We’ll learn lot about the Cowboys, and the Big 12’s hierarchy, by the first weekend of inter-conference play.
Oklahoma State and Baylor, the two teams that squared off in last year’s Big 12 Championship, will get a Week 4 rematch. Let’s take a look at the second quarter of the Cowboys’ 2022 schedule, starting with that trip to Waco.
But before we get into Weeks 4-6, I want to link Part 1 of our 2022 schedule preview.
Week 4: Baylor | Oct. 1 | Waco, Texas
Series history: 21-18
OSU and Baylor split the schools’ two meetings last season but the Bears took the game that mattered, boxing the Cowboys out of the end zone and any chance they had for a playoff berth. One yard. Sigh. I’ll spare you the pain by withholding video. We all remember.
BU in 2021: Dave Aranda coached Baylor tp a program record winning 12 games in his second year after going just 2-7 in his first season at the helm. If he continues to one-up Matt Rhule, he too might land an NFL job after Year 3. The Bears took home the hardware from Arlington and then some more from New Orleans with a 21-7 Sugar Bowl win over Ole Miss.
BU in 2022: The Bears return Gerry Bohanon who was more than solid as a dual-threat quarterback before missing the end of the regular season. They also return sophomore passer Blake Shapen who went 3-0 behind center including that title game win over OSU. Bohanon was the guy in the bowl game so you’d assume he’ll be the guy this fall, but the Bears have two proven options QB.
Thought on BU: Both teams are preseason Big 12 contenders and Baylor is one of the favorites to repeat as conference champs. We’ll know a lot about how the league is likely shape up late on October 1, but it’s a little too early for me to predict this one.
Week 5: Texas Tec | Oct. 8 | Stillwater, Okla.
Series history: 22-23-3
The Cowboys and Red Raiders have split the last four meetings with the Pokes winning the last two. Before that, OSU had won nine-straight over Tech. The Cowboys blanked Tech 23-zip in Lubbock last November.
Tech in 2021: The Red Raiders made their first bowl game in four years, taking home a Liberty Bowl win over Mississippi State in the Mike Leach Invitational. But they were so-so, losing to Big 12 teams the should lose to and beating up on the league’s bottom-feeders. The season ended with a 7-6 finish for the Red Raiders and a coaching change.
Tech in 2022: It’s new era in Tortilla Town. Tech hired Baylor’s top assistant Joey McGuire this offseason, and there’s reason for optimism. McGuire served as associate head coach under both Matt Rhule and Aranda and coached positions on both sides of the ball at Baylor — most recently on defense which has been Tech’s demise historically. He also served briefly as the Bears’ offseason interim head coach when Rhule left for the NFL.
McGuire also boasts strong local recruiting ties from before his time recruiting at Baylor. He spent two decades among Texas high school staffs including 13 years (winning four state titles) as the head coach of Cedar Hill High School.
Thought on Tech: As optimistic as Red Raiders fans may (and probably should) be over their new head man, it’s Year 1. I think the Cowboys return too much to fall to a less-talented Tech team.
Week 6: TCU | Oct. 15 | Fort Worth, Texas
Series history: 17-13-2
The Cowboys thumped the Frogs 63-17 at BPS last year, but before that TCU had won three of four over OSU.
TCU in 2021: Longtime head coach Gary Patterson and TCU parted ways after a 3-5 start and the Horned Frogs missed the postseason for the third consecutive season. Other than a shocking upset over Baylor under interim Jerry Kill, the Frogs defeated only Kansas and Tech in conference play and lost to SMU by a touchdown.
TCU in 2022: That Week 3 loss must have made an impression on TCU athletic Jeremiah Donati because he hired Sonny Dykes away from SMU this offseason. The veteran coach also spent a year on staff in Fort Worth as an analyst in 2017. Dykes has some experience turning programs around but there’s a lot of work to be done before the Frogs can get back into the hunt for the Big 12.
Thought on TCU: This should provide an opportunity for a road win for the Cowboys. Regardless of how the Baylor game goes, these next two weeks should allow for the Pokes to build some momentum heading into November.
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