The Big 12 has released the schedule for the 2023 season!
This season will feature 14 teams in the conference with the new additions of Cincinnati, BYU, Houston and UCF but will revert to 12 in 2024 with Texas and Oklahoma leaving for the SEC.
As you will notice, each team will not play against four teams from the conference. The Red Raiders won’t be facing Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Iowa State. This means that this past seasons victory against the Sooners is likely the last time the two teams will play barring a non-conference scheduling or a playoff/bowl game meeting.
Regardless of how far away we are from the season starting, it’s never too early to look at the matchups!
We start things off with a Wyoming team that finished 7-6 after losing their bowl game. They return one of the better linebackers in the country in Easton Gibbs, but their offense was abysmal last season and this should be a game that our guys could use to get a great start to the season.
The following week features a home matchup with the Oregon, and you know that crowd will be ready to welcome the Ducks to Lubbock. Along with Texas and TCU, this will be one of the most talented teams that we play this year and I’ll be interested to see our defense going up against their offense. Bo Nix had an incredible year last year and will pose a threat similar to what Max Duggan did last season.
We finish the non-conference slate with Tarleton State. The Texans finished last season with a 6-5 record and this should be a good game for the Red Raiders to get everything solidified on both sides of the ball heading into conference play.
The conference slate has us playing four home games and five away. We travel to West Virginia, Baylor, BYU, Kansas and Texas. We went 3-1 against those teams and besides Texas the other four games should be penciled in as wins. The Longhorns obviously improved their team with a solid recruiting class but they’re Texas so that probably doesn’t mean much.
As for the home games we welcome in Houston, Kansas State, TCU and newcomer UCF. We are on a five game winning-streak against the Cougars dating back to 2010 and have beaten them in two home games, an away game and a neutral sight game in 2018-19 as well as the past two seasons.
Kansas State and TCU played for the Big-12 Championship so having these two teams come to Lubbock this year should help us a lot. I believe each of them will take a step back this year and it’s not like we didn’t play each of them close. UCF may not be the same team they were when they won the National Championship a few years ago but the name itself as well as a 9-5 record last season should add some intrigue to this one.
With the momentum we’re coming off from last year, it’s hard not to expect great things from this team. Having to not play Oklahoma, Iowa State and Oklahoma State is a plus because these teams always play us tough.
The obvious tough tests on this schedule will be Oregon, Kansas State, TCU and Texas. Having a winning record in these four games will be the difference between just making a bowl game or competing for a Big 12 Championship.
There’s a long offseason ahead, but right now I believe in my heart of hearts that this team is capable of finishing with just one blemish. That could come during the middle of the season to a Kansas State/TCU or a Texas team that we could see an immediate rematch against in the Big 12 championship game.
The expectation that was set last season was a bowl game and a 8-9 win season. Even with the quality of teams that are joining now, there’s no reason to believe that this Texas Tech program can’t cement themselves at the top of it all.