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12 for 12 Series Part 2: Texas Tech Red Raiders

Baylor v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

Time to continue our journey across the Big 12 landscape and learn a little bit about our conference brethren! For this installment, we will take a look at a familiar foe, the Texas Tech Red Raiders. That’s right, time for the BUTT Bowl!

Baylor and Tech have a long history, having played a total of 80 times in football since 1929, with an amazingly close record against each other at 40-39-1, slightly leaning in favor of your Baylor Bears. But Tech has a storied history beyond the football field, having won a national title in Outdoor Track and Field in 2019, and a Women’s Basketball title in 1993, as well as 76 conference championships in their history across baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, track and field, soccer, and tennis. An underrated rivalry on the national scene, the BUTT Bowl is always one I’m excited to watch. Now let’s dive into their point of view!

For this instance, I’ve spoken with Tristan McGonigal and Steven Rodriguez from The Talkin’ Tech Podcast, a part of Guns Up Nation. Their pod is one of the best non-Baylor podcasts out there, and I highly recommend checking them out if you’re ever looking for a fun view on how things are going up in Lubbock. Also, throw them a follow at @TalkinTechPod, they don’t shy away from taking jabs at everyone, and are a blast to interact with.

Give me a few sentences about you guys. How you got into Tech fandom, how long you’ve been a fan, how the pod started, and anything else you’d like to plug.

It all started in 2014 when Tristan and I went into our freshman year at Texas Tech and wound up being roommates all four years of college. I didn’t know much about Tech prior to touring the campus, but as soon as I immersed myself in Lubbock and the culture of West Texas, I instantly fell in love. We started the Talkin’ Tech Podcast in the middle of the pandemic partly because we were bored without sports and partly, quite frankly, because we just love shooting the s*** about Texas Tech. Guns Up Nation reached out to us about a year ago and asked us to join their podcast network and we happily agreed. It’s been really fun interacting with all sorts of different fanbases and other fans of Texas Tech sports through the pod.

What is your state of the department address? For Baylor fans that know nothing about Tech, how would you describe your athletic department?

If I had to describe our athletic department in one word, it would be: Committed. Kirby Hocutt is a fantastic athletic director that has stayed consistent in the pursuit of making Texas Tech a premier athletic program in all sports. We also have great donors that have helped upgrade our facilities and a school president in Lawrence Schovanec that is just as committed to the goal of making Texas Tech an elite brand in college sports. We’ve established two extremely strong programs in basketball and baseball and I believe football is one good coaching hire away from being there too (and I also think Joey McGuire is the guy).

If Alabama is a football school and Kentucky is a basketball school, what kind of school is Tech?

Right now, Texas Tech is basketball and baseball school. Will that be the case 5 years from now? I don’t know. What I do know is that the Texas Tech fanbase is diehard and will support winning programs in unbelievable ways. Our fans travel very well and we have put together one of the best home court/field advantages in basketball and baseball. We put a couple of winning seasons together in football and we might be a football school in 5 years. I’m not sure we are defined by one single sport, though.

What are your initial feelings about the new look Big 12?

I absolutely love it. Getting rid of Texas and OU is a huge relief from a Texas Tech fan’s perspective. The stranglehold that those two programs had on major decisions made by the conference was getting old and the Big 12 suffered from some of those decisions made to specifically please OU and Texas’ needs. Obviously, losing those two programs is a financial hit on the conference, but with the four schools we added, the product we put on the field/court will be close to the same, if not better.

What sport(s) do you think will have the most continued success long-term in the new Big 12?

MEAT JUDGING. We have always been a meat judging school and that’s the only sport that matters in the grand scheme. But seriously it’s baseball easily. We have created a powerhouse in Lubbock on the mound. I firmly believe we will always finish top half of the Big 12 until the day Tim Tadlock retires. Track & Field and Golf are some under-the-radar sports that we are really good at year in and year out. Basketball is also in a great spot right now, much to Chris Beard’s dismay.

What sport(s) do you think may struggle in the new Big 12? (if any)

I mean, football has struggled for the last decade at Texas Tech, so I guess that’s the easy answer. Women’s basketball has also struggled for a while, so I could see that continuing. However, I do believe in Joey McGuire and Krista Gerlich to get those programs turned around.

Where are you most excited to travel out of the 4 new cities?

Provo looks beautiful from all the pictures I have seen, so I’ll pick that one even though we would have to sneak in some drinks. I’ve been to Houston many times already. Orlando is a little too touristy for me, but if me and the fiancé end up having a couple rugrats down the line, we could knock out Disney and a Tech game in one go. Cincinnati doesn’t scream “Wow I really want to visit there some day!” But I’d like to try some Skyline Chili for sure.

Who are you most excited to play in the new Big 12 and who do you see becoming your biggest rival(s) out of the 4 new joiners?

Houston will probably become our biggest rival out of the new four. They are an in-state opponent that we have had several non-conference games with in football and basketball, so that’s an easy answer. Also, it seems there has been a Lubbock-Houston pipeline over the years where when we have a player transfer out of Texas Tech, there is like a 70% chance they go to UH. Kyler Edwards, Kesean Carter, T’Zhawn Henry, and Alex Hogan are just a few to name from only the last year. Overall, all four of these teams bring a lot to this conference and I’m excited to play every one of them.

If the Big 12 were to expand further, what schools would you add and why? (if any)

Realistically, I would try to steal Arizona and Arizona State from the Pac-12. It makes sense geographically and they are old rivals from way back in the Border Conference days. Unrealistically, and I can’t believe I am saying this, but stealing A&M and Arkansas from the SEC would also be a lot of fun. Huge fanbases that love to talk mess. They’d fit right in.

Finally, this is a Baylor blog. Give me a few sentences on how you view Baylor as a conference opponent.

I also can’t believe I am saying THIS, but I have come to really respect Baylor’s programs over the last few years. What Dave Aranda and Scott Drew have done for that school is incredibly impressive and I would be lying if I wasn’t a little jealous of the recent success Baylor has had. Interacting with Baylor Twitter over the last year and a half has also been fun. I like having y’all in the Big 12. Y’all are always a fun matchup in every sport. The rivalry will always be there between Texas Tech and Baylor, but we can ALWAYS come together and hate the Longhorns.

And there you have it folks! The BUTT Bowl brings people together, and we can all agree that Scott Drew and Mark Adams are great parents for Chris Beard. There’s been some debate the last few days regarding Big 12 coach of the year between the two fanbases, but it all evened out with Drew winning it from the coaches and Adams winning it from the media. Joey McGuire up in Lubbock does scare me a bit, but I’m excited about what his presence can do for the rivalry moving forward, and I love Joey as a man, I’d love to see him win 11 games a year, just leave that one game against us out of his win column. Tech fans have been a huge part of the fun since the realignment announcement came down, and I feel like Hocutt, along with Mack Rhoades, is a big reason why the Hateful 8 have weathered the storm together.

Let me know your thoughts on Tech and how they fit in the new Big 12, and be on the lookout for Part 3 coming soon!