First, it seems that the Longhorns will be doing quite a bit of traveling. Thanks to the non-conference road trip to Mississippi, Texas will be away from Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium for six of the 12 games this season, including true road contests at Kansas, at Kansas State, at Texas Tech and at Oklahoma State. Out of the eight Big 12 teams that Texas could play on the road (Texas obviously can't play itself, and the Oklahoma game, as always, is in Dallas), Texas picked up four of the six furthest destinations. Barring surprise, and if the schedule flops road-away normally, in 2013, Texas will have the two longest trips to make: West Virginia and Iowa State; but also the two shortest in TCU and Baylor.
Second, with the conference changes, Texas will have to play six teams that won double-digit games in 2011: Big 12 long-timers Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Baylor and conference newcomers West Virginia and TCU. Four of those games will be at DKR, with a road trip to Kansas State and the normal neutral site game against Oklahoma.
And, though it was expected, we now have official word that Texas will host both newcomers, including TCU on Thanksgiving weekend. But on the initial schedule (which will see some date changes), the game is slated for Saturday. We'll see if that holds up, or if the game gets shifted to replace the Thanksgiving rivalry the Longhorns had with new SEC member Texas A&M. I'm betting on the latter.
The start. Texas should be able to build some momentum with early home games against Wyoming and New Mexico, and a manageable road contest at Mississippi. The Longhorns should be able to win all three, getting a great start and ironing out any kinks. And that's important, because after Ole Miss, Texas gets a bye, and then …
… Must travel to Oklahoma State, starting a four-game stretch against teams that won at least 10 games a year ago. After tripping to Stillwater for the first time in a few years, Texas gets to return back to Austin to host an explosive West Virginia offense coached by former Oklahoma State coordinator Dana Holgorsen. But there's no rest for the weary, as Texas then heads up to Dallas for the annual Red River Shootout with Oklahoma. And finally, the Longhorns return back to Austin to take on a Baylor team that not only has a two-game winning streak over the Horns, but one that also figures to be saltier than a lot of people expect.
The Longhorns do get a bit of a break after that (albeit with two long road trips) at Kansas, at Texas Tech, then Iowa State at home. Then the second-toughest stretch finishes out the year, with the TCU game in Austin and a trip to Manhattan to take on Kansas State. Both of those teams also won 10-plus games a year ago.
2012 Texas Football Schedule
(Home games in caps; all times are TBA)
Sept. 1 - WYOMING
Sept. 8 - NEW MEXICO
Sept. 15 - at Mississippi
Sept. 29 - at Oklahoma State
Oct. 6 - WEST VIRGINIA
Oct. 13 - vs. Oklahoma (Dallas)
Oct. 20 - BAYLOR
Oct. 27 - at Kansas
Nov. 3 - at Texas Tech
Nov. 10 - IOWA STATE
Nov. 24 - TCU
Dec. 1 - at Kansas State