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Big 12 games to watch for upcoming season

8/25/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Some are traditional matchups and others are new as the inter-conference schedule switches for every team this season. But all of these games should be intriguing ones that will shape the Big 12's race and its national reputation.  

1. Texas vs. Oklahoma at Dallas, Oct. 11 -- This game, as always, will set the tone in the South Division. It will be interesting to see how Will Muschamp's retooled defense will fare against the Big 12's most balanced and explosive offense.

2. Kansas vs. Missouri at Kansas City, Nov. 29 -- While the stakes likely won't be as high as last season, don't be surprised if the North Division's title will be contested. And playing the game at Arrowhead Stadium only gives the Border War even more of a big-game feel.

3. Texas Tech at Oklahoma, Nov. 22 -- The South Division's title could be at stake in this one. And for all of the Red Raiders' preseason notoriety, they still haven't won in Norman since 1996 and will be facing their toughest challenge of the season in this game.

4. Missouri at Texas, Oct. 18 -- Chase Daniel would like nothing better than to beat the team that spurned him for most of his recruiting period. The Tigers will be battling history, considering they haven't won in Austin since 1896 and the Longhorns have won 13 of the last 14 games in the series.

5. Missouri vs. Illinois at St. Louis, Aug. 30 -- Early game will determine how legitimate the Tigers' Bowl Championship Series hopes really are. Both defenses are hoping to play better than in last season's shootout.

6. Texas A&M at Texas, Nov. 27 -- Classic matchup returns to Thanksgiving night for ESPN's cameras. Can Mike Sherman continue Dennis Franchione's recent success against the Longhorns that still couldn't save his job?

7. Nebraska at Oklahoma, Nov. 1 -- The last time the Cornhuskers traveled to Norman, all heck broke loose in a melee after the game. But look for much respect on both sides this time in the first matchup between Bo Pelini and his coaching mentor, Bob Stoops.

8. Texas Tech at Texas A&M, Oct. 18 -- The most underrated bitter rivalry in the nation returns to College Station. Mike Leach has won six of his last seven games against the team whom he mocks for its "pretend soldiers" along the sidelines. But Sherman will have his team ready for this game.

9. Virginia Tech at Nebraska, Sept. 27 -- This could give Pelini his first major national splash as he faces the Hokies in his toughest nonconference matchup. His defense will be tested against Tech, but won't face the passing attacks they'll be seeing on a weekly basis in the Big 12. That might give the Cornhuskers a legitimate chance for an upset.

10. Texas at Colorado, Oct. 4 -- Drama on both sides in this one. It will be Colorado's first game against Texas since their 70-3 blowout loss in the 2005 Big 12 title game that cost Gary Barnett his job. And it will be Texas' first shot at Colorado freshman TB Darrell Scott, who spurned them to play for the Buffaloes.