Previously, the Thanksgiving night meeting of in-state rivals was the only Thursday night game on the Big 12 schedule. The league's media rights deal requires four Thursday night games to be shown annually on the ESPN or Fox platform of networks.
In addition to the Thanksgiving showdown in Austin, the league announced three more Big 12 matchups to be held on Thursday night.
TCU at Texas Tech (Sept. 12)
Texas at Iowa State (Oct. 3)
Kansas State's season opener against North Dakota State was also announced for Friday, Aug. 30. The Big 12 deal normally calls for a Sunday game on Labor Day weekend, but a league spokesperson explained to the The Dallas Morning News that Fox opted to move the game to Friday night instead.
Each of the Thursday night games offers an extra bit of intrigue for Big 12 fans. The Red Raiders' Sept. 12 date against TCU will open the Big 12 schedule for both teams, while Oklahoma's trip to Baylor will be one of the last games played in Floyd Casey Stadium. The school will tear down the old stadium and build a new Baylor Stadium connected to campus for the start of the 2014 season.
Looking ahead to 2013, the Big 12 is the league with arguably the most unanswered questions. Kliff Kingsbury has reignited the buzz around Texas Tech while teams like TCU and Baylor should be considered as contenders alongside traditional powers Oklahoma and Texas. Will Mack Brown's efforts to turnaround the Longhorns finally come to fruition in 2013? Can Kansas State repeat their success without Collin Klein?
Thankfully, we don't have to answer these questions now. But looking ahead to the conference schedule does remind us that it could be another wild season in the Big 12.
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