Week 1 Big 12 Football Roundup: 8-2 is 8-2
Follow and/or Contact @PeteFiutak
Big 12 Football Rankings After Week 1
1. Oklahoma (1-0)
2. TCU (1-0)
3. Baylor (1-0)
4. West Virginia (1-0)
5. Oklahoma State (1-0)
6. Kansas State (1-0)
7. Texas (0-1)
8. Iowa State (1-0)
9. Texas Tech (1-0)
10. Kansas (0-1)
The Big 12 survived and advanced
It certainly wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t the high-octane fun show everyone was waiting for out of most of the Big 12 teams, but outside of a horrendous showing by Texas against Notre Dame, and other than the expected loss from Kansas – even if it was right there for the taking at the end against South Dakota State – Big 12 football went 8-2 with a better weekend than you might think.
TCU didn’t blow Minnesota away, but that’s a very good, very sound Gopher team with a strong secondary and the style set up perfectly to deal with a team that likes to wing the ball all over the yard. Bottom line, the Horned Frogs beat – roughly – the fifth best team in the Big Ten on the road.
Baylor beat SMU 56-21. Forget that it took a little while to rev up the engine, it’s the first week of the season and there wasn’t any drama whatsoever.
Northern Iowa is a dangerous FCS team, and Iowa State beat it like a drum.
Georgia Southern might win the Sun Belt title, and West Virginia won 44-0 by stuffing one of the nation’s top running games to 195 yards.
Oklahoma State struggled a bit too much against Central Michigan, and Texas Tech’s defense decided not to show up against Sam Houston State, but both teams survived, and they’re each 1-0.
The Big 12 survived, and now it’s time to advance.
The tune-ups are out of the way, but next week is when the scrutiny will really kick in. Kansas will need to come up with a big upset to get by Memphis, but Iowa State plays Iowa and, in what’s going to be the standard-bearer for the conference throughout the season, Oklahoma goes to Tennessee.
Now it’s Game On. Going 8-2 next week might not look quite as hot.
Baylor: Would 724 yards have been better?
Baylor is dealing with a few big off-the-field distractions, a new starting quarterback, and the pressure of needing to put up a bazillion points on the board every time out or else be criticized. SMU was able to hang around early, but in the end, Baylor put up 56 points, cranked up 723 yards of total offense, and won in an easy rout. It was good enough.
Iowa State: It works
One of the offseason underground Big 12 storylines was the Iowa State passing game – it was supposed to be pretty good. Sam B. Richardson came out sharp in the 31-7 win over Northern Iowa, completing 21-of-29 passes for 233 yards and two scores. It took a little while to get rolling, but once he did. The Iowa State offense hummed. This isn’t going to be Baylor or Texas Tech throwing the ball, but the attack should be able to keep up the pace – the Iowa game next week will be the real test.
Kansas: The ray of hope?
Kansas is easily the worst team in the Big 12 and might be the worst Power 5 team by a mile, but it’s going to be a process. It’s going to take a few recruiting classes and lots of time for David Beaty to get things in place – everyone knows that. However, over the next year or three, whenever the Jayhawks get a shot at a win – or, at least, overtime – it can’t fumble it away. Montell Cozart’s inability to come up with a spike to set up a possible game-tying field goal against South Dakota State will be what’s remembered, but in the clutch, the offense started to work. Cozart threw well, Ke’aun Kinner ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns, and Kansas football was, for a moment, really entertaining. It’s still going to be an 0-12 season, but for this year, if the Jayhawks are fun-bad, that’ll be fine.
Kansas State: To nitpick 34-0
Kansas State had no problems whatsoever with a bad South Dakota team from the FCS, but it wasn’t the Kansas State-like game it’s going to need to have. Without the firepower of last year in the passing game, the Wildcats have to do what they do in terms of controlling the clock – they didn’t – keep the penalties to a minimum – they got hit eight times – and win the turnover margin – they were even. QB Joe Hubener completed 9-of-18 passes for 147 yards and a score.
Oklahoma: Air Raid, The Sequel
How did Oklahoma’s high-octane offensive switch work out? Baker Mayfield completed 23-of-33 passes for 388 yards and three scores. Samaje Perine couldn’t get anything going with just 33 yards, but he didn’t need to. Mayfield had Joe Mixon to help out, with a 76-yard touchdown out of the backfield, and he spread the ball around well. However, against Tennessee the spotlight will be on the backfield. Three yards per carry isn’t going to get it done.
