2016 Big 12 football schedules: Which teams have the toughest slates? Which ones have the easiest? Check out the ranking of all the Big 12 schedules.
It seems like this should be a much harder schedule considering Kansas is by far the worst team in the conference, and it can’t play itself. There might be a rough run of three road games in four weeks, but playing TCU, Oklahoma State and Texas at home wouldn’t be that bad for most teams. Only two Big 12 teams don’t face a Power 5 team in non-conference play; KU is one of them.
The Bears, as always, are hitting from the red tees when it comes to non-conference play, squaring off against Northwestern State, SMU and Rice to ease their way into the fun. The Oklahoma game is on the road, but Oklahoma State, Texas and Kansas State are all coming to Waco.
8. West Virginia
Starting the season against Missouri is hardly a breather, and facing BYU in Landover, Maryland, should be interesting. However, Big 12 schedule works out well as Kansas State, TCU, Oklahoma and Baylor all come to Morgantown. The Mountaineers can’t blame the schedule if the season isn’t strong.
There’s a fight against Arkansas early on, but it’s at home. The Horned Frogs catch a huge break playing Oklahoma at home and not leaving the greater Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area until a trip to Kansas on October 8th. There aren’t two road games in a row.
6. Iowa State
Northern Iowa always requires focus, and then it’s the rivalry date at Iowa followed up by the trip to TCU. In all, the Cyclones have a run of four road games in six weeks before getting a week off. The payoff is in the second half with four of the final five games at home, and the one road game coming at Kansas.
It’s tough, but two of the most difficult games – against Notre Dame to start the regular season, and TCU to end it – are in Austin. Going to Cal should be interesting, but it’s winnable. The only big problem is road weariness – the Longhorns play one home game from September 10th through October 29th.
4. Oklahoma State
The non-conference slate isn’t horrible, with Central Michigan and Pitt coming to Stillwater, but the payback comes once the conference season starts after getting most of the tough games at home last year. Baylor, Kansas State, TCU and Oklahoma are all on the road with just one home game after the West Virginia date in late October.
3. Kansas State
Starting the regular season out on the road against defending Pac-12 and Rose Bowl champion Stanford, and then ending it at TCU won’t be a breeze. In between, the Wildcats have to go to Oklahoma and Baylor and start out the Big 12 campaign at West Virginia.
2. Texas Tech
The Red Raiders have one game in Lubbock – Texas – over the final five dates, having to deal with TCU, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Baylor all away from Jones AT&T Stadium. The Oklahoma game is at home, but those late away games – the Baylor game is in Arlington – and the trip to Kansas State might kill any Big 12 title dreams. Going to Arizona State isn’t easy in the first three weeks, and facing Louisiana Tech should be a fight.
Not only do the Sooners open the season at Houston, and not only do they have to deal with Ohio State, but they don’t have a game in Norman from the date against the Buckeyes on September 17th to the Kansas State game on October 15th. They have to go to TCU, Texas Tech, Iowa State and West Virginia, and as always, the Texas game is in Dallas. The one positive is getting Baylor and Oklahoma State at home.