Texas’ 2023 schedule welcomes new faces, old foes

Joseph Duffey, General Sports Reporter

Since the Big 12 debuted in 1996, Texas football has been a steady commercial presence — winning three conference titles and a national championship. However, July 1, 2024, will begin a new chapter in Texas athletics history as the Longhorns are set to join the Southeastern Conference, also known as the SEC, along with longtime rival, the Oklahoma Sooners. 

Courtney Machani, Radio-television-film freshman, said he wants Longhorn fans to embrace the challenge rather than fear the competition. 

“I’m excited for it. I believe the fan and student experience is going to be better than ever before,” Machani said. “Competition will also get better, and defenses will actually play defense.” 

Looking ahead to the Longhorns’ final season with the Big 12, the upcoming 2023 football schedule features a future conference matchup, the ending to historic battles and greeting of new Big 12 competitors. 

Texas will face Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 9, a hyped rematch that could draw high ratings once again before they become true conference rivals. This matchup will feature a different face at quarterback for the Crimson Tide, as former Heisman-winner Bryce Young declared for the NFL Draft in early January. Sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers is slated to face Alabama after a clavicle injury led to a premature exit in last year’s thriller.

Texas’ conference season will start on Sept. 23 and will also bring a goodbye to an old Southwest Conference rival — the Baylor Bears. Texas has historically dominated this series 68-26-4 since its inception in 1923. This will be the Longhorns’ last conference trip to Waco, where Texas has lost its previous two matchups against the Bears.

One of the Big 12’s newest faces Texas will compete against this season are the Houston Cougars, another former SWC foe. This will be the first matchup between the two since 2002 and Texas’ first road game against the Cougars since 2001. 

The following week, the Longhorns will welcome another Big 12 opponent to Austin — BYU. BYU defeated Texas in 2013 and 2014, leading the series with a 4–1 all-time record.

The final game of the season will conclude Texas’ long-standing conference rivalry against the Red Raiders — the Battle For Chancellor’s Spurs. Texas looks to bounce back against its old SWC rival after getting upset in Lubbock last season, 34-37. 

Texas will face its Big 12 opponents for the last time this upcoming season and looks to utilize this time to prepare for its introduction into the SEC in 2024.