I had some fun at lunch looking over the full slate of Big 12 games this fall. Below are my takes on what look like the 10 best non-conference games this fall. Conference games later today or tomorrow.
Ten Best Non-Conference Games
10. Kansas State at Louisville (September 17): I have no idea what to make of KSU this year. Freeman looks close to a breakthrough, but Jordy Nelson and James Johnson graduate from last year's 35 ppg offense. I'll be watching this one.
9. Miami at Texas A&M (September 20): Last year's debacle in Coral Gables coupled with the Frannypants Email Bla$t sealed the fate of A&M's head coach. This year, Miami travels to Carnival Station, where we'll get our first real look at what to expect from Texas A&M this fall.
8. Texas at UTEP (September 6): A 9:15 p.m. kickoff in the basin of the Frankin Mountains should be a beautiful site to behold. The game itself could be a wild one, with Miners fans treating this game as their Super Bowl. Earl Thomas, Christian Scott, and Ben Wells: get ready.
7. Florida State vs Colorado (September 27): Same deal with KSU - I'm not quite sure what to make of Colorado just yet. This is one of their two Show Me games.
6. Arkansas at Texas (September 13): Testing the freshmen safeties, Part 2. I really love hating Arkansas.
5. SMU at Texas Tech (September 13): June Jones vs Mike Leach Cage Match. In Lubbock. Awesome.
4. Illinois vs Missouri (August 30): Daniel Dufrene replaces Rashard Mendenhall, but Illinois still should be solid enough to make this one worth watching. A night game on CFB's opening weekend on a neutral field... what's not to love?
3. Virginia Tech at Nebraska (September 27): I'll let SMQ take this one.
2. West Virginia at Colorado (September 18): Thursday night fun, in which the Big 12 could make quite a statement. A win by Colorado over the consensus Big East favorite would be impressive.
1. Kansas at South Florida (September 12): Kansas didn't get an out-of-conference test until the Orange Bowl last season, but they'll have their hands full this year on a Friday night trip to Tampa, where preseason #14 South Florida is damn tough to beat. The clash marks another chance for the Big 12 North to assert itself as a powerful division.