After a tumultuous off season, the Big 12 has a chance to earn respect with a few marquee out of conference tilts.
Starting in week two, Kansas State hosts Miami in the little apple. A win by the Colin Klein-led Wildcats would be the first shot across the bow. The same day Iowa State hosts bitter rival Iowa from the Big 10 while Oklahoma State travels to Tuscon with a matchup with the Arizona Wildcats from the Pac 12.
The third week of the season, Texas travels to the Grove at Ole Miss to take on the Rebels from the SEC. The following week West Virginia and Maryland square off as does TCU and Virginia.
The most intriguing matchup out of conference happens October 27th when Notre Dame travels to Norman to take on the Sooners. The Big 12 has a legit shot at going 8-0 in these games which would go a long way in restoring some luster to a conference that was on life-support many times through out the last two summers.
The addition of Bob Bowlsby as the new head man of the conference is reason #1 to feel good about the direction of the Big 12, but winning the games out of conference would go along way in the eyes of the fans and media that the Big 12 is on stable ground.