The Big 12 on Tuesday — finally — released the conference schedule for the 2023 season. And my, oh my, OSU’s schedule is interesting.
You can find the full schedule here, of course, but I’ve got some additional thoughts I need to fire off below.
Let’s dive in.
1. No traditional Big 12 Texas teams
A truly odd thing that may never happen again moving forward but will happen in 2023: OSU will not play any of the traditional Big 12 teams from the state of Texas. So no Texas, no Texas Tech, no TCU and no Baylor. The only conference game against a team from the state is new member Houston, slated for Nov. 18 in Houston. (Houston, by the way, will have 10 (!!!) games played in the state of Texas next season.)
2. Early bye
This is anecdotal and highly based on recency bias, but OSU’s early bye — on Sept. 30 — feels like a brutal beat. That means OSU will play exactly one conference game then immediately go into its bye week before playing eight consecutive weekends in league play to close the year. Insane. OSU had a September bye this past season as well and completely ran out of gas. Since 2015, byes have come early to mid October (excluding last year, obviously). It’ll be the first time since the 2012 season that OSU will play only one conference game then immediately jump into bye week. Maybe it winds up mattering, maybe it doesn’t, but that’s a brutal sprint to the finish over the last two months with no time to take a breather in between.
3. Bedlam in November
Bedlam has almost always been played in November so it landing on the schedule in November is itself not a surprise, but the game landing as the first of four (!) games in November is certainly of note. The Nov. 4 date is the earliest the rivalry game will be played since 2017 — the 62-52 year in Stillwater. Mark your calendars now because most likely this will be the last Bedlam football game played inside Boone Pickens Stadium for a long time.
4. That start!
The nonconference schedule for OSU is pretty soft, but boy did the Big 12 swerve the opposite direction in setting up OSU’s opening to league play! It faces Iowa State in Ames to open things up, then to bye week, then reigning conference champion Kansas State comes to town on a Friday. The middle schedule lightens up a bit but the beginning of the schedule — and the end, which we will get to in a second! — sets up a potential 0-2 start. My money would be on OSU being underdogs in both of those first two games and possibly three of its first four with Kansas coming to Stillwater after the K-State game followed by a road trip to Morgantown to face West Virginia the next week.
5. That finish!
The last five weeks of the schedule for OSU is almost entirely new territory outside the Bedlam game the first week of November. In that span OSU will face every single new conference member with two of them on the road and two of them at home, culminating with a home regular-season finale vs. BYU on Nov. 25. Get a load of this five-week stretch to close the season:
|Oct. 28||Cincinnati (Homecoming)|
|Nov. 11||at UCF|
|Nov. 18||at Houston|
The only other Big 12 team to draw matchups against all four Big 12 newcomers is West Virginia, though WVU will play those four games in a span of six weeks as opposed to OSU, which will face all four in a five-week span.
Read this original article at Pistols Firing Blog.