2011 College Football: Texas-Oklahoma and the Top 10 Big 12 Conference Games

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IJanuary 19, 2011

2011 College Football: Texas-Oklahoma And The Top 10 Big 12 Conference Games

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    DALLAS - OCTOBER 02:  Wide receiver James Kirkendoll #11 of the Texas Longhorns runs past Jonathan Nelson #3 of the Oklahoma Sooners in the first quarter at the Cotton Bowl on October 2, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The Big 12 (shouldn't it be the Big Ten?) will not have Nebraska or Colorado for the upcoming football season.

    But, the conference still has Texas and Oklahoma, so they'll get national respect.

    They also have some other good programs in Oklahoma State, Missouri and Texas A&M.

    Baylor, Kansas State and Texas Tech are in the third tier of teams, while Kansas and Iowa State probably won't be a factor in the conference.

    There will still be the Red River Rivalry, there will still be Bedlam and there will still be a Border War.

    In addition to those three major rivalries, there will be plenty of great games in the Big 12 this upcoming season.

    Here are the top 10 Big 12 conference games for the 2011 college football season.

10. Baylor at Kansas State: October 1st

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    WACO, TX - OCTOBER 04:  Quarterback Robert Griffin #10 of the Baylor Bears drops back to pass against the Oklahoma Sooners at Floyd Casey Stadium on October 4, 2008 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Baylor has Robert Griffin III, one of the best quarterbacks in the conference.

    But, they always seem to underachieve.

    This year, their game against Kansas State could be a game both teams need to get on the right track to becoming bowl-eligible. It will also send one of the two teams to a 1-0 start in the Big 12, boosting their confidence.

    The Wildcats have home field advantage, but the Bears might have more talent.

9. Oklahoma State at Texas A&M: September 24th

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    BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 07:  Running back Christine Michael #33 of the Texas A&M Aggies rushes against the Colorado Buffaloes during NCAA college football action at Folsom Field on November 7, 2009 in Boulder, Colorado. Colorado defeated Texas A&M 35-34.
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Biletnikoff Award winner WR Justin Blackmon and QB Brandon Weeden return to lead Oklahoma State and its dynamic offense to another double-digit win season.

    Meanwhile, the Aggies will be getting their biggest offensive weapon, running back Christine Michael, back from a broken leg.

    This game will be both teams' first conference games, and it could go a long way towards deciding which team will challenge Oklahoma and Texas for first place and who will fade towards the middle of the pack.

8. Texas at Missouri: November 12th

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    COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 13:  Quarterback James Franklin #1 of the Missouri Tigers carries the ball during the game against the Kansas State Wildcats on November 13, 2010 at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    This game will feature two teams who will be struggling to return to dominance.

    Missouri's roster has been devastated by players declaring for the NFL Draft, most notably star QB Blaine Gabbert.

    Meanwhile, Texas is coming off one of their worst seasons in recent memory, finishing 5-7 and failing to qualify for a bowl game.

    They'll be better this year, but how much better?

    And, how far will the Tigers fall after a 10 win season?

7. Texas at Baylor: October 22nd

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    AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 25:  University of Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert #7 calls a play during the first half against Texas A&M at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on November 25, 2010 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
    Darren Carroll/Getty Images

    Texas will be out for revenge after losing to Baylor 30-22 last season. With another year of starter experience for Garrett Gilbert, the Longhorns should be ready to return to prominence in the Big 12.

    But, Baylor is one team that is talented enough to stop Texas. They have dual-threat QB Robert Griffin III leading the way.

6. Texas A&M at Oklahoma: November 5th

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Ryan Broyles #85 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs after a catch against the Connecticut Huskies during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Pet
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Sooners have Ryan Broyles and Landry Jones returning to lead their passing game.

    The Aggies will get QB Ryan Tannehill back.

    Therefore, this game could go a long way towards deciding who will win the Big 12 South. Don't sleep on the Aggies. This is the year they could make some noise.

5. Missouri Vs. Kansas (at Arrowhead Stadium): November 26th

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    COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 13:  Michael Egnew #82  of the Missouri Tigers congratulates T.J.Moe #28 with a chest bump after Moe scored a touchdown during the game against the Kansas State Wildcats on November 13, 2010 at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium in Colu
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Mizzou cake-walked to a victory over Kansas this season. But in 2011, the Tigers will be worse and the Jayhawks should be slightly better.

    Missouri will still be favored, but this game won't be as lopsided as it was in 2010.

    Plus, the Border War always brings out the best of both teams.

4. Missouri at Oklahoma: September 24th

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    COLUMBIA, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 23: Missouri Tigers fans swarm the field after upsetting the Oklahoma Sooners at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Columbia, Missouri.  The Tigers beat the Sooners 36-27.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Ima
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Missouri pulled a stunning upset over No. 1 Oklahoma in 2010.

    But this year, the game will be in Oklahoma and Mizzou will be without Blaine Gabbert and Aldon Smith. They've also lost Kevin Rutland and Carl Gettis, their good cornerback tandem, to graduation.

    It should still be a fun game to watch, but Oklahoma will be heavily favored.

3. Texas at Texas A&M: November 24th

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    ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Texas A&M Aggies looks to throw a pass against the Louisiana State University Tigers during the AT&T Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on January 7, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Chris
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Oklahoma should win the Big 12 in 2011, but this game has the potential to decide second place.

    At the very least, this game will probably decide who will go to the Cotton Bowl.

    Plus, it's the battle for the Lone Star state, so that makes it interesting.

2. Oklahoma at Oklahoma State: November 26th

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners looks to throw the ball against the Connecticut Huskies during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Ronald M
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Bedlam might decide whether or not Oklahoma goes to the National Championship game this year.

    So, the fact that the game is at Oklahoma State might make the game more difficult for the Sooners.

    One plus for the Cowboys is that they will have Justin Blackmon returning. He's one of the very few receivers who is better than Ryan Broyles. This game might also decide who will win the Biletnikoff Trophy.

1. Texas Vs. Oklahoma (at The Cotton Bowl): October 8th

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    DALLAS - OCTOBER 02:  Quarterback Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners fumbles the ball against D.J. Grant #18 of the Texas Longhorns in the fourth quarter at the Cotton Bowl on October 2, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    This game in October will be an early test for both teams. The winner will be well on their way to winning the Big 12 and the loser will be scrambling to pick up the pieces of their season.

    Oklahoma needs to win this game to keep their championship hopes alive. It will be interesting to see how Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops handles the pressure of this matchup.

    But, once again, the Red River Rivalry will be a big game for both teams involved.