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Big 12 Football 2013 Schedule Analysis


The start of the 2013 college football season is still months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about preseason predictions and some of the top games to watch in each conference.

Since the Big 12 has yet to expand back to 12 teams, each program has an unbalanced home or away slate in the conference schedule. While it’s not a huge deal, playing five home conference games could be the difference for a team that’s trying to get bowl eligible. And with no clear favorite for 2013, the schedules could play an even bigger role in helping to determine which teams emerge near the top.

Oklahoma State and Texas have two of the Big 12’s best schedules, while West Virginia catches an unfortunate break with a road trip to Oklahoma in Week 2. Athlon details some of the early trends and games to watch with its Big 12 schedule analysis for 2013.  

Big 12 Schedule Analysis for 2013


Aug. 31 Wofford
Sept. 7 Buffalo
Sept. 14 Bye Week
Sept. 21 UL Monroe
Sept. 28 Bye Week
Oct. 5 West Virginia
Oct. 12 at Kansas State
Oct. 19 Iowa State
Oct. 26 at Kansas
Nov. 2 Bye Week
Nov. 7 Oklahoma
Nov. 16 Texas Tech (Arlington)
Nov. 23 at Oklahoma State
Nov. 30 at TCU
Dec. 7 Texas

Related Content: 2013 Baylor Spring Preview

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* With Baylor set to move into a new facility in 2014, home games against Oklahoma and Texas is quite a curtain call for Floyd Casey Stadium. The Bears have four conference home games, with one neutral site affair against Texas Tech.

* Even though ULM gave Baylor all it could handle last season, the Bears should head into Big 12 play with a 3-0 mark. Playing Wofford, Buffalo and ULM should allow Baylor a chance to get new starting quarterback Bryce Petty comfortable with the supporting cast.

* For the second consecutive season, Baylor will open Big 12 play against West Virginia. Last season, these two teams combined to score 133 points in a 70-63 Mountaineers’ victory.

* Baylor and Kansas State have played only 10 times, but the Bears are 0-7 in Manhattan.

* After losing 15 consecutive games against Texas Tech from 1996-2010, the Bears have won back-to-back games against the Red Raiders. The last four games in this series have been played at a neutral site, and the 2013 matchup will take place in Arlington, Texas.

* It doesn’t quite rival back-to-back trips to Alabama and Texas A&M or Alabama and LSU, but Baylor’s late-November stretch against Oklahoma State and TCU might be one of the toughest in the nation. The Cowboys and Horned Frogs are the two early frontrunners to win the Big 12 in 2013.

* Considering how difficult conference play is, Baylor catches a bad break in scheduling with two bye weeks in September. The Bears will play five consecutive opponents without a break in November, including likely top-25 teams in Oklahoma, Texas, TCU and Oklahoma State.

* And with a difficult late-season schedule in mind, if the Bears want to go bowling in 2013, it could depend on getting to six wins before November. Outside of a road trip to Kansas State, Baylor is likely to be favored in six out of the first seven games.

Iowa State

Aug. 31 Northern Iowa
Sept. 7 Bye Week
Sept. 14 Iowa
Sept. 21 Bye Week
Sept. 26 at Tulsa (Thur.)
Oct. 5 Texas
Oct. 12 at Texas Tech
Oct. 19 at Baylor
Oct. 26 Oklahoma State
Nov. 2 at Kansas State
Nov. 9 TCU
Nov. 16 at Oklahoma
Nov. 23 Kansas
Nov. 30 at West Virginia
Dec. 7 Bye Week

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* Iowa State may struggle to find rhythm early in the season as two bye weeks will fall in the first four weeks. Additionally, the Cyclones won’t leave the state, or play anyone from out of Iowa, until a trip to Tulsa on a Thursday night.

* Beginning with Tulsa, Paul Rhoads bunch will play four out of six games on the road. Trips to outposts like Lubbock, Manhattan and Waco will not be easy considering the two homes games during that stretch will be against conference frontrunners Texas and Oklahoma State.

* Following the second bye week in Week 4, the Cyclones will play 10 straight weekends. The only good news is ISU will get an extra few days to prepare for Texas following a Thursday night game with Tulsa.

