Does the preseason AP poll matter? No, but it's nice to be appreciated sometimes.

That's exactly what Head Coach Chris Beard and the Red Raiders can say today as they'll open the season as the 13th ranked team in the country.

As the lyricist Nas once said: "When they knight you/then you go to fight, go to war, don't petition." Now that the team has played in the Elite 8 for two straight seasons, there's no hiding this year -- even if they're replacing all but two valuable pieces from last year's team, and three returners are a walk-on and two red shirts.

The Red Raiders join Kansas (no. 3) and Baylor (no. 16) as the three Big 12 representatives to open the polling.

Unlike last season when the Red Raiders opened the season unranked, this Texas Tech team starts the season with real expectations on it. The team was also pegged for third in the Big 12 in the preseason coaches poll. That's a season after getting picked 7th in the Big 12 and being left off completely from any preseason AP polls.

Texas Tech starts its season on November 5th, 2019 in the United Supermarkets Arena against Eastern Illinois.