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

by Berry Tramel Published: June 11, 2011

37. Kansas State at Kansas, Oct. 22: Six Big 12 South games, plus a road trip to Georgia Tech? This game is the Jayhawks' only chance to salvage the season.

38. Texas Tech vs. Baylor at Arlington, Texas, Nov. 26: The middle game on this list. Thirty-seven better, thirty-seven worse. I think that's pretty accurate, don't you?

39. Kansas at Georgia Tech, Sept. 17: How the Jayhawks beat the Yellowjackets last season, we'll never know.

40. Texas at Iowa State, Oct. 1: Yes, the Longhorns really did lose five home games last season, and 28-21 to the Cyclones was the most stunning.

41. Texas A&M at Iowa State, Oct. 22: Cyclones have only three Big 12 home games; two of them are against A&M and OSU. Uh-oh.

42. SMU at Texas A&M, Sept. 4: June Jones is a heck of a coach. Not that it will make any difference in this Sunday special.

43. Texas Tech at Kansas, Oct. 1: The Red Raiders' schedule is backloaded. It's conceivable Tech could be unbeaten when it goes to Norman on Oct. 22.

44. Kansas State at Texas, Nov. 19: Mack Brown is 2-5 vs. K-State. He's 6-7 vs. OU. You figure it out.

45. Northern Illinois at Kansas, Sept. 10: There is absolutely no doubt that in 2010, Northern Illinois had a better football team than did KU.

46. Texas Tech at Missouri, Nov. 19: Tech beat Blaine Gabbert last year, 30-9 in Lubbock, one of the more puzzling results of the season.

47. Baylor at Kansas, Nov. 12: One downside for all these South schools getting to feast on Northern lightweights? A lot more cold-weather games. Like ...

48. Oklahoma State at Iowa State, Nov. 12: Friday night game. Average low temperature for mid-November in Ames — 28 degrees. Ode to joy.

49. Kansas at Iowa State, Nov. 5: Turner Gill's honeymoon already is over. The marriage could be in danger by this game.

50. Rice at Baylor, Sept. 24: Rice has played its old Southwest Conference friends much more than has TCU, SMU and Houston. Since the breakup of the SWC, Rice is 0-10 vs. Texas, 0-2 vs. Tech and 0-2 vs. Baylor. SMU is 0-10 against the Big 12's four Texas schools. Houston is 1-4 (beat Tech in 2009). TCU is 4-3 (three wins over Baylor, one over Tech).

51. Missouri vs. Kansas at Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 26: Just four years ago, this was a huge national game. Now, it might not even get Kansas City excited.

52. Oklahoma at Kansas, Oct. 15: The Bob Stoops Offensive Coordinator Bowl. Kansas features Gill, whom some say Stoops tried to hire for his first OU staff, and Chuck Long, OU's offensive coordinator 2002-05. Plus the Sooners' own new offensive coordinator, Josh Heupel, who most certainly never would have been in Norman if Stoops had hired Gill.

53. Texas Tech at Oklahoma, Oct. 22: Home-field dominance is never more apparent than in this series. Tech's only win ever in Norman came against John Blake. Meanwhile, Stoops has lost three straight in Lubbock. And the games rarely are close either place.

54. Iowa State at Baylor, Oct. 8: I know everyone's excited about the new round-robin schedule. But here's the downside. More Iowa State-at-Baylor games.

55. Texas Tech at New Mexico, Sept. 17: Any list of the nation's worst coaches has to start with Mike Locksley, who is 2-22 in two seasons, along with a sexual-harassment accusation, an age-discrimination lawsuit and a fight with an assistant coach.

56. Iowa State at Texas Tech, Oct. 29: Enjoy this one, Raiders. You finish at Texas, home against OSU, at Missouri and Baylor in Arlington.

57. Rice at Texas, Sept. 3: Since 1965, the Longhorns are 39-1 against the Owls. Rice's only victory came in 1994, the week after Texas beat OU 17-10 on Stoney Clark's tackle of James Allen.

58. Iowa State at Kansas State, Dec. 3: This series has left Arrowhead Stadium. Good thing. Hard to get excited off-campus for this kind of matchup.

59. Miami-Ohio at Missouri, Sept. 3: Cradle of coaches, they call Miami; it will be coffin of coaches if they don't stop playing games like this. Mizzou won 51-13 last year.

60. Kansas at Texas, Oct. 29: Time was, this game had BCS ramifications. That's right. BCS.

61. Tulsa at Oklahoma, Sept. 3: Bill Blankenship makes his collegiate head-coaching debut on Owen Field.

62. Idaho at Texas A&M, Sept. 17: The Aggies once hired a basketball coach, Kermit Davis, away from Idaho. If you want something more interesting than that, I can't help you.

63. Iowa State at Missouri, Oct. 15: Remember when Mizzou was the spoiler in this series? Hire a good coach, like MU did with Gary Pinkel, and fire a good coach, like ISU did with Dan McCarney, and worms turn.

64. Kent State at Kansas State, Sept. 17: Since KU hired away Glen Mason from Kent State after the 1987 season, Kent State has had one winning season, 6-5 in 2001. Average wins per season since: 2.7. Moral of the story — Kent State is the Kansas State of the Mid-American Conference.

65. Kansas at Texas A&M, Nov. 19: I'm serious. I don't know if KU can recover. I don't know if KU will ever make a bowl game under the current Big 12 landscape.

66. Iowa State at Oklahoma, Nov. 26: Nothing says Thanksgiving tradition like Sooners-Cyclones. These schools have played 75 times, but this is just the second November game since 1974.

67. Kansas at Oklahoma State, Oct. 8: This game might be ranked too high. The Cowboys won 48-14 last year in Lawrence.

68. Northern Iowa at Iowa State, Sept. 3: I-AA UNI beat Iowa State in 2007 and should have beaten Iowa in 2009.

69. McNeese State at Kansas, Sept. 3: I assume the I-AA Cowboys will have KU's attention, in the wake of the Jayhawks' 6-3 loss to North Dakota State last season.

70. Louisiana-Lafayette at Oklahoma State, Sept. 3: Believe it or not, before losing 54-28, the Cajuns led 21-17 at halftime last season. I choose not to believe it. And I was there.

71. Stephen F. Austin at Baylor, Sept. 17: In the old days, this would have been a ballgame. But now, the I-AA Lumberjacks are outmanned.

72. Ball State at Oklahoma, Oct. 1: Ball State has some interesting aspects. David Letterman went there. Jason Whitlock played football there. New Michigan coach Brady Hoke went there, played there and coached there. Unfortunately, none of that will keep this game from being a rout.

73. Eastern Kentucky at Kansas State, Sept. 3: What a terrible game. Just terrible. Congress is talking antitrust on the BCS? What about this abomination?

74. Western Illinois at Missouri, Sept. 17: At least the bus ride back to Macomb is only 186 miles for the I-AA Fighting Leathernecks.

75. Texas State at Texas Tech, Sept. 3: Six Big 12 teams are playing I-AA opponents. Texas State is the only one of the six that had a losing record in 2010. But take heart; last summer, I ranked North Dakota State-Kansas as the worst game in the conference.

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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