BIG 12 CONTENDERS ROAD SCHEDULE

USA TODAY Sports

A lot of the predictive models depend on this, which is why OSU gets the nod in many scenarios.

Home games are gold.

They aren't a lock, but they are gold.

OSU supposedly had a tough road schedule in 2011, but they managed everything except the part that wasn't supposed to be tough. I'll stop right there before things get smashed and thrown across the room. All this means is that schedule layouts are no guarantee, but they can offer a preseason look at who has the toughest path to the top.

I used 6 separate preseason predictions for the Big 12, including my own and the Big 12 media's. Could have added others, but the outcome is not going to drastically change as the top 6 and bottom 4 are fairly consistent. I included Kansas State because I'm not about to dismiss Snyder.

In order, from preseason easiest to hardest, are the average predicted rankings of the Big 12 road opponents for the predicted top 6 teams in the conference (didn't count OU/UT neutral site game)...

  1. OSU...average predicted ranking of conference road opponents...6.4
  2. Texas...6.2
  3. OU...5.6
  4. Baylor...5.4
  5. Kansas State...5.2
  6. TCU...4.8
Two interesting facts...
  1. OSU faces only 1 predicted top 5 finisher on the road (Texas). Everyone else faces 2;
  2. TCU plays 5 road games, vs four for everyone else. Add to that they face OU and OSU on the road (only team in the group that faces both on the road), plus K State (never know what you will get from Snyder in Manhattan);
We knew this going in, but I thought it was interesting to actually see the numbers. It is clear that OSU and Texas have a decided advantage, and TCU is at a decided disadvantage. Thank heavens the Horned Frogs have Kansas at home in between their trips to Norman and Stillwater. Given these numbers, I find it interesting that TCU was picked ahead of Texas in several preseason rankings.

Kansas State doesn't have it much better, facing Texas and OSU on the road in consecutive weeks.

If the Cowboys don't do some damage in conference play in 2013, it won't be because of their schedule.

GO POKES!!!

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