, by the looks of it, and Wisconsin will always be a ground-and-pound type of team. Just fun to watch opposite styles go at it.
8. BYU Cougars
Another potential future conference adversary, BYU has rabid fans and a continuously underrated football program. Also, one of the most beautiful stadiums in college football.
The only easy win on this list and I’m only including it because I want to visit Hawaii, and you probably do, too.
Saved the best for last, Notre Dame and Texas Tech have never played each other in their extensive histories. It’d be a memorable moment to play in the most storied stadium in college sports, regardless of the outcome.
Who’s missing from this list?
This poll is closed