The Cowboys' first meeting with a Big 12 newbie kicks off their toughest stretch of the season. The same could be said for TCU, which follows its visit to Boone Pickens Stadium with dates at West Virginia, against Kansas State, at Texas and against Oklahoma. This will also be the first time the Cowboys truly face a top-tier quarterback in the Horned Frogs' Casey Pachall.
NOV. 3: AT KANSAS STATE
This game sure was fun last season, wasn't it? The OSU defense could not stop bruising throwback signal-caller Collin Klein a year ago. That will have to change if the Cowboys want to win in Manhattan, since OSU does not feature the same amount of offensive firepower this season.
NOV. 10: WEST VIRGINIA
Former OSU offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, who installed the Cowboys' spread offense during his one memorable season in Stillwater, returns as the Mountaineers' head coach. So does former special teams coordinator Joe DeForest and running backs coach Robert Gillespie. Get ready for a shoot-out.
NOV. 17: TEXAS TECH
The Cowboys demolished Tech 66-6 last season in Lubbock. By this point of the 2012 campaign, the Red Raiders might need to pull a big upset — like they did in Norman last season — in order to save coach Tommy Tuberville's job.
NOV. 24: AT OKLAHOMA
Do we really need to analyze the importance of Bedlam? This game could prove the Cowboys have staying power atop the Big 12. Or it could keep the Sooners in the national title hunt. No question, OU was embarrassed by last season's 44-10 thrashing in Stillwater.
DEC. 1: AT BAYLOR
In a scheduling quirk due to conference realignment, Bedlam is not OSU's regular-season finale. The Cowboys were 3-0 against Baylor with Robert Griffin III at quarterback. Now the Bears don't have RG3.