As the new Big 12 conference schedules were released on Wednesday, there were a few things that caught my eye. Of course, as teams are wrapping up their non-conference opponents the schedules are not quite final as I type this, but I want to really focus in on the games that matter most. I mean let’s face it, most Big 12 schools will be playing cupcake games anyways as their plus one game so if a team does not start out 1-0, I would be very shocked. Anyways, here are share five things that caught my eye as I glanced over the schedule.
Easy Start for Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State
Depending on what order you have Kansas and West Virginia on your Big 12 preseason list, I think that is it safe to say that almost every person that put a little thought in their preseason ballot has Kansas and West Virginia in their bottom three or four teams. Personally, I have West Virginia finishing eighth and Kansas dead last. So, with that said, the Oklahoma State Cowboys should have no issue starting the year off 3-0 and 2-0 in conference play. The Cowboys have not won their conference opener since 2015 and with a home game against West Virginia to kick off Big 12 play, there is no excuse for this team to start off right with a win before playing Kansas.
Tough Starts for Texas Tech, TCU and Oklahoma
There are three teams who in their first three weeks of Big 12 play will face off against Kansas State, Texas, and Iowa State. Oklahoma will host Kansas State and travel to Iowa State before playing Texas in Dallas while TCU will host Iowa State and Kansas State but in between those games is a trip to Austin to take on the Longhorns. Meanwhile, Texas Tech has maybe the roughest stretch out of the three as they host Texas for their conference opener before hitting the road to Kansas State and Iowa State. If I had to bet a team to start off conference play 0-3, it may be Texas Tech.
Long Stretches for Baylor and West Virginia
If you look at the graph the Big 12 released, you can see that they tried to keep some space in between games. For instance, Texas plays a three-game set three times and has a week off after a set of three games. The same goes for Iowa State, Kansas State and Oklahoma as each school will play three conference games in a row and then get a week off. Meanwhile others have a four-game stretch such as Kansas, Oklahoma State, TCU, and Texas Tech. But there are only two schools who will play five weeks in a row in Baylor and West Virginia. Both will play five consecutive weeks from October 17th through November 14th.
Easiest Stretch for the Oklahoma Sooners
I know Oklahoma is the favorite to win the Big 12 once again and because of that, some teams they face are much easier to them compared to others. However, after facing off against Iowa State and Texas in their first three weeks of Big 12 play, the schedule seems very friendly towards the Sooners. After their first three games in the Big 12, they travel to TCU and Texas Tech before hosting Kansas. Then they have a week off before Bedlam as they host the Cowboys before traveling to Morgantown to take on West Virginia and then finishing the season at home against Baylor. I understand that Oklahoma State game will be tough, but they do get to play in Norman for that one. I think they probably have the easiest six game finish in the Big 12 by a good margin.
Toughest Finish for the Kansas State Wildcats
There are a few teams that have a very tough schedule to finish the season but perhaps none are tougher than the final three games that are staring Kansas State right in the face. The Wildcats will travel to Iowa State and Baylor before finishing off conference play at home against Texas. I understand Baylor is not the Baylor of a year ago but to play Iowa State and Texas in your final three games is nothing really to smile about.
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