We kicked this off last year for the first time ever, and you, the readers, loved it. Let's try again for 2013. Imagine for a second that yours truly made all the decisions about where the Big 12 Blog would be posted up each week.
I don't make the call, and circumstances change each season as games are played (who would have thought I'd be at Kansas State/Baylor instead of Oklahoma/West Virginia on Nov. 17, 2012), but right now, this is how it'd look if it were up to me. I'll include road nonconference games, too.
Let's get started.
Here's the Big 12's Week 1 slate in 2013:
Kansas State vs. North Dakota State
West Virginia vs. William and Mary
Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa
TCU vs. LSU at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas
Oklahoma vs. Louisiana-Monroe
Baylor vs. Wofford
Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi State at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas
Texas vs. New Mexico State
Texas Tech at Southern Methodist
My pick: TCU vs. LSU at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas
There's really no contest here, even though Oklahoma State and Mississippi State is a solid game in its own right. TCU and LSU carry on the tradition of great season openers in Cowboys Stadium. We saw Alabama and Michigan last year, a season after LSU dispatched Oregon easily on the way to an undefeated regular season.
Might TCU or LSU launch a similarly impressive campaign with a win here? The Big 12 and SEC matched up just twice last season, and every time the two best leagues in college football get together, plenty of bragging rights are on the line. Texas blew out Ole Miss in Oxford last season before SEC newbie Texas A&M thrashed Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
Consider this the next chapter in that rivalry that's been a bit one-sided of late. The atmosphere should be solid, but it'll be interesting to see the distribution of fans in the stadium. TCU has proximity, but a small fan base and an LSU contingent that loves to travel (and packed the house for the 2011 Cotton Bowl and the win vs. Oregon) could mean a homefield advantage against the Frogs.
The Big 12's had a pretty weak first weekend the past few seasons, but that's absolutely not the case in 2013. That's a welcome development.
Honorable mention: Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi State, Texas Tech at SMU