Ranking the Big 12 football games: Bedlam the game to watch

by Berry Tramel Published: June 11, 2011

1. Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, Dec. 3: Surest thing in college football — Bedlam in Stillwater lives up to its name.

2. Oklahoma at Florida State, Sept. 17: A celebration of powers that haven't shirked their responsibility; both still are glad to play a nonconference showdown.

3. Oklahoma State at Texas A&M, Sept. 24: We wanted better games in September? Here we go. A huge game that will determine OU's chief rival for the 2011 championship.

4. Texas A&M vs. Arkansas at Arlington, Oct. 1: The Big 12's only regular-season crack at the SEC.

5. Oklahoma vs. Texas at Dallas, Oct. 8: An automatic No. 1 in most years of the 2000s, the Trinity River classic still promises all kinds of drama.

6. Texas at Texas A&M, Nov. 24: Almost quietly, Aggies have won three of the last five in the series.

7. Oklahoma State at Missouri, Oct. 22: Cowboys have won two straight in Columbia; 28-23 win in 2008 ranks No. 1 in the Mike Gundy era.

8. Missouri at Texas A&M, Oct. 29: Mizzou's 30-9 rout in College Station last October ended the Jerrod Johnson era.

9. Texas A&M at Oklahoma, Nov. 5: Last time in Norman, Aggies lost 65-10. Expect a better game this time.

10. Missouri at Arizona State, Sept. 9: After the 1957 season, Mizzou hired away Dan Devine from Arizona State. Sun Devils exacted revenge in the second Fiesta Bowl, 49-35 in 1972.

11. BYU at Texas, Sept. 10: What we dreamers wish was a preview of Brigham Young in the Big 12 instead will be a referendum on Mack Brown's rebuilding job.

12. Missouri at Oklahoma, Sept. 24: Say, another competitive Sooner home game. Any chance 2011 ends the Owen Field winning streak?

13. Texas A&M at Texas Tech, Oct. 8: The Big 12 misses Mike Leach most in this rivalry

14. Oklahoma State at Texas, Oct. 15: Strange happenings when this is merely OSU's third-toughest conference road game.

15. Kansas State at Miami, Sept. 24: Bill Snyder canceled series with Oregon, but this one survived, with a return game in Manhattan in 2012.

16. Texas at Missouri, Nov. 12: Mizzou has beaten UT eight times in history. Only once since 1916 and only thrice since 1897. Hey, Tigers. Now's your chance.

17. TCU at Baylor, Sept. 2: Friday night, national TV, Robert Griffin back in green and Andy Dalton no longer wearing purple. What a chance for Baylor.

18. Missouri at Kansas State, Oct. 8: KSU beat Mizzou 13 straight times until 2006; now the Tigers have won five straight. This is Snyder's chance to stay closer to Missouri than to KU and Iowa State as the old North schools try to survive against the South rattlesnakes.

19. Texas Tech at Texas, Nov. 5: Hard to believe the Longhorns actually won in Lubbock last year.

20. Arizona at Oklahoma State, Sept. 8: Part II of a three-game series that kicked off in the Alamo Bowl with a Cowboy domination.

21. Texas at Baylor, Dec. 3: Wonder if Baylor's ever had this kind of quarterback edge over UT? Griffin vs. Garrett Gilbert or whoever. Probably so. Baylor's had some decent QBs. Cotton Davidson, Cody Carlson, Tom Muecke, when the 'Horns were wandering in the wilderness. Plus Don Trull.

22. Texas A&M at Kansas State, Nov. 12: Big 12's darkest day was the Aggies' upset of KSU in 1998 title game. Wildcats might have won the national title.

23. Texas at UCLA, Sept. 17: Longhorns have a losing record (2-3) against the Bruins. UT's only two wins came in a 350-day span (October 1970-September 1971) at the height of Darrell Royal's wishbone.

24. Baylor at Kansas State, Oct. 1: This is the kind of game that could determine bowl bids. Nine conference games, plus one tough nonconference game, the loser here might have to go 4-4 against the rest of the Big 12 just to qualify for the postseason.

25. Iowa at Iowa State, Sept. 10: Cyclones have gone 7-6 in this series since 1997. An ISU win here would confirm the suspicion that Paul Rhoads is a heck of a coach.

26. Oklahoma at Kansas State, Oct. 29: Just wondering, but you suppose K-State is warming to the idea of Brent Venables as Snyder's second successor?

27. Missouri at Baylor, Nov. 5: Welcome to the South Division, Mizzou. This is going to be your easiest road trip biennially, and it will be a dogfight.

28. Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, Nov. 12: Strange happenings when this is OSU's easiest conference road game.

29. Iowa State at Connecticut, Sept. 16: UConn's first significant victory in Division I-A came in November 2002, with a 37-20 victory at Ames over a team that once was ranked No. 9 in the AP poll. Now Connecticut is the defending Big East champ, and Iowa State could use a signature win.

30. Oklahoma at Baylor, Nov. 19: Sooners are 20-0 all-time against the Baptists. Twenty-and-zero. A win here would be Miracle on the Brazos II.

31. Kansas State at Texas Tech, Oct. 15: Tech won't play many games this season with a quarterback edge, since Seth Dodge was a third-teamer last year behind two guys who were the worst QBs since the turn of the century. But the Red Raiders will have a QB edge here.

32. Oklahoma State at Tulsa, Sept. 17: OSU hasn't played at TU since 2000. Can you believe that? Those comments by then-Tulsa coach Keith Burns came at a high price.

33. Baylor at Texas A&M, Oct. 15: The Bears aren't 0-20 at Kyle Field, but they haven't won there since 1984.

34. Kansas State at Oklahoma State, Nov. 5: Maybe OSU's most impressive victory in 2010 was in Manhattan; 24-14 without Justin Blackmon.

35. Nevada at Texas Tech, Sept. 24: Nevada beat Cal and Boise State last season in a couple of fascinating Friday games in Reno. Alas, this game is neither on a Friday nor in Reno.

36. Baylor at Oklahoma State, Oct. 29: Do you realize OSU's schedule is front-loaded? The Cowboys' four games just before Bedlam are Baylor and K-State in Stillwater, then at Tech and Iowa State.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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