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Big 12 Football: 10 Most Intriguing Non-Conference Games of 2022

College Football Texas Longhorns

Texas will get an early shot at a statement victory when the Longhorns host Alabama on Sept. 10

The 2022 college football season will once again see the Big 12 entering some unique territory. With the departures of Oklahoma and Texas on the horizon, it remains to be confirmed whether or not this will truly be the last year with the Sooners and Longhorns as Big 12 members before they go and join the SEC. But the 2022 season sees a Big 12 schedule with some non-conference matchups that will serve as small snippets of college football’s future with Texas hosting the top dog in the SEC and other Big 12 members squaring off with future Big 12 foes.

And who can forget the classic rivalries we will see on the football field this season by a couple of Big 12 programs? Oklahoma will head to Nebraska, of the Big Ten, and the backyard brawl between West Virginia and Pittsburgh, of the ACC, will help kick off the new season in Week 1.

Most Intriguing Non-Conference Games of 2022 by Power 5 Conference: ACC I Big 12 I Big Ten I Pac-12 I SEC

Here is a look at 10 of the most intriguing non-conference games on the schedule this fall for Big 12 programs.

10. TCU at Colorado, Sept. 2

Consider this game a bit of a wild-card matchup as it could be a fun back-and-forth game or one that only true diehards will want to watch. But, of course, we’re all college football junkies here so you know we’ll be watching intently as the new era of Horned Frogs football kicks off under Sonny Dykes.

9. TCU at SMU, Sept. 24

Speaking of Sonny Dykes, the new head coach at TCU will make a quick return to his previous stomping grounds at SMU in this longstanding rivalry. We're all hoping the "Battle for the Iron Skillet" continues after the Big 12 realignment changes, as SMU will not be making the move. But given the proximity and shared history between these two schools, we'd love to keep this rivalry going.

8. Texas Tech vs. Houston, Sept. 10

One non-conference game that will turn into a Big 12 rivalry will be on display in Week 2 when Texas Tech hosts Houston. If all goes according to plan, we should see a good amount of points in this game, and this series, in the years to come.

7. Kansas State vs. Missouri, Sept. 10

We may not be expecting to see too much from Kansas State this season as far as the Big 12 race is concerned, but getting a chance to score a victory at home against a team from the SEC would be nice for the Wildcats, and the Big 12. You should never count out Kansas State at home against anyone, as Missouri could find out the hard way in this revival of an old Big 12 matchup.

6. Oklahoma State vs. Arizona State, Sept. 10

This game may have lost a little luster given the offseason storylines coming out of Arizona State, but this could still turn into a fun Big 12 vs. Pac-12 showdown that goes down to the wire.

5. Baylor at BYU, Sept. 10

Another future Big 12 matchup will take place when Baylor, the defending conference champions, heads to Provo, Utah, to face BYU in one of the best environments college football has to offer. Could this be a look at the future of the Big 12 championship race? Who knows, but we could be in for a defensive battle in this year’s game.

4. Iowa State at Iowa, Sept. 10

The in-state rivalry between Iowa State and Iowa may be one that continues to frustrate Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell more often than not, but emotions will run high in a game that could easily result in a defensive slugfest or a topsy-turvy high-scoring affair nobody sees coming. A victory in Iowa City would be huge for the Cyclones.

3. West Virginia at Pittsburgh, Sept. 1

While we would prefer to see this rivalry game played at the end of the regular season, we can't be mad about getting to start off the new college football season with an intense rivalry game that is finally coming back to the field. And we even get this on a Thursday night to get an early jump on the Week 1 schedule. And don't forget, West Virginia will be taking on the defending ACC champions.

2. Oklahoma at Nebraska, Sept. 17

This old Big 8 rivalry was finally renewed last season for the first time since Nebraska left the Big 12 for the Big Ten, and the host Sooners had to come up with some big plays to avoid the big upset from the seemingly overmatched Cornhuskers. This season, an Oklahoma program in some transition could be in for a road battle against a Nebraska team desperate for a signature win.

1. Texas vs. Alabama, Sept. 10

Texas is hoping to make a bit of a statement to the class of the SEC when the Longhorns host Alabama in Week 2. The Crimson Tide may not be the reigning national champions, but they are clearly far ahead of the Longhorns. Nick Saban lost twice to former assistants in 2021, the first time that has ever happened in his career. Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian is hoping to add another to that tally with a win that would send Texas fans and "Texas is back" fodder to the moon in a hurry.

Podcast: CFB Playoff Expansion on Hold (for now), Arizona State's Bad Offseason Continues and Games to Get Excited About for Week 1

— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @KevinOnCFB, on Instagram, and Like him on Facebook.