Ranking the five most difficult games on Texas’ 2023 schedule

Texas’ 2023 football schedule was finally released by the Big 12 Conference this week.

This upcoming season marks the first year of the new-look Big 12 following the addition of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF.

The Longhorns’ slate features two matchups against the leagues newcomers, Texas travels to Houston and hosts BYU in October.

Texas is only forced to leave its home state two times during the season, making the trip to Alabama and Iowa State. The Horns play in-state road games at TCU, Baylor and Houston, along with the annual neutral site game in Dallas against Oklahoma.

2023 is a significant year for Steve Sarkisian and the Texas program. Returning 17 out of 22 starters and bringing in another top-five recruiting class, expectations are high in Austin. Texas feels like it is Big 12 championship or bust entering the new campaign.

Here is a look at the five matchups that could give Texas the most trouble on its 2023 schedule.

Vs. Texas Tech (Nov. 24)

Photo by Josh Hedges/Getty Images

Texas Tech upset Texas in Lubbock last season in an overtime thriller. The Red Raiders and Longhorns both return tons of production and expect improved seasons in 2023. This game might hold serious Big 12 title implications down the stretch.

At Iowa State (Nov. 18)

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Texas has struggled against Iowa State in recent years, narrowly escaping the Cyclones last season. A November trip to Ames in what sets up to be a trap game could cause Texas some problems this year.

Vs. Oklahoma (Oct. 7)

Syndication: The Oklahoman

Texas shut out Oklahoma 49-0 in the Cotton Bowl last season. Brent Venables’ team should be much improved in year two and provide Texas with a much tougher test.

At TCU (Nov. 11)

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

TCU shocked the college football world with an undefeated regular season and a trip to the national championship in 2022. The Frogs lose a few star players this offseason but still expect to factor into the Big 12 title race.

At Alabama (Sept. 9)

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Texas gets an early challenge as they travel to SEC territory to take on Alabama. A win over the Tide would put Texas on the national radar to start the 2023 season. The Longhorns do not have to face Heisman quarterback Bryce Young this time around, as he is off to the NFL.

Story originally appeared on Longhorns Wire