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NCAA Football Big 12 Football

Top 5 Big 12 Non-Conference Games Of 2013

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Big 12 Preparing For Future With Tougher Out Of Conference Opponents

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

With the new college football postseason approaching, and strength of schedule becoming a direct factor in deciding which teams will head into the four team playoff for the National Championship, a new approach will need to be taken in terms of non-conference games.

Schools in the Big 12 appear to be prepping for that change by booking more impressive non-conference opponents. The days of bringing in some FCS schools to kick around and booking one, maybe two small FBS schools to tune up for conference play are fading away, and that is good for football.

The college football big boys won’t be able to afford to play multiple weak opponents to start the year by the time the new playoff system kicks in. FCS schools will be virtually out of the question, and powerhouse teams from the Big 12, SEC, ACC, Big 10, or Pac-12 will need to play each other instead of small schools from small conferences.

Games like last season’s contest between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Michigan Wolverines will become the norm rather than a rare treat to break up the monotony of non-conference football. Nobody really enjoys seeing their team go out and pistol whip some FCS or Division II schools for three straight weeks. It does little in terms of entertainment value and it also doesn’t do anything to help prepare the teams for their conference opponents.

The Big 12 looks like they are ready for the future as they have a few pretty solid non-conference foes to take on in 2013. These are the top 5 non-conference games in the Big 12 for 2013:

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Texas Longhorns @ BYU Cougars

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Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The BYU Cougars have been a favorite non-conference opponent for Big 12 schools for a while, and have established deals to keep that going in the future as well with a neutral site game at FedEx Field in Washington D.C. against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

In 2013 they host the Texas Longhorns on September 7. This one could be trouble for Texas if they get off to a slow start.

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Mississippi State Bulldogs @ Oklahoma State Cowboys

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Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 will play the SEC three times in 2013, and one of those meetings will come when the Mississippi State Bulldogs will travel to Stillwater, OK to play the Oklahoma State Cowboys on August 31. This will be the first of two showdowns between the SEC and Big 12 on that date, and this one should be the easier win of the two for the Big 12. The Pokes won’t have it easy though, as the Bulldogs have a habit of starting off seasons by reeling off wins.

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Ole Miss Rebels @ Texas Longhorns

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Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Texas is the only school to appear twice on the list because they have booked themselves the toughest non-conference schedule in the Big 12. The Longhorns will finish off their home-and-home series with the Ole Miss Rebels by hosting them on September 7. Texas played well last season when they ventured into SEC country, and I think the Rebels are still a year away from being able to beat the Horns.

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Oklahoma Sooners @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma Sooners were handed their second home loss of 2012 when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish came to Norman last season. This year the Sooners will head up north to South Bend for the second part of this home-and-home series between college football blue bloods. The game will be played on September 28.

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TCU Horned Frogs VS. LSU Tigers

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The best non-conference game of 2013 in the Big 12 will hands down be the match-up between the TCU Horned Frogs and LSU Tigers. LSU lost a lot of talent from last year, but is still dangerous. TCU is on the rise and this would be a huge win for the Frogs, but they will need to figure out their QB situation first.