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Big 12 Week Three Football Preview

Teams look to continue defining themselves before entering conference play, with the first Big 12 vs. Big 12 matchup also kicking off this weekend!

NCAA Football: Albany at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

#15 Kansas State @ Missouri

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

#15 Kansas State (2-0) travels to border rival Missouri (2-0) for an interesting Big 12 vs. SEC showdown between former conference rivals. KState has taken care of business early in their season, beating Southeast Missouri State comfortably before beating a quality Troy squad last week, 42-13. Missouri has also done what it has needed to against its first two opponents, although with much less dominance, as they beat South Dakota, 35-10, and then Middle Tennessee State, 23-19. I’ve got Kansas State winning this one on the road in a close game.

28-24 Kansas State

Long Island @ Baylor

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

Baylor (0-2) looked much improved last week in an ultimately losing effort to Utah (granted, given how bad they looked week one, you’d hope to look much better after a week of corrections). While the second half certainly revealed some concerns about quarterback Sawyer Robertson, the offensive line and entire defensive unit both played way better. There should hopefully be some more time to continue improving as the Bears host Long Island (0-2). The sharks have lost both of their games this season as well, going down 27-10 to Ohio and 21-10 to Bryant. Even with Baylor’s issues, the Bears should be able to win this one fairly easily. If not... we’ll talk next week. But I have the Bears getting a much needed, convincing win.

38-6 Baylor

Iowa State @ Ohio

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

Iowa State (1-1) had a chance down the stretch to potentially tie and win their CyHawk matchup with Iowa. However, they were stuffed on 4th and 1 and now need to regroup to take on Ohio (2-1). Ohio began their season in week zero with a 20-13 loss to San Diego State, before defeating Long Island 27-10 and FAU 17-10. So as far as non-power teams go, Ohio is looking to be pretty decent. This game being at Ohio is also an interesting wrinkle, but I think Iowa State will be able to move the ball much better this week when not facing Iowa’s defense.

33-17 Iowa State

#19 Oklahoma @ Tulsa

Saturday, September 16th 2:30 PM CT, EPSN2

#19 Oklahoma (2-0) was in a bit of a tussle with SMU, until finally pulling away in the 4th quarter for a 28-11 victory. Tulsa (1-1) took care of business easily against Arkansas Pine-Bluff in their first game, winning 42-7. The Golden Hurricane then took a beating of their own at the hands of top 10 Washington, losing 43-10 last week. While there might be some intrigue about this instate matchup and Oklahoma playing on the road, I suspect the Sooners will be able to beat Tulsa with relative ease.

38-13 Oklahoma

Villanova @ UCF

Saturday, September 16th 5:30 PM CT, ESPN+

UCF (2-0) has taken care of business in its first two games, annihilating Kent State 56-6 before hitting a game winning field goal as time expired to pick up an 18-16 win on the road against Boise State. The Knights now host Villanova (2-0). Villanova has won easily against pretty weak competition, defeating Lehigh and Colgate by over 20 points each. Add that to the talent differential and the difference in quality of opponents and I’ve got UCF winning this one easily.

48-10 UCF

Miami (OH) @ Cincinnati

Saturday, September 16th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN+

Cincinnati (2-0) picked up a really nice win at Pitt over the weekend, 27-21. The game wasn’t even that close really, as Cincinnati was up 27-7 going into the fourth quarter. The Bearcats now focus their attention on Miami (OH) (1-1). Miami opened their season with a lose to the other Miami, 38-3, before snagging a 41-28 road win over Massachusetts. Cincinnati has looked impressive so far this season, so I’ve got them winning this instate matchup.

35-17 Cincinnati

South Alabama @ Oklahoma State

Saturday, September 16th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN+

Oklahoma State (2-0) has scored exactly 27 points in their first two games, beating Central Arkansas 27-13 and then Arizona State on the road, 27-15. So the Cowboys have done what they’ve needed and looked pretty good against the Sun Devils. They now host South Alabama (1-1), who lost to Tulane in their opener before beating SE Louisiana. The Cowboys have had a trend over the last few years of playing down to bad competition and up to strong competition. OSU should win this one just fine, but it might be a bit closer than one would expect. And of course, I have the Cowboys continuing their 27 point streak.

27-23 Oklahoma State

Tarleton State @ Texas Tech

Saturday, September 16th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN+

Texas Tech (0-2) seems to be bound by destiny to Baylor this season. Both teams lost to non-power opponents in their openers, before coming just short against top 15 Pac-12 foes. Now, similar to Baylor, Tech faces off against what should be an easy opponent in Tarleton State (2-0). While Tarleton is undefeated, those wins have been against McNeese and North Alabama. Tech represents a substantial step up in competition for Tarleton. The Red Raiders should be able to handle this game just fine.

48-21 Texas Tech

BYU @ Arkansas

Saturday, September 16th 6:30 PM CT, ESPN2

BYU (2-0) shook off its offensive woes from their week one, 14-0 win over Sam Houston, cleaning up Southern Utah 41-16. Now the Cougars get an interesting test as they travel to Arkansas (2-0). The Razorbacks have beaten Western Carolina and Kent State in their first two, both by more than 20 points. BYU and Arkansas faced off in Provo last year, with Arkansas winning 52-35. However, with BYU fielding talented transfer Kedon Slovis at quarterback (previously at USC and Pitt), I’ve got BYU sneaking out of Arkansas with a road win.

28-25 BYU

Pittsburgh @ West Virginia

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

The Backyard Brawl is once again renewed, as West Virginia (1-1) takes on Pittsburgh (1-1). WVU cleaned up Duquesne last weekend, 56-17. That was a nice bounceback performance after a 38-15 opening loss to Penn State. Pitt has had a bit of an inversed season, as they dominated Wofford in their first game, before losing to Cincinnati, 27-21. This rivalry game always exudes plenty of bad blood, and I don’t think this meeting will be any different. I like the Mountaineers at home.

31-27 West Virginia

Wyoming @ #4 Texas

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

#4 Texas (2-0) picked up the win of the early season last weekend, as they defeated Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 34-24. They now host a frisky Wyoming (2-0). The Cowboys took down Texas Tech in week one, 35-33, before beating Portland State 31-17. While there is some potential for a letdown after such a huge victory last week, I think Texas will be too much for Wyoming.

42-17 Texas

TCU @ Houston

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

The first Big 12 vs. Big 12 matchup of the season! TCU (1-1) bounced back from their opening loss to Colorado with a 41-6 win over Nicholls. Houston (1-1) suffered a highly disappointing loss to Rice, 43-41 last weekend. The week before that they beat UTSA 17-14. So Houston doesn’t look to be all that good, it’s just a question of how bad to average they are. This game should answer some of those questions, in a game that I expect TCU to win fairly easily.

38-17 TCU

Kansas @ Nevada

Saturday, September 16th 9:30 PM CT, CBSSN

Kansas (2-0) is off to another strong start, defeating Missouri State, 48-17, and Illinois, 34-23. They now travel to Nevada (0-2) in what should honestly be another win for the Jayhawks. Nevada is REALLY struggling so far this season, losing 66-14 to USC in week one and then getting blown out at home by FCS foe Idaho, 33-6. Kansas is almost certainly a stronger opponent than Idaho, so I expect the Jayhawks to notch a strong road win in this one, especially with quarterback Jalon Daniels looking like he’s back at full strength.

48-16 Kansas