After Big 12 football ended its 2019 season on a sour note, what are the five biggest storylines for the conference moving into the next decade?
There’s plenty to be excited about for the 2020 Big 12 football season, despite the league’s poor showing in 2019’s bowl games.
There’s a new coach in Waco, as former LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda takes over for Matt Rhule. Will the crown weigh heavily on the heads of the Sooners, winners of the league for five years in a row? Is it possible for any realignment talks to bubble back up?
Here are the five biggest storylines to follow for the Big 12 in 2020:
1. What are the games that will define the 2020 Big 12 season?
It might seem prudent to start with the Red River Showdown on Oct. 10 between Texas and Oklahoma. The league’s reputation, though, could receive a major boost when the Longhorns visit Baton Rouge to face the defending national champs in Week 2.
OU hosts resurgent Tennessee of the SEC in Week 2 to give the Sooners a chance to save face on the national stage. Although neither are expected to be ranked teams, West Virginia faces Florida State in Atlanta in Week 1. TCU will open the season at California, and Texas Tech will host Arizona in Week 3.
None of these games (besides Texas-LSU) will hold the conference bragging rights allure of Baylor and Ole Miss, who meet at NRG Stadium in Houston to open the season. It’s Dave Aranda vs. Lane Kiffin in a battle of intriguing first-year coaches at a neutral site.