Texas Tech doesn't have a true "rival", per say, since Texas A&M refuses to admit that Tech is a rival (and as of late, A&M has been more of a "whipping boy" for the Red Raiders) and the Red Raiders have been unable to compete with the University of Texas on a consistent basis.
Oklahoma State, on the other hand, is in a very similar position. While they do have a true rival in the University of Oklahoma, they don't beat them often enough to have any sort of control over the rivalry.
And yet, as we look at the two schools, they still have a lot in common that hasn't been mentioned. Both play fast paced styles of offense that are capable of blowing a game open, both have defenses that can be incredibly good at times or incredibly inconsistent, and both have young quarterbacks that are going to be super stars.
Yet, even with all of the positives that they have going for the, neither team receives the attention that they are beginning to deserve. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech had two of the best receivers during the 2006 season in Joel Filani and Adarius Bowman. Yet, there was never any talk about these two explosive receivers as candidates for any major national awards or national attention in general.
So the question becomes, "What is the best way to get these two up-and-comers national attention?" Enter the City of Dallas and Jerry Jones. The City of Dallas actually approached the two schools first in attempting to draw them into a game in contention with the Texas State Fair as part of a plan to get 4 college football games during the time that the State Fair of Texas is going on. Mayor Laura Miller wanted to try and land another game other than the Red River Shootout (sorry, I refuse to call it the ‘Red River Rivalry') as part of her legacy as Mayor of Dallas.
Enter Jerry "I've had too much plastic surgery" Jones. Jones is creating the largest and most state of the art football stadium in the entire world. Jones hopes to hold a Super Bowl at his new stadium in Arlington (perhaps even have his team play in said Super Bowl???), and nothing would make him happier than to have two up and coming college football teams play at his brand new stadium. Plus, he would love to actually steal a college game from the City of Dallas.
So now that there is some background information and facts about the situation, it is time for me to tell you my reasons (and some legitimate reasons besides my own opinion) that this could be a very good thing for both schools.
Both Texas Tech and Oklahoma State are schools that play second (or third sometimes, in Tech's case) to large, public universities in their respective states. While Oklahoma State has no true challenge to being the second team in Oklahoma, OU has and does control both the state of Oklahoma and the Big XII.
When one looks at Tech, you see a smaller but certainly not small public University that for too long has suffered the effects of being in West Texas. Now to clarify, there is nothing wrong with West Texas and quite frankly, I love the place. However, many football recruits aren't as excited about playing at a school in Lubbock that is 5 hours from the nearest "big" city.
Even fewer of said recruits are excited about being shown on FSN every other week locally but receiving very little national television coverage. One has to ask, "How do we correct this so that Texas Tech (and to some extent, the recently criticized Big XII) can claim (or reclaim) it's spot on the national stage?"
The answer is about 345 miles to the east. While many Red Raider fans are reluctant to attend a game at a neutral site, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs. One of the most often referenced points is that the City of Lubbock would lose money if the game was played somewhere other than in the City of Lubbock. In the short run, this is certainly true, but it is also exceedingly short-sighted. While fans will be spending money in Dallas or Arlington, the businesses in Lubbock won't be making that money themselves. But what happens when some of the DFW metroplex alumni remember how much fun that it was to go to football games at Jones AT&T (formerly SBC) stadium. Or maybe you show a kid in high school just the type of fan support he can expect if he gets to play for Texas Tech.
And then of course, there is the national attention factor. There is no end of griping and moaning about the fact that Texas Tech doesn't receive the same attention that the other schools in the Big XII do. Yet, the university does nothing to try and change this situation. Yeah, they've put up a few billboards but come on, which is more likely to draw someone into attending a place of higher learning, a billboard or an action packed football game?
Oklahoma State has managed to improve their situation with several gifts from Boone Pickens and a fiery young coaching staff but still has significant strides to make in order to be on par with OU.
While most fans of either Tech or OSU would be reluctant to admit it, playing in Dallas at a neutral site would be a huge boost for both of these teams. They would begin to receive more of the exposure that they so desperately need and could reach many football recruits that at the moment won't even think of coming to Lubbock or Stillwater to watch a football game.
So while it will pain me as a fan of Texas Tech to have a game played away from Jones AT&T stadium, I also recognize that a game at a neutral site could be one of the biggest and best things to happen to Texas Tech. People were convinced that Mike Leach would be a washout at Tech, but he has done fairly well for himself. Perhaps it is time that the Cotton Bowl, or Jerry World, be given the same opportunity.