Just two days stand between us and the first Big 12 football game of the 2023 season as UCF will get us started with a home tilt against Kent State.
The Knights, part of a quartet of new faces in the Big 12, bring a new edge to the Big 12 as we will see several new rivalries and exciting series begin this year that will entertain fans for years to come.
There are some huge games on the docket this season that everyone has circled in the conference schedule. Bedlam and K-State vs. Texas in Week 10. Texas vs. Texas Tech and Farmageddon in Week 13. TCU vs. Baylor in Week 12. What about the games that are flying under the radar? Which games aren’t getting as much love, but will certainly be contests you need to tune in for?
Here are five underrated Big 12 football games that you need to circle on the calendar right now.
Baylor at UCF (Sep 30)
In Week 5, UCF will be coming off a road trip to K-State, while Baylor will have just hosted Texas when the Bears and Knights clash in Orlando. This will be UCF fans’ first chance to show the Big 12 what kind of home-field advantage they can provide, and I’ve got a feeling they won’t disappoint. This is also a chance for the Knights to prove they belong as a contender in 2023, especially if the road trip to Manhattan isn’t as fruitful as they hope. Either way, this is definitely a game that you’ll want to tune in for.
Kansas State at Oklahoma State (Oct 6)
In a Friday night matchup in Stillwater, Oklahoma State will play host to the Kansas State Wildcats, and will certainly have revenge on their minds. A season ago, K-State took the Pokes out behind the woodshed to the tune of 48-0. Don’t think Mike Gundy and Co. have forgotten about that one. While the Cowboys appear to be trending for a down year, don’t be surprised if the Pokes come into this one 4-0 and well-rested off the bye week. K-State fans, beware: Stillwater can be spooky, especially on a Friday night.
Texas Tech at BYU (Oct 21)
Something about this game screams “Future Big 12 Rivalry.” Maybe it’s the clashing styles of play or the classic Red vs. Blue matchup, but I think that there will be fireworks when Joey McGuire and the Red Raiders head to Provo to take on BYU in Week 8. A matchup between two of the most underrated coaches in America is sure to make for an interesting chess match, and these are two teams that I expect to grow into perennial contenders in the Big 12 moving forward.
Texas at Houston (Oct 21)
On the same day as Texas Tech and BYU, the Texas Longhorns will head down to H-Town to take on the Houston Cougars. On paper, this game shouldn’t be close, but something tells me this could be one of those games for the Longhorns. Texas is coming off a bye week, and will have just played an emotional game against Oklahoma, win or lose. If they sleepwalk into TDECU Stadium, they might find themselves in a dogfight. Texas leads this series all-time, 16-7-2, but the largest margin of victory belongs to the Cougars after a 66-15 thrashing of UT in 1988.
Cincinnati at West Virginia (Nov 16)
In what is perhaps the most sensible regional schedule moves in the Big 12 in 2023, Cincinnati vs. West Virginia has all the makings for a perfect rivalry going forward. Located just four and a half hours from Morgantown, Cincinnati is now West Virginia’s closest conference foe in the Big 12 and will likely be a regular opponent moving forward. The Bearcats and Mountaineers have similar expectations heading into the season and this game could be a difference-maker for both teams in the final Big 12 standings.