The Big 12 Erupts With… Actual News!
By Paul Myerberg // Feb 15, 2012
After months of anticipation, the Big 12 entered the offseason with a flurry. Step one: West Virginia, in the fold. The Mountaineers were able to file official separation papers from the Big East, with the two parties agreeing on a $20 million exit fee, though neither could get on the same page when it comes to the fashion with which the program alters its conference affiliation – the Mountaineers say they’re leaping to the Big 12, while the Big East says it voted to “terminate” West Virginia’s membership in the league. Semantics, and where you stand at the bargaining table dictates where you lie on the topic.
Step two: West Virginia’s in, so it’s time to unveil the 2012 schedule. It was suggested late last week, by Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt, that the Big 12 was ready to lift the curtain on its upcoming conference schedule. The league pumped the brakes until yesterday, based solely on the fact that West Virginia had not yet officially made the jump.
It’s a great way to build excitement. The Big 12 will have a pair of new teams, T.C.U. and the Mountaineers, replacing the two outgoing programs, Texas A&M and Missouri. Those two incoming schools are chomping at the bit, as you’d expect; in addition, the rest of the league has a pair of future rivals to welcome to the league in September.
For the second straight year, the Big 12 will feature a nine-game, round-robin conference season without a conference championship game. The latter will become available should the league expand back to 12 teams, with B.Y.U. and Louisville two programs the conference will consider if it looks to return to its original size.
The schedule that the Big 12 released yesterday is not set in stone, as broadcast rights could push a Saturday game into a midweek date – Oklahoma State’s trip to Kansas State on Nov. 3, for example, could be moved up to that Thursday to give the Big 12 a prime time slot.
The conference season kicks off on Oct. 15, when Kansas hosts T.C.U. in Lawrence. That’s a nice way for the Horned Frogs to break into the league; while the Jayhawks will be improved under Charlie Weis, T.C.U. should start Big 12 play on a solid note. West Virginia’s conference debut comes two weeks later, when Baylor visits Morgantown.
While T.C.U. may start strong, it has the toughest final month of any team in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs travel to Morgantown on Nov. 3 and host Kansas State a week later. After a bye, T.C.U. goes to Texas before hosting Oklahoma to end the regular season. That quartet combined to win 38 games last fall. On the plus side, there’s little doubt that, like always, the Horned Frogs will be playing their best football by the season’s final month.
Baylor has the good fortune to end the regular season with three non-road games: Kansas State and Oklahoma State come to Waco, while a Nov. 24 date with Texas Tech will be played at the Cotton Bowl. On the other hand, the Bears take on West Virginia, Texas and Oklahoma away from home – that’s not a great way for Baylor to take on life without Robert Griffin III.
Three teams will play five games on the road and four at home: Kansas, T.C.U. and Kansas State. Another four teams play four games at home, four games on the road and one game at a neutral site: Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech. That means three teams have the added benefit of playing five games at home and four on the road: Iowa State, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.
So here’s each team’s conference schedule, thanks to the Big 12. Home games are listed first, followed by road games, with neutral site dates listed when applicable:
Baylor vs. T.C.U., Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma State; at West Virginia, Texas, Iowa State and Oklahoma; vs. Texas Tech at the Cotton Bowl
Iowa State vs. Texas Tech, Kansas State, Baylor, Oklahoma and West Virginia; at T.C.U., Oklahoma State, Texas and Kansas
Kansas vs. T.C.U., Oklahoma State, Texas and Iowa State; at Kansas State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech and West Virginia
Kansas State vs. Kansas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Texas; at Oklahoma, Iowa State, West Virginia, T.C.U. and Baylor
Oklahoma vs. Kansas State, Kansas, Baylor and Oklahoma State; at Texas Tech, Iowa State, West Virginia and T.C.U.; vs. Texas at Cowboys Stadium
Oklahoma State vs. Texas, Iowa State, T.C.U., West Virginia and Texas Tech; at Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Baylor
T.C.U. vs. Iowa State, Texas Tech, Kansas State and Oklahoma; at Kansas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Texas
Texas vs. West Virginia, Baylor, Iowa State and T.C.U.; at Oklahoma State, Kansas, Texas Tech and Kansas State; vs. Oklahoma at Cowboys Stadium
Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas and Kansas; at Iowa State, T.C.U., Kansas State and Oklahoma State; vs. Baylor at the Cotton Bowl
West Virginia vs. Baylor, Kansas State, T.C.U., Oklahoma and Kansas; at Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Iowa State
Tags: Baylor, Big 12, Big East, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, T.C.U., Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia
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