Originally posted on College Spun  |  Last updated 5/15/13
Marshall Henderson The pairings for the inaugural Big 12/SEC Challenge were officially announced yesterday afternoon. This time around, the games are scheduled to start November 14 and run through December 21. In the future, all of the matchups will be scheduled in consecutive days instead of the five-week span. The Challenge, for this year at least, will be without four SEC teams – Tennessee, LSU, Georgia and Arkansas – because of the mismatch in conference size. The Big 12 has ten teams total while the SEC has fourteen.  This season, the Big 12 vs. SEC Challenge incorporates five teams that are ranked in ESPN.com’s preseason top 25 – Kentucky, Kansas, Florida, Oklahoma State and Baylor. Since some games will be more entertaining to watch than others, we decided to rank the top five in a simple fashion.  Here’s how we think the games stack up:  1. Kansas at Florida  This game will take place at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida on December 10. It will be the second to last game of the challenge, but definitely one of the most anticipated, especially after the Jayhawks landed top recruit Andrew Wiggins yesterday.  2. Kentucky vs. Baylor  Kentucky and Baylor will tip-off December 6 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, While the Cats will very likely still be hanging onto their preseason No. 1 ranking, they’ll also be looking for revenge. Last year, Baylor defeated Kentucky in Rupp Arena to snap a 55-game winning streak.  3. Ole Miss at Kansas State  The Rebels will take on the Wildcats in Manhattan, Kansas on December 5. This game will be entertaining to watch because of one particular player – Marshall Henderson. Henderson, who’s notorious for his landshark salute, was one of the most polarizing players to watch throughout conference and tournament play. That’s right, we all get one more year of him.  4. West Virginia at Missouri  This matchup will take place on December 5 in Columbia, Missouri. Missouri has a strong incoming class with three four-star players – Johnathon Williams III, Wesley Clark and Keanau Post. If they’re as advertised, the Tigers could potentially blow out the Mountaineers with home court advantage. But WVU and Bob Huggins have to be better than they were last season, right?  5. South Carolina at Oklahoma State The Gamecocks will travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma to take on the Cowboys. OSU is No. 11 in preseason rankings, making this game a tough matchup for South Carolina. However, the Gamecocks will have a veteran squad that could potentially pull off the upset.  Here is the full list of the Big 12/SEC Challenge games in date order:  November 14:Texas Tech at Alabama December 2:Vanderbilt at TexasAuburn at Iowa State  December 5:Ole Miss at Kansas StateWest Virginia at MissouriTCU at Mississippi State   December 6:South Carolina at Oklahoma StateKentucky vs. Baylor (Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas)  December 10:Kansas at Florida  December 21:Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M (Toyota Center, Houston, Texas) 
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