Looking ahead to the 2023 Big 12 football season, here are 10 non-conference games that you need to have marked on your schedule.
Big 12 football programs face a risk-reward proposition when scheduling non-conference opponents, where a marquee win would boost a resume, but a loss would curtail playoff hopes. Instead of evaluating the Big 12’s in-conference schedule, let’s take a step back and evaluate the league’s top out-of-conference games for 2023.
Texas at Alabama
Last year the Longhorns fell to the Crimson Tide, 20-19, in front of a record-breaking crowd of 105,213 at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium. Nearly 10.6 million viewers tuned in for the instant classic non-conference contest. This will be the last year that this is an out-of-conference game as Texas along with Oklahoma join the SEC in 2024. Texas is 7-2-1 all-time against Bama.
WVU at Penn State
Penn State is set to host long-time rival West Virginia at Happy Valley in Week 1. The schools announced on Sept. 19, 2013, that they would renew the series with a home and home in 2023 and 2024. Penn State and West Virginia have not met on the football field since the 1992 season, but before then they were intense regional rivals. The series dates back to 1904. The Nittany Lions lead the series against the Mountaineers overall with a 48-9-2 lead.
Iowa at Iowa State
In Iowa, there are no pro sports teams. To have two Power Five conference programs able to compete against one another despite different conference affiliations is really special for the entire state. The two schools played each other 24 times between 1894 and 1934 before the Cy-Hawk Trophy was established in 1977. The Cy-Hawk Trophy, a celebration of The State of Iowa, is the prize awarded to the winner of the battle between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones. Following a long hiatus, these two proud programs have met every year since 1978. Iowa leads the all-time rivalry 46-23.
Kansas St at Missouri
The former Big 12 football rivalry is between two schools that are less than 250 miles apart and dates back to 1909 with almost a century of conference affiliation. The rivalry between Kansas State and Missouri still means something in regionally even after a decade of SEC play for Mizzou. The question this year will be: Can Missouri finish September unbeaten? If Mizzou can get payback from last year’s humiliating loss! Missouri leads the all-time series 60-33-5. However, the Tigers lost their last meeting with the Wildcats by a score of 40-12 in Manhattan.