Leading The Pack Tier
7. Oklahoma State —The Oklahoma State Cowboys start the 2013 season off with a marquee game against SEC member Mississippi State in Stillwater. The Bulldogs won eight games last season and return leading passer Tyler Russell and 1000+ yard rusher LaDarius Perkins. They do, however, lose their top two receivers Chad Bumphis and Chris Smith. After playing a tough game against Mississippi State to start the season, the Cowboys then travel to San Antonio to take on a rising program in the University of Texas-San Antonio. The Roadrunners won eight games in 2012 and are hoping to make a bowl game in their first year eligible to do so. UTSA quarterback Eric Soza will have leading receivers Evans Okotcha and Kam Jones returning and will give him two good receiving targets. Look for Oklahoma State to win this game, but it may not be as easy as many think. Finally, the Cowboys host Lamar on September 14. Lamar won just four games in 2012 and will be completely outmatched in this game. Basically, the Cowboys have one tough home game, a road game against a decent UTSA team and a home game against a bad Lamar team.
8. Texas —The Texas Longhorns have a good slate of teams that could challenge them in 2013. First is their easiest game against New Mexico State who won just one game in 2012. This should be a tune up game before facing BYU on September 7. They travel to Provo to take on a good, but inexperienced Cougars team. The Longhorns won the last meeting between the two teams in 2011 by a score of 17-16. After battling the Cougars, Texas hosts Ole Miss on September 14. The Longhorns beat Ole Miss 66-31 in Oxford last year but Ole Miss should have an improved defense after a great recruiting class in 2013 including the #1 overall recruit according to Rivals.com, DE Robert Ndkemdiche.
9. TCU —The TCU Horned Frogs have the biggest week one match up in the whole Big 12 when they meet LSU in Jerryworld on August 31. With Devonte Fields suspended for the first two games, TCU will have a very tough time beating the Bayou Bengals. After the LSU game, TCU gets a break playing FCS Southeast Louisiana in Fort Worth. After this tune up game, TCU plays their archrival SMU at Amon G. Carter stadium. SMU will be coming off of tough games against Texas Tech and Texas A&M and will probably be starving for a win and you never know what can happen in a rivalry game.
t9. Oklahoma —The Oklahoma Sooners open up the 2013 season by hosting Louisiana-Monroe. The Warhawks and star quarterback Kolton Browning may not have much of a chance pulling out a win in Norman, but they’re no pushovers either after winning eight games in 2012. The next non-conference game for Oklahoma is against in state program Tulsa. Tulsa, a team who won 11 games last year could put up a fight against an inexperienced Sooner team in 2013. Finally, the Sooners travel to South Bend to take on most likely a top-10 ranked Notre Dame team. With the recent news of ND quarterback Everett Golson suspended for the season, Oklahoma probably has a much better shot at knocking off ND but will still need a lot to go right in order to pull off the win in a tough environment.
There are really only two marquee non-conference match ups in the Big 12 in 2013: #17 OU @ #10 Notre Dame and #18 TCU vs. #16 LSU (Cowboys Stadium). After that, there are some good OOC rivalries and games like #18 TCU vs. SMU, Texas Tech @ SMU, Iowa @ Iowa State, Texas @ BYU, Ole Miss @ Texas, West Virginia @ Maryland and Mississippi State @ Oklahoma State.
Predictions for 2013 Big 12 non-conference games?