Texas Tech's reputation on the field across Texas has slipped with high-achieving teams like Texas A&M, TCU and Baylor all surpassing Tech's best accomplishments in the past three seasons. Winning it back starts by beating those in-state teams.
The Red Raiders nipped TCU in Fort Worth in triple overtime last season, and this year's game against the old Southwest Conference rivals earned 33 percent of the vote your vote, narrowly taking the title of Texas Tech's most important game in 2013.
There's still a little bit of bad blood between the fan bases brewing after Tech cancelled games with the Frogs while they were still in the Mountain West Conference back in 2010 and 2011. It's quietly one of the Big 12's more heated rivalries, and this year's game even edged out the Red Raiders' game against Texas, which received 32 percent of the vote.
It's a tough call between those two games. Both have a lot to prove this season and both should start the year well within the top 20. Picking between the two is a bit pointless. There's a satisfaction that would come with beating Texas, a team that Tech has beaten just once since 2002, but beating TCU would bring with it a "stay in your place" type of vibe for the Frogs, who have gone just 2-5 against Texas Tech in seven meetings since 1992.
The Red Raiders' game against Baylor might have a similar vibe after the Bears have beaten Tech in consecutive seasons at Cowboys Stadium, but that game got just 16 percent of the vote. Games against Oklahoma State (11 percent) and Oklahoma (8 percent) were far behind, too.
Beating TCU and Texas would carry a special significance in Kliff Kingsbury's first season, but the fans got this one right. There's a strong case for both as the most important for Tech in 2013.