IRVING, Texas — The Big 12 released its long-anticipated 14-team football schedule, which includes its four new members for 2023 along with Oklahoma and Texas before their eventual departures to the Southeastern Conference.
Houston will be the first of the new teams to play a conference game, in Week 3 when the Cougars host former Southwest Conference rival and national champion runner-up TCU in the only league game Sept. 16. The other newcomers play their Big 12 openers the following week, when BYU is at Kansas, Central Florida goes to defending champion Kansas State, and Cincinnati hosts Oklahoma.
After playing a round-robin schedule as a 10-team league since 2011, the Big 12 will still have a nine-game conference schedule without divisions. But there will now be four league teams that each school will not play during the regular season. The two finishers in the conference standings will play in the Big 12 title game.
First-year Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark had said before the Big 12 championship game on Dec. 3 that he expected the schedule to be released in mid-December. It finally came out on the final day of January.
“I would like to thank our fans for their patience awaiting this historic schedule,” Yormark said. “Given its importance, the complexities of weaving in four new schools, adding a third time zone and aligning with key stakeholders we were very deliberate with its development.”
Oklahoma and Texas will move to the SEC no later than the 2025 season, though it is still uncertain if that could happen by 2024. The Sooners and Longhorns play their annual Red River rivalry game Oct. 7 at the State Fair of Texas. Each has four conference home games and four road games outside of that.
BYU is the only of the four new teams that will play both Texas and Oklahoma this season, going to Austin on Oct. 28 and hosting the Sooners on Nov. 18. The Cougars also play only one of their fellow newcomers, hosting Cincinnati for a Friday night game on Sept. 29.
Cincinnati is the only of the new quartet that will play each of the other three teams. The Bearcats host UCF and then go to Houston on the first two Saturdays in November.
Texas, which goes to Alabama on Sept. 9, plays at Houston on Oct. 21 in the first meeting between the former SWC rivals since 2002. The Longhorns host BYU the week after that. They don’t play UCF, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State or West Virginia in conference play.
In addition to its trip to Cincinnati in Week 4, Oklahoma plays at BYU on Nov. 18. The Big 12 teams the Sooners don’t play are Baylor, Houston, Kansas State, and Texas Tech.