Tonight, we examine the conference that is soon to have two less members than its numerical title states. Seriously, it’s not like the Big 12 has even been around that long, how much of a brand is there to worry about? Anyway…
- Colorado (1.75 legit, 0 DI-AA): @Colorado State, @California, Hawaii, Georgia. Colorado has far and away the strongest OOC schedule of any of the Big 12, but they’re also one of the worst teams in the conference. I’d say that Dan Hawkins is trying salvage his job this year, but that would imply there’s anything left to salvage.
- Oklahoma (1.5, 0): Utah State, Florida State, Air Force, @Cincinnati. Optimism is high at Oklahoma, and well it should be. Their new offensive skill players were able to take their licks last year as opposed to this year, meaning the projected rebuilding timetable in the post-Bradford era has been moved up. This schedule also provides a good foundation for a darkhorse national title run, assuming Cincy is decent again this year.
- Iowa State (1.5, 1): Northern Illinois, @Iowa, Northern Iowa, Utah. I need some sort of provision for OOC rivalry games or something. Though fans of Pitt, Penn State, and Miami probably would tell you that you should appreciate it if your OOC rival actually does play you every year. At any rate, at least ISU sourced their DI-AA patsy locally. (College Football 2010: the cash money isn’t the only thing that’s green!) (Also, UNI probably has a fighting chance against ISU, but that’s another story.)
- Kansas (1, 1): North Dakota State, Georgia Tech, @Southern Mississippi, New Mexico State. A mea culpa from my ACC article, wherein I said that KU was location in Manhattan. I should know better than that, being born in Kansas and having multiple cousins who went to K-State and all. However, since my Mom was the one who told me about the error, that pretty much confirms no one is reading this thing except for her.
- Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (0.75, 1): Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana Tech, Florida International, N-Arkansas. Outside of the continuing TAMU-Arkansas series at Jerry Jones’s Intergalactic Space Palace, there is literally nothing worth writing home about here, provided we lived in an era in which people still wrote letters.
- Texas (0.5, 0): @Rice, Wyoming, California-Los Angeles, Florida Atlantic. President John F. Kennedy once asked, “Why does Rice play Texas?” Well, in this case, I suspect it’s because they got a lot of money for it. Even more sad is that Rice, despite having the most disproportionately sized stadium in college football (full capacity: 70,000, enrollment: 6,799) is actually holding this game at Reliant Stadium. I’m still counting it as a home game for Rice, though. Oh, I guess Texas also plays UCLA, but at any rate Texas should win all these games by at least two touchdowns.
- Baylor (0.5, 1): Sam Houston State, Buffalo, @Texas Christian, @Rice. If this is finally Baylor’s year, playing @TCU doesn’t do them any favors, as that would require a perhaps difficult 3rd Big 12 win for bowl eligiblity.
- Nebraska (0.5, 1): Western Kentucky, Idaho, @Washington, South Dakota State. At U-Dub is kind of interesting, I guess. Otherwise, this is a pretty unimpressive schedule. And it only gets worse from here.
- Missouri (0.5, 1): N-Illinois, McNeese State, San Diego State, Miami (OH). I think TAMU-Arkansas is more interesting, but the rising trend of neutral-site inter-conference games is very encouraging.
- Kansas State (0.5, 1): California-Los Angeles, Missouri State, Central Florida, @North Texas. Well, they get a road trip to Denton, TX at least. Other than that, I’ve got nothing.
- Oklahoma State (0.25, 0): Washington State, Troy, Tulsa, @Louisiana-Lafayette. Amazingly, this is not the worst OOC schedule in the Big 12. Once again that title goes to…
- Texas Tech (0, 1): Southern Methodist, @New Mexico, Weber State, Houston. Other than a love of pirates, throwing it around the field, and a dislike of Adam Jones, the other thing Texas Tech under Mike Leach did was come up with some truly awful schedules. Though they did lose to Houston last year, so there could be some revenge there, though perhaps not that the Cap’n’s new gig is at Fox College Sports.
Well, that’s all I got. Two more to go! Next up, the Pacific 10.