Connect with us


The Top 10 Big 12 Games of the 2024 Season

Taking a look at the 10 best games the league has to offer.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

It’ll be odd living in a world where Oklahoma State doesn’t share a conference with Oklahoma and Texas, but dang, the Big 12 looks like it will be a lot of fun this upcoming season.

In most leagues, two or three teams are the outright favorite to win the conference title. Michigan or Ohio State will likely win the Big Ten. Alabama or Georgia will likely win the SEC. Florida State or Clemson will likely win the ACC. I can think of six teams who could win the Big 12, and most years someone comes out of nowhere and throws its hat in the mix.

Tuesday, I looked at the Big 12’s best nonconference games of 2024. Now let’s take a look at what I view as the best conference games.

Before we start, you’re going to notice the same six teams featured heavily on this list because those are the teams I think (here in February) have the best shot at winning the league. I broke the contenders into two tiers (in alphabetical order):

Tier 1: Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Utah
Tier 2: Arizona, Kansas, West Virginia

With that being said, let’s get to listing.

10. West Virginia at Oklahoma State (Oct. 5)

Here in February, I’m high on what the Mountaineers could be in 2024 — perhaps too high.

I like what Garrett Greene brings the group with another year of experience under his belt, and after being picked last in the Big 12 preseason poll last year, the Mountaineers raised some eyebrows with a 9-4 season.

This game is ranked lower on the list, though, because Mike Gundy has had the Mountaineers in his back pocket for some time. OSU has won eight of the past nine against WVU with the only loss coming in that 2022 rainstorm after the Cowboys’ season was already well off the rails. Since joining the Big 12, WVU has beaten OSU just three times. And Ollie Gordon must also love playing the Mountaineers, as in two games he has ran for 418 yards and five touchdowns.

So, this will be a big game in the Big 12 landscape, but the Mountaineers would need to exercise some demons to come out on top.

9. Kansas at West Virginia (Sept. 21)

Back-to-back Mountaineer games to start off the list? Did this turn into muskets firing blog?

No. This will be WVU’s last appearance on this list, but the Mountaineers could’ve been littered throughout it because of those six contenders I mentioned at the top, WVU plays four of them — only missing out on itself (duh) and Utah. So, my honorable mentions category will also include WVU hosting Kansas State on Oct. 19 and the Mountaineers traveling to Arizona on Oct. 26.

Back to the game in question, this is one of the Jayhawks’ biggest test in the year, as KU might’ve gotten the most favorable schedule among the potential contenders I mentioned. The only other game the Jayhawks have against that group is (spoiler alert) Kansas State in a protected rivalry game.

So, if KU can go to Morgantown and win, it will likely be 4-0 on the season and its remaining schedule went a combined 40-58 last season. The Jayhawks have a legit path to Arlington, especially if it can survive the country roads.

8. Kansas State at Iowa State (Nov. 30)

Who needs Bedlam or the Red River Rivalry when you have Farmageddon?

This has somewhat quickly turned into one of the more entertaining rivalry games the league has, and I think a lot of it has to do with social media enjoying the term Farmageddon.

However it rose to prominence, it lived up to its hype last season, as the Wildcats and Cyclones tangled in a snow storm that saw the underdog Cyclones win 42-35.

Although I have questions about whether Iowa State can contend for a Big 12 title in 2023, I think the Cyclones are a team that no one wants to see on their schedule. And the fact that this rivalry is gaining steam and takes place in Ames this season, the Wildcats should be on alert.

7. Arizona at UCF (Nov. 2)

Two words: Space Game.

That’s enough to send OSU fans into flashbacks of a monsoon and Cowboys slipping off fancily dressed Knights prancing through Florida.

UCF is unbeaten in its special space-themed games. That was a cute stat when the Knights were a Group of Five team, but then they joined the Big 12 and beat OSU — a team that played for the Big 12 title — 45-3.

So if the Wildcats have aspirations about playing in Arlington their first season in the Big 12, they need not overlook their trip to Orlando.

6. Arizona at Utah (Sept. 28)

The Wildcats’ road schedule in 2024 is not easy, as this isn’t even the last road game they have on this list.

Arizona slammed Utah 42-18 in Tucson this past season, but now the Wildcats have to make a trip to Salt Lake City against a team that might be considered the favorite to win the Big 12 in 2024.

