The 2021 Big 12 schedule was released this past week and with it came plenty to talk about amongst Big 12 fans. Of course, every Big 12 team thinks they have a tough schedule but who really has the toughest schedule in the conference? After Pete Mundo’s five thoughts, I thought it would be best to go ahead and rank the schedules from the easiest to the toughest. Let the countdown begin!
I don’t think it is that close because I think the Bears have the easiest schedule in the conference. It is like their 2019 schedule which of course help them set up for a big run that year to a Big 12 tittle game appearance. While this team is not as good as that team was two seasons ago, they have a two week break in the middle of the season and their toughest opponents are all coming to Waco.
9. Oklahoma State
While they have a bye week before conference play and another one after their second Big 12 game, they do get their first two conference games at home against Kansas State and Baylor. But getting a bye week before playing Texas and Iowa State in back-to-back weeks is key. The Oklahoma game is the final game of the regular season, but their schedule sets up to be softer in the second half of the season.
8. Iowa State
Much like Oklahoma State, the Cyclone shave a bye week before their two first conference games and then another one after. But kicking off Big 12 play with Kansas and Baylor is nice however they have a tough middle stretch against Kansas State, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Texas before their late season showdown in Norman.
7. Kansas State
The Wildcats have the bye weeks like Oklahoma State and Iowa State where they have a bye week before playing two games and then hitting another bye week. However, I don’t think any other Big 12 team has a tougher three game opener. Kansas State’s first three Big 12 games are against Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Iowa State. Yikes.
6. West Virginia
West Virginia has the toughest opening game in the Big 12. They travel to Norman to take on the Sooners, but they get a soft stretch afterwards. But despite getting three games at home late in the season, they have a four week stretch taking on Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Kanas State and Texas. It is a very backloaded schedule.
5. Texas Tech
This schedule is tough. The Red Raiders open conference play traveling to Austin and Morgantown which are no cake walks. And after they play Kansas, they play four games in five weeks against Kansas State, Oklahoma, Iowa State and Oklahoma State. The good news is three out of those four are in Lubbock but that is still a mighty tough back schedule.
The Sooners have an interesting first three games in Big 12 play. They face off against West Virginia and Kanas State before their showdown with Texas. Traveling to Manhattan, Kansas is not ideal before the Red River Showdown but look at their final two games of the season. It is just as tough as their opening games. They will play Iowa State and Oklahoma State to end the season. And it could be highly likely they will be playing the Cyclones twice in a three-week span.
Opening against Tech at home should be a breeze but they have a tough schedule overall. After playing Texas Tech, they have an exhausting road schedule. They must travel to TCU, Baylor and Iowa State with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State smacked in the middle of that. Not to mention, they end the season going to Morgantown before hosting Kansas State for the regular season finale. I am sorry but with this schedule, Texas is not back.
Our own Pete Mundo hit on this earlier, but TCU may have the most grueling stretch of games not because of who they play but the fact that they open the conference slate with a pair of bye weeks. After getting two weeks in a row off, the Horned Frogs will play nine straight conference games. And during that daunting row of games, they will be traveling to Oklahoma, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State. Gary Patterson will have his work cut out for him this season.
Ok maybe I am biased a bit here because the Jayhawks would struggle mightily no matter who was on their schedule. However, I believe they have the toughest slate of games in a row. Kansas will play Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Texas in four straight weeks. I don’t care what team you are because to me, nobody has four games in a row as tough as that.
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