FINALLY! The Big 12 reveals its 2023 football schedule – The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The much-anticipated release of the 2023 Big 12 football schedule came in with a blanket of snow and ice in various portions of the conference landscape, ranging from Morgantown to Fort Worth, Texas.
And like the snow in the Lone Star State, West Virginia’s 2023 schedule is intriguing, to say the least.
The Mountaineers will have three straight home games in September, will then play three of their next four games on the road, and finish up with arguably their toughest stretch of games: at Oklahoma, home versus Cincinnati, at Baylor. To its benefit, WVU will leave the Eastern time zone just four times this season, and never in consecutive weeks.
Even more intriguing are the rivalry matchups that have returned to the slate, and a rivalry that could be born this fall.
In terms of renewed rivalries, two of those dates were already known.
WVU fans knew Neal Brown’s crew was slated to start the year in State College against Penn State on Sept. 2. It marks the first meeting on the gridiron between the two teams since 1992. West Virginia will aim to defeat the Nittany Lions for the first time since WVU’s historic 1988 season.
Two weeks later, the Backyard Brawl returns to Morgantown for the first time since 2011, as the Mountaineers look to avenge last year’s season-opening loss in the historic rivalry game. The Sept. 16 battle will be the 106th meeting between the two heated rivals. WVU has won 15 of the last 23 meetings dating back to 1990.
READ ALSO: Border Wars: West Virginia vs. Pennsylvania-based programs
Speaking of old Big East foes, Cincinnati will visit Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 18. The Mountaineers own a 16-3-1 record all-time against the Bearcats. Cincinnati will be under new leadership this season, as former head coach Luke Fickell made the move to Wisconsin earlier this offseason after bringing the Cincinnati program to new heights over the past few years. West Virginia is 6-3 against the Bearcats since the turn of the century.
Those are the rivalries Mountaineer fans are familiar with. But, what about the game that has rivalry potential written all over it?
Date: Thursday, Oct. 12. Location: Houston, Texas. The Matchup: West Virginia versus Houston.
Ripe for TV drama, West Virginia’s only Thursday night game of the season will be played against former head coach Dana Holgorsen and the Houston Cougars. Holgorsen was in charge of the Mountaineer football program from 2011 through 2018, coaching to a 61-41 record. He is 27-20 at Houston, which jumps to a Power 5 conference in the Big 12 this fall. WVU heads to Houston for a mid-week game coming off of its bye.
West Virginia will face all four new teams to the league this fall.