The Big 12 finally released its long-awaited 2012 schedule on Tuesday. Michael Felder already covered some of the more interesting dates on the league's schedule, but we went ahead and ranked the top 10 games in the Big 12 in 2012 to help you plan your fall accordingly.
10. (tie) TCU at Kansas – Sept. 15; Baylor at West Virginia – Sept. 29
Granted, on its face, neither match-up constitutes "must-see TV." However, they are the first Big 12 conference games being played by TCU and Baylor, which definitely ratchets up the excitement. (Right?)
8. Oklahoma at TCU – Dec. 1
With no conference title game to be had, the Big 12 braintrust has done a good job in the last two seasons carving out high-caliber contests on the final weekend of the season. Here's an example in which storylines will abound. The Sooners look like the betting favorites in the league, while the Horned Frogs have a chance to make some noise in their first year in the conference. Pitting them against one another in the last weekend could have major implications for the conference crown, and possibly for the national scene as well.
7. Texas at Kansas State – Dec. 1
Another match-up very similar to OU-TCU for the league's final slate of games, as these two teams could be in the running for the league title. For all of Texas' success in the Big 12 through the years, the Wildcats just seem to have the Longhorns' number.
6. TCU at Baylor – Oct. 13
It happened so early that people might not remember it, but these two staged an epic shootout in the first weekend of the season. This could actually turn into a nice little rivalry between the league's two private schools, which will be competing for the same recruits in the Lone Star State and aren't separated by more than a few hours drive.
5. Oklahoma at Texas Tech – Oct. 6
The Red Raiders' stunning upset of the Sooners last season sent OU into a tailspin that ended with a disappointing 10-3 record, far short of preseason expectations of a national championship. OU will be looking for payback in Lubbock. Interesting fact: Under Bob Stoops, OU has lost to Tech five times, tied with Texas for the most wins over the Sooners in the conference.
4. Iowa State at Oklahoma State – Sept. 20
Talk about payback. The Cyclones' overtime upset of the Cowboys in Ames killed OSU's shot at a berth in the national championship game, and those opportunities don't come along all that often for the Pokes. OSU will be out for blood.
3. Oklahoma State at Oklahoma – Nov. 24
Long the Sooners' whipping boys, the Pokes took out some of their frustration on OU a year ago. After back-to-back trips to Stillwater, Sooner Nation will be keyed up for this edition of Bedlam, which returns to Thanksgiving weekend.
2. West Virginia at Texas – Oct. 6
The Mountaineers' first conference road game will be a trip to DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium for a meeting with the Longhorns. The winner of this game will take big early step towards winning the conference.
1. Oklahoma vs. Texas (Dallas) – Oct. 13
The more things change. For all the upheaval of the last few years in the Big 12, OU-Texas remains the league's marquee game and one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports. The Longhorns are smarting from a 55-17 thrashing a year ago. With a year of seasoning, Texas will enter the Cotton Bowl a far more experienced squad than the one that got put across OU's knee in 2011 and looking to end a two-year Sooner winning streak.
What are some of the Big 12 games that you're looking forward to?