* Finishing up with Kansas and West Virginia isn’t all that difficult. A trip to a third straight bowl game — and fourth in five seasons — could hang in the balance in the season finale against the Mountaineers in Morgantown.

* ISU will play five Big 12 road games and four conference home games in 2012. The third bye week is wasted in the final weekend of the regular season. 


Aug. 31 Bye Week
Sept. 7 South Dakota
Sept. 14 at Rice
Sept. 21 Louisiana Tech
Sept. 28 Bye Week
Oct. 5 Texas Tech
Oct. 12 at TCU
Oct. 19 Oklahoma
Oct. 26 Baylor
Nov. 2 at Texas
Nov. 9 at Oklahoma State
Nov. 16 West Virginia
Nov. 23 at Iowa State
Nov. 30 Kansas State
Dec. 7 Bye Week

* After back-to-back seasons with no wins in Big 12 play, Kansas starts 2013 with the worst possible opponent: Bye Week. Even though the extra time will give coach Charlie Weis an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming non-conference slate, there’s only so much scouting a team can do by playing itself.

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* Kansas enters 2013 riding an 11-game losing streak, but the Jayhawks should have no trouble starting 1-0 with South Dakota (1-10 in 2012) coming to Lawrence.

* Even though it’s not a gauntlet of schedules, the Jayhawks need to win at Rice and beat Louisiana Tech in non-conference play. If Kansas can sweep its first three games, it should allow the Jayhawks to build some momentum for conference play. And a 3-0 start would also help bolster Charlie Weis’ efforts on the recruiting trail.

* With TCU, Oklahoma, Baylor and Oklahoma State in the first portion of Big 12 play, Kansas will have a hard time finding a victory in conference action until late November. The Jayhawks play West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas State in November, which seem to be the most likely opportunities for a Big 12 victory in 2013.

* Kansas and Texas have met 12 times, but the Jayhawks have never won in Austin. And making matters worse for the Jayhawks is none of the matchups at Texas have been decided by 10 points or less.

* With Kansas unlikely to make a bowl game in 2013, this team has a chance to play spoiler late in the season against rival Kansas State. The Jayhawks have lost four consecutive matchups to the Wildcats, with the last three games decided by a whopping 38 points or more. 

Kansas State

Aug. 30 North Dakota State (Fri.)
Sept. 7 Louisiana-Lafayette
Sept. 14 UMass
Sept. 21 at Texas
Sept. 28 Bye Week
Oct. 5 at Oklahoma State
Oct. 12 Baylor
Oct. 19 Bye Week
Oct. 26 West Virginia
Nov. 2 Iowa State
Nov. 9 at Texas Tech
Nov. 16 TCU
Nov. 23 Oklahoma
Nov. 30 at Kansas
Dec. 7 Bye Week

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* Kansas State opens the 2013 season with a dangerous FCS opponent. North Dakota State has won back-to-back FCS titles and has 28 victories in the last two seasons. With the Wildcats breaking in a new quarterback and a handful of starters on defense, NDSU could pull off the upset in Manhattan.

* And the Wildcats don’t catch a break in Week 2 with Louisiana-Lafayette coming to Manhattan. The Ragin’ Cajuns will be picked near the top of the Sun Belt in 2013 and have a potent offense, led by quarterback Terrance Broadway. Could K-State start 0-2? It’s certainty a possibility.

* Kansas State opens Big 12 play on Sept. 21 with a home date against Texas. The Wildcats have won five consecutive games over the Longhorns, including the last two matchups in Austin.

* The Wildcats have not won at Oklahoma State since 1999. Kansas State is also just 2-4 in its last six matchups against the Cowboys.

* Kansas State’s Big 12 title hopes could be decided in mid-November, as the Wildcats host TCU and Oklahoma in back-to-back games. The Wildcats beat both opponents on the road last season and the timing of these two matchups are crucial, especially as Kansas State will have plenty of time to fill the voids left behind by its departing seniors on defense and settle on a quarterback.

* Can Kansas State continue its dominance over in-state rival Kansas? The Wildcats have won four consecutive games over the Jayhawks and have scored at least 56 points in each of the last three meetings. Additionally, Kansas State has won the last three games against Kansas by at least 30 points. 