When making this list, I struggled with Arizona more than perhaps any other team because the Wildcats lost head coach Jedd Fisch to Washington — leading to four Arizona players to follow Fisch to Seattle via the portal. The Wildcats do, though, return quarterback Noah Fifita, who was the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year last season after throwing for 2,869 yards and 25 touchdowns while completing 72% of his passes. So with Arizona, it’s a matter of how quick the Wildcats can hit the ground running under Brent Brennan.

There seems to be (here in February) less variables with Utah, a team that went 8-5 last season but returns coach Kyle Wittingham for a 21st season, and the Utes get Cam Rising back for a seventh season after missing 2023 with injury.

This September matchup could determine the true contender of the Pac-12 newcomers.

5. Kansas at Kansas State (Oct. 26)

The Sunflower Showdown might be ranked a little too high considering K-State has won the past 15 meetings against its in-state rival, but it’s impossible to deny the fact that Kansas is taking steps forward under Lance Leipold.

Last season’s meeting saw K-State scrape out a 31-27 win in Lawrence.

As I mentioned earlier, the Jayhawks seem to have a favorable schedule entering 2024, but going to Morgantown in late September and to Manhattan in late October could be the season-defining games of Leipold’s fourth year.

4. Arizona at Kansas State (Sept. 13 -OR- Sept. 14)

I think this is Arizona’s most intriguing game of its first season in the Big 12.

Instead of going to Los Angeles or Seattle or Salt Lake City for a big game, Arizona will head to Manhattan, Kansas — buckle up.

With as early as this game is in the season, this is the first time we’ll see just how big of a contender Arizona will be in Year 1 of Brennan. Before K-State, Arizona plays New Mexico and Northern Arizona. After this game, Arizona has a bye before the aforementioned trip to Salt Lake City.

This is also the first true test for the other Wildcats, as K-State plays UT-Martin and Tulane (who can be good) before Arizona. K-State lost alum offensive coordinator Collin Klein to Texas A&M this offseason and replaced him with Conor Riley while adding former Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells as a co-OC. Avery Johnson is also set to take over as K-State’s QB. He raised eyebrows as a freshman last season, playing in eight games where he threw for 479 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 296 yards and seven touchdowns.

So, this battle of the Wildcats will tell a lot early in the season.

3. Oklahoma State at Kansas State (Sept. 28)

Whereas Arizona goes from K-State to bye week to Utah, K-State goes from Arizona to at BYU before hosting Oklahoma State.

This is a huge game for the Cowboys, as the last time OSU played in Bill Snyder Family Stadium it went back to Stillwater with a 48-0 L. The Cowboys’ 2024 squad will be quite a bit different than that 2022 team, but that won’t make the trip to Manhattan much easier.

This will also come seven days after OSU’s game against Utah (spoiler alert), which could perhaps be the toughest two-week stretch in the Big 12 in 2024.

2. BYU at Utah (Nov. 9)

When it started becoming more and more of a reality that the Pac-12 was falling apart, I saw Utah and BYU fans disgusted by the thought of sharing a conference — which I absolutely love.

The Holy War features two teams that weren’t in the Big 12 in 2022, but it might be the league’s best rivalry in 2024. As is the case with all good rivalries, the teams have different ideas as to what the all-time record is, but both say Utah has a somewhat sizable lead in the series. The game hasn’t taken place since 2021, where BYU beat the Utes 26-17, breaking a nine-game streak from Utah.

Given BYU entered the league first, I think the Cougars should’ve gotten the first shot at hosting the game, but it’ll be a lot of fun regardless.

1. Utah at Oklahoma State (Sept. 21)

I think the most important Big 12 game of the regular season will be the conference opener for Utah and OSU — the two teams that I think, for now, are the two favorites to win the conference.

I just think that these two have fewer variables to them. Both have longstanding coaches and return their starting quarterback. Historically, that’s not a high bar to achieve, but it is in the portal era.

These teams have met a whopping one time: 1945. If you know anything about the Aggies of ’45, you’ll know they were darn good. They beat Utah 46-6 that season in Salt Lake City.

Gundy ranks fifth in active career coaching wins with 166. Whittingham is one spot behind him with 162.

It’s sort of a shame this game happens so early in the year, but it’s the perfect tone setter for the new-look league.

Honorable Mentions: Kansas State at Colorado (Oct. 12), Kansas State at West Virginia (Oct. 19), West Virginia at Arizona (Oct. 26), TCU at Baylor (Nov. 2), Arizona State at Arizona (Nov. 30)

Most Read

Copyright © 2011- 2023 White Maple Media