We're continuing our series today looking at the "most important" game of the year for each team in the Big 12.
I have my own opinions on that for every team, but I'll ask the fans what they think first before I weigh in on what game I'd pick and why.
You can define "important" in a number of ways, which is why this exercise should be intriguing.
Let's have a closer look at the next team up on our list: Oklahoma State.
Mississippi State in Houston, Aug. 31: This one is a little reminiscent of Oklahoma State's opener against Georgia back in 2009, but the preseason hype in Stillwater is even louder this season. The Pokes may be the Big 12 favorite, and they can't really afford a season-opening loss against a middle of the road SEC team. OSU will be favored in the neutral-site game and playing for a little Big 12 bragging rights, too.
TCU, Oct. 19: TCU is my Big 12 No. 2 to start the season, but they could also be the first game against top 25 competition OSU will play all season. Call this something of a validation game. The Frogs look the part of a Big 12 contender, and OSU would gain the inside track on a title with the early-season win.
Oklahoma, Dec. 7: The season finale against the Sooners is guaranteed to be fun, but it very well may decide the Big 12 title. Oklahoma eliminated Oklahoma State from the race on Thanksgiving Saturday last year, but the Pokes won the Big 12 title at the Sooners expense in 2011. The Sooners used late dramatics to win the Big 12 South over OSU in 2010 in the season finale. And of course, there's the matter of state bragging rights. OU has owned this rivalry, but the last few years, Bedlam's been more relevant and competitive than the Red River Rivalry.
at Texas, Nov. 16: Oklahoma State won consecutive games in Austin in 2010 and 2011, but the Pokes were favored in both games and Texas wasn't the Texas that tormented OSU earlier in the Big 12 history, keeping the Pokes from turning the corner as a Big 12 contender. This Longhorns team should be different, and the atmosphere in Austin should be electric. Getting a win in November in Austin is going to be a tall, tall task for OSU, who lost to the Longhorns in the final minute last season.
Baylor, Nov. 23: The Bears are feeling uppity this offseason, and rightfully so. I'm guessing they may still have legitimate Big 12 title hopes this late in the season in a league that should be pretty wide open. Don't be surprised if a Cowboys win would eliminate the Bears from the race, but any time you start playing big games against good teams in November, it gets tough. This game should be huge for OSU.