Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Around the Big 12: Week 3

We all know TCU opens up conference play bright and early Saturday morning, but every week we'd also like to take a look at what the rest of our conference foes are doing this weekend.  Fair warning:  this is an incredibly boring slate of games, but let's get right to it.  All times listed are obviously central time since nothing else matters.

Oklahoma (2-0, 0-0) is off this weekend.  Next game:  9/22 vs. Kansas State (in Norman)

Louisiana Lafayette (2-0) @ Oklahoma State (1-1, 0-0) - Saturday, 11 a.m. 

Oklahoma State, fresh off getting blown off the field by Rich Rodriguez's Arizona Wildcats, try to rebound and get back above .500 early on in the season.  I'm sure they were riding high after blasting a completely overmatched Savannah State team before Arizona brought them back down to Earth.  It will be interesting to see how the Pokes respond against a 2-0 ULL team who has put up 40 and 37 in their first 2 games.  Okie Lite gave up 59 last week, so they better find a defense quick before conference play starts because I'm pretty certain there are quite a few offenses better than Zona's in the Big 12.  I still think they roll here behind Freshman QB Wes Lunt, but the defense will still miss playing Savannah State.  Final score:  OSU 52- ULL 27. 

James Madison (2-0) @ #9 West Virginia (1-0, 0-0) - Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Remember when James Madison shocked the world and took down Virginia Tech a few years back?  Yeah, that's not going to happen here.  West Virginia blasted Marshall and effectively scared the living shit out of every Big 12 defense in week 1 by a score of 69-34.  They had a bye week in their schedule last week so they could efficiently game plan for FCS James Madison who I'm sure they spent most of their practices focusing on.  So yeah, their last 2 games they've scored 70 and 69, but it looks like another Big 12 team with potential holes in there defense that could be an issue later on in the season.  If you haven't seen him yet, QB Geno Smith is a stud.  Too bad he can't play defense for them too.  Another blowout, but the points in the last 2 games show me their offense is regressing.  That trend continues here.  Final Score:  WVU 68- JMU 16.

North Texas (1-1) @ #15 Kansas State (2-0, 0-0) - Saturday 6:00 p.m.

North Texas, clearly a glutton for punishment, heads to Manhattan, KS 2 weeks after getting steamrolled by LSU with their sites set on upsetting the Wildcats.  While things appear to be getting better in artsy fartsy Denton under Dan McCarney and with that brand new hideous stadium they've built, I don't see an upset in this one.  Kansas State struggled for 3 quarters in week 1 before deciding to wake up and blow out Missouri State 51-9.  The next week against a much tougher opponent, the Miami Hurricanes (not to be confused with "Da U" who actually used to beat people and be good when they Nevin Shapiro was pimping out their program), Kansas State wasted no time and there was never any doubt as they won 52-13.  Another Big 12 QB worth watching here, as Colin Klein and his Poor Man's Tim Tebow act continue to impress and give opposing defensive coordinator's headaches.  Also, if you haven't seen this guy yet, he's worth a watch.  Could K State be looking ahead to OU next weekend?  Maybe, but I don't think it matters in the end, but it stays closer than the experts think.  Final Score:  K State 31- UNT 14.

New Mexico (1-1) @ Texas Tech (2-0, 0-0) - Saturday 6:00 p.m.

The Mike Locksley era at UNM has finally mercifully ended and former Notre Dame failure Bob Davie has been made captain of this sinking ship.  Things aren't as bad as they used to be for the Lobos considering they actually already have a win (against Grambling arch rival Southern University) and they appear to have a pretty stout rushing attack (13th nationally).  They were blanked last week in Austin despite being able to run the ball pretty well.  I think they score a couple times against a much less potent Tech defense, but their defense still can't stop anybody.  Tech can still throw it all over the yard despite Mike Leach and his crazy antics having been away from the plains for a few years now, and they quickly squashed any talk of an upset last week by obliterating Texas State 58-10 in the Valtrex Venereal Disease Bowl down in San Marcos last weekend.  Another ho-hum game this weekend, as Tech should roll here as well.  Final Score:  Tech 49- UNM 24.

Sam Houston State (1-0) @ Baylor (1-0, 0-0) - Saturday 7:00 p.m.

Baylor scared the Hell out of me after watching their offense and their receivers in their season opener against SMU in what turned out to be a 59-24 victory.  Then I realized it's SMU and SMU sucks miserably and Garrett Gilbert can only make them suck worse.  So I'm not 100% sold on Baylor yet, but they're clearly still going to be able to score points (sensing a theme developing with all of these Big 12 teams...).  I feel like I'm repeating myself (I am), but I think their defense is vulnerable.  Not this week though, against FCS Sam Houston State.  Could they be looking ahead to Louisiana Monroe next week? Just kidding.  Nice scheduling, Briles.  Was Texas School for the Deaf all booked up this fall?  Final Score:  Baylor 55- SHSU 10.

Western Illinois (2-0) @ Iowa State (2-0, 0-0) - Saturday 7:00 p.m.

Fresh of a nail-biting victory on the road against rival Iowa in what had to be a thrill-a-minute 9-6 shootout, the Cyclones head back home turn their attention to an FCS opponent as well.  Paul Rhoads always manages to win some he's probably not supposed to and maybe last week was one of those.  Western Illinois has won 2 close ones against other junk schools including back to back Final Four darlings the Butler Bulldogs.  Somehow I don't think close games against Butler and Indianapolis translate to an upset of a Big 12 team, albeit a mediocre one.  Nothing about Iowa State impresses me ever.  Actually, nothing about the state of Iowa impresses me period.  Iowa State wins this one unimpressively as well.  Final Score:  Iowa State 31- Western Illinois 6

#14 Texas (2-0, 0-0) @ Ole Miss (2-0) - Saturday 8:15 p.m. 

Texas joins TCU as the only Big 12 teams on the road this weekend, which I found as a shock since I was pretty certain DeLoss Dodds had structured some deal with the NCAA that didn't require UT to ever play out of conference road games ever again.  I say road game lightly because I'm pretty sure about 40,000 people in that stadium will be from the state of Texas (not necessarily cheering for UT though).  The Grove is sure to be a happenin' place this Saturday when the Longhorns come to town, and I'm sure the wealth of smokin' hot girls all over that campus would make even Hugh Hefner blush.  UT is 2-0 this year against perennial MWC cellar dwellers Wyoming and UNM and quite frankly they haven't been that impressive.  There's still work to be done for Mack Brown and his staff, like finding a viable QB, but the rushing attack looks very potent.  The defense shut out the Lobos last week but allowed over 200 yards rushing.  They may be the most talented and highly touted defense in the conference and they probably should be, but there are some holes there that can be exploited.  This will be the public's first chance to watch the Longhorns this season since their first 2 games were on The Longhorn Network, so I'll be excited to wind my football night down with this one.  Ole Miss is off to a 2-0 start, but wins over Central Arkansas and UTEP don't exactly impress, although maybe UTEP has something after that scare they gave OU.  I doubt it though.  Dual threat sophomore QB Bo Wallace may be able to move the ball on the Horns and turn it into some points, and I think this one stays interesting late into the night in Oxford.  However, I think the Rebels fall just short and the Big 12's lone defeat on the day is the thrashing we hand KU.  Final Score (and I hope I'm wrong):  Texas 27- Ole Miss 20.  


Lyle Lanley said...

No team is required by the NCAA to play non-conference road games.

SnK said...

Meh. You get the point. Everyone does.