On Monday we released a list of the top five non-conference games in the Big 12 for the 2022 football season which is right around the corner.
After looking at that list, it begs the question: Who has the toughest non-conference slate in the conference this year?
Well, lets just take a look at that right now. Here is each team’s non conference schedule ranked from easiest to toughest.
10. Kansas State
(vs. South Dakota vs. Missouri, vs. Tulane)
Games against South Dakota (Sept. 3) and Tulane (Sept. 17) are more than manageable. The only contest to worry about here is hosting Missouri on September 10, although the Tigers lost a lot from a 6-7 team in 2021. This is a very manageable non-conference schedule for a team that many consider a dark horse for the Big 12 Championship.
9. Oklahoma State
(vs. Central Michigan, vs. Arizona State, vs. AR-Pine Bluff)
The opener against Central Michigan (Sept. 1) is a tricky one as the Chippewas are coming off a 9-3 season and return the nation’s leading rusher from a year ago in Lew Nichols III. Arizona State will likely be down in 2022 after losing several players to the transfer portal amid an NCAA recruiting investigation, while Arkansas Pine Bluff will be nothing more than a tune up game for the Cowboys.
(vs. UTEP, vs. Kent State, at Nebraska)
Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables will get two warmup games against UTEP (Sept. 3) and Kent State (Sept. 10) before taking his team on their first road trip of the year to Lincoln, Nebraska on September 17. There, the Sooners will face a hostile crowd of 90,000 Cornhusker fans who would love nothing more than to get revenge for their 2021 loss in Norman.
(at Colorado, vs. Tarleton State, at SMU)
TCU opens up the year with a road trip to Bolder, Colorado on September 2 where they will face one of the teams they helped replace a decade ago. After hosting Tarleton State (Sept. 10) and a BYE week, the Horned Frogs will then play host to SMU in the Battle of the Iron Skillet (Sept. 24). This year will be particularly interesting as it will be the first time Sonny Dykes faces his old squad.
6. Iowa State
(vs. SEMO, at Iowa, vs. Ohio)
The Cyclones open up their 2022 season against FCS opponent Southeast Missouri State (Sept. 3) and then will hit the road for the Cy-Hawk Game against Iowa on September 10. The following week, Ohio (Sept. 17) comes to town before Matt Campbell and Iowa State get set to host Baylor to open up Big 12 play on September 24.
(vs. Albany, at BYU, vs. Texas State)
Baylor gets two very manageable games in the non-conference slate with Albany (Sept. 3) and Texas State (Sept. 17), but one of the more challenging road trips in the conference in Week 2. Provo, Utah will be their destination as the BYU Cougars get set to host the Bears in a 9:15 p.m. game on September 10. Last year’s game went BU’s way, but the Cougs are the more experienced team this time around.
(vs. Tennessee Tech, at Houston, vs Duke)
Lance Leipold’s Jayhawks open up 2022 on a Friday night (Sept. 2) hosting Tennessee Tech. Things get much more difficult after that as KU will be tasked with taking on Dana Holgorsen and the Houston Cougars in Houston on September 10. Then, they finish the non-conference schedule by hosting ACC opponent Duke, who defeated them 52-33 last year.
(vs. LA-Monroe, vs. Alabama, vs. UTSA)
Texas will be double-digit favorites in two of its three non-conference games against Louisiana Monroe (Sept. 3) and UTSA (September 17). The Longhorns will also have the distinction of playing all three of its non-conference game at home. The bad news? Alabama comes to town in Week 2, and they will certainly be double-digit dogs to the Tide in that game.
2. Texas Tech
(vs. Murray State, vs. Houston, at NC State)
Joey McGuire doesn’t get much of a honeymoon with the Red Raiders in Year 1 because after hosting Murray State (Sept. 3), things get difficult, and quickly. Texas Tech will play host to Houston on September 10, which will likely be a Top 20 team when the AP Poll is released. Then, the Red Raiders will pack up and head east to take on ACC-contender NC State (Sept. 17) in Raleigh, North Carolina.
1. West Virginia
(at Pitt, vs. Towson, at Virginia Tech)
For a year that might decide whether Neal Brown keeps his job, the non-conference slate for West Virginia is grueling. First, the Mountaineers will take a trip to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers in the Backyard Brawl (Sept. 1). Then, after hosting Kansas (Sept. 10) and Towson (Sept. 17), West Virginia will hit the road again, but this time it will be a trip to Blacksburg to play Virginia Tech. Talk about a tough road to hoe.