Big 12 Conference Schedule: Instant Analysis

NORMAN, Okla. — The Big 12 finally released its conference slate Tuesday morning, and many immediate things come to mind when looking at OU's match-ups.

1. OU has a brutal final month--As if Bedlam wasn't already enough, they have to play a pair of, what figure to be, other highly ranked teams in the last three games. OU hits the road for games at Morgantown and Fort Worth against West Virginia and TCU, respectively. WVU could easily be in the Top 10, and it could be a massive matchup if things play out that way. TCU, well, they could be up there as well. And the defending conference champion Cowboys arrive in Norman the week in between.

2. Last nine weeks is a grind--Forget about just the final month. Starting Oct. 6, the Sooners play a string of nine straight games, starting off at Texas Tech before completing the slate at TCU. They have five games away from home, including four true road contests, and four home match-ups during that period. A bye week seems likely Sept. 29, but if that's not the case, they will play 11 straight weeks. Yikes!

3. OU will probably play in snow this year--An early November trip to Ames, Iowa against the Iowa State Cyclones might do it. If not, OU's trip to Morgantown in mid-November will likely bring some snowy conditions. The Sooners will likely have to brave the white stuff this year in order to run the table.

4. Overall game placement isn't bad--What I mean by this is OU doesn't have back-to-back true conference road games at any point in the season. Only once this year will it play away from Norman twice in a row. That's when OU heads to Lubbock Oct. 6 before taking on Texas in the annual Red River Rivalry in Dallas.

5. Expected bye week is pretty beneficial--Yes, it would be better perhaps if it was snuck in there at some point in the middle of that nine-week grind. But OU still gets a week off before a road trip to Texas Tech. It'll have two weeks to prepare for a place it hasn't won since 2003. That's a definite plus.

6. There's a nice home slate--Two of the three teams that beat OU in 2011 are set to arrive in Norman this time around. Neither project to be quite as good this time around, but you never know. At the very least, OU gets a chance at revenge on Baylor and Oklahoma State in front of its own crowd, and also plays host to a likely ranked Kansas State team. Kansas is the only real cupcake home game on the Big 12 schedule.

7. The Sooners open with a big test--Speaking of Kansas State, that's not a game to take lightly at the beginning of conference play. The Wildcats finished second in the Big 12 last year and return a large portion of that team, including quarterback Collin Klein.

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