Big 12 Week 2 Roundup, Rankings, Breakdowns & Recaps
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Big 12 Player of the Week
It wasn’t the prettiest overall performance, and he struggled early, but Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield came through completing 19-of-39 passes for 187 yards and three scores with two picks, and a very, very big short rushing touchdown, in the win over Tennessee.
Scroll down for thoughts on each Big 12 team, recaps and picks
Big 12 Rankings After Week 2
1. Oklahoma (2-0)
2. TCU (2-0)
3. Baylor (2-0)
4. West Virginia (2-0)
5. Kansas State (2-0)
6. Texas Tech (2-0)
7. Oklahoma State (2-0)
8. Texas (1-1)
9. Iowa State (1-1)
10. Kansas (0-2)
It’s the win the Big 12 HAD to have.
No, the Big 12 didn’t miss out on the playoff last year because it didn’t have a conference championship game. It missed out partly because Baylor’s non-conference schedule was an absolute joke, and because the rest of the league just wasn’t that good. Perceptions change with massive non-conference wins.
While Baylor is doing its light scrimmage against the poor thing again, and Texas didn’t help the cause against Texas, TCU started out the season with a nice win over Minnesota on the road, West Virginia and Texas Tech have been solid, and most importantly, Oklahoma beat Tennessee.
Coming off a week with ten teams ranked, the SEC was all puffy-chested and firmly established as the biggest and baddest conference in college football. It still is, but the Sooners going into Knoxville and coming away with a gut-check win all of a sudden gives the Big 12 that one big piece it can always put in its playoff picture puzzle.
Now, because of this one road victory, beating Oklahoma will be seen as a really big deal. Now, Oklahoma has set the table to potentially have a huge season if it can take this game and move forward.
With an 8-2 weekend, and the losses both expected with Iowa State fighting with Iowa and Kansas losing to Memphis, this was a huge, huge moment for the conference.
Big 12, you have Bob Stoops and Baker Mayfield to thank.
Baylor: W, Lamar 66-31
Yes, yes, Baylor, this is all fun and games, but these blowout wins over miserable teams matters right now. There’s tweaking to be done to a run defense that’s been too leaky, and really, at some point the penalties have to slow down – 25 so far in the first two games. Seth Russell is getting used to life as the starter, and while there are a few mistakes, and the team has been way too sluggish out of the gate in the first two games, it’s impossible to argue with 754 yards per game. This is all just exhibition for now.
Iowa State: L, Iowa 31-17
The Cyclones couldn’t get the running game going, but they were right there with Iowa up until the defense faltered in the fourth. Sam Richardson got the passing game moving, but after two weeks the offense hasn’t seemed to find any sort of a rhythm. When the offense needed to go on a few key drives, it couldn’t do it. Converting third downs on a regular basis is a must, and that comes from getting the tone on first down with the ground attack.
Kansas: L, Memphis 55-23
We scored first! We scored first! It’s going to be a weekly cry that the pieces just aren’t there, but it’s going to get a lot worse for a defense that hasn’t been able to close down a passing game so far. The Jayhawks are going to need to manufacture points off of takeaway like they did early on against Memphis, but ball control is going to be a must to keep the defense off the field. That’s now how this program is being built under David Beaty, but so far Kansas has averaged close to 31 minutes