Big 12 Football Notes and Picks: 2021 Week Three

Four night games highlight the Big 12 schedule this week, and the spread of kick times (not to mention weeknight games) could be more prevalent in the future as the league, which will be spread across three time zones, tries to make itself as attractive as possible to potential future media partners.

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TCU has the first open date of the league season this weekend, and the Horned Frogs will then play 10 consecutive games beginning with next week’s contest against SMU.

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Iowa State running back Breece Hall rushed for a touchdown for the 14th straight game in the Cyclones’ loss last week to Iowa. That score established a school record, is the best active streak in the nation and is one shy of the Big 12 record, which is currently held by Corby Jones of Missouri, who had ground TDs in 15 consecutive games in 1997-98.

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Only four of the league’s first 20 non-conference games came against schools from Texas.


Nebraska (2-1) at Oklahoma (2-0)
Sat., Sept. 18    12:00 PM*      FOX

The majority of college football fans don’t remember the Game of the Century in 1971, in which the Huskers downed the Sooners 35-31. To them, that year is as ancient as the ones encompassing World War II, and acknowledging anything that happened more than 15 minutes ago is a waste of time. That’s a shame, because that was an epic battle, with Chris Schenkel on the call on ABC if memory serves correctly, back in the day when there were only a couple of games on the tube each week.

OK, back to this year. Nebraska looks a bit better now than it did after a week one loss to Illinois, but the Sooners look like they are humming. The Huskers might put up an inspired battle for a while, but won’t be able to pull the upset on the 50th anniversary of one of the best games in college history.

Virginia Tech (2-0) at West Virginia (1-1)
Sat., Sept. 18    12:00 PM      FS1

Virginia Tech won its opener against a Power 5 team, while West Virginia dropped its. Both teams were comfortable winners over outmanned opposition last week, but the Mountaineers didn’t appear to resolve issues with their run blocking. Milan Puskar Stadium will be raucous, but the Hokies are the pick to grab a close road win.

Nevada (2-0) vs Kansas State (2-0)
Sat., Sept. 18   2:05 PM      ESPN+

The Wildcats have again lost QB Skylar Thompson to an injury, but at least it doesn’t appear to be for the season. KSU head coach Chris Kliemann noted that he would be out for “several weeks” and as noted previously, K-State is a different team without him. It’s tough to tell how it will respond after yet another tough break, so the Wolf Pack gets the call for the road win

Baylor (2-0) at Kansas (1-1)
Sat., Sept. 18     3:30 PM      ESPN+

Kansas can move the ball enough to create the potential for an upset, but its defense still has big problems. Baylor has what looks to be a strong rushing attack, even though its two wins have come over Texas State and Texas Southern. If the Bears are paying attention, as they should be as they are still trying to rebuild their program, this should be a win, and that’s the selection here.

FIU (1-1) at Texas Tech (2-0)
Sat., Sept. 11    7:00 PM    ESPN+

The Red Raiders are still tough to figure, but they should be able to defend the home turf against FIU, which hasn’t played anyone of note in its first two games. A sneaky 3-0 start would put Tech halfway to bowl eligibility, and that’s the prediction.

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Rice (1-0) at Texas (1-1)
Sat., Sept. 18    8:00 PM     LHN

Enjoy your last go-round or two on The Longhorn Network, UT, as it will be disappearing when you go to the SEC. In a way that’s too bad, because games like this one aren’t fit for public viewing. Texas will engulf the Owls by halftime.

Oklahoma State (2-0) at Boise State
Sat., Sept. 18    9:00 PM    FS1

The Broncos are tough on the smurf turf and bounced back there last week against UTEP after a tough loss on the road to UCF. The Cowboys certainly have the defense to win, but the offense has been a bit shaky, and Boise takes advantage of that in claiming a win.

Iowa State (1-1) at UNLV
Sat., Sept. 18    10:30 PM      CBSSN

ISU has followed a familiar pattern of not playing well early on and losing to Iowa. It also figures to continue another pattern, one of running off a number of victories and not letting a rough early season start get to it. While head coach Matt Campbell is still trying to figure out how to get the Cyclones started quickly out of the game, he apparently has no problem in keeping everyone on track in the face of adversity. ISU makes the trip over the Rockies and comes home with a win.

* All game times Eastern