The schedule and matchups for next season’s Big 12-SEC Basketball Challenge have been set, but that won’t be the only time the two conferences will get to go at each other in the new college sports year. Several high-level football matchups are also scheduled pitting Big 12 schools against teams from the conference universally considered to be the college football’s strongest league.
Last season, the two conferences tipped off a multi-year agreement to play 10 games a year in basketball matching up teams in the two conferences. All 10 Big 12 teams will participate every year, but because the structure of the SEC includes 14 schools, teams in that conference will be scheduled for the challenge series on a rotating basis, with four teams excluded every year.
The 10 games in the Big 12-SEC Challenge for the 2-014-15 basketball season include:
Dec. 3 – Auburn at Texas Tech
Dec. 4 – Arkansas at Iowa State
Dec. 4 – Baylor at Vanderbilt
Dec. 4 – LSU at West Virginia
Dec. 4 – TCU at Mississippi
Dec. 5 – Florida at Kansas
Dec. 5 – Missouri at Oklahoma
Dec. 5 – Texas at Kentucky
Dec. 6 – Kansas State at Tennessee
Dec. 6 – Oklahoma State at South Carolina
Alabama, Georgia Mississippi State and Texas A&M will sit out the Challenge in 2014.
Looking ahead at the schedule there are several games that can be considered marquee matchups, given the results of the past season. The headliner has to be Florida at Kansas. Both teams are highly likely to be ranked in the top 10 nationally by the time they meet in earky December.
Other highly intriguing matchups on the schedule are Texas at Kentucky (Baylor beat the Wildcats in Lexington last season), Kansas State at Tennessee and Missouri at Oklahoma, which will pit two former longtime Big 12 foes.
Not to be overshadowed, however, there are several key games pairing teams from the two leagues during the nonconference portion of the 2014 college football schedule.
Tennessee will be at Oklahoma on Saturday night, Sept. 23 for a nationally televised broadcast. The Sooners defeated two-time defending champion Alabama in the 2014 BCS Sugar Bowl and is already ranked in the preseason top five in most college football preview publications.
Kansas State will host defending SEC football champion Auburn, runner-up to Florida State in last season’s national championship game, on Thursday night, Sept. 18, again in a nationally televised broadcast.
Texas Tech will host Arkansas on Sept. 13, which has the makings of an offensive shootout, given the recent history of these two teams
West Virginia rounds out the Big 12-SEC nonconference matchups in football nezt season. The Mountaineers will have the most difficult assignment of the three inter-conference gridiron contests. They will go up against mighty Alabama, which you can anticipate will come into this season-opening contest wanting to do on to the Big 12’s West Virginia what Oklahoma of the Big 12 did to the Crimson Tide last January.
The West Virginia-Alabama game is part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Aug. 30 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Two of last season’s BCS bowl package involved teams from the Big 12 and SEC. Oklahoma upset No. 3-ranked Alabama by a surprising score of 45-21 in the Sugar Bowl, but Oklahoma State dropped a thrilling 41-31 shootout to Missouri in the Cotton Bowl.
That sets the stage for four more big challenges on the gridiron this fall between teams from the two powerhouse football conferences.