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.
1. OU at West Virginia, Nov. 17: Who would have thought? The Big 12 championship game played in the Appalachian Mountains.
2. Notre Dame at OU, Oct. 27: Only the peculiarities of conference realignment could trump the Fighting Irish's first visit to Owen Field since 1966.
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3. West Virginia at Texas, Oct. 6: The Mountaineers' first Big 12 road trip takes them to Royal-Memorial Stadium.
4. OU vs. Texas at Dallas, Oct. 13: After two years of reduced status, will this American classic return to glory? Might depend on how the ‘Horns do against West Virginia.
5. West Virginia at OSU, Nov. 10: Could be a huge game in the conference title race, but it's also Dana Holgorsen's homecoming.
6. Miami at Kansas State, Sept. 8: K-State rarely hosts a marquee non-conference game. Southern Cal in '02. UCLA in '10. Enjoy it while you can.
7. Texas at OSU, Sept. 29: After winning in Austin two straight years, the Cowboys get the ‘Horns in Stillwater and can pop Texas' hopes of contending for the conference.
8. Kansas State at West Virginia, Oct. 20: A culture clash in every sense of the word. Old Man winner Bill Snyder vs. Beach Boy Holgorsen. Rolling plains vs. Appalachia. Single wing vs. the Leach Spread.
9. OU at Texas Tech, Oct. 6: The Sooners haven't won in Lubbock since 2003, and now OU can't even beat the Red Raiders in Norman.
10. TCU at West Virginia, Nov. 3: This was supposed to be a Big East game in 2012. Instead, it's a game that could be between Big 12 contenders.
11. OSU at Kansas State, Nov. 3: In many ways, the game of the year in the Big 12 last season, complete with an earthquake as post-game entertainment.
12. OU at TCU, Dec. 1: The end of a great gauntlet for the Horned Frogs – their last five opponents are OSU, West Virginia, Kansas State, Texas and the Sooners.
13. Texas at Kansas State, Dec. 1: The world's great mysteries – public interest in the Kardashians; the high cost of sushi; KSU's football hex over the Longhorns.
14. OSU at OU, Nov. 24: This was No. 1 a year ago, but the Cowboys haven't shown they can be competitive in Norman. Four straight blowout losses.
15. TCU at Texas, Nov. 22 or Nov. 24: Will a new Thanksgiving tradition begin? ESPN hasn't decided.
16. Kansas State at OU, Sept. 22: The Sooners rolled in Manhattan a year ago, but Mike Stoops' last game wearing an OU headset was a K-State romp in the 2003 Big 12 title game.
17. TCU at Baylor, Oct. 13: What a ballgame last year, Baylor 50-48 in Waco, and now they meet as conference mates for the first time since 1995.
18. West Virginia at Texas Tech, Oct. 13: The Mountaineers will get to Lubbock and feel like they've landed on a different planet. Sort of how the Red Raiders will feel when they go to Morgantown in 2013.
19. Kansas State at TCU, Nov. 10: Strange but true. The Big 12 now has as many purple-clad teams (two) as blue, and one of the blues (Kansas) likes to mix in red.
20. Texas at Texas Tech, Nov. 3: The Enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend Bowl. Both teams will meet at midfield before the game and toast their Aggieless league.
21. TCU at OSU, Oct. 27: Ten years ago, this wouldn't have even been a good non-conference game. But both schools have elevated their programs, and now it's a marquee Big 12 game.
22. Kansas State at Iowa State, Oct. 13: Don't look now, but this rivalry has turned splendid – KSU has won four straight, but by scores of 38-30, 24-23, 27-20 and 30-23, and none were in Ames.
23. OSU at Arizona, Sept. 8: You'd think this would have been a good series. But only Rich Rodriguez can save it from being three straight routs.
24. Kansas State at Baylor, Nov. 17: Robert Griffin's Heisman hopes derailed in Manhattan last year. He resurrected them along the way.
25. Virginia at TCU, Sept. 22: Cavaliers are getting better.
26. Baylor vs. Texas Tech at Arlington, Texas, Nov. 24: Heck of a series since going neutral field – 20-13 and 45-38 Tech, 66-42 Baylor.
27. Iowa State at Iowa, Sept. 8: Don't count out Paul Rhoads, whose Cyclones are up for at least one monumental win a year.
28. Texas Tech at TCU, Oct. 20: An old Southwest Conference rivalry renews a year after Tech dropped the Frogs from a non-conference series.
29. OSU at Baylor, Dec. 1: Bears glad to see the Cowboys in Waco, after two straight trips to Stillwater that resulted in 59-24 and 55-28 losses, and neither game was that close.
30. Texas at Ole Miss, Sept. 15: The ‘Horns' first trip to an old-line SEC campus since 1991 (Mississippi State).
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