Sports Blog: Tech, Tuberville ready to claim Texas

Published On: Oct 31 2012 11:25:10 AM CDT

This week marks perhaps the new Lone Star Showdown: the University of Texas vs. Texas Tech.

Now that the Texas A&M Aggies have taken their ball and moved to the SEC, Horns vs. Red Raiders is now the biggest in-state rivalry game. 

In many ways, this game has been the biggest in state rivalry game since the turn of the century. 

Texas Tech vs. Texas has been a Prime Time game many times, and often the game has lived up to the timeslot.  

The biggest game is perhaps the 2008 version, the game that gave us the epic Crabtree catch, one of the biggest moments in college football history. 

Horns vs. Raiders has been so good, ABC has often moved this game up the schedule so it could be the primetime game of the week. 

This year marks a change in the rivalry, for one the game is a day game. ABC is still picking the game up, and it will be seen nationally, just with the West Texas sun beating down on the game instead of the bright lights.  

Another big change in this game, however, is what is at stake.  You can very well make a case that this could be Tech’s biggest game ever.

You see, Texas Tech has an opportunity to make a solid claim in this state, a claim that they’re here and aren’t going anywhere. 

During the Leach years, Tech made great strides in becoming the No. 2 team in the state. But since Leach was fired, Tech hasn’t been good enough to make such a claim. 

And to make matters worse, TCU went out and won a Rose Bowl, Baylor won a Heisman, and the Aggies made a big splash with a new coach and new conference. 

But now Tech is back to being ranked, and is favored to beat Texas in Lubbock this Saturday. 

Texas is on the ropes, and Tech has already beat TCU. If Tech can win -- and win big -- Tech is back on the map, and might actually start challenging UT and A&M for top Texas recruits.

Tech is probably going to be the Thanksgiving opponent for UT next season, and if they can beat UT this year, and finish ranked, they might play themselves to be the permanent UT opponent on Thanksgiving. 

Most Texans grew up with Longhorn vs. Aggies Thanksgiving night, but maybe a new generation of Texans will grow up with Tech vs. Texas, the new Lone Star Showdown. 

For West Texas, nothing would be sweeter than a Thanksgiving night under the bright lights of Lubbock.

John Dyer is a sports blogger for KSAT.com. He also owns a sports website, Texas Sports Junkie.