Aug. 31 ULM
Sept. 7 West Virginia
Sept. 14 Tulsa
Sept. 21 Bye Week
Sept. 28 at Notre Dame
Oct. 5 TCU
Oct. 12 Texas (Dallas)
Oct. 19 at Kansas
Oct. 26 Texas Tech
Nov. 2 Bye Week
Nov. 7 at Baylor (Thur.)
Nov. 16 Iowa State
Nov. 23 at Kansas State
Nov. 30 Bye Week
Dec. 7 at Oklahoma State

Related Content: 2013 Oklahoma Sooners Spring Preview

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* Oklahoma gets three straight home games to start the 2013 season. The Sooners should start 3-0, but all three matchups provide interesting tests for a rebuilt defense — one that struggled mightily to stop opponents last year. Having to face Dana Holgerson in Week 2 in Big 12 play could be tricky.

* The first off weekend of the year comes at a perfect time before a road trip to Notre Dame. Seeking revenge from last year’s defeat, Oklahoma needs to play well in South Bend because the trip North begins one of the nastiest and most important three-week stretches in the Big 12. Bob Stoops’ team will face TCU at home and Texas in the Cotton Bowl immediately following the battle with the Irish. This portion of the schedule will determine if OU is a national contender or not.

* Should Oklahoma begin 6-0, watch out. The next four games will be against Kansas, Texas Tech, Baylor and Iowa State with a bye week directly in the middle. Oklahoma should be heavy favorites in all four games and could easily push the Sooners to 10-0.

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* The final three weeks of the season will be bittersweet for OU faithful. The season ends with road trips to Kansas State and Oklahoma State in the Bedlam Series. The Wildcats are replacing a lot on defense and under center but will only get better as the season progresses. And the season finale with the rival Cowboys on the road could carry with it a trip to a BCS bowl game. The good news is Stoops’ team gets a bye week between the two nasty road trips.

Oklahoma State

Aug. 31 Mississippi State (Houston)
Sept. 7 at UTSA
Sept. 14 Lamar
Sept. 21 Bye Week
Sept. 28 at West Virginia
Oct. 5 Kansas State
Oct. 12 Bye Week
Oct. 19 TCU
Oct. 26 at Iowa State
Nov. 2 at Texas Tech
Nov. 9 Kansas
Nov. 16 at Texas
Nov. 23 Baylor
Nov. 30 Bye Week
Dec. 7 Oklahoma

Related Content: 2013 Oklahoma State Spring Preview

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* Oklahoma State and Mississippi State will meet for the first time since 1999 with a neutral site affair in Houston. These two teams have split their four previous meetings, with Mississippi State winning the last matchup 29-11 in Starkville in 1999. The last time Oklahoma State played a SEC team in a non-conference matchup was Sept. 5, 2009 against Georgia.

* With the first two games of the season in Texas, Oklahoma State has a good opportunity to showcase the program in two valuable recruiting markets – Houston and San Antonio.

* The Cowboys have one of the Big 12’s best conference schedules, starting with the opener against West Virginia. With the Mountaineers rebuilding on offense and defense, Oklahoma State should have no trouble winning in Morgantown. The Cowboys have not played at West Virginia since 1928.

* Could the Oct. 19 matchup between Oklahoma State and TCU decide the Big 12 title? Considering both teams are predicted by most to finish in the top four of the Big 12 standings, this game is a huge opportunity for one team to take an early edge in the title race.

* Due to conference realignment, the 2013 meeting between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will be the third matchup in four years in Stillwater. The Sooners own a 3-1 series edge in that span, but the Cowboys won 44-10 in 2011 and nearly won in Norman last season. With a potential conference title on the line this year, the Bedlam Series should have plenty of intrigue when Oklahoma and Oklahoma State kick off on Dec. 7.

* Oklahoma State’s bye weeks seem to come at the right time in 2013. After playing their first two conference games, the Cowboys will have a bye week on Oct. 12 and an off date on Nov. 30 before playing Oklahoma.

* Three out of Oklahoma State’s last four games are at home.


