Spring football is ongoing across the state of Texas now that spring break is over. The 13 FBS programs in the Lone Star State are allowed to participate in 15 on-field practice sessions, including 12 involving contact. Spring games are littered throughout April with most taking place on April 15 or April 22. Houston goes first when the Cougars play their spring game on April 7.
The 2023 season is one of change. Sam Houston is moving up to Conference USA from the FCS ranks. Houston is now in the Big 12. UTSA, North Texas, and Rice are preparing for their first season in the American Athletic Conference.
But what is the best and worst case that can happen for each team in 2023? Here’s where we stand on the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS
2022 record: 8-5
Sept. 2 at Wyoming
Sept. 9 Oregon
Sept. 16 Tarleton State
Sept. 23 at West Virginia
Sept. 30 Houston
Oct. 7 at Baylor
Oct. 14 Kansas State
Oct. 21 at BYU
Oct. 28 IDLE
Nov. 2 TCU
Nov. 11 at Kansas
Nov. 18 UCF
Nov. 24 at Texas
Best case: Year one under Joey McGuire provided the Red Raider Nation with hope for the future, and the present. Texas Tech won eight games in 2022, including a bowl win over an SEC program. The regular season included home wins over Texas and Oklahoma in the same year for the first time in program history. And the 5-4 Big 12 record was the first .500 or better finish in conference play since Mike Leach roamed the sidelines in 2009.
Most of us figured McGuire & Co. would turn Texas Tech into a Big 12 contender by the year 2024, but the Red Raiders are ahead of schedule. Kansas State made the jump from eight wins in 2021 to conference champ in 2022. In an unpredictable Big 12, the Red Raiders could pull a similar trick. They return two quality quarterbacks, a stud running back, and a bevy of talented targets on the outside. The defense should be even better in year two under Tim DeRuyter despite losing some star power.
Worst case: Texas Tech won’t take any teams by surprise in 2023. Each opponent, especially in the Big 12, knows that the Red Raiders are no longer a pushover. But the schedule presents numerous challenges this season. The first is a non-conference game against an Oregon program that figures to enter the year as one of the Pac-12 favorites. Texas Tech also travels to Texas and Baylor. Home games against TCU and Kansas State are also challenges. There is no guarantee that Texas Tech can match the seven regular season wins it earned in 2022. The losses of Tyree Wilson and leading tacklers at linebacker and at safety could put too much pressure on the offense. The offensive line is the biggest question mark on that side of the ball.
Texas A&M Aggies
TCU Horned Frogs
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