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Big 12 Week Two Football Preview

We’ve got rivalries, future conference matchups, and one actual conference showdown in week two!

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

#1 Alabama @ Texas

Saturday, September 10th 11:00 AM CT, FOX

#1 Alabama (1-0) travels to Austin to take on Texas (1-0) with College Gameday in town. I guess the Gameday crew likes to watch beef get butchered on live television? But for real, it’s hard to say if Texas is much improved off of last year’s 5-7 record, but even if they have I just don’t see a way they take down the Crimson Tide in this one. Alabama is just in a totally different place as a program, and Texas has a lot of rebuilding left to do. Texas QB Quinn Ewers did look good in the Longhorn’s smack down of Louisiana Monroe last week, but ULM is pretty horrible so it’s hard to get much of a read off of that. Alabama also dominated their opening week opponent, Utah State, winning 55-0. Alabama is a 20 point favorite at the time of this writing. If I were a betting man, I would be very tempted to take Alabama with the points because I think it will be a bigger blowout than that. Expect a rude preview of Texas’s forthcoming jump to the SEC.

48-13 Alabama

Missouri @ Kansas State

Saturday, September 10th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN2

This is a fun, old Big 8 matchup! Kansas State (1-0) did what it needed to against South Dakota, pitching a 34-0 shutout over their FCS foe. Missouri got the job done as well, against Louisiana Tech, a decent G5 team. This is one of those games where it is a little early in the season to get a solid read on either team. Kansas State is favored by 8 points, but I would be a little concerned about Adrian Martinez’s Wildcat debut. He did fine, but 11 for 15 for only 53 yards against what will probably be Kansas State’s easiest opponent does not necessarily scream confidence. Maybe Chris Klieman was holding back the playbook? We’ll see. I like Missouri to win this one.

20-17 Missouri

#25 Houston @ Texas Tech

Saturday, September 10th 3:00 PM CT, FS1

Here’s one of two future Big 12 matchups this week, as #25 Houston (1-0) travels to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech (1-0). The Cougars survived a big week one scare, beating UTSA 37-35 in triple overtime thanks to a leaping 2 point conversion by quarterback Clayton Tune. Tech had a much less exciting opener, easily defeating Murray State, 63-10. Starting quarterback Tyler Shough was injured in the first half, but that didn’t seem to matter much as Donovan Smith replaced him and threw four touchdown passes. While it’s difficult to read a win over Murray State, new head coach Joey McGuire looks like he might have brought some new energy to the team. Tech is a 3 point favorite at the time of the writing of this article, I like them to win this one by a bit more than that.

42-34 Texas Tech

Iowa State @ Iowa

Saturday, September 10th 3:00 PM CT, BTN

El Assico returns! And this might have the highest “Assico” potential in recent memory. Iowa State (1-0) looked solid against FCS foe Southeast Missouri State, winning 42-10. New starting quarterback Hunter Dekkers threw for 293 yards and four touchdowns (and one interception), while wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson proved he will be a force in the Big 12, grabbing three touchdowns to go along with 128 yards receiving. The Cyclones slipped up a little at the end of the first half, but quickly got back on track in the second half. While Iowa State looked good against an FCS foe offensively, the same can certainly not be said for Iowa (1-0). The Hawkeyes won 7-3 over FCS South Dakota State. And while you might reasonably infer that that 7 meant the Hawkeyes scored a touchdown, you would be mistaken. Iowa scored a field goal and two safeties, with the field goal coming off of basically a three and out that started on the SDSU 33. The biggest issue for the Hawkeyes is quarterback play, with Spencer Petras only completing 11 of 25 passes for 109 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. Petras’s QBR was a mind boggling 1.1. For reference, Iowa State QB Hunter Dekkers had an 83.2 QBR in their opener. However, the Iowa defense is still really good, with playmakers like Jack Campbell and Quinn Schulte coming up with big tackles and pass breakups in big moments. Somewhat surprisingly, Iowa is still a 3.5 point favorite at the writing of this article. Even if Iowa’s defense is the best it’s ever been, I just can’t see how they win with Petras at quarterback (which head coach Kirk Ferentz doubled down on after the game). Give me the Cyclones, with Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell finally getting this rivalry win off of his back.

