Don't look now, but for perhaps the first time ever, the Longhorns are coming to Lubbock as a top 10 team only to face another top 10 team. The national championship is still out of reach for the Red Raiders, as they just don't have the talent, but there is an outside chance they could land a BCS bid for the first time in school history. The problem is that the Big 12 is particularly strong this year, including the stoutest Texas team since Vince Young was at the helm, and a second team ahead of Tech in the rankings (Oklahoma), with Oklahoma State nipping at the Red Raiders' heels.
And Tech faces all 3 in the next 3 weeks.
Tech can still land a bowl game if Texas goes to the National Championship (or, alternatively, if Texas loses and Oklahoma goes to the dance, but who wants to see the Sooners get another chance to embarrass the Big 12 in January?), but it becomes far less likely if Tech becomes the 3rd Big 12 team in the polls. It's highly unlikely that Tech is going to survive the next 3 weeks without taking at least one loss, and two losses this late in the season will end their BCS hopes. It's more than a little ominous to consider that Tech ended Oklahoma's title hopes at the end of last season, and the team at the end of Tech's gauntlet? Oklahoma, of course. In Norman. Payback would, indeed, be a b**ch.
It goes without saying, then, that Tech has to knock out Oklahoma St. (something they haven't done in several years), and then they have to split the difference with Texas and Oklahoma in a squeaker to minimize the decline in the polls. I'm not sure USC or Georgia could pull off such a feat, but here we are, demanding it of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Let's face it, kids, upsetting a serious contender is the price of admission to the BCS (if you're not Kansas, anyway). Tech has to prove it can play with the big dogs, and until then, the Holiday Bowl or Cotton Bowl is the ceiling.