Texas Tech fans will learn a lot about their team when the Longhorns come marching in to Lubbock on September 18th.
They're going to find out just how far this program has come under Mike Leach and how far it will go under Tommy Tuberville.
In 2008, Tech experienced it's biggest win in it's 85 year history when it knocked off number-one ranked Texas, thus earning itself a number two national ranking.
Aside from BCS implications, this game was huge because it represented only the 15th time the Red Raiders have beaten the Longhorns. It was also Tech's first win over Texas since 2002. As of now, Texas leads the series 44-13.
The grudge match last season was intriguing, and the outcome was significant as well.
After losing legendary record setters Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree, the Red Raiders battled the Horns in Austin, falling short 34-24.
The expected blowout from a vengeful Texas team that ranked number two in the country was instead a hard-fought battle that went down to fourth quarter.
As we wait for the start of the 2010 season, anticipations for this matchup are high once again. Texas returns to Jones Stadium, where they'll likely play against a record-setting number of face-painted fans dressed in all black.
What will this game mean for Texas Tech and it's relationship with Texas?
Is it a meaningful rivalry?
In his 13-year career, Spike Dykes was able to beat the Longhorns on six occasions, including three times in Austin, where the Red Raiders haven't won since 1997.
These wins spanned from 1988-1998, during the up-and-down years at Texas under head coaches David McWilliams and John Mackovic.
I think we can all agree that under Mack Brown, Texas has been a different animal throughout the 2000's. Beating the Longhorns in 2010 is a bit different than beating the Longhorns back in 1994, when they finished 4-7 and missed a bowl game.
No, a win over Texas is a big deal nowadays. Remember 2008? Remember the image of thousands of Texas Tech fans and students rushing the field without knowing, or caring, that one second still remained?
I think you get the idea.
2009 was, in my opinion, almost as significant for the Red Raider program.
In a rebuilding year without its stars from 2008, Tech went down to Austin and gave the mighty Longhorns all they could ask for.
Now, many project a win over Texas this season when the Horns make their return to Jones. They'll have to face thousands of relentless fans and a lot of bad memories.
If the Red Raiders pull off the win, they'll make a huge statement to Texas and to the rest of the Big 12.
"We're no longer the the little brother of Texas".
Beating a team of the caliber of Mack Brown's Longhorns twice in three years is special, and is something Texas Tech has never done before.
The Longhorn-Red Raider series has never garnered enough national attention to be considered a major rivalry.
But now, after two consecutive games going down to the wire, and two consecutive appearances from ESPN's College Gameday at the event, how can it appear to be anything less?
The New Lone Star Showdown?
I want to make it clear that I have no intentions of tarnishing the historic Aggie-Longhorn rivalry that has existed for so long.
I just want to point out the fact that Texas, along with Texas A&M, look at Tech as a formidable opponent.
They're no longer the little Red Raiders out in West Texas. They're prime time, front and center obstacles for two of the most storied programs in college football history.
So, as far as Texas vs. Texas Tech goes, call it whatever you want to call it. The Lone Star Showdown 2.0. Whatever.
We'll all see just how legitimate this budding rivalry really is after the Horns make their visit.
More importantly, we'll see where Texas Tech stands as a program. Year in and year out.