David Matter of the Columbia Tribune pens an excellent and objective look at Big 12 conferece teams' football schedules this Fall, ranked from toughest to easiest.
11. Texas Tech: No Big 12 team plays fewer opponents that played in bowl games last year than the Red Raiders, who face just five. Tech gets credit for playing two conference road games, but they're hardly against powerhouses: Rice and SMU.
Toughest nonconference game: vs. UTEP, Sept. 8.
Tougher than it looks: at Baylor, Nov. 3.
10. Baylor: The Bears scrap at TCU in the season opener, adding to a road schedule that includes trips to Texas A&M and Oklahoma. But the Bears avoid both North Division favorites, Nebraska and Missouri.
Toughest nonconference game: at TCU, Sept. 1.
Tougher than it looks: vs. Colorado, Oct. 6.
8. Texas: The Longhorns replace Ohio State with TCU as their only true nonconference challenge. Other than the Red River Rivalry against Oklahoma, it's smooth sailing until the last leg of the season.
Toughest nonconference game: vs. TCU, Sept. 8.
Tougher than it looks: at Oklahoma State, Nov. 3.
3. Texas A&M: Besides trips to Miami, Fla., and Oklahoma, the Aggies face both North Division favorites on the road, Nebraska and Missouri. After beating Texas in Austin last year, A&M gets the Longhorns in College Station for the season finale.
Toughest nonconference game: at Miami, Fla., Sept. 1.
Tougher than it looks: at Missouri, Nov. 10.
1. Nebraska: There's no way the Cornhuskers knew they were scheduling back-to-back games against defending power conference champions when they lined up Wake Forest one week and Southern California the next. The Demon Deacons were the surprise team in America last year, and now the ACC champs play host to Nebraska a week before the Huskers invite USC into Lincoln. Tack on games against underrated Nevada and Texas A&M, plus road trips to Missouri and Texas, and you've got the most difficult schedule in the league.
Toughest nonconference game: vs. USC, Sept. 15.
Tougher than it looks: vs. Oklahoma State, Oct. 13.