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Big 12 Week 3 Preview

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Week three is filled with road tests for the Big 12, with many teams still trying to figure out what they’re made of. Let’s hop right into another exciting week of games!

#9 Oklahoma State @ Pittsburgh

Saturday, September 16th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at South Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State is looking to keep churning after a strong 2-0 start, with a 44-7 win last week at South Alabama. Pitt (1-1) is looking to get back on its feet after a 33-14 beating from #4 Penn State. Until someone finds a way to stop the outstanding Cowboy offense, led by the dynamic duo of Mason Rudolph and James Washington, I don’t see Oklahoma State losing. I don’t think Pitt will have the answers defensively to stop this high-powered scoring threat. I’ll take the Cowboys by a couple touchdowns.

Kansas @ Ohio

Saturday, September 16th 11:00 AM CT, ESPNU

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Kansas Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like Kansas and Baylor are going to be battling it out for the bottom of the Big 12 this year. Kansas got beat by Central Michigan 45-27 last week and is desperately looking to turn things around against another G5 team in Ohio (1-1). Meanwhile, Ohio is recovering from a 44-21 loss last week to Purdue. I think this will be a close game that could go either way. I’ll take Kansas by a field goal.

West Virginia vs. Delaware State

Saturday, September 16th 11:00 AM CT, AT&T Sportsnet

NCAA Football: East Carolina at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia (1-1) is trying to build itself back up into the top 25 after a week one loss to Virginia Tech. They beat ECU last week 56-20. They should destroy Delaware State this week, who is 0-2 with losses to Hampton and Delaware. This should be over by the 10 minute mark in the first quarter.

Iowa State @ Akron

Saturday, September 16th 11:00 AM CT, CBSSN

NCAA Football: Iowa at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State (1-1) is going to need to show some emotional grit this week after a heartbreaking OT loss to instate rival Iowa last week. Luckily, Akron (1-1) should be a step down in competition from Iowa. The Zips were reeling after a 52-0 blowout loss to Penn State, but got a needed win last week against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. This Iowa State team has a lot of upside this year and I expect them to find the win at Akron this weekend behind the arm of quarterback Jacob Park.

Baylor @ Duke

Saturday, September 16th 11:30 AM CT, ACCN

NCAA Football: Texas-San Antonio at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Whew, I wish I could be more optimistic here. Sadly, I don’t think this one is going to happen for the Bears. Coming off of back to back losses to non P5 teams, Baylor is in desperate need of improvement on both sides of the ball. Maybe Zach Smith starting will give them the offensive boost they need? Duke, on the other hand, is 2-0 with wins over NCCU and Northwestern. Duke looked dominate on both offense and defense against Northwestern, with the defensive line being of particular note. That doesn’t bode well for a Baylor offensive line that struggled heavily last week. I’m going with the Blue Devils, but I would LOVE Baylor to prove me wrong.

#20 TCU vs. SMU

Saturday, September 16th 2:30 PM CT, ESPNU

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Arkansas Joey Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, #20 TCU and SMU will meet to battle for the Iron Skillet. Like recent years, I expect this game to go the way of TCU. The Horned Frogs are 2-0 on the season with an impressive road win at Arkansas last week. SMU is also 2-0 with solid wins over SFA and North Texas. While Kenny Hill wasn’t that impressive, with 1 interception and no touchdowns, the TCU defense looked very good against Arkansas. I suspect that defense will be enough to handle the Mustangs.

#2 Oklahoma vs. Tulane

Saturday, September 16th 5:00 PM CT, OKPV

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Ohio State Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma (2-0) just finished dismantling Ohio State and planting their flag in the Horseshoe. There’s no way they’re losing to Tulane (1-1) at home. Save your money and don’t get this pay-per-view game, it’s going to be a blow out.

#18 Kansas State @ Vanderbilt

Saturday, September 16th 6:30 PM CT, ESPNU

NCAA Football: Charlotte at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

#18 Kansas State looks to keep rolling against SEC foe Vanderbilt (2-0). Vanderbilt has accumulated blowout wins against Middle Tennessee State and Alabama A&M, while Kansas State has its own pair of blowouts against Central Arkansas and Charolette. This game should be the first real test for both teams. While it’s a home game for Vanderbilt, I suspect the wizard Bill Snyder will have his team ready for the Commodores. I’ll take the Wildcats in a close, low scoring ball game.

Texas Tech vs. Arizona State

Saturday, September 16th 7:00 PM CT, FSN

NCAA Football: Eastern Washington at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech (1-0) is ready for just it’s second game of the season (they had a bye last week) as they host Arizona State (1-1). The Sun Devils are trying to bounce-back from a 30-20 loss to San Diego State. This will be the first true test for the Red Raiders, who blew out FCS Eastern Washington in week one. I suspect this to be a high scoring affair, as the Red Raiders are known to partake in. This is a tough game to choose a winner for since we don’t know a whole lot about either team yet, but I’ll take Texas Tech at home.

Texas @ #4 USC

Saturday, September 16th 7:30 PM CT, FOX

NCAA Football: San Jose State at Texas Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, the rematch that Texas fans have been salivating over since 2006. While Longhorns fans have likely been fantasizing all week of another thrilling victory over the Trojans, I doubt it’s going to happen this year. Yes, Texas (1-1) just had a solid bounce back win over San Jose State. But, the weaknesses are still apparent from their week one loss to Maryland. On the other side, USC (2-0) looks poised for a playoff run, after an impressive smothering of #14 Stanford, by a margin of 42-24. I expect Sam Darnold to have another good game and lead the Trojans to victory over the still unproven Longhorns.