We’re in the thick of the 2014 Big 12 title race, but the conference took time Wednesday to release its 2015 slate.
Unlike other leagues, the Big 12 offers no suspense as to who does or does not play who; the conference will stick with its round-robin schedule for the fifth consecutive season.
Even without that suspense, there still are a few highlights:
– The 2015 Big 12 game of the year – as it appears on Nov. 19, 2014 – is Baylor at TCU, and the conference decided to stick it on Black Friday, Nov. 27. While it does reduce competition on a high-impact weekend late in the season, the Big 12 had the advantage of releasing next year’s slate after the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12, meaning the league could have cherry-picked a light weekend in those leagues (the Saturday before Thanksgiving is begging for quality match-ups, if this year is any indication) that would raise the chances of Bears-Frogs: The Rematch dominating an entire weekend of conversation and brought College GameDay to Fort Worth. As it is, the Big 12 guarantees Baylor-TCU will provide the winner a stock bump late in the season, but it runs the risk of merely playing appetizer to the Iron Bowl, the Egg Bowl, USC-UCLA, Notre Dame-Stanford, Michigan-Ohio State, Florida-Florida State, Clemson-South Carolina and whatever next year’s equivalent of this year’s Egg Bowl is.
– As such, Baylor and Texas Tech’s annual AT&T Stadium meeting moves from Thanksgiving Saturday to Oct. 3.
– Whoever Kansas’ new head coach is gets to deal with a four-week stretch of at Oklahoma State, vs. Oklahoma, at Texas, and at TCU. Good luck with that.
– The Big 12 was smart to slot Baylor at Kansas State on a Thursday night. The atmosphere the SnyderCats brought to this year’s Auburn game proves Thursday nights in Manhattan should be an annual treat.
– Bedlam moves back to Thanksgiving weekend for just the second time since the Big 12 championship game went away.
– As the only team to play on Sept. 26 and Dec. 5, Texas gets two byes before conference games: before Kansas State on Nov. 24 and Texas Tech on Thanksgiving. On top of that, the Longhorns leave the state only twice in conference play, at Iowa State on Halloween and then at Iowa State two weeks later.
– On the exact opposite end of that spectrum, Iowa State, Kansas and Oklahoma don’t get byes at all in conference play.
Here’s how the full schedule shakes out. Click here to read the full release.