Big 12 games I can't wait to see this year
September, 1, 2009
By Tim Griffin | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
I love to watch all college football games, but some are especially more tempting for me than the others.
Here's my list of the top 10 Big 12 games I'm most eagerly anticipating this season.
1. Texas vs. Oklahoma, Oct. 17 (Dallas): Is there any doubt which game I’m most looking forward to watching? Last season’s BCS controversy and hot debate for the South Division title only made this game that much more awaited. Heisman contenders Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford will be staging the rubber match of their rivalry. The corny dogs. The State Fair of Texas. Can we play tomorrow?
2. Texas at Oklahoma State, Oct. 31: Mack Brown has beaten the Cowboys every year he’s been at Texas. Is this the year that his streak finally ends, or do the Cowboys come through this year? Oklahoma State needs to win this game to prove its legitimacy as a South Division challenger. This might be their best chance.
3. Oklahoma State at Oklahoma, Nov. 28: Bob Stoops has been virtually unbeatable in Norman, notching a 60-2 record there. Since losing against Oklahoma State in 2001-02, he’s rolled up 44.8 points per game against them. The Cowboys’ defense must play better if they have any hopes of becoming the first to beat Stoops twice at Owen Field.
4. Nebraska at Kansas, Nov. 14: This game could be for the Big 12 North title. Nebraska has dominated the Jayhawks over the years, but Mark Mangino has run up 40 and 76 points the last two times the Cornhuskers visited Lawrence. He’ll have the Jayhawks revved up with hopes of landing their first title-game appearance.
5. Nebraska at Missouri, Oct. 8: This Thursday night game will be intriguing for a lot of reasons. Nebraska needs to prove the early hype by playing well in Columbia, while the Tigers could prove that rumors of the imminent demise were overstated by winning this game. Also, these two teams don’t like each other, either.
6. Georgia at Oklahoma State, Sept. 5: Huge start for the Cowboys in what arguably is the biggest opener in school history. We’ll see if they really deserve their high preseason ranking from the first game. Georgia will try to come in to Stillwater and hammer them – exactly what the Cowboys had trouble defensing last season.
7. Texas A&M at Texas Tech, Oct. 24: It’s always a good time when the Aggies and Red Raiders meet, particularly after the verbal volleys between Mike Leach and Mike Sherman this spring. Leach has dominated this series in recent years. Leach has never lost to the Aggies in Lubbock, averaging 50 points there in his last three games.
8. Nebraska at Colorado, Nov. 27: This bitter old rivalry has shown signs of re-invigorating after the two teams have combined for huge offensive games the last two times out. Nebraska has won six of last eight in Boulder, but this season’s regular-season finale should have a huge role in determining the North title.
9. Baylor at Texas A&M, Nov. 21: The “Battle of the Brazos” might end up determining a bowl berth this season. Baylor claimed a 41-21 win last year, but will need another big effort to win at Kyle Field for the first time since 1984 against an Aggie program that doesn’t want to cede anything to them.
10. Iowa State vs. Kansas State, Oct. 3 (Kansas City): This conference opener will tell us much about both teams. Bill Snyder, the North’s most experienced coach, will square off against the least experienced in Paul Rhoads. The winner advances with legitimate bowl hopes, while the loser is likely doomed for the North Division cellar.