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Ranking the Big 12 football games: OU-West Virginia takes over top spot

Berry Tramel ranks the Big 12 football games for the 2012 season. At the top is the Sooners' showdown with new conference foe West Virginia.
by Berry Tramel Published: July 1, 2012

31. West Virginia at Iowa State, Nov. 24: Closest conference road trip for the Mountaineers – 871 miles.

32. Baylor at Texas, Oct. 20: In the 101-game series, the Longhorns never have lost three straight. It could happen here.

33. Texas Tech at Iowa State, Sept. 29: Cyclones' 41-7 rout of Tech in Lubbock last October started the Red Raiders' season-ending, five-game losing streak.

34. TCU at SMU, Sept. 29: In 2005 and 2011 combined, the Frogs were 22-3. Two of the three losses were to the Mustangs.

35. OU at Iowa State, Nov. 3: The Cyclones ruined OSU's national title hopes a year ago. Could they do the same to the Sooners?

36. TCU at Kansas, Sept. 15: Charlie Weis' first Big 12 game is also the Frogs'.

37. Baylor at Iowa State, Oct. 27: Both teams might need this for bowl qualification.

38. Texas Tech at Kansas State:

Mike Leach left Lubbock with a five-game winning streak in this series, but Red Raiders haven't won since.

39. Tulsa at Iowa State, Sept. 1: TU is 0-13 vs. the Big 12 in the 2000s.

40. Texas Tech at OSU, Nov. 17: Just when the Cowboys figured out how to win in Lubbock after 64 years (two straight victories), the series goes back to Stillwater.

41. Kansas at Northern Illinois, Sept. 22: Kudos to the Jayhawks for playing a mid-major on the road. The Huskies aren't bad.

42. Iowa State at TCU, Oct. 6: The Frogs beat the Cyclones in the 2005 Houston Bowl.

43. SMU at Baylor, Sept. 2: Only their third meeting since the breakup of the Southwest Conference.

44. Iowa State at Kansas, Nov. 17: If the Jayhawks want out of the basement, this game is a must.

45. Maryland at West Virginia, Sept. 22: Wish the Mountaineers had scrapped this game and kept Florida State.

46. Baylor at OU, Nov. 10: For the first time ever, the Bears have a winning streak in this series. Of one.

47. Iowa State at OSU, Oct. 20: The Cowboys will have waited 11 months for revenge.

48. Baylor at West Virginia, Sept. 29: Iowa State and Baylor are the only Big 12 schools that never have played West Virginia.

49. Iowa State at Texas, Nov. 10: Last time the Cyclones came to Austin, they exposed the massive crack in UT's program.

50. OSU at Kansas, Oct. 13: KU has beaten OSU just once in the Big 12 era, with the Jayhawks' 2007 Orange Bowl team.

51. OU at Texas-El Paso, Sept. 1: UTEP played Texas a decent game at Sun Bowl Stadium in 2008.

52. Texas at Kansas, Oct. 27: The ‘Horns in Lawrence was the setting for Mark Mangino's immortal words – “BCS. That's right, BCS.”

53. Marshall at West Virginia, Sept. 1: The Mountaineers are 11-0 against their in-state rival, but some of the games have been decent.

54. Kansas at Baylor, Nov. 3: Get ready for a bunch of Jayhawk games here at the bottom.

55. Wyoming at Texas, Sept. 1: The ‘Horns hired Freddie Akers away from Wyoming 35 years ago.

56. Kansas at Texas Tech, Nov. 10: KU has a rough road schedule – OU, West Virginia, K-State, Baylor, Tech and Northern Illinois.

57. Baylor at Louisiana-Monroe, Sept. 22: Be careful, Bears. Strange things can happen down South.

58. New Mexico at Texas Tech, Sept. 15: Bob Davie is coaching the Lobos. Man, he really wanted back in the profession.

59. Rice at Kansas, Sept. 8: This actually could be a really good game, but who could possibly care?

60. Texas Tech at Texas State, Sept. 8: ESPN tried to put this one on the Longhorn Network. The Red Raiders threatened to cancel the game.

61. Kansas at Kansas State, Oct. 6: This just isn't really much of a football series.

62. Louisiana-Lafayette at OSU, Sept. 15: True story – Brandon Weeden threw five interceptions in two games against the Ragin' Cajuns.

63. Sam Houston State at Baylor, Sept. 15: Rare acceptable matchup with a I-AA opponent – Bearkats went 14-1 and reached 2011 national title game.

64. North Texas at Kansas State, Sept. 15: One of Bob Stoops' favorite victories ever was a K-State win over the Mean Green.

65. Sept. 15: West Virginia vs. James Madison at Landover, Md.: At least this mismatch is on a neutral field, and James Madison upset Virginia Tech two years ago.

66. Kansas at West Virginia, Dec. 1: Huh? Why did the schedule-makers set this as a finale? Better hope the Mountaineers don't need to make a great closing argument.

67. Grambling State at TCU, Sept. 8: If you have to play a I-AA game, Grambling always is a good choice. Great tradition, usually decent team (8-4 last year) and a great band.

68. Kansas at OU, Oct. 20: Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist actually won't be a bad quarterback for the Jayhawks.

69. New Mexico at Texas, Sept. 8: Remember when the Lobos weren't horrible? They've gone 1-11 three straight years.

70. South Dakota State at Kansas, Sept. 1: Turner Gill's first game as the Jayhawk coach was a 6-3 loss to North Dakota State. Will Charlie Weis' debut, against another Dakota team, be better?

71. Northwestern Louisiana at Texas Tech, Sept. 1: Here's how bad is the Red Raider schedule – this game doesn't really stick out as a stinker.

72. Western Illinois at Iowa State, Sept. 15: I-AA WIU has a good nickname, the Leathernecks, but not much else.

73. Florida A&M at OU, Sept. 8: The I-AA Rattlers aren't bringing their band, and Bullet Bob Hayes is dead. Not much else to say.

74. Missouri State at Kansas State, Sept. 1: KSU quarterback coach Del Miller once was head coach of the I-AA Bears.

75. Savannah State at OSU, Sept. 1: Quite possibly the worst matchup in state history. Savannah State has 20 wins in the last 12 seasons.

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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