Big 12 Football Notes and Picks: Week Three

Big 12 Football Notes and Picks: Week Three

Mascots and cheerleaders assemble on the field at The Star


Oklahoma propelled the Big 12 from MEAC levels to national championship contenders in the eyes of many national writers with its win over Ohio State. One prominent writer did so unabashedly just a week or so after declaring the Big 12 dead in that regard. Is that all it takes?

A actual objective review of the game should note that OU appeared much faster than the Buckeyes, and that the final score didn’t reflect how much the Sooners dominated play. And although it has by far the best win of the year for the league, Oklahoma isn’t the only league team looking strong. Oklahoma State and Kansas State looked very good despite facing sub-par foes the first two weeks, and TCU’s road win at Arkansas should also get some notice.

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Every school except Texas Tech winds up the non-conference portion of its season this week. The Red Raiders, who were off last week, will play the last out of conference contest of the Big 12 regular season next week against Houston.

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The league has five games against Power Five opponents this week, with four of them coming on the road. What would a respectable record be? It’s tough to expect Texas to take down USC, but three of the other four games are very winnable. A 3-2 mark, though, isn’t going to do much to move the national perception needle.

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Only Baylor and Kansas have scored fewer points than West Virginia so far this year, but the Mountaineers have the Big 12’s top rusher (Justin Crawford) total offense leader (Will Grier), receptions leader (Gary Jennings) and scoring leader (David Sills). It should be noted that WVU has faced one of the better defenses in the country in Virginia Tech this year. It will benefit this week, though, with a match-up against one of the worst teams in the nation.

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TCU’s defense may be back. The Horned Frogs are allowing just 76.5 rushing yards and 3.5 points per game after throttling Arkansas and Jackson State.

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TCU and SMU have met 96 times in football, with the Horned Frogs holding a nine win advantage. The other nine games on the Big 12 slate have been played a combined 13 times.



Oklahoma State at Pittsburgh      Sat Sep 16 12:00 PM*      ESPN

Last year the Panthers nearly pulled off a road upset. This year, with quarterback issues and troubles scoring points, there’s no way they can keep pace with the explosive Cowboys, even if they do manage to slow them a bit. OSU rolls up 40 points again and becomes the first league team with two road wins.

Iowa State at Akron      Sat Sep 16 12:00 PM      CBSSN

Iowa State looks improved, taking Iowa to overtime before falling. Now, can it avoid a letdown over that disappointment and go on the road to get a win at Akron? If it does, it takes another step toward a possible bowl bid, although that will still be difficult. If not, it’s another building year that will have to focus on an upset or two and more program development.

Delaware State at West Virginia      Sat Sep 16 12:00 PM      AT&TSN

The only way to explain this game is the fact that WVU appears to have a good relationship with the Hornets, having faced them four times in men’s basketball between 2001-09, and with the MEAC in general in that sport. This is only the second time the Mountaineers have faced a MEAC school on the gridiron, having brushed aside Norfolk State in 2011. That’s all you need to know about this snoozer, which West Virginia will win handily.

Baylor at Duke      Sat Sep 16 12:00 PM      ACC

The thought was that Baylor would struggle with so much change underway in Waco. But Liberty and UTSA? Sheesh. The Bears are finding out what life is like without a stellar quarterback (they don’t even have an average one right now), which makes it very tough to predict a road win over a respectable ACC foe. Unless a QB change lights a fire, it’s going to be an 0-3 start for new head coach Matt Rhule. We’re predicting just that outcome.

Kansas at Ohio      Sat Sep 16 2:00 PM ESPN3

Every year, it’s the same. Kansas looks improved in an early game, then loses to a Group of Five team, has an injury or two and becomes mired in a game of switching quarterbacks. This year, buoyed by the optimism generated from new football facilities announcements and an infusion of talent, was supposed to be different. Scratch that. KU laid another egg against Central Michigan at home, and will likely fare no better against Ohio on the road. Jayhawks fans begin the countdown to basketball season in earnest.

