At long last, the 2023 Big 12 football schedule is set.
A Nov. 4 Bedlam meeting in Stillwater, Oklahoma’s Oct. 21 matchup with UCF and Oklahoma State’s meetings with each of the four new arrivals stand among the headliners of the fall’s conference slate released by the league Tuesday afternoon.
The 2023 season will mark the inception of a new-look Big 12 with Cincinnati, Houston and UCF joining from the American Athletic Conference on July 1 along with previous football independent BYU, part of the league expansion sealed on Sept. 10, 2021. With the conference expanding from 10 members to 14, the league’s programs will not all face each other in 2023.
The fall could also represent a final Big 12 football season for OU and Texas. The pair of SEC-bound schools are officially slated to remain with the league until July 1, 2025, but speculation around an earlier exit date continues to swirl.
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While the timing on that future conference movement is murky, the Big 12 football picture in 2023 is now clear following Tuesday’s long-awaited schedule release, which arrived two full months later than the 2022 slate that was announced by the league in December 2021.
After nonconference home dates with Arkansas State (Sept. 2) and SMU (Sept. 9) and a Sept. 16 trip to Tulsa, the Sooners will kick off conference play in 2023 with a trip to Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium on Sept. 23. OU last met the Bearcats in 2010 and holds a 2-0 record all-time against Cincinnati.
The first conference home game of Brent Venables’ second season will come with a visit from Iowa State on Sept. 30. OU meets Texas at the Cotton Bowl on Oct 7.
The Sooners return from their Oct. 14 bye week to a juicy matchup with UCF on Oct. 21 that will pit quarterback Dillon Gabriel and offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby against their former team in Norman. Trips to Kansas (Oct. 28) and OSU (Nov. 4) follow before OU hosts West Virginia on Nov. 11.
The Sooners make their first-ever trip to BYU’s LaVell Edwards Stadium on Nov. 18 before closing the regular season with a Black Friday visit from TCU on Nov. 24.
Mike Gundy’s 19th trip through the Big 12 in charge of the Cowboys begins at home against Iowa State following a nonconference slate with home dates against Central Arkansas (Sept. 2) and South Alabama (Sept. 16) on either side of OSU’s Sept. 9 visit to Arizona State.
The Cowboys will face all four of the Big 12’s newest additions in 2023, including three straight games to close the regular season against UCF (Nov. 11 in Orlando, Fla.), Houston (Nov. 18 in Houston) and BYU (Nov. 25). OSU hosts Cincinnati for homecoming on Oct. 28.
Houston topped OSU 45-35 when the schools last played on Sept. 12, 2009, in Stillwater and owns a 10-9-1 all-time record against the Cowboys. OSU last met BYU in 1976 and is 2-0 all-time against the Cougars. The Cowboys are 2-1 all-time against Cincinnati with matchups in 1958, ‘59 and ‘83.
Gundy and Co. follow a Sept. 30 bye week with back-to-back visitors from the Sunflower State. Kansas State comes to Stillwater on Friday Oct. 6 before Kansas on Oct. 14. The Cowboys travel to West Virginia on Oct. 21.
The Nov. 4 Bedlam meeting at Boone Pickens Stadium will likely mark the last in Stillwater, at least for the foreseeable future. As things stand, the Bedlam schools are not committed to continuing the annual rivalry game when the Sooners jump to the SEC. OU holds a record of 91-19-7 in 117 previous Bedlam meetings.
With the Big 12 scrapping its round-robin format, the Sooners will not face Kansas State, Texas Tech, Houston and Baylor in 2023. The conference does omitted from OSU’s schedule are TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor.
The Big 12 Championship game is scheduled for Dec. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas