Big 12 Football Notes and Picks: 2021 Week Two

Big 12 Football Helmets

Woo boy, there are some dogs on this week’s Big 12 schedule. Outside of Iowa-Iowa State, which should be a dandy, Week Two is filled with FCS mismatches and a couple of Power 5 games that look like they should be good, but in reality won’t be. Every week can’t be great or have several compelling match-ups, but this one doesn’t figure to be memorable.

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West Virginia was the only Big 12 team to get off on the wrong foot in its opener, as the Mountaineers’ loss to Maryland was the only blemish on the league’s 9-1 Week One schedule. Kansas State and Texas Tech received some votes in Top 25 polls after their wins, while WVU disappeared from that group after its 30-24 loss.

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Oklahoma State has won 74 consecutive games when holding its opponent to fewer than 20 points, dating back to Sept. 13, 2003. It’s the longest active stretch of time in the FBS and the longest since at least 1980.

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Four Big 12 players recorded the nation’s top single-game performances last week. Winston Wright (West Virginia) racked up a program record 217 kickoff return yards at Maryland while Erik Ezukanma (Texas Tech) compiled 179 receiving yards against Houston. Malcolm Rodriguez (Oklahoma State) made 17 total tackles vs. Missouri State. Gabe Brkic (Oklahoma) tied an FBS record by converting three field goals of over 50 yards in a game,
including a nation’s long of 56 yards.


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THE PICKS

 Kansas (1-0) at Coastal Carolina (1-0)
Fri Sep 10     7:30 PM*      ESPN2

Is Coastal Carolina better than it was a year ago? Probably not. Is Kansas improved from 2020? Marginally. That doesn’t add up to a turnaround in this brief series, though, which the Chanticleers lead 2-0. The prediction here is Coastal defends its home field and continues to add to the fun in the Sun Belt Conference.


Tulsa (0-1) at Oklahoma State (1-0)
Sat Sep 11    12:00 PM    FS1

This in-state battle generates a little heat, but the Pokes have too much talent for a Golden Hurricane team that could muster just 17 points against Cal-Davis in a week one loss. OSU takes control early and bats away some of the lingering questions from its close win over Missouri State.


California (0-1) at TCU (1-0)
Sat Sep 11    3:30 PM      ESPNU

The Bears lost to neighboring Nevada in a desultory week one opener, while TCU did nothing to dispel the notion that it’s going to contend for a top-tier league finish and an excellent bowl. The Frogs run their series record against Cal to 2-0 with a solid win.


Iowa (1-0) at Iowa State (1-0)
Sat Sep 11    4:30 PM      ABC

Iowa State beats many foes with an unrelenting, physical, fundamental style. Where it can run into trouble is when it meets an opponent with the same approach. That’s often the case against the Hawkeyes, who have a program built on the same precepts. ISU has dropped five consecutive games in the CyHawk series, and while it has the home field and what figures to be a raucous crowd behind it, the visitors are the upset pick.


LIU (0-1) at West Virginia (0-0)
Sat Sep 11    5:00 PM      ESPN+

WVU gets a win against the severely outmanned Sharks. About the only thing going for this game other than that is the start time, which gives Mountaineers fans the extra tailgating time they often yearn for.


Southern Illinois (1-0) vs Kansas State (1-0)
Sat Sep 11   7:00 PM      ESPN+

A very good SIU squad – ranked No. 8 in the FCS – will test the Wildcats in Manhattan.  The letdown factor might be in play of K-State coming off a Week One throttling of Stanford, but the suspicion is the ‘Cats aren’t done with their desire to prove that last year’s 4-5 record was largely attributable to the ravages of injury. K-State is the pick.


Western Carolina (0-0) at Oklahoma (1-0)
Sat Sep 11    7:00 PM      PPV

The Sooners had some trouble with Tulane at the beginning and end of last week’s win, but one result doesn’t make a trend. The Catamounts draw a bit of hope from the Green Wave’s performance, but the talent gap between those two teams is as large as the travel distance from Cullowhee to Norman. OU rolls.


Texas (1-0) at Arkansas (1-0)
Sat Sep 11    7:00 PM     ESPN

This reenactment of a historic Southwest Conference clash should be a good game – when looked at through the lens of nostalgia. The Razorbacks, though, despite an opening win over Rice, aren’t equipped to deal with the ‘Horns, who finally decided to get the ball to their best player. Bijan Robinson and Co. get the road win against a future conference mate.


Texas Southern (0-0) at Baylor (1-0)
Sat Sep 11    7:00 PM    ESPN+

The Bears enjoy a stress-free day against the TSU Tigers, who mustered just 274 yards in their 40-17 loss to Prairie View A&M last week. It may be the end of the month before a good read can be obtained on the Bears, who got by Texas State last week and face Kansas next week before hosting Iowa State on Sept. 25.


Stephen F. Austin (1-0) at Texas Tech (1-0)
Sat Sep 11    7:00 PM    ESPN+

An emotional, come-from-behind win against Houston last week might lead to a bit of a letdown for the Red Raiders against the Lumberjacks, but that won’t be anywhere close to enough to produce an upset. Tech keeps its offense in the groove and helps remove more of the heat from head coach Matt Wells’ seat with its second win of the season.


* All game times Eastern

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Home Page forums Big 12 Football Notes and Picks: 2021 Week Two

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