BYU Cougars

Top Five New Big 12 Matchups For 2023

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at Houston

The 2023 Big 12 football schedule has finally been released, which means that we can start to look forward to next year’s matchups.

With four new schools in the mix, the Big 12 race is going to be as fun to watch as any conference in America. The addition of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF will make for several fun and interesting new matchups and eventually new-found rivalries within the conference.

As we take a look at the games in the immediate future, here are the top five matchups with new Big 12 teams that we have to look forward to in 2023.


Cincinnati at West Virginia (November 18, 2023)

From 1921 to 2011, the Cincinnati Bearcats and West Virginia Mountaineers played 20 times, with West Virginia leading the series 16-3-1. The two schools are separated by just about 300 miles and finally gives West Virginia a regional rival in the conference. The former Big East foes have come a long way since the Mountaineers left the conference in 2012, and now they will have a protected rivalry in their new conference to look forward to. The first installment of this Big 12 battle will take place in Morgantown in mid-November and could be the start of something special going forward for both of the schools.

West Virginia at Houston (October 14, 2023)

After being the head coach in Morgantown from 2011-18, Dana Holgorsen will welcome West Virginia to Houston, who will now serve as a Big 12 opponent for the Cougars. While there’s not much history between these two schools on the field, expect there to be at least some feel of a rivalry as West Virginia fans will want nothing more than to beat Dana on a Thursday night, while the Cougars will want to help their coach to a victory over his former team in their first year in the Big 12.


Texas at Houston (October 7, 2023)

One week after hosting his former team, Dana Holgorson will play host to Texas in one of the most interesting conference games of the season. Houston’s addition to the Big 12 will add several new geographical rivalries to the melting pot, but none of them might be more interesting than the short-lived reunification with Texas. As co-members of the Southwest Conference from 1972 to 1996, Houston and Texas met 20 times, with Texas winning 12 of those matchups, and Houston taking seven of them. The all-time record between the two schools favors Texas, with a 16-7-2 record.

UCF at Oklahoma (October 21, 2023)

In late October, Gus Malzahn and the UCF Knights will pack their bags and head to Norman, Oklahoma to take on the Sooners. There are intangibles everywhere in this one, with Jeff Lebby being the former OC at UCF and of course, Dillon Gabriel, who was the starting quarterback for the Knights for two and a half seasons. Brent Venables and the Sooners are hoping to be much-improved in Year Two, while Malzahn and company enter the Big 12 as the biggest threat of the newcomers to make some noise in the conference race. This one will be fun.

Texas Tech at BYU (October 21, 2023)

Joey McGuire and the Texas Tech Red Raiders will be one of the dark horses to make a run at the Big 12 championship by time summer rolls around, and a road game to Provo might just be their toughest road trip of the season. If Kalani Sitake and the Cougars can get this game to be a nighttime kickoff, it will be the first time that BYU hosts one of the original Big 12 teams as a conference opponent. Playing late at BYU is going to be a tough ask for anyone, but it might be something that Texas Tech has to make it through to reach their expectations in 2023.

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