Biggest Big 12 games to watch in 2012
Sept. 22: Kansas State at Oklahoma -- So are the SnyderCats legit? An endless summer of debate will start to get some clear answers with this one. You couldn't ask for a much tougher task than this. OU walked into Bill Snyder Family Stadium and beat K-State by 41 last year, but how will the Wildcats handle the return trip? Time to find out. Want to convince people you're more a Big 12 contender than the league's sixth-best team? Make this competitive. Even if the Cats don't win, pushing the Sooners to the brink at home would impress.
Sept. 29: Texas at Oklahoma State -- There's nothing to lose and everything to gain for both of these teams. Win, and plenty of folks are going to be impressed. No shame in losing. This should be a Top 25 showdown and a huge conference opener for both squads. Both get two weeks to prepare, too. It's the first major test for true freshman Wes Lunt, and the first major test for Texas' uber-talented defense. Winner gets to be taken seriously as a Big 12 contender. Go get it.
Oct. 13: Oklahoma vs. Texas in Dallas -- This is a must-see every year. Everybody in the Big 12 compares themselves to these two, but no atmosphere compares to the annual October clash at the State Fair of Texas. And this game should be a fun one. It very well could be a showdown of two undefeated top-5 teams, too. Texas is still trying to prove it's back, and nothing would do more for that campaign than winning the Big 12's marquee matchup of the season. Grab a corny dog, funnel cake and park it in your seat for this one.
Nov. 3: TCU at West Virginia -- Wasn't this supposed to be a Big East game this year? I guess not. Odd to think both of these teams will be wearing Big 12 patches when they kick it off, but welcome to a whole new world in the Big 12. Missouri and Texas A&M are gone, but this will serve as an eye-opener in regards to the Big 12's current state. Oh, and there are two pretty good teams going head-to-head, too. Don't be surprised if this is a top-15 showdown between two great offenses.
Nov. 17: Oklahoma at West Virginia -- For as much pageantry as October at the Cotton Bowl has, this is my pick as the real Big 12 championship game in 2012. The league's two best offenses will go head-to-head at Milan Puskar Stadium, led by the league's top two quarterbacks, Landry Jones and Geno Smith. The winner of this one may have to seal its Big 12 title in the coming weeks, but WVU's road is much simpler than OU's. The Sooners host rival Oklahoma State and travel to TCU. West Virginia has just one Friday afternoon trip to Iowa State left on its schedule after this one.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Bob Stoops' recent comments about the SEC and the pending college football playoff, what appears to be an unpredictable Big 12 in 2013, how the Aggies will handle expectations and more.
Play Podcast Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin talks about the improvements being made to Kyle Field, what those improvements will to for the program, the success of last year, Johnny Manziel's offseason and the expectations for the Aggies in 2013.
Play Podcast Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo talk about Texas A&M's decision to expand its stadium and say although the Aggies had a fantastic year, the school must also be careful not to overextend its resources based on a single hot stretch.
Play Podcast Baylor head coach Art Briles joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what kind of player the Cowboys are getting in Terrance Williams.
Play Podcast Arlington and Texas A&M product Luke Joeckel, the potential No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Richard Durrett to discuss the draft, coaches and advice from his dad.
Play Podcast Florida Gulf Coast athletic director Ken Kavanagh joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his school's Cinderella story and playing in the Sweet 16 at Cowboys Stadium.
Play Podcast Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby joins Fizsimmons & Durrett to discuss Cowboys Stadium as a venue, the state of Big 12 basketball, the new 2014 college football format, why there's no hurry to have a Big 12 football championship and much more.
Play Podcast Jay Bilas joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the remaining 16 teams in the NCAA tournament, the intrigue surrounding the Northwest Region and the excitement over FGCU, even though a similar story happens every year.