Last week’s Big 12 matchups didn’t provide too much intrigue. The best game was the Backyard Brawl. And the only other Power 5 matchup was the TCU/Colorado game. This week, it’s a different story. We’ve got a marquee game in Austin. Every team likes to say “We want Bama.” This time, Texas gets their opportunity. In addition to that game, the CyHawk rivalry in Iowa is on the docket. And the best game of the weekend may be the one with the latest kickoff – Baylor at BYU.
Here’s a look at this week’s slate of league games:
All times listed are Central Time.
Texas vs. #1 Alabama
Saturday, 11 am, Fox
It’s so big that ESPN’s College GameDay and Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff will be broadcasting from Austin before kickoff. Texas can jump back into the national spotlight with a win or even a decent, close game. This game could certainly set the tone for how much the Longhorns have improved after last season’s disappointing 5-7 season. Texas is 7-1-1 all-time over the Crimson Tide. The only loss was the 2009 national championship game; the first natty won by Nick Saban at Alabama. Can the Longhorns make it eight wins?
Kansas State vs. Missouri
Saturday, 11 am, ESPN2
It’s a catfight in the Little Apple this weekend. These two schools, having played together in both the Big Eight and the Big 12, have met nearly 100 times, but it’s been 11 years since they last met. Both teams won their Week 1 games, with the Tigers beating Louisiana Tech 52-24 and the Wildcats easily defeating South Dakota 34-0.
Pick: Kansas State
Iowa State at Iowa
Saturday, 3 pm, Big 10 Network
It’s the annual CyHawk Rivalry. But after last week’s pathetic offensive display by Iowa, is it really going to be exciting to watch? Iowa’s quarterback, Spencer Petras, had the worst QB performance of all time last week. The Hawkeyes beat South Dakota State only after they scored one field goal and TWO safeties for the 7-3 win. Iowa State at least put up some offensive numbers against their FCS team, defeating SE Missouri State 42-10. For that reason alone, they get our pick this week.
Picks: Iowa State
Texas Tech vs. #25 Houston
Saturday, 3 pm, FS1
There is no love lost between these soon-to-be conference foes. The two teams met last year to open the season, with Texas Tech winning 38-21 after being down 21-7 at the half. However, both teams went in different directions, with Tech going 7-6 and firing their head coach Matt Wells early in the season, and Houston going 12-2 with an appearance in the AAC Championship game. This time the game is in Lubbock. Both teams won their Week 1 game, but Tech cruised to a win over Murray State while Houston beat UTSA 37-35 in triple overtime. Even though Houston is ranked among the rowdy, tortilla-throwing fans on the South Plains, Tech just might pull off a win.
Picks: Texas Tech
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West Virginia vs. Kansas
Saturday, 5 pm, Big 12 Now on ESPN+
These two get the distinction of playing the first Big 12 conference game of the season. Sure, Kansas won last week and scored 56 points against Tennessee Tech. And yes, West Virginia was the only team in the league to suffer a Week 1 loss. However, WVU traveled into very hostile territory for the Backyard Brawl, and they had a lead on the road against the No. 17 teams in the nation until late in the game. Surely the Mountaineers can take care of business in Morgantown. It’s not basketball season yet.
Picks: West Virginia
#11 Oklahoma vs. Kent State
Saturday, 6 pm, Big 12 Now on ESPN+
The Sooners easily took care of UTEP at home last week. Expect more of the same this week. They are a 33.5 favorite over Kent State. There’s a reason this game is on ESPN+.
#11 Oklahoma State vs. Arizona State
Saturday, 6:30 pm, ESPN2
Unlike last week’s matchups, this week features several Big 12 teams playing another Power 5 team. This one should be an interesting matchup. Both teams should be concerned about the other’s quarterback. Last week, OSU’s Spencer Sanders threw four touchdowns and ran for another two – that’s six of the seven TDs the Cowboys scored in their win over Central Michigan. Arizona’s Emory Jones went 13 of 18 for 152 yards last week. Jones is a transfer from Florida, where he started 12 games last year.
Picks: Oklahoma State
TCU vs. Tarleton State
Saturday, 7 pm, Big 12 Now on ESPN+
Last week, the Horned Frogs were the only Big 12 team to secure a victory over a Power 5 team. It was a game of two halves. The defense and special teams shined all game, and the offense kicked into gear in the second half. Max Duggan is expected to start since Chandler Morris is injured. TCU is a 35–37-point favorite. Look for Sam Jackson to also see some reps as the quarterback.
#9 Baylor at #21 BYU
Saturday, 9:15 pm, ESPN
There’s a rivalry brewing between these two schools that started last year in Waco. The two teams meet again in another nonconference matchup before becoming conference foes next season. Last season, Baylor got the upset 38-24 in what became a very successful season for the Bears. Baylor got 534 yards in that game. Last week, Baylor, behind the new quarterback Blake Shapen, rolled over Albany. However, the Cougars also have a solid quarterback in Jaren Hall. Expect an intense game in this one, as it should be the best game of the Big 12 teams this week.
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