Chuck Heinz - The Morning Drive
I really think its week five @ Kansas. Two scenarios hit me. Go two and one or three and oh and you potentially are going for your fourth or fifth win of the season. However if you start 1-2 and lose to Okie State then you could be in real trouble if the team starts 1-3 with OU and Texas still to play especially if there's a stumble in Lawrence. Starting four and one or five and oh would calm a lot of waters and allow this team to truly focus without looking over its shoulder. Wouldn't that be terrific!
Jamie Lent - The Morning Drive
I know you are all going to accuse me of "going Tadlock" on you on this one, but I think the most important game for the 2017 Red Raiders is September 2nd vs Eastern Washington.
Let's be honest, if Tech were to lose that game do you think they would be able to turn things around quickly for a difficult non-conference slate and then into Big 12 play? I just don't see it happening. If the Red Raiders fall in that game, the already hot seat of the Tech coaches would get even hotter. Instead of the season getting off to a good start and gaining some momentum, the fan base would be chattering for a change in staff. The players would constantly have the distractions of having to deal with answering questions about this coaching staff, which is never a good thing and and a team in need of some confidence would instead be stuck disappointed about losing to an FCS team.
I do believe Texas Tech will win this game but after Eastern Washington beat Mike Leach and Washington St. last year, I don't think this is a gimme game by any stretch.
I'm not saying that if you win this game the season is suddenly considered a success. I'm just saying that if you lose it, it's difficult for me to imagine things going well after that.
Zach Logsdon - The Morning Drive and Sunday Sports Blitz
The game to me that sets up the whole rest of the season is Houston. Obviously that's not what the most fans would choose to win, but if you can beat the Tom Herman-less Cougars you should absolutely be 3-0 going in to Big 12 play. That allows you to go 4-5 in conference and still get to the 7-win mark that I think this staff needs to reach for job security.
Chois Woodman - The Bottom Line
The most important game in 2017 for the Texas Tech football team is the Oklahoma State game on September 30th. This is a prime opportunity for the Red Raiders to get the ball rolling - in either direction. The early season game, and first conference matchup will provide a chance for the Red Raiders to do something it hasn't done in almost a decade: beat Oklahoma State. A win against the Pokes could do wonders for the confidence and outlook for the season - both from a players/coaches view and a fans'. Despite what Tech does in the first three games of the season, a victory over an OSU team that is one of the favorites in the conference could really help unite a fan base that seems to be divided on whether or not the current coach should be in place. It may seem far-fetched, but Tech could bring an upset to the Cowboys before they really find their groove in the season.
A loss would have potential to divide the fan base even more. A loss could also pile on to an already tough start to the season if things don't go well against Arizona State or Houston.
Much could hinge on the game against Oklahoma State. Though it may be hopeful thinking, Texas Tech could get the program back on track by upsetting the team that has been its thorn in the side since the Leach days.
Chris Level - Tech Talk
I don't want to assume to much but I think this team wins that first game vs Eastern Washington which takes us to week two versus the Sun Devils. To me, this is your answer. Having a winning record in the non conference portion of the schedule is a must if you want to get back to a bowl game and we all remember what happened in Tempe last year with Kalen Ballage. Is this defense any better? We will start to find out in week two at home in this very important night game.
Marissa Crawley - Tech Talk
I believe the most important game on the schedule will be against Baylor. This game against the Bears is the third to last game of the season and a post season birth could be riding on this game. Tech plays Oklahoma preseason number 1 and then Kansas State number 3 before this game. If you end up losing these two games, how will you respond to Baylor? Will it be enough to fire up the team to go into Arlington and beat the Bears? What if Tech beats both and then goes into Arlington too confident and cant take care of business?
Jeff McGuire - The Sunday Sports Blitz
A couple of games stick out to me on the schedule this season. I am not sure the most important of the two but they heads and tails above the others. The first game is September 16th vs Arizona State. A positive outcome there would help erase a really bad memory from last year. Game 1a would be November 24th at Texas. The Longhorns have been bad, and have a new coach. Now is the time to turn that series around. Also, it could mean the difference between looking for a new coach and keeping the ones you have.
Andres Flores - The Sunday Sports Blitz
I mean isn't the next one really the most important one at anytime of the season? Aren't they all important? Anyway, the most important game of the 2017 season is going to be the Houston game. No doubt. The Red Raiders usually don't struggle out of the gate in any season and with back to back home games I expect Tech to take care of business. The reason why I say Houston is because that outcome will probably determine what kind of season you're going to have. If you beat Houston you're 3-0 going into Big XII play, I've always said anything can happen once you get into conference play, that's why I tend to not like to make season predictions. 3-0 and hosting Oklahoma St. it will take an upset job but with confidence of the great start to the season it will help and with 3 winnable games before OU. The start to the season is important.
If you lose to Houston, then I'm sure everyone is going to panic and then suddenly vs OSU it will seem like you have no chance. If this happens then you're now 2-2 with 3 out of the next 4 games on the road and the chance for a winning season or a bowl game may be in jeopardy. At this point I might have to say "I'm Done." But hopefully it will not come to this.
Houston is the most important game of the 2017 season, but it sure will be nice to beat Texas and win back to back games in Austin.
Chris Williamson - The Sunday Sports Blitz
The popular answer will probably be Texas however I am going to say Houston. It's our first road game of the year and based off the last season we need to get off to a good start on the road. Also Houston has been a beast the last few years and it will feel really good to take them down a notch. Close second is Arizona St. if only because I want retribution for last year's debacle.
Zach Sparkman - Producer Extraordinaire
TCU, I considered going with Kansas State as both are at home and both teams figure to be in the top part of the conference but with the rivalry I'll go with TCU. As last years win was a way to make up for 82-27 loss in 2014 a win this year could heal some of the wounds from the heartbreaking loss in 2015. This game will also be senior day and the second to last game on the schedule picking up a late win against what figures to be a solid team could go a long way in whether the Red Raiders go bowling in 2017.
Eastern Washington - 2
Arizona State - 1
Baylor - 1
Kansas - 1
Oklahoma State - 1
Texas - 1
TCU - 1