On Thursday, the Big 12 announced the conference schedule for the Texas Longhorns, completing the 2021 slate for head coach Steve Sarkisian’s first season on the Forty Acres.
The season kicks off in Austin on Sept. 4 against a Louisiana team that opened the 2020 season with a win over Iowa State and finished 10-1 under head coach Billy Napier. The Ragin’ Cajuns will provide a tough test for Sarkisian in his debut with a program that leads the nation with 96 percent of its production returning from the 2020 team.
Then Texas travels to Fayetteville for a long-postponed matchup against former Southwest Conference rival Arkansas in Sam Pittman’s second year at the helm of the Razorbacks. It will mark the 79th meeting between the two programs and the first meeting in Fayetteville since 2004.
The non-conference schedule ends hosting a Rice program that only managed five games last year, but upset previously undefeated Marshall 20-0 in one of the season’s most remarkable outcomes.
Following the three non-conference games, conference play starts with the same three-game slate as 2020 — Texas Tech in Austin on Sept. 25, in Fort Worth against TCU the following week, then a return trip to the Metroplex for the annual grudge match against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
After hosting Oklahoma State on Oct. 16, Texas receives its second and final bye week of the season before playing five games in five weeks. Three of those four games come on the road, starting with a trip up I-35 to Baylor and a flight to Ames to face Iowa State, then a home game against Kansas, a road game against West Virginia, and then Senior Day against Kansas State following Thanksgiving.
The Big 12 Championship game is set for Dec. 4 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.