Ranking The 12 Best Games In The Big 12 In 2016

There is as much intrigue surrounding the Big 12 as there has been in a decade, and that should make for an extremely exciting football season. Here are the 12 best games you need to watch this season:

12) Texas Tech Red Raiders at Arizona State Sun Devils - Sept. 10
Kliff Kingsbury needs to have a breakout season soon with the Red Raiders, and he may be out of a job if Texas Tech struggles. Beating Arizona State, a program that has experienced some success in recent years, will be a good gauge of where Texas Tech stands in the Big 12 pecking order this year.

11) Texas Longhorns at Oklahoma State Cowboys - Oct. 1
Texas is looking for a breakout season under Charlie Strong, and they'll have two weeks to prepare for their Big Ten opener. Oklahoma State is one of the favorites to win the conference this year, but this may be a letdown game for them as it's one week after they face Baylor on the road.

10) Kansas State Wildcats at Stanford Cardinal - Sept. 2
Stanford expects to compete for a College Football Playoff berth this season, and with such high expectations, they're going to come out ready to play in their home opener. However, if Kansas State can put up a good fight - or even pull off the upset - they will prove to be a threat in the Big 12 race.

9) Arkansas Razorbacks at TCU Horned Frogs - Sept. 10
TCU is expected to take a step back this season, but beating a very good Arkansas team will prove that this team is for real. Texas A&M quarterback transfer Kenny Hill will likely be tasked with leading the Horned Frogs, and his play will be key to their success.

8) Oklahoma State Cowboys at Baylor Bears - Sept. 24
These two teams finished in the top four in the conference last year, and the winner of this early season matchup will gain the inside track on winning the conference. 

7) Oklahoma Sooners vs. Texas Longhorns - Oct. 8
The Red River Shootout is always a crazy game, as shown by Texas' upset over Oklahoma last year. The Sooners are looking for revenge, yet the Longhorns should be much better than last year's team.

6) TCU Horned Frogs at Baylor Bears - Nov. 5
Similar to the Oklahoma State-Baylor game mentioned earlier on this list, the winner of this new rivalry will have a great chance to win the conference - while the loser could fall out of the race entirely.

5) Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Texas Longhorns - Sept. 4
Notre Dame blew out Texas last year, and it's unclear if this matchup will be any different. Texas has a brand new offense, and could start a true freshman QB in Shane Buechele. Playing at home should help Texas. With no NFL in this week, this game is on Sunday. 

4) Baylor Bears at Oklahoma Sooners - Nov. 12
These are the two most talented teams in the conference, and as such, are the two favorites to win the conference this year. We don't know how Baylor will respond to the Art Briles fiasco, but this will still be an epic showdown.

3) Oklahoma State Cowboys at Oklahoma Sooners - Dec. 3
Speaking of de facto conference title games, last year's matchup between these two in-state rivals served as just that. Both teams are just as good this year, meaning a College Football Playoff berth could be on the line.

2) Oklahoma Sooners at Houston Cougars - Sept. 3
Don't sleep on Houston. The Cougars beat Florida to end the season, and they're a CFP dark horse. Oklahoma is the Big 12 favorite and this could end up serving as Week 1 College Football Playoff elimination game. The Sooners are actually going to Houston for this one and it's the ideal way to start the first Saturday of college football. 

1) Ohio State Buckeyes at Oklahoma Sooners - Sept. 17
An early-season matchup between two College Football Playoff contenders? Yes, please!

The winner of this game will probably end up in the top two or three of the rankings and put themselves in prime position for the playoff, while the loser will have to go undefeated in conference play to ensure a spot in the playoff. Stakes this high should make for a great game.

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Related Topics: Oklahoma State Cowboys Football, Oklahoma Sooners Football, Big 12 Football, NCAA Football, Texas Tech Red Raiders Football, Baylor Bears Football, TCU Horned Frogs Football, Kansas State Wildcats Football, Texas Longhorns Football