By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
Good bye Missouri and Texas A&M. Hello West Virginia and TCU.
The new look Big 12 announced its 2012 football schedule on Tuesday morning.
To view Iowa State’s schedule, CLICK HERE.
To view the league’s entire slate of games, CLICK HERE.
INSTANT REACTION: From and Iowa State perspective, I think that this is a fair schedule. The non-conference slate is what we thought it would be. Iowa State will have one bye week in 2012. That will come on Sept. 22, a week before the 2012 Big 12 season kicks off with Texas Tech coming to Ames on Sept. 29. Some other thoughts…
— The first thing that came to my mind when reading all of this was that after Nebraska and Colorado left the league, the Big 12 released multiple schedules for the next decade and more. This year, we’re only seeing games scheduled for 2012.
What does this mean?
But I think you can take two things to the bank.
1) The league really isn’t sure who its members will be two years from now. We’ve all read rumblings about potential Big 12 expansion that goes beyond adding West Virginia and TCU. The fact that we are only getting a look at 2012’s schedule tells me that more schools could be added in the very near future, meaning the 2013 season.
Or, I could be dead wrong. Just thinking out loud.
2) I can only imagine that the league had to get something out there to satisfy its television partners. This theory also answers another important question that has been pondered quite a bit as of late:
Why not just plug TCU into Texas A&M’s slot and West Virginia to that of Missouri’s?
The Big 12 likely wanted to balance out its schedule so that it had attractive matchups for television throughout the entire season. New programs mean different things. West Virginia doesn’t rival Kansas, as the Tigers were the Jayhawks’ No. 1 foe.
The same goes with Texas and Texas A&M.
Again – Just my own theory.
— Iowa State gets Oklahoma at home on Nov. 3 followed by a road trip to Texas the next week on Nov. 10. If this schedule was going to stay consistent over the next five years or so, that’d be good and bad in my opinion. Bad because the league’s two "big boys" are back-to-back on your schedule (although Texas has some proving to do before it gets thrown back into that conversation).
Good because the southern powers would have to come to Ames in November. But as I wrote up above, I don’t think it is going to matter. My guess is that when 2013 rolls around, this thing will like completely different than what is down for 2012.
The Big 12’s schedule release party is becoming an annual event.
— This schedule gives Iowa State a real opportunity to get off to a strong start. If (and that’s a big IF) the Cyclones can somehow escape the non-conference undefeated, Iowa State will have a legitimate opportunity to be 4-0 with Texas Tech coming to Ames in on Sept. 29.
After that, a road trip to TCU looms on Oct. 6. I can only assume that the Horned Frogs will be a tough out but at this point, we really don’t know how that program will react to Big 12 competition. If I had a choice, I’d rather see TCU later in the season but hey, those are some small potatoes to come on here and cry about.
A home date with Kansas State will round out the first half of the schedule on Oct. 13. Iowa State hasn’t played the Wildcats in Ames since the 2007-08 season.
— The first half of Iowa State’s schedule is significantly lighter than the second. Iowa State’s final six games of the season (without a bye) look like this:
@ Oklahoma State
I’ll write more about the 2012 schedule in the coming weeks but I wanted to get these initial thoughts out there as soon as possible.
Happy Valentines Day!