Tech to finish with non-conference games

Texas Tech's upcoming season will be a little unsettling, and not just because Tommy Tuberville has replaced Mike Leach as the Red Raiders' coach.

The Red Raiders' 2010 schedule will finish with two non-conference games as the Red Raiders hook up with Weber State and Houston.

A look at Tech's historical schedule indicates this hasn't happened since the Red Raiders joined the Southwest Conference in 1960. It also will be the only time the Red Raiders play back-to-back home games during their upcoming schedule.

Tech last ended the regular season with a non-conference game in 2001 when they beat Stephen F. Austin. That game came about because the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 delayed the matchup between Tech and their original opponent, UTEP. UTEP couldn't make up the postponed game later in the season.

The unusual scheduling can be partially attributed to Tech moving its game against Texas to early in the season. The game was moved to September in 2009, and again will be played early this season on Sept. 18 in Lubbock. It will be the conference opener for both teams.

Moving the Texas game forward forced the Red Raiders to push back a scheduled 2010 game against TCU. The Oct. 9 game against Baylor will be played at the historic Cotton Bowl as part of the State Fair of Texas and it will be a week after the Texas-Oklahoma game set for Oct 2.

Here's how Tuberville's first Tech schedule lays out.

  • Sept. 4 SMU

  • Sept. 11 at New Mexico

  • Sept. 18 Texas

  • Oct. 2 at Iowa State

  • Oct. 9 vs. Baylor (at Cotton Bowl, Dallas)

  • Oct. 16 Oklahoma State

  • Oct. 23 at Colorado

  • Oct. 30 at Texas A&M

  • Nov. 6 Missouri

  • Nov. 13 at Oklahoma

  • Nov. 20 Weber State

  • Nov. 27 Houston

Note: Home games are in bold.

Houston's game against the Red Raiders was one of the most entertaining in the nation during the past season with the Cougars escaping with a wild 29-28 victory. I would expect the 2010 game to be just as exciting as it will be Houston quarterback Case Keenum's final regular-season game for the Cougars.

Tech has talent returning with quarterbacks Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield, and running back Baron Batch among seven offensive starters. The Red Raiders also have six returning defensive starters and two specialists, placing them in the middle of the pack in terms of returning starters.

Tuberville's first Tech schedule will leave him without any direct opportunity to improve his conference standing during those final two weeks of the season, but will give him the opportunity to perhaps improve the Red Raiders' bowl positioning. But it still looks a little strange to me, playing back-to-back non-conference games so late in the season.