Oklahoma State: It’s going to click
Mason Rudolph didn’t set the world on fire Oklahoma State’s sluggish 24-13 win over Central Michigan, but he was okay, completing 22-of-32 passes for 266 yards with a touchdown. The concern is the lack of explosion. The Cowboys have the speed and they have the talent, but they looked like it was Week One.
TCU: Slugging it out
The real key in TCU’s 23-17 win over Minnesota wasn’t that it didn’t seem like the same Horned Frog team of last year, it’s that it was able to win ugly. The firepower is there, but this turned into a grinder of a game, and TCU was able to beat Minnesota at its own game by owning the time of possession 34:50 to 25:10, and outrushing the Gophers 203 to 144. America might have been looking for something more impressive out of the nation’s No. 2 team, but this was dangerous territory the Horned Frogs were in. They got out fine.
Texas: Uh oh
It wasn’t just that Texas was awful, or that Notre Dame might be really good, it’s that nothing worked. With an entire offseason to prepare, the Longhorns were nothing more than air for Malik Zaire to throw against. The defense wasn’t able to adjust, and it didn’t get any help from an offense that couldn’t keep things moving. Where are the playmakers? Where’s the talent? Where’s the veteran offensive line? Blow this off, press the reset button. If there are the same problems against Rice, then it’s time to really worry.
Texas Tech: Get your popcorn ready
The Red Raiders were without star pass rusher Pete Robertson for a game, but his absence wasn’t the reason Texas Tech allowed 45 points in the win over Sam Houston State. If you like big-time offensive shootouts, that’s going to be every Texas Tech game. The offense worked, the defense didn’t, and this isn’t going to be the only time a Red Raider game has more than 1,200 yards of total offense.
West Virginia: Georgia Southern’s top receiver
Karl Joseph showed why he’s an All-America caliber safety. Not only was he all over the field making plays against the Georgia Southern option attack, but he caught more passes than Eagle receivers did, picking off three passes – GSU QB Favin Upshaw completed 2-of-13 passes for 29 yards and four picks. Meanwhile, QB Skyler Howard was fantastic with 359 yards, helped by Shelton Gibson and Jovon Durante each going over the 100-yard receiving mark. This 44-0 thumping was better than it’ll get credit for.
Big 12 Player of the Week
West Virginia S Karl Joseph led the team with eight tackles with three third quarter interceptions and a fumble recovery in the 44-0 win over Georgia Southern.
Week 1 Big 12 Football Scores & Picks: How’d We Do?
Big 12 Football Predictions For Week 1: Straight Up: 10-0, Against The Spread: 3-3
Oklahoma State 24, at Central Michigan 13 ESPNU
Line: Oklahoma State -23, o/u: 54, Prediction: Oklahoma State 38, Central Michigan 24
TCU 23, Minnesota 17 ESPN
Line: TCU -14.5, o/u: 57.5, Prediction: TCU 34, Minnesota 24
Baylor 56, SMU 21
Line: Baylor -36, o/u: 74, Prediction: Baylor 52, SMU 10
South Dakota State 41, Kansas 38
Line: NO LINE, o/u: NL, Prediction: South Dakota State 34, Kansas 24
Texas Tech 59, Sam Houston State 45 Networks
Line: NO LINE, o/u: NL, Prediction: Texas Tech 48, Sam Houston State 30
Oklahoma 41, Akron 3
Line: Oklahoma -31, o/u: 55.5, Prediction: Oklahoma 52, Akron 13
Kansas State 34, South Dakota 0
Line: NO LINE, o/u: NL, Prediction: Kansas State 52, South Dakota 13
Notre Dame 38, Texas 3
Line: Notre Dame -9.5, o/u: 54.5, Prediction: Notre Dame 24, Texas 20
West Virginia 44, Georgia Southern 0
Line: West Virginia -20, o/u: 58.5, Prediction: West Virginia 37, Georgia Southern 28
Iowa State 31, Northern Iowa 7
Line: NO LINE, o/u: NL, Prediction: Iowa State 26, Northern Iowa 24