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Big 12 football: Ranking the Big 12's 75 games

Among the conference’s top games this season are the Sooners’ showdowns with Texas and Baylor, Kansas State’s nonconference home game with Auburn, and Baylor’s visit to Texas.
by Berry Tramel Published: June 21, 2014
/articleid/4949371/1/pictures/2261123">Photo - OU #24 Clay Brennan and Baylor #28 Orion Stewart during first half action of the NCAA college football game between the University of Oklahoman (OU) Sooners and the Baylor Bears at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
OU #24 Clay Brennan and Baylor #28 Orion Stewart during first half action of the NCAA college football game between the University of Oklahoman (OU) Sooners and the Baylor Bears at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

34. SMU at Baylor, Aug. 31: The Big 12’s newest stadium opens to great fanfare. Should be fun.

36. West Virginia at Iowa State, Nov. 29: It looks like the Big 12 is trying to make this rivalry a Thanksgiving weekend staple.

35. Minnesota at TCU, Sept. 13: Jim Wacker left TCU to coach Minnesota in 1992. Now, the Frogs have the better program.

38. TCU at West Virginia, Nov. 1: Road team has won each of the two meetings since these schools joined the conference.

37. Texas Tech at Iowa State, Nov. 22: Chances are not great that this game will mean a whole lot, other than the Red Raiders’ bowl assignment.

39. OU at West Virginia, Sept. 20: The Sooners’ last trip to Morgantown remains one of the most memorable games in OU history.

40. TCU at Kansas, Nov. 15: KU doesn’t have many chances at wins. This could be one.

41. Baylor at Iowa State, Sept. 27: Cyclones’ penchant for a big upset has waned the last couple of years. Could it return here?

42. OU at Iowa State, Nov. 1: Or here?

43. Kansas State at West Virginia, Nov. 20: Since coming into the Big 12, the Mountaineers have either beaten or played tough every league team at least once — except KSU. The Wildcats have won 55-14 and 35-12.

44. North Dakota State at Iowa State, Aug. 30: This is a high ranking for a game involving a I-AA team, but the Bison went 15-0 en route to the FCS national championship in 2014, including a victory at Kansas State.

45. West Virginia at Texas Tech, Oct. 11: The first time the Mountaineers went to Lubbock, they seemed unstoppable, Geno Smith seemed a shoe-in for the Heisman Trophy and Dana Holgorsen seemed to be the catch of the century.

46. Kansas State at Iowa State, Sept. 6: We need more September conference games. This game might be quite irrelevant if played in November. But not on the first Saturday of September.

47. Kansas at Duke, Sept. 13: The Jayhawks actually have a chance at gaining some respect in this one.

48. West Virginia at OSU, Oct. 25: If not for their late Bedlam loss, the Cowboys’ loss in Morgantown last September would be haunting.

49. OSU at Kansas, Oct. 11: KU has beaten OSU once since 1995. The Jayhawks have beaten both OU and Nebraska more often since ’95.

50. Texas Tech at Texas-El Paso, Sept. 6: Old Border Conference rivals, UTEP hasn’t beaten the Red Raiders in the five meetings since 1957.

51. Texas at Kansas, Sept. 27: KU hasn’t beaten the Longhorns since 1938.

52. Iowa State at OSU, Oct. 4: Cowboys have six home games; they should be favored in at least five.

53. Kansas at West Virginia, Oct. 4: This likely is one of only four games in which the Mountaineers will be favored.

54. West Virginia at Texas, Nov. 8: Mountaineers and ’Horns have split two classics since WVU joined the league.

55. Central Michigan at Kansas, Sept. 20: KU could do the Big 12’s prestige a solid by not losing to a Mid-American foe.

56. Iowa State at TCU, Dec. 6: What a dreadful December game. Play this one earlier in the season.

57. Kansas at Texas Tech, Oct. 18: Is this a matchup of the nation’s most-attractive and least-attractive head coaches?

58. Iowa State at Texas, Oct. 18: Cyclones’ stunning 2010 upset in Austin sounded the alarm that the Longhorn program had sprung a leak.

59. Kansas at Kansas State, Nov. 29: As good a pick as any as the nation’s worst major-conference, in-state football rivalry.

60. Baylor at Buffalo, Sept. 12: It could be worse. Baylor could be playing in Buffalo in November.

61. OU at Tulsa, Sept. 6: It’s OK with me if the Sooners and Cowboys both play TU every year.

62. North Texas at Texas, Aug. 30: Mean Green played UT tough in five meetings in the ’70s and ’80s, but the average score in four games since 1990? 45-6.

63. Texas-San Antonio at OSU, Sept. 13: UTSA coach Larry Coker returns to his old stomping grounds.

64. Toledo at Iowa State, Oct. 11: A few too many Big 12/Mid-American matchups, if you ask me.

65. Texas-El Paso at Kansas State, Sept. 27: A few too many Big 12/Texas-hyphen matchups, if you ask me.

66. Louisiana Tech at OU, Aug. 30: Just two years ago, La Tech beat Houston, Illinois and Virginia, and played Texas A&M within two points.

67. Kansas at Baylor, Nov. 1: Not so long ago, this was a matchup to determine the Big 12’s worst team. Not anymore.

68. Towson at West Virginia, Sept. 6: Towson made the I-AA championship game last season.

69. Kansas at OU, Nov. 22: The Jayhawks are not getting better. The Sooners are.

70. Samford at TCU, Aug. 30: Bobby Bowden’s old school was 8-5 last season in I-AA.

71. Central Arkansas at Texas Tech, Aug. 30: Scottie Pippen’s old school was 7-5 last season in I-AA.

72. Missouri State at OSU, Sept. 6: John Goodman’s old school was 5-7 last season in I-AA.

73. Stephen F. Austin at Kansas State, Aug. 30: K-State lost to a lower-division team last season, but don’t confuse Stephen F. with North Dakota State.

74. Northwestern (La.) State at Baylor, Sept. 6: This one has 73-7 written all over it.

75. Southeast Missouri State at Kansas, Sept. 6: The only drama in a matchup with a I-AA is the small chance of an upset, but Southeast Missouri State went 3-9 last season.

by Berry Tramel
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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