Aug. 31 LSU
Sept. 7 Southeastern Louisiana
Sept. 12 at Texas Tech (Thur.)
Sept. 21 Bye Week
Sept. 28 SMU
Oct. 5 at Oklahoma
Oct. 12 Kansas
Oct. 19 at Oklahoma State
Oct. 26 Texas
Nov. 2 West Virginia
Nov. 9 at Iowa State
Nov. 16 at Kansas State
Nov. 23 Bye Week
Nov. 30 Baylor
Dec. 7 Bye Week

Related Content: 2013 TCU Horned Frogs Spring Preview

* TCU could be in for a special season in Fort Worth, but the opening weekend could be a bloodbath. The Frogs have an excellent front seven on defense but will be put to the test physically by LSU’s powerful running game.

* Things get much easier for a month following the semi-home, semi-road trip to Cowboys Stadium. A Thursday night road trip to Lubbock will be tricky but it will give TCU 16 days off before The Battle for the Iron Skillet with SMU. A 3-1 record would be a quality start for the Frogs, because…

* Things will get very interesting in Week 5 when TCU heads north to Oklahoma. A win for TCU puts this team on the map nationally, while a Sooners victory puts them securely in the Big 12 driver’s seat.

* A breather against Kansas at home, ideally, will prepare TCU for a nasty five-game stretch as the calendar changes from October to November. Road trips to Stillwater, Ames and Manhattan sandwich a pair of key home games with Texas and West Virginia. This is as tough a stretch as there will be in the Big 12 in 2013.

* Gary Patterson’s group was unlucky in that two of its three off weekends come in the final three weeks, including the wasted Dec. 7 bye week. If the season finale home game against Baylor carries Big 12 title implications (which is easily could) then at least the first bye will help tremendously.

* TCU will play five Big 12 road games, including three of the top four conference contenders (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State). Trips to Ames and Lubbock are no joke either. 


Aug. 31 New Mexico State
Sept. 7 at BYU
Sept. 14 Ole Miss
Sept. 21 Kansas State
Sept. 28 Bye Week
Oct. 3 at Iowa State (Thur.)
Oct. 12 Oklahoma (Dallas)
Oct. 19 Bye Week
Oct. 26 at TCU
Nov. 2 Kansas
Nov. 9 at West Virginia
Nov. 16 Oklahoma State
Nov. 23 Bye Week
Nov. 28 Texas Tech (Thur.)
Dec. 7 at Baylor

Related Content: 2013 Texas Longhorns Spring Preview

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* A critical 2013 season will get underway for Mack Brown with some seriously intriguing non-conference tilts. A road trip to BYU in Week 2 will test David Ash and the struggling Longhorns offense. The following week, a visit from a red-hot Ole Miss program will test Manny Diaz’ reeling rushing defense. To top off a very interesting first month, arch-nemesis Bill Snyder and Kansas State comes to town in Week 4.

* Fans in Austin may know all they need to about the future of Brown as head coach entering the bye week in Week 5. This team could easily be teetering at 2-2 (or worse), but it could also have the most impressive 4-0 resume in the nation. Brown has long pointed to 2013 as his year to get back into the national picture and the nation will know if he was right after just one month of play.

* A road trip to Ames isn’t all that intriguing but playing a primetime Big 12 conference game on a Thursday night gives Iowa State a national stage to pull the upset. Most importantly, a win over ISU gives Texas two extra days to prepare for the Red River Shootout that Stoops and Co. won’t be afforded.

* Texas will get another off week following the battle in the Cotton Bowl. It’s a good thing, too, because the next month will be brutal. Trips to Big 12 newbies TCU and West Virginia as well as a visit from Oklahoma State over a four-week span will be tough for the Longhorns.

* Texas will head into their third bye week before the final two weeks of the regular season. This might be the easiest three-week span and could be a confirmation of sorts for Brown — be it a national championship contender or potential swan song on the Burnt Orange sideline.

