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Big 12 football schedule released: The Texas Longhorns bring TCU and West Virginia to Austin

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The Big 12 newbies, the TCU Horned Frogs and the West Virginia Mountaineers, will travel to Austin this fall and add strength to Texas' revamped home football schedule, as the Big 12 conference schedule shows today.

TCU and West Virginia enter the Big 12 for the first time this coming season, taking the place of Texas A&M and Missouri, teams that figure they can get a better deal (and lose a lot more games) in the Southeast conference (SEC). For Longhorn season ticket holders, without A&M and Missouri, there wasn't a lot to be excited about. The Horned Frogs and Mountaineers bring back one old rivalry and start another. 

Texas' return to Thanksgiving football turns out to be short-lived. TCU takes the coveted weekend slot from A&M, but the game will be on Saturday rather than Thanksgiving Day.

Mack Brown and the Longhorns have a lot riding on this season. The wins against A&M last Thanksgiving and the solid beat down of Cal in the Holiday Bowl suggest a team on the rise. The strong recruiting year, bringing in the third ranked class nationally only leads to higher expectations.

Here's the 2012 Texas Longhorn football schedule followed by some short, meaningless early season analysis to argue about (and so fans of the rest of the Big 12 can continue complaining about CultureMap's Big 12 coverage):

(Home games in ALL CAPS)

SEPT. 1: WYOMING
SEPT. 8: NEW MEXICO
Sept. 15: at Mississippi
Sept. 29: at Oklahoma State
OCT. 6: WEST VIRGINIA
Oct. 13: vs. Oklahoma* (Dallas)
OCT. 20: BAYLOR
Oct. 27: at Kansas
Nov. 3: at Texas Tech
NOV. 10: IOWA STATE
NOV. 24: TCU

Dec. 1: at Kansas State

And here's a little analysis to keep you thinking about football for a day or two longer:

Sept. 1: WYOMING and Sept. 8: NEW MEXICO

This is pretty much the same game twice. Neither team poses much of a threat. Even though Wyoming headed to the New Mexico bowl last year, they lost to Temple (ugh). 

New Mexico won only one football game last year, but they have a new coach, Bob Davie. Davie coached at Texas A&M in the early 1990s and at Notre Dame. Now he tries to turn around a terrible football program. They play Texas State first, maybe they can beat that Texas (don't count on it).

Sept. 15: at Mississippi

An away game in a dangerous place against a team with another new coach, Hugh Freeze (yeah, me neither). Apparently he coached last year at Arkansas State which finished 10-2 but was crushed by Northern Illinois in the GoDaddy.com Bowl — whoop. Ole Miss was bad last season but this game will be fun to watch. Mississippi throws one hell of a great tailgate party so you might consider making a road trip. Then again, it's still Mississippi, so never mind.

Sept. 29: at Oklahoma State

Ouch. The pain — I mean true test — comes early as the Horns stay on the road against the Cowboys. Okie State finished last season ranked #3 in the nation after beating Stanford in the BCS Fiesta Bowl. It was one of the best bowl games in history, and while Oklahoma State loses its elderly quarterback and a slew of talented players, the team will still be good, very good.

Oct. 6: WEST VIRGINIA

West Virginia is just fun and they were very good last year. Their best game was probably their last in the BCS Orange Bowl. The Mountaineers slaughtered Clemson 70 - 33 in a game that wasn't even as close as the score. West Virginia set a bowl scoring record in that game. This will be a home test for Texas and should be a terrific game to look forward to.

Oct. 13: vs. Oklahoma (Dallas)

Back to Dallas. 'Nuff said.

Oct. 20: BAYLOR

Let's see, no RG3, hmmm, hope you enjoyed it while you could Bear fans.

Oct. 27: at Kansas

Another new coach, Charlie Weiss, who is also a former Notre Dame head coach (how is that for coincidence?), tries to make Kansas relevant again. Maybe he will, but it won't be in 2012.

Nov. 3: at Texas Tech

This could be interesting. First, Tech always plays Texas well in Lubbock; second, this is now Coach Tommy Tuberville's third year. This team will be much better.

Nov. 10: IOWA STATE

Iowa State shocked the Horns two years ago here in Austin, leading to the swoon they find themselves in today. Texas will have payback on its mind. The Cyclones won a trip to New York for the Pinstripe Bowl last season where they got killed by Rutgers.

Nov. 24: TCU

Can't wait. Texas and TCU have a long rich history equal to that of any past rival. The two teams have played each other 82 times (the first in 1897), and Texas leads the series 61-20-1. They played every year in the old Southwest Conference, then intermittently as Texas ran off to the Big 12, leaving TCU behind to fend for themselves.

The last time the two teams met was 2007 in Austin. This rivalry will easily replace the A&M rivalry, and frankly TCU is a better football program right now. This is a win for the Big 12.

Dec. 1: at Kansas State

Again Texas completes its season on championship weekend while playing in a conference that doesn't have a championship game. Last year Baylor, this year K-State. What can we expect? Who knows, there will be a lot of water flowing past that bridge between now and then.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article has been corrected, this is Tommy Tuberville's third season at Texas Tech.

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