While standing high in the stands of Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park, celebrating the completion of Texas Tech’s renovation project for baseball, Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt revealed some good news for Red Raider football fans.
Expect the 2012 schedule for the Red Raiders and the rest of the Big 12 Conference to be released sometime today.
Months of wrangling and adjusting to losing Texas A&M and Missouri, while gaining West Virginia and TCU, have kept the schedule from being finalized, and even as late as Thursday some final adjustments were being made. But Hocutt said it will be a home schedule that Texas Tech fans should truly enjoy.
“It’s time for the schedule to come out,” Hocutt said Thursday, “but at the same time, even up until 7:30 (Wednesday) night we were having conversations about various adjustments within the schedule. It is going to come out (today) and I’m pleased with the end result. I think it will be one of the best home schedules we’ve possibly had in program history, or at least in quite some time. Unfortunately, given the circumstances we’ve faced, it’s a lot later than anyone wanted. But it will come out (today) and I think we’ll be pleased with the end results.”
Among Tech’s expected home opponents will be both Texas and Oklahoma after the Red Raiders played both teams on the road a year ago.
The key question for the schedule is how to implement both TCU and West Virginia.
Hocutt said that has caused a big part of the delay because one team in the Big 12 already had the Horned Frogs scheduled for a non-conference game, and another question has been would both teams simply slide in and take over the conference schedule of the two teams vacating the conference.
Plus, Hocutt said, it also altered various teams’ bye weeks, which meant more adjustments. Then there’s the television aspect that has to be satisfied.
“We have a commitment to our television partners to provide a certain amount of game inventory over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as well as the championship game weekend,” Hocutt said. “We have to continue to make Big 12 football active and talked about during championship weekend.
“This year’s also a little different as well because we’ve got an additional week from the Labor Day weekend to the first weekend in December. There’s been a lot of moving parts to it, and we’ve been doing everything we can to try and influence the most attractive schedule, the most competitively advantageous schedule for our program that we could.”
Hocutt said he expected talks to continue with a couple of programs in the conference through Thursday on some minor adjustments and that the schedule would be finalized in time for release today.
There had been questions in recent weeks about West Virginia’s ability to leave the Big East and play in the Big 12 in 2012 given the Big East’s requirements for teams wishing to exit the conference. But reports in recent days appear to have the Mountaineers close to a negotiated buyout to leave the conference.
Interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas told the Daily Oklahoman on Wednesday the schedule has been sent to the conference’s television partners and athletic directors have a tentative schedule in hand.
To comment on this story:
email@example.com • 766-2166
firstname.lastname@example.org • 766-8700