Texas Tech

Aug. 30 at SMU
Sept. 7 Stephen F. Austin
Sept. 14 TCU
Sept. 21 Texas State
Sept. 28 Bye Week
Oct. 5 at Kansas
Oct. 12 Iowa State
Oct. 19 at West Virginia
Oct. 26 at Oklahoma
Nov. 2 Oklahoma State
Nov. 9 Kansas State
Nov. 16 Baylor (Arlington)
Nov. 23 Bye Week
Nov. 28 at Texas
Dec. 7 Bye Week

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* With a new quarterback and coaching staff taking over, it’s a good thing Texas Tech has three very winnable games in its first four matchups. SMU, Texas State and Stephen F. Austin should be victories for the Red Raiders, with a tough date against TCU sandwiched between non-conference games on Sept. 14.

* Speaking of the TCU-Texas Tech matchup, this will be the first meeting between these two teams in Lubbock since 2004. The Red Raiders and Horned Frogs have split the last two meetings, with Texas Tech winning a 56-53 three-overtime game in 2012.

* With Kansas, Iowa State and West Virginia on the October slate, Texas Tech has an opportunity to start 6-1 before a difficult stretch against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Baylor and Texas. Considering the second-half schedule, getting to a bowl game could rest with what happens before November.

* Texas Tech’s Oct. 19 trip to Morgantown is its first road game at West Virginia in school history. The Red Raiders played the Mountaineers just two previous times, with both games won by Texas Tech.

* The Red Raiders are 2-2 in their last four matchups against Oklahoma. Texas Tech upset the Sooners 41-38 in Norman in 2011 but lost 41-20 in Lubbock last season. The Red Raiders are just 2-8 in 10 previous games at Oklahoma.

* Texas Tech will play Texas on Thanksgiving night this season. The Red Raiders have not won in Austin since 1997.

* In a scheduling quirk, Texas Tech will play without a bye week from Oct. 5 to Nov. 23. And the Red Raiders have an off date the week before playing Texas, which allows Kliff Kingsbury’s team some extra time to prepare on a short week for the Thursday night game.

* For the fourth consecutive season, Texas Tech and Baylor will meet at a neutral site. The 2009 and 2011-12 matchups were held in Arlington, while the 2010 game was played at the Cotton Bowl.

West Virginia

Aug. 31 William & Mary
Sept. 7 at Oklahoma
Sept. 14 Georgia State
Sep. 21 Maryland (Baltimore)
Sept. 28 Oklahoma State
Oct. 5 at Baylor
Oct. 12 Bye Week
Oct. 19 Texas Tech
Oct. 26 at Kansas State
Nov. 2 at TCU
Nov. 9 Texas
Nov. 16 at Kansas
Nov. 23 Bye Week
Nov. 30 Iowa State
Dec. 7 Bye Week

Related Content: 2013 West Virginia Spring Preview

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* Considering the new faces on offense and concerns on defense, West Virginia’s opener against William & Mary is the perfect way to start the 2013. This game should allow the Mountaineers a chance to work out some of the kinks before Big 12 play.

* However, there’s not much breathing room between the opener and Big 12 play, as West Virginia travels to Oklahoma on Sept. 7. Needless to say, coach Dana Holgorsen should have a good idea about his team after the road trip to Norman.

* West Virginia should have an easy win over Georgia State on Sept. 14, but the toughest non-conference game of its 2013 is the neutral site affair against Maryland. The Mountaineers have won the last seven games against the Terrapins and oddly enough, have scored 31 points in four out of the last six matchups in this series.

* The Mountaineers will host Oklahoma State in Morgantown for the first time since 1928 on Sept. 28. The Cowboys won 55-34 in 2012, but the overall series is tied 2-2.

* Kansas State and West Virginia will meet for only the fourth time in school history on Oct. 26. The Wildcats have won the last two matchups in the series, with the Mountaineers’ only victory coming in 1930.

* The Mountaineers will host Texas for the first time in school history on Nov. 9. West Virginia won 48-45 in Austin last season and owns a 2-0 edge in the overall series between these two teams.

* West Virginia has the unbalanced road/home game conference schedule for 2013. The Mountaineers play four home games in Big 12 play but also has five contests on the road. West Virginia plays four potential top-25 teams on the road – Baylor, Kansas State, TCU and Oklahoma – and travels to Kansas on Nov. 16.

Writeups compiled by Braden Gall (@BradenGall) and Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)

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