The Big 12 is SUPPOSED to release its schedule for 2023 soon. It was supposed to release the schedule in December as well. Apparently, there are a few issues holding back the schedule release.
Intertwined with the exit timing for Texas and OU- The remaining eight members of the Big 12 want their shot of hosting either Texas or OU one last time before they the conference. If they knew the two schools would be there for the 2024 season, we probably would already have a schedule.
Texas and OU do not want to play any of the new members- they didn't vote to add them, and they weren't involved so why should they have to play them? I am not sure this is entirely a fair position, but I get it from Texas's and Oklahoma's perspective. I think this closely relates to the third area of contention.
Texas and OU may agree to play some of the Big 12 members after 2023- These would be at the Big 12 school or a home and home series as a means to expedite their departure from the Big 12. What this COULD look like:
Bedlam lives on for the next 6-10 years- OU agreeing to play OSU may be the key factor in the exit agreements.
Texas agrees to play a series with Tech- The Tech AD CLAIMED that Texas had a verbal agreement to keep their series alive.
There could be a more complicated future of games that would benefit more than OSU and Tech. Here is an example:
The numbers are those team's winning percentages over the past five years. Would both sides agree to such an agreement? I am not sure other side would, but this gives you an idea of HOW it could work. It would have a benefit to Texas and OU of beating a regional rival consistently. That's IF they would beat them.
You may ask wouldn't those teams be vastly superior to the normal cannon fodder that is a typical SEC non-conference opponent. I went through the 2022 schedules of the current SEC members and picked the teams I thought were the SECOND best. I picked second best because Texas and OU both have at least one strong team in most of their future years and the Big 12 agreement would lock them into these teams as their second-best non-conference opponent. Here is what that looks like and their average record over the past five years.
So yes, Texas and OU would be taking on a non-conference opponent that is stronger than the SECOND non-conference opponent the teams in the SEC play. With time as Texas and OU renegotiate their non-conference opponents this match-up with the Big 12 team could be the top team they challenge. Given, the future 12-team playoff format having the better non-conference schedule MAY help.
The answer for 2023- The Opponents
All of that is basically a preamble to the meat of this article. IF the answer truly is Texas and OU are leaving after this season and if Texas and OU will NOT play the newer teams to the Big 12, THIS is an example answer to what the Big 12 schedule would look like.
In general, I tried to give the last time the teams played each other in one location, I chose the opposite location for 2023. Adjustments had to be made to this.
To the points above:
1. All Big 12 teams have their last shot at both Texas and OU with the Big 12 getting ONE of them at HOME. (Yes, Horns fans - one more trip to Lubbock- ugh)
2. Texas and OU play only the old Big 12 teams.
3. Covered above
I added a fun little detail here. I scheduled Houston and Texas Tech to play in Arlington to start their own intrastate rivalry on a neutral field.
With point number two one might assume that it would lead to significant strength of schedule unbalances. Not really.
I used way too early rankings from CFN to get the sense of the relative schedule strength. Here is how they have the Big 12 teams ranked for 2023.
Texas Tech- 24
Oklahoma St.- 35
West Virgina- 63
The "SOS" column above shows the average ranking of the opponents on each team's conference schedule for 2023. Yes, the new four teams have it easier but difference between an average ranking of 36.3 and 43.9 does NOT seem large to me.
So, there you go Big 12. I have given you the opponents each team should face and who is the home team for each game. This is how you can meet all of the members critical desires.
With this schedule it does not matter if Texas and OU leave after next season or after the 2024 season.
Now just schedule the dates and let's start the hype of who is playing who when.
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