Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Ranking Big 12 nonconference games: 5-1
By David Ubben
Time to wrap up our countdown of the best Big 12 nonconference games of 2013. You can see the full list here.
5. Texas at BYU: It's the biggest early test for a Texas team with high hopes for 2013. The Longhorns passed their trip to Ole Miss last year with flying colors and carried over strong play into the early portion of conference play before a meltdown against Oklahoma. This is anything but a sure thing for the Longhorns, who'll have to deal with QB Taysom Hill and a big crowd in Provo.
4. Texas vs. Ole Miss: Texas should be solidly favored in the third of three meetings between the Big 12 and SEC in the 2013 regular season. Ole Miss' hyped recruiting class will be something to watch with Laquon Treadwell and Robert Nkemdiche likely getting some playing time, but the Longhorns have been there, done that with hyped recruits. Texas' big classes after the 5-7 disaster in 2010 is mostly juniors and seniors now.
3. Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi State at Reliant Stadium in Houston: OSU is about a two-touchdown favorite in this game, and the Cowboys are playing coy with their situation at quarterback. OSU is no stranger to hyped openers against good SEC teams, and beat Georgia in 2009 before being upset by a Houston team coached by none other than Dana Holgorsen. This game will be a fun one and a big stage for the Big 12 favorites as the Cowboys chase their second Big 12 title in three years.
2. TCU vs. LSU at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington: The Big 12 can earn a big reputation boost with a win in this game. TCU will be without Devonte Fields and playing as about a touchdown underdog. The Frogs will have to be taken very seriously as a Big 12 favorite if they earn a win here. For all the SEC talk in the offseason (mostly from OU coach Bob Stoops), TCU will earn a lot of favor from its new Big 12 brethren if it can spring the upset against the top 15 Tigers.
1. Oklahoma at Notre Dame: I can't be the only one who gets all tingly just seeing these team's classic jerseys on the field together … can I? Seeing the stadium and scene in Norman last year was crazy, but OU faltered late as Notre Dame continued its march to a 12-0 regular season. Now, the Sooners make the trek to one of college football's most storied patches of grass in the best nonconference game of the year for the Big 12. Oklahoma will make the trip on the last Saturday in September and we'll learn a lot about both teams, likely top 20 squads, by the time this one's over.