17-6 Iowa State

Kansas @ West Virginia

Saturday, September 10th 5:00 PM CT, ESPN+

We have our Big 12 conference opener! Kansas (1-0) travels to Morgantown to take on West Virginia (0-1). The Mountaineers are trying to bounce back after a tough, 38-31 loss to hated rival Pitt. Kansas, on the other hand, is riding high after an absolutely dominate, 56-10 win over Tennessee Tech. Oddly enough, I was in Kansas City for a wedding this past weekend so I figured I’d go check out this Kansas game. I’ve been to a few Kansas football games in the past and let me say, this crowd was infinitely more juiced than any other Kansas game I’ve been to. We say this pretty frequently with new Kansas head coaches, but I think Lance Leipold legitimately has a shot at turning Kansas football into a more respectable team. A lot of that energy builds off of quarterback Jalon Daniels, who was electric in his three starts last year (including the Jayhawks’ win over Texas), and looks to be carrying that energy into this season. For the Mountaineers, Neal Brown might be coaching for his job this season, making this game an absolute must win. If the Mountaineers were to lose, I think the wheels would come off of this season before it even really begins. And much like the Jayhawks, success or failure will fall onto the shoulders of transfer quarterback JT Daniels, who looked pretty good against Pitt but certainly left some room for improvement. I am really tempted to pick Kansas here, but I’ve got to go with my head and pick West Virginia, especially with this game being in Morgantown. West Virginia is a 13 point favorite.

35-24 West Virginia

Kent State @ #7 Oklahoma

Saturday, September 10th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#7 Oklahoma (1-0) took care of business in their opener against UTEP, winning 45-13. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel had a solid outing, putting up 233 yards and 2 touchdowns off of 15-23 passing. They now host Kent State (0-1) who is coming off of a rough, 45-20 loss to Washington. The only way I see this being much of a game is if Oklahoma is looking ahead to their matchup with Nebraska next week. And realistically, they don’t need to look ahead to that game because Nebraska looks not great this season. Oklahoma is a 32.5 point favorite at the writing of this article. I actually think they might cover that.

49-13 Oklahoma

Arizona State @ #11 Oklahoma State

Saturday, September 10th 6:30 PM CT, ESPN2

This is an intriguing, Big 12/Pac 12 showdown (maybe a future Big 12 showdown?) as Arizona State (1-0) heads to Stillwater to take on #11 Oklahoma State (1-0). The Cowboys had a mostly strong opening game against Central Michigan... until they let CMU comeback late, to make the game closer than it was, with a 58-44 margin of victory. The loss of defensive coordinator Jim Knowles was apparent, as Knowles’s signature is practically shutting out teams in the second half. Arizona State opened their season with a smackdown victory, defeating Northern Arizona 40-3. Oklahoma State is favored in this game by a decent spread of 11 points, but I think the Sun Devils are a sneaky good team this year. I still think the Cowboys ultimately win with their intimidating home field advantage, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this one comes down to the wire.

38-35 Oklahoma State

Tarleton @ TCU

Saturday, September 10th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+

TCU (1-0) secured a nice, 38-13 win over Colorado in their road opener. They now host FCS Tarleton (1-0) for their first home game. Tarleton won their first game against Mississippi Valley State, 29-13. TCU should be able to win this game with little issue. The most interesting aspect of this game will be the quarterback spot for TCU, as Chandler Morris started their first game but dinged up his leg. It’s unclear how severe Morris’s injury is, but it doesn’t sound like it is anything that would be season ending. So the question then is, with veteran Max Duggan coming in and playing well after Morris’s injury, where does the quarterback battle stand? I would bet Duggan will start against Tarleton and will probably light them up, so we’ll have to see then if that moves the needle in Duggan’s favor while Morris recovers. Regardless, TCU wins this one by a large margin.

51-10 TCU

#9 Baylor @ #21 BYU

Saturday, September 10th 9:15 PM CT, ESPN

We’ve got some football after dark in what is the second future-Big 12 matchup of the day! #9 Baylor (1-0) travels to Provo, Utah to take on #21 BYU (1-0) in one of the few top 25 matchups of the weekend. The Cougars avenged their last season loss to former Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon in their opener, cruising to a 50-21 win over South Florida. While that win looks impressive, South Florida was abysmal last year, posting a 2-10 record with a handful of similarly lopsided losses. Baylor took care of business in their opener, defeating Albany 69-10. Quarterback Blake Shapen looked excellent, completing 17 of 20 passes for 214 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Potentially even more importantly, Baylor showed that it is absolutely loaded in the running game, with seven rushing touchdowns on the game spread amongst three running backs, two quarterbacks, and a wide receiver. That’s a good sign because BYU knows Baylor’s scheme very well, as Baylor offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes was at BYU before Baylor. These are both teams that want to pound the rock in order to open up the passing game. Luckily for Baylor, they have elite players on both sides of the trenches, which should certainly help them here. Baylor won last year’s matchup between these two teams in Waco, 38-24. While I think Baylor is just as good, if not better, than last year, there are two things that concern me about this game. For one, this is a fairly late kick so you have to wonder about players potentially getting tired. But maybe most importantly, altitude could be an issue for player stamina, as Provo is 4,551 feet above sea level, compared to Waco’s 470 feet. Still, head coach Dave Aranda has proven that the Bears have elite conditioning in how they closed games last season, so I am optimistic those issues will be less pronounced than they might typically be. BYU is a 3.5 point favorite in this one, but I’ve got Baylor.

35-31 Baylor

FieldinOfDreams 2022 Pick ‘Em Record: 10-0