Today's news that West Virginia had been "terminated" by the Big East cleared the way for the release of the hotly anticipated 2012 Big 12 football schedule. While the OU athletic department hasn't formally released the Sooners' non-conference slate, we can put two and two and two together to figure it out.
2012 Oklahoma Sooners Schedule
Sept. 1: at UTEP
Sept. 8: Florida A&M
Sept. 15: OPEN
Sept. 22: vs. Kansas State
Sept. 29: OPEN
Oct. 6: at Texas Tech
Oct. 13: vs. Texas (at Dallas)
Oct. 20: vs. Kansas
Oct. 27: vs. Notre Dame
Nov. 3: at Iowa State
Nov. 10: vs. Baylor
Nov. 17: at West Virginia
Nov. 24: vs. Oklahoma State
Dec. 1: at TCU
A few observations:
*Prior to the release of the schedule, I had heard that OU would likely be West Virginia's first ever conference game in Morgantown in September. Obviously, that didn't happen, although I think it's better for OU to catch the Mountaineers earlier than later.
*Travis Haney of The Oklahoman says the schedule was set up to prevent any more shuffling of dates, hence part of the delay in its release. Count me in with Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel, though, who contends this is more of a rough draft than finished product.
Given the hits that OU has taken for the conference recently on the scheduling front, including back-to-back Bedlam games in Stillwater, I wouldn't be shocked if one of the Sooners' November contests is moved to September. Baylor, which plays eight consecutive games to close the year, looks like a logical candidate. The Bears have an open date on Sept. 8 and a game with Sam Houston St. on Sept. 15. OU has FAMU on Sept. 8 and an open date on Sept. 15. Sliding those body bag games to the same weekend would free up a date for the two conference foes to play.
Plus, if they play early in the year, the networks could still capitalize on Baylor's momentum from 2011. The Bears seem primed to take a big step back this season, which would likely mean less interest in November.
*A trip to Iowa State on Nov. 3 has "trap game" written all over it.
*At the moment, that home stretch – at West Virginia, Bedlam, at TCU – looks pretty daunting. I suspect at least one of those teams (nickname rhymes with "Porned Dogs") will fall below expectations, though. Plus, you can bet Owen Field will be rocking for when OSU comes to town.
*Right now, I suspect Vegas would favor OU in all 12 of its games this season. In fact, I suspect the Red River Shootout and the game at WVU would be the only two in which the Sooners were giving less than a touchdown.