SMU at TCU      Sat Sep 16 3:30 PM      ESPNU

The battle for Dallas\Ft. Worth plays out with the Horned Frogs coming off a win over Arkansas, another previous Southwest Conference foe. The Mustangs are bigger animals than Razorbacks, but not as mean nor as accomplished on the field. TCU goes to 3-0 and lays claim to bragging rights in the Metroplex for another year.

Tulane at Oklahoma      Sat Sep 16 6:00 PM      SSN

Ohio State win hangover? Nope. The Sooners are playing with a lot of confidence, and it showed in the way they dominated the Buckeyes. The margin of victory is the only thing in question when the ball goes into the air in Norman.

Kansas State at Vanderbilt      Sat Sep 16 7:30 PM      ESPNU

Vandy is perfectly capable of knocking off good teams. The Wildcats won’t be one of them. The Commodores aren’t as good defensively as K-State, and don’t have the offensive weapons to match the Cats’ punishing ground game. Bill Snyder’s guys take a 3-0 record into their open date.

Arizona State at Texas Tech      Sat Sep 16 8:00 PM      FSN

Mirage or real? That’s the question for the Red Raiders, who allowed just ten points in Week One, albeit against an FCS foe. No one would have predicted that, given Tech’s woeful defensive status of a year ago. Things ramp up against the Sun Devils after a week off, and this should be very heated for an early season contest, as both programs are fighting to save their coaches’ jobs. While this game promises to be a shootout, Tech might have a bit more firepower. That, plus the home support, pushes Tech to 2-0.

Texas at USC      Sat Sep 16 8:30 PM      FOX

Prior to last week’s win over San Jose State, a Texas assistant coach likened the game and the Horns’ anticipated performance to championship levels. That bit of hype aside, UT did look more polished than it did in its week one loss, but facing Sam Darnold with quarterback questions isn’t a recipe for success. The Trojans push Texas back under the .500 mark with a win.

* All Times Eastern

Home forums Big 12 Football Notes and Picks: Week Three

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    Big 12 Football Notes and Picks: Week Three THE NOTES Oklahoma propelled the Big 12 from MEAC levels to national championship contenders in the eyes o
    [See the full post at: Big 12 Football Notes and Picks: Week Three]


    Because of the recruiting aspect, would you argue that SMU-TCU is the most important game of the year for the Mustangs?


    Intriguing game between K-State and Vandy. Wildcats likely to struggle moving the ball against underrated ‘D’, but agree KSU wins a close one.


    Big day for the Big 12… Oklahoma St. and Kansas St. should get Power 5 wins, hoping Texas can keep it competitive against USC


    Texas/USC was an awesome game to watch as a fan of the game. Texas certainly looks more focused than it was against Maryland. Those two QB’s are pretty good

    Oklahoma State was scary. Glad is was against PITT.

    KState struggled against a Vanderbilt defense which is currently ranked #1 in Total defense in the NCAA. QB  Erst appeared to be the only offense the Wildcats had. Of course, they were solid on Defense.

    Also watched SMU/TCU. Frogs started out slow but then showed flashes of the old,well recently old, teams. Fast…

    Texas Tech Outlasted Arizona State. WVU, Oklahoma and Iowa State went as expected I guess.

    Baylor and Kansas…oh well.

    Overall Big 12 had a respectable weekend.

    I watched ECU/VPI and was encouraged in the first half. MAN did that game take a wrong turn.


    Looking forward to Saturday!


    Go Mountaineers!


    Couldn’t tell if Vandy’s defense was that good or if K-State’s offense is just extremely one-dimensional (it looked like the QB power run was the only play in the playbook). I think Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. are the only teams that are head and shoulders above WVU at this point.


    Vandy’s defense is very good, but still for K-State to lose 14-7 had to be discouraging. This was supposed to be the year that KSU quarterback Jesse Ertz showed he was an improved passes, but he was just 10-of-28 for 76 yards with two INT and no TDs Saturday at Vanderbilt. He did rush for 126 yards on 24 carries (rest of the Wildcats combined for 11 rushes for 75 yards on the ground), but if Ertz isn’t better throwing the football than 10-of-28, K-State is in big trouble … any team would be in today’s world.

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