We've made it through the first week of the 2014 college football season and as predicted, we have absolutely no idea what to make of the Big 12. There are some interesting games on the Week 2 slate including an intra-conference game and a key matchup in Austin. Let's get right to it.
Oklahoma @ Tulsa
H.A. Chapman Stadium (Tulsa, OK)
11:00 AM CT, ABC
Line: Oklahoma (-24.5)
Oklahoma opens the road portion of its 2014 schedule against in-state "rival" Tulsa. The Sooners were able to make quick work of Louisiana Tech last weekend at home and look to have a similar result against the Golden Hurricane. Side note: I've never understood how a team in Oklahoma became the hurricane and hurricanes aren't golden. The much discussed OU offense showed itself to be formidable last week but the unit won't truly be tested until they see a step up in competition. Look for the Sooners' RB trio of Keith Ford, Samije Parine and Alex Ross to have a big day on the ground against a vulnerable Tulsa front. Keep an eye on Trevor Knight's effectiveness as well as he completed just 56% of his passes against Louisiana Tech. Tulsa does have the ability to make some big plays downfield on offense. QB Dane Evans threw for 438 yards in Tulsa's win over Tulane with 233 going to WR Keevan Lewis. The Hurricane will be able to make a few dents in the Sooner defense but not anywhere near enough to make a game of this.
Prediction: Oklahoma 49 Tulsa 21
Kansas State @ Iowa State
Jack Trice Stadium (Ames, IA)
11:00 PM CT, FS1
Line: Kansas State (-12)
The first intra-conference game of the Big 12 season pits Bill Snyder's Wildcats against a wounded Iowa State team that is coming off of a rough opening week. K-State opened with a 55-16 win in Manhattan against SFA despite a quiet night from All-American WR Tyler Lockett. Jake Waters picked up where he left off from a season ago with 2 TD passing as well as 2 TD rushing. Look for the Wildcats to try to establish the running game early on against an Iowa State front that allowed over 300 yards on the ground last week against North Dakota State (I am all in favor of referring to NDSU as FCS Bama). Speaking of the Cyclones, yeesh that was baaaaad. ISU jumped out to a 14-0 lead and the wheels absolutely came off, allowing North Dakota State to score the final 34 points of the game. On top of that, the Cyclones lost leading WR Quinton Bundrage for the season with a torn ACL and starting RT Jacob Gannon quit the team. Not exactly how you draw up starting your season. I expect that the Cyclones will come out like a team with their backs against the wall and throw everything they have at K-State but the Wildcats will just be too much in the end.
Prediction: Kansas State 37 Iowa State 23
For more on Iowa State, check out Wide Right & Natty Lite, SB Nation's blog for the Iowa State Cyclones.
Missouri State @ Oklahoma State
Boone Pickens Stadium (Stillwater, OK)
2:30 PM CT, FSN
Oklahoma State will try to build on its impressive performance against Florida State in their home opener with FCS Missouri State. The Cowboys nearly pulled off a stunning upset of the defending national champions but came up 6 points short. However, OSU showed the Big 12 and folks around the country that there will not be much, if any, drop off with the Pokes this year. RB Tyreek Hill quickly proved to be one of the most exciting players in the conference, gathering up nearly 300 all-purpose yards against a top flight FSU defense. The Cowboy defense held its own as well, led by a surprisingly strong defensive line. DE Emmanuel Ogbah was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for his 2 sack, 2 PBU performance. Missouri State is 1-0 following a 4th quarter comeback win over Baylor's Week 2 opponent Northwestern State. Missouri State is 1-29 all-time vs. FBS competition though, and that second win isn't happening in this game.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 59 Missouri State 14
Southeast Missouri State @ Kansas
Memorial Stadium (Lawrence, KS)
6:00 PM CT
The only Big 12 team that didn't play over Labor Day weekend, Kansas opens its season at home with an FCS opponent in Southeast Missouri State. The Jayhawks will look to show significant improvements in the third year under Charlie Weis. After a 3-9 campaign in 2013, Kansas has tried to revamp its offense around QB Montell Cozart and an intriguing group of WRs led by Tony Pierson and former Ball State standout Nick Harwell. The offense will be a key for KU this season as the Jayhawk defense returns several starters from an improved unit of a year ago, headlined by all-conference LB Ben Heeney. Southeast Missouri State made waves last week with a 77-0 win over Texas A&…oh excuse me, I meant to say Missouri Baptist. The Redhawks have enough to hang around and make this interesting but eventually Kansas pulls away.
Prediction: Kansas 28 Southeast Missouri State 10
Towson @ West Virginia
Milan Puskar Stadium (Morgantown, WV)
6:30 PM CT
Much like their Big 12 counterparts in Stillwater, West Virginia opened the season with a surprising performance albeit in a losing effort. The Mountaineers went toe-to-toe with Nick Saban's Alabama machine but could not make enough plays in the 2nd half to pull off the upset. WVU got a great performance from QB Clint Trickett, who went 29-45 for 365 yards and could have had much more with some additional help from his WR corps. They will now turn their attention to a home opener against Towson, a team that reached the FCS Championship Game a year ago. West Virginia will look to show some improvements defensively to go along with the firepower displayed in Atlanta last weekend. Towson has the ability to make a game of this if WVU chooses to play with its food, but I think the Mountaineers are out to make a statement that their performance against the Tide was no fluke.
Prediction: West Virginia 45 Towson 20
BYU @ Texas
Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, TX)
6:30 PM CT, FS1
Line: BYU (-1)
BYU travels to Austin to face Texas in a game that has had the folks in Vegas doing cartwheels all week. First, Texas announced that QB David Ash will miss this weekend's game with more concussion related issues (I don't think he needs to play another snap ever). To make matters worse for the Horns, they will also be without 3 of their 5 starting offensive line due to injury and suspension. This has caused a line that opened with Texas at -4.5 to swing all the way over to make BYU the favorite. This is also an intriguing game as it was BYU that shredded Texas' defense for over 500 yards rushing one year ago that led to eventual coaching overhaul on the Forty Acres. Taysom Hill is still the QB these days for the Cougars but the Longhorn defense seems to be much more equipped to handle the BYU spread option attack this season under Charlie Strong. Texas was able to hold North Texas to a measly 94 yards of total offense in a 38-7 season opening win. That front seven should play well again this weekend but the key to the game will be how well Texas can move the ball behind a depleted offensive line and new QB Tyrone Swoopes. This sets up to be a low scoring game but I think Hill makes fewer mistakes than Swoopes and BYU wins a slugfest.
Prediction: BYU 20 Texas 17
Texas Tech @ UTEP
Sun Bowl (El Paso, TX)
10:00 PM CT, FS1
Line: Texas Tech (-20.5)
If you did a double take when you saw that game time, that is correct. The fine folks at Fox thought it would be an awesome idea to start a game in Texas at 10:00 PM. I get that El Paso is an hour behind but still. Anyways, the final Big 12 game of the weekend pits West Texas rivals as Texas Tech travels to UTEP. The Red Raiders are looking to bounce back from a much closer game than was expected last week against Central Arkansas. Tech was clearly the better team in that game but turnovers and penalties, things that Kliff Kingsbury vowed to fix in the offseason, nearly led to an embarrassing loss to open the season. Some big pass plays from Davis Webb to Bradley Marquez helped the Red Raiders survive. Tech will need to shore up its leaky run defense against UTEP RB Aaron Jones who ran for 237 yards and 3 TD in the Miners' Week 1 win at New Mexico. UTEP's offense also features former A&M backup Jameill Showers, who was in College Station when Kingsbury was the Aggies offensive coordinator. Tech will come out looking to make a statement in this one as they have notoriously struggled in previous trips to El Paso. I think UTEP makes a game of this early but eventually Tech's aerial attack will overpower the Miner secondary.
Prediction: Texas Tech 49 UTEP 31