This week’s lineup is pretty slim for Big 12 teams... but who cares, Baylor is finally kicking off their season this Saturday!
Baylor vs. Houston
Saturday, September 19th 11:00 AM CT, FOX
While we thought we were going to have a lot of our questions answered about Baylor last weekend, that game obviously fell through and the Bears have replaced their match-up with Louisiana Tech with an even stronger opponent: the Houston Cougars. Houston is entering its second year under former West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. Baylor is entering its first season under Dave Aranda. Houston had a disappointing season last year, only achieving a 4-8 record after much anticipation. They should be poised to make improvements this year, although how substantial those improvements will be remains to be seen. Baylor returns a number of key players this season, including leader Charlie Brewer at quarterback. The real questions will be how the defense looks under a new, defensive minded head coach and how the offense gels under established offensive coordinator guru, Larry Fedora. While the Bears are favored by 4 points (a number that feels somewhat low), any Big 12 fan knows just how poorly the first week went for a number of teams in the league. Baylor needs to be mentally and physically prepared for this game, or else a similar fate could be in store. However, if Baylor looks good in this game, the Big 12 is certainly wide open this season.
#11 Oklahoma State vs. Tulsa
Saturday, September 19th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN
#11 Oklahoma State has a lot of preseason hype to live up to entering their season opener against instate foe, Tulsa. While we saw Big 12 teams with high expectations crash and burn last week, I don’t expect the same fate for the Cowboys here. Coach Mike Gundy has established himself in the upper tiers of Big 12 coaches and OSU returns top tier talent, including the nation’s leading rusher from a season ago Chuba Hubbard. Tulsa was only able to pull together a 4-8 record a year ago and there isn’t much that head coach Phillip Montgomery has done to make me think that will suddenly improve this season with an upset win over the #11 team in the country. The 22.5 point spread in favor of Oklahoma State feels about right, although I could see Tulsa barely covering that line.
45-24 Oklahoma State