Football fans have been starving for the 2023 Big 12 football schedule.
The league revealed next season’s slate on Tuesday, and Oklahoma has some decidedly new flavors on the slate.
As the Big 12 Conference welcomes four new members this fall, the Sooners will play three of the four — Central Florida at home, and road games at BYU and at Cincinnati.
Those three newcomers replace Baylor, Kansas State and Texas Tech in the old 10-team, round-robin schedule rotation.
OU also has league home games set with West Virginia, Iowa State and TCU — the latter on Friday after Thanksgiving. That was inadvertently revealed on Monday night when TCU accidentally leaked its upcoming schedule on its official website and then quickly took it down.
The Sooners’ other road games are at Kansas and at Oklahoma State, and the annual rivalry clash with Texas in Dallas is set for Oct. 7.
OU opens the nonconference slate with two home matchups against Arkansas State on Sept. 2 and SMU on Sept. 9.
The Sooners then hit the road to finish up out-of-league action by making the short trip to Tulsa on Sept. 16.
Oklahoma then begins Big 12 play on the road, making the venture to conference newcomer Cincinnati on Sept. 23.
The league home opener follows against Iowa State on Sept. 30 before heading to Dallas for the Red River Showdown the following weekend.
The Sooners’ bye week falls right in the middle of the season after having played six games, with Dillon Gabriel and Jeff Lebby’s former squad UCF then coming to Norman on Oct. 21.
OU will then play back-to-back road games at Kansas and at Oklahoma State on Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, with the latter being potentially the final installment of the Bedlam rivalry.
West Virginia then comes to Norman on Nov. 11 before the Sooners head west to Provo, UT, to battle BYU in their final true road contest of the year on Nov. 18.
The Sooners then close out the season hosting TCU in Norman on Black Friday, Nov. 24.
Oklahoma is among six current Big 12 members who plays three newcomers. Cincinnati also plays three, while Houston and UCF play two and BYU plays only one.
There’s another quirk within this year’s schedule: Oklahoma has always relied on Texas as a recruiting stronghold and players relish playing back in their home state, but OU has only one game scheduled in the Lone Star State this season — in Dallas against Texas.
The last time OU didn’t play at least two games in Texas was 1995, the year before the Big 12 formed. (In 2012, the first year of the 10-team Big 12, the Sooners played five games in Texas.)