Rating the 2009 Non-Conference Slate, Part 4: Big XII

With the Braves’ record at games I’ve attended this year at 0-3 (1 in ATL, 2 in SF), I figure now’s a great time to look at the out-of-conference schedules of the land of pirates, corn, and steers and the men who rustle them: the Big XII.

  1. Oklahoma (1.25 legit, 1 DI-AA): N-BYU, Idaho State, Tulsa, @Miami (FL). This is a great schedule for a team that’s trying to win a national title. Kudos to OU. 2 legitimate mid-major teams and a big inter-sectional road game is generally a good recipe for success, provided they survive the gauntlet. Going 4-0 here also gives them breathing room if they lose in-conference. For an example of how not to schedule for a national title, see the 11th and 12th ranked teams below.
  2. Baylor (1.25, 1): @Wake Forest, Connecticut, Northwestern State, Kent. Not really much to get excited about here, but imagine if Baylor surpises some folks and comes out 4-0? I think they’ve got a fighting chance this year to make a bowl.
  3. Nebraska (1, 0): Florida Atlantic, Arkansas State, @Virginia Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette. I think 3 Sun Belt teams should count as a DI-AA point or something. I mean, seriously. The return trip to Blacksburg may carry some intrigue.
  4. Oklahoma State (1, 1): Georgia, Houston, Rice, Grambling State. That’s right kids, your eyes aren’t fooling you. That’s the Univerisity of Georgia once again traveling for a regular season out-of-conference game. More on that later. Not much else to this schedule, though. Some C-USA West teams and a DI-AA round things out.
  5. Colorado (0.75, 0): Colorado State, @Toledo, Wyoming, @West Virginia. That’s right kids, @Toledo! Anyway, words are failing me here, not because it’s beautiful but because I can’t think of anything especially interesting to say.
  6. Texas A&M (0.75, 0): New Mexico, Utah State, UAB, N-Arkansas. Apparently TAMU and Arkansas have an on-going series scheduled to be played at the Cowboys’ new intergalactic space palace from this year on. I applaud this move, though I’d be most Arkansas fans miss the Texas series more. Nonetheless, the Southwest Conference is dead, long-live the SWC!
  7. Missouri (0.75, 1): N-Illinois, Bowling Green, Furman, @Nevada. I don’t know how long this Mizzou-Illinois series is scheduled, but I like it and hope it continues. (I realize I could find this out quickly, but I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader.) I don’t know about this @Nevada business, but hey whatever gets you 2 gauraunteed home games these days I suppose.
  8. Kansas State (0.75, 2): Massachuessets, @Lousiana-Lafayette, @UCLA, Tennessee Tech. Well, at least they’re not going on the road for their actual DI-AA opponents. After this year, I wonder if Bill Synder will try to schedule 3 DI-AA teams? At any rate, enjoy your last interesting non-conference opponent for awhile, KSU fans.
  9. Iowa State (0.5, 1): North Dakota State, Iowa, @Kent, Army. What’s with Big 12 teams going on the road to mid-majors this year? Of course, I suspect ISU’s concerns are mostly concerned with winning a conference game or two this year.
  10. Kansas (0.25, 1): Northern Colorado, @Texas-El Paso, Duke, Southern Mississippi. Sadly, UTEP and USM may actually be bigger challenges for KU over the team they get credit for (Duke) but them’s the breaks in this system. Warning: the schedules from here on out get outrageously bad.
  11. Texas (0, 0): Louisiana-Monroe, @Wyoming, Texas-El Paso, Central Florida. Again, what’s with Big 12 teams going on the road to mid-majors? Outside of that, for a team of Texas’s caliber this is a really bad schedule. Unlike Oklahoma, there is no margin of error for Texas – they must win all their games to have a shot at the title, in all likelihood. Just pathetic. But wait, there’s one more!
  12. Texas Tech (0, 1): North Dakota, Rice, @Houston, New Mexico. What, does the Big 12 feel sorry for C-USA and the Mountain West or something? If I’m counting it right there are 8 mid-major road games. Anyway, this schedule makes me sad. While there’s no gauruntee TTU will be anywhere near as good this year as they were last year, they should at least help to continue the Big 12 South’s dominance over the North. They certainly won’t be flexing any Big 12 muscle outside the conference, that’s for sure.

Well, that wraps things up for our most favorite BCS conference located between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. Next up, the Pacific 10! Stay tuned!