The Big 12 has been criticized for the lack of marquee out of conference match-ups since the introduction of the BCS into college football. Since the regular season of college football is more important to the placement of each team into the postseason, scheduling hard out of conference teams really doesn’t make much sense.
Here are my rankings and tiers of the Big 12’s 2013 out of conference match-ups.
You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me Tier:
1. Baylor — The worst offender of them all. The Baylor Bears have three non-AQ teams that all travel to Waco for their first three games of the season. First up is Wofford. The FCS Wofford Terriers are actually a pretty decent FCS squad and won nine games in 2012, but anytime an FCS team plays a Big 12 team at home, they’re going to be incredibly overmatched. Their second game is against Mid American Conference member Buffalo. The Bulls went 4-8 in 2012, including blowout losses to Georgia and Northern Illinois. The Bears gain a little bit of respect back by playing Louisiana Monroe, a bowl team from 2012 who won eight games including a win over then #8 Arkansas. Three home games against an FCS team, a losing non-AQ team and a decent non-AQ team doesn’t cut it though.
2. Kansas State — The Kansas State Wildcats have had some decent non-conference games against teams like Miami (FL) and UCLA, but this year is different. Kansas State plays all of their games in Manhattan and they’re all against non-AQ teams. The Wildcats start off with North Dakota State, who actually won the FCS national championship and 14 games last year. Despite the Bison being a good FCS team, they still shouldn’t have any kind of shot beating the Wildcats. Next up for Kansas State is Louisiana Lafayette, a nine-win team from 2012. The Ragin’ Cajuns could actually be a decent match up for the Wildcats with Junior quarterback Terrance Broadway and one of his top receiving targets come back after a good offensive year last year. Lastly, Massachusetts travels to Manhattan after an abysmal 1-11 season in 2013. It’s safe to say that the Wildcats won’t be very worried about losing any of these games this fall.
3. Kansas — The Kansas Jayhawks didn’t schedule a non-conference AQ team in 2013, but they are playing one away game in OOC. Kansas starts with FCS opponent South Dakota. The Coyotes won only one game last year including blowout losses to Northwestern, North Dakota State and Indiana State. South Dakota was one of the worst FCS teams in the league last year and will be no threat at all to the Jayhawks. Next up, the Jayhawks travel to Houston to face Rice. Rice finished above .500 last year at 7-6 and return their top passer (Taylor McHargue), rusher (Charles Ross) and receiver (Jordan Taylor) for 2013. This could be a dangerous game for Charlie Weis and the Jayhawks as they visit an experienced Rice team for a night game in Houston. Lastly, Kansas faces Louisiana Tech in Lawerence. The Bulldogs had a great season last year with nine wins as former quarterback Colby Cameron broke tons of offensive records and guided the Bulldogs to become the nations leading scoring team in 2012. Louisiana Tech loses Cameron as well as leading receivers Quinton Patton and Myles White. This could be a decent match up, but I’d expect Kansas to beat a young and inexperienced Louisiana Tech team in 2013.