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Big 12 Week Three Football Preview

Week three of Big 12 action gets underway with a handful of big matchups!

NCAA Football: Big 12 Football Championship-Baylor vs Oklahoma State Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Texas State @ #17 Baylor

Saturday, September 17th 11:00 AM CT, FS1

#17 Baylor (1-1) suffered a difficult loss over the weekend to BYU. Defensively, the Bears looked pretty good for the most part other than some hiccups in pass coverage and some untimely penalties. Offensively, there’s plenty to work on, especially in the passing game. It’s unclear whether quarterback Blake Shapen and the Bears’ passing woes were a one week funk or are going to be a continual issue throughout the season, but another semi-tune up game against Texas State (1-1) should be just what the doctor ordered. The Bobcats opened their season with a 38-14 loss to Nevada before turning up against FIU, winning 41-12. Texas State made their game against Baylor last year a little closer than you’d expect, but I suspect that after a week to regroup, and playing at home, the Baylor offense will look a little closer to what we were anticipating coming into the season. Baylor is a 30 point favorite, which seems a tad high to me.

41-13 Baylor

#6 Oklahoma @ Nebraska

Saturday, September 17th 11:00 AM CT, FOX

#6 Oklahoma (2-0) beat Kent State 33-3 over the weekend. While that seems lopsided enough, the score was only 7-3 in favor of Oklahoma at halftime. So the Sooners figured some things out, but that should still be mildly concerning for OU fans. That being said, I doubt many weaknesses will be exposed this week as they face Nebraska (1-2). The Cornhuskers have started their season just about as nightmarish as you could imagine, losing to Northwestern in week 0, beating FCS North Dakota, and then losing to Georgia Southern last weekend, 45-42. The Huskers defense just has not been getting it done. Nebraska will enter its game in the wake of the firing of former head coach Scott Frost. So the Huskers will feature an interim coach as they host their top 10 historical rival. Unless some real funkiness happens, I would be shocked if this is even close. 11.5 points in favor of OU feels really low to me.

45-17 Oklahoma

Towson @ West Virginia

Saturday, September 17th 12:00 PM CT, ESPN+

West Virginia (0-2) also seems in danger of going the path of Nebraska, as head coach Neal Brown’s coaching seat seems to be scorching hot after opening the season with losses to rival Pitt and Kansas. To be fair to the Mountaineers, both games were relatively close with WVU losing in OT to Kansas. That being said, you have to win games like that when your coaching career is on the line. Next up for West Virginia is Towson (2-0), who has started the season with close wins against Bucknell and Morgan State. While WVU should be fine in this one, the season is starting to look really bleak when trying to figure out a miracle route to 6 wins.

36-13 West Virginia

Ohio @ Iowa State

Saturday, September 17th 1:00 PM CT, ESPN+

It might have been completely ugly, but Iowa State (2-0) and head coach Matt Campbell finally picked up a win against instate rival Iowa, after having gone since 2014 without a win in the CyHawk. So the Cyclones have to be feeling pretty good about themselves, at least defensively. The offense definitely needs to improve, but Iowa’s defense is absolutely no joke so that might work itself out. That fine tuning starts with this game against Ohio (1-1). The Bobcats opened their season with a 3 point win against Florida Atlantic, before getting boat raced by Penn State last week in a 46-10 loss. The Cyclones should be just fine in this one, though the biggest thing to watch will be how the offense responds after a just barely good enough showing last week. Iowa State is favored by 17.5 points.

35-10 Iowa State

Tulane @ Kansas State

Saturday, September 17th 2:00 PM CT, ESPN+

Kansas State (2-0) may have put together the most impressive Big 12 performance from last weekend, absolutely demolishing Missouri, 40-12. They now host Tulane (2-0) who has started its season off with lopsided wins over UMass and Alcorn State. While those opponents are nothing to write home about, I do think Tulane is sneaky good this year. Nevertheless, Kansas State should handle them just fine. The Wildcats are favored by 15.5 points.

38-16 Kansas State

Kansas @ Houston

Saturday, September 17th 3:00 PM CT, ESPNU

Here’s another future Big 12 showdown! Kansas (2-0) is off to a red-hot start, taking out Tennessee Tech in week one before winning a thrilling, overtime game against West Virginia. They now travel to Houston (1-1) who is reeling off of an overtime loss to another future conference opponent, Texas Tech. This is a game that Houston should probably win, especially with Kansas coming on the road. But there’s just a certain spunk that the Jayhawks have this year that they haven’t displayed in over a decade. Is that enough for me to pick them over the Cougars? Not quite... but I am once again tempted. Houston is a 10 point favorite.

30-24 Houston

Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ #8 Oklahoma State

Saturday, September 17th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#8 Oklahoma State (2-0) took care of business last week, as they handed Arizona State a 34-17 loss. The Cowboys now have another tune-up game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-0), before they start conference play with a road game against Baylor. To APB’s credit, they have won their first two games in pretty convincing fashion. But those games were against Lane and North American... (major ups to any readers who had heard of both of those schools before reading this). So yeah, Cowboys should win big.

63-10 Oklahoma State

Texas Tech @ #16 North Carolina State

Saturday, September 17th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2

This is arguably the most intriguing Big 12 game of the weekend, as Texas Tech (2-0) looks to follow up an emotional, top 25, overtime win against Houston with another potential top 25 victory. The Red Raiders travel to Raleigh to take on #16 North Carolina State (2-0). NC State barely survived its week one matchup with East Carolina, winning 21-20. However, they followed that up with a 55-3 victory over Charleston Southern. The Red Raiders scored a lopsided win against Murray State before their exciting win over Houston. On a neutral field, I think I’d take the Red Raiders to get the upset here as I am just not all that impressed with NC State this year. However, on the road, I think Texas Tech suffers a close loss. NC State is favored by 10.5.

31-28 NC State

UTSA @ #21 Texas

Saturday, September 17th 7:00 PM CT, LHN

#21 Texas (1-1) held its ground against Alabama, earning a significant bump up into the rankings even after that loss. The question for the Longhorns, however, will be at the quarterback position, as starting QB Quinn Ewers went down with a shoulder injury in their game against Alabama. It seems that Ewers might be out for 4-6 weeks. While backup quarterback Hudson Card looked fine, it was clear that Ewers provided a lot more spark for Texas. So we’ll see how the Longhorns navigate his injury over the coming weeks. Generally, you would think this game against UTSA (1-1) should be an easy one for the Longhorns. And it might end up being easy, but the Roadrunners are sneaky good with a two point loss to Houston in their opener and a win over Army last week. Texas can’t walk into this game expecting a victory to be handed to them. Nevertheless, I expect the Longhorns to win this game. Texas is an 11 point favorite over UTSA.

38-28 Texas

FieldinOfDreams’ 2022 Pick ‘Em Record through Week 2: 16-3