The 12 major programs ranked by schedule strength according to Pro Football Focus

The 2022 college football season is so close we can almost taste it. The Oklahoma Sooners held their first practice of fall camp on Friday, which means the home opener against UTEP will be here before we know it.

Brent Venables and the Oklahoma Sooners are looking to open the season strong in a year where expectations remain high after missing the Big 12 championship game in 2021.

The Big 12 looks strong this season. While Oklahoma will be among the league favorites, defending champion Baylor will once again be good on defense, and if they can continue their running game, they will be tough to beat in 2022. The State of L Oklahoma has the most experienced quarterback in Spencer Sanders and, despite losses on defense, should be one of the teams in contention.

Quinn Ewers, one of the less experienced quarterbacks in the Big 12, leaves the Longhorns as wildcard. They should be good offensively again, but that wasn’t necessarily the problem last year. It was the defense.

Add in teams like Kansas State and West Virginia, which could be dark horse contenders, and there are six strong teams that could be in contention through November.

Much of how the 2022 season unfolds could simply come down to programming. The Oklahoma Sooners will face Baylor, Oklahoma State and Kansas State at home. They have the game at a neutral site against Texas and have road games against Nebraska, West Virginia and Iowa State that could prove difficult.

As we prepare for the 2022 season, Pro Football Focus have released their Season Preview (Premium), and that’s how they’ve ranked the Big 12 based on schedule strength.

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Texas Longhorns

October 2, 2021; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns wide receiver Xavier Worthy (8) goes for a catch as TCU Horned Frogs safety Nook Bradford (28) defends during the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj – USA TODAY Sports

Globally: 12

Non-conference schedule: Louisiana-Monroe, Alabama, UTSA

West Virginia Mountaineers

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Globally: 21

Non-conference schedule: at Pittsburgh, Towson, at Virginia Tech

Kansas Jayhawks

October 16, 2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Jason Bean (17) passes running back Devin Neal (4) against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the first half at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Denny Medley – USA TODAY Sports

Globally: 23

Non-conference schedule: Tennessee Tech, Houston, Duke

Texas Tech Red Raiders

December 28, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Donovan Smith (7) reacts after a second-half touchdown against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Liberty Bowl Stadium. Peter Thomas – USA TODAY Sports

Globally: 25

Non-conference schedule: Murray State, Houston, at NC State

Kansas State Wildcats

January 4, 2022; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back Deuce Vaughn (22) runs with the ball during the fourth quarter against the LSU Tigers in the 2022 Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Globally: 35

Non-conference schedule: South Dakota, Missouri, Tulane

TCU Horned Frogs

November 6, 2021; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Quentin Johnston (1) runs with the ball past Baylor Bears cornerback Kalon Barnes (12) during the second half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj – USA TODAY Sports

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Globally: 37

Non-conference schedule: in Colorado, State of Tarleton, at SMU

Oklahoma State Cowboys

November 27, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) throws a pass against the Oklahoma Sooners during the first quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Globally: 40

Non-conference schedule: Central Michigan, State of Arizona, Arkansas – Pine Bluff

Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma’s Key Lawrence (12) forces a fumble as he hits Iowa State’s Brock Purdy (15) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Cyclones of Iowa State at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla. , Saturday, November 20, 2021. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Globally: 43

Non-conference schedule: UTEP, Kent State, Nebraska

Baylor Bear

December 4, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA; Baylor Bears quarterback Blake Shapen (12) passes against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the second quarter of the Big 12 Conference Championship game at AT&T Stadium. Jerome Miron – USA TODAY Sports

Globally: 45

Non-conference schedule: Albany, at BYU, State of Texas

Iowa State Cyclones

November 21, 2020; Ames, Iowa, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Hunter Dekkers (12) reacts after rushing for a touchdown against the Kansas State Wildcats at Jack Trice Stadium. Brian Powers – USA TODAY Sports

Globally: 48

Non-conference schedule: Southeastern Missouri, to Iowa, Ohio

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The story originally appeared on Sooners Wire

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