And if you were looking for a marquee matchup of some import, you will be disappointed. Whether it was because Baylor was unwilling or unable to make a palatable deal, the Bears' non-conference schedules will be nothing to boast about for the foreseeable future. There's no Savannah States out there, but there isn't a Notre Dame or even a Vanderbilt, either. (I'd enjoy a trip to Vandy for a game).
I understand why teams do it; in this era of college football just getting the W is more important for most schools than the quality of opponent schedule. For schools like Alabama and LSU that have a legitimate expectation of victory every time they take the field, the risk is probably worth it when tenths or hundredths of points matter in the final BCS standings (soon to go away, I know). Those schools are at the top; basically every team beneath them is an unequal matchup. We're still building a program and need all the wins we can get. I can also understand the benefit of getting as many home games as possible-- particularly when we open our new stadium in 2014-- and that's something money can buy from so-called "lesser" schools.
The complete non-conference schedule is below the jump.
2013 (All Big 12 opponents & dates TBA)
Aug. 31 - ULM
Sept. 7 - Buffalo
Sept. 14 - at SMU
2014 (All Big 12 opponents & dates TBA)
Aug. 30 - SMU
Sept. 6 - Northwestern State
Sept. 13 - at Buffalo
2015 (All Big 12 opponents & dates TBA)
Sept. 5 - at SMU
Sept. 12 - Lamar
Sept. 26 - Rice
2016 (All Big 12 opponents & dates TBA)
Sept. 3 - Liberty
Sept. 17 - SMU
Sept. 24 - at Rice
2017 (All Big 12 opponents & dates TBA)
Sept. 2 - at SMU
Sept. 9 - UTSA
Sept. 23 - Duke
2018 (All Big 12 opponents & dates TBA)
Sept. 8 - at UTSA (Alamo Dome)
Sept. 15 - at Duke
Sept 22 - SMU
2019 (All Big 12 opponents & dates TBA)
Aug. 31 - at SMU
Sept. 7 - Texas-San Antonio
Sept. 14 - at Rice
These schedules became final today with the addition of Liberty to the 2016 schedule. I believe that we had another game-- possibly part of the failed pact with Notre Dame-- scheduled for that spot before it fell through. I doubt Liberty was the first option there. It does make me feel slightly better that Liberty, a member of the Big South Conference (FCS), has games coming up against Kent State (2013), West Virginia (2015), and Virginia Tech (2016). We're not the only ones drinking from that well.
Duke is an interesting fixture with a home-and-home in 2017-2018. I don't hate the matchup because the schools are very similar in non-football ways, but we should dominate both of those games without question. I can say that even 5-6 years out.
I remember reading something about teams scrambling to get UTSA on the schedule when they announced the creation of a football program in 2010. Having one extra game per year in-state with one taking place in the fertile San Antonio recruiting area is worth it, for sure.
Other than that, get used to playing SMU every year because we'll be doing it literally every year, and I hope you like Houston. We go to play at Rice twice in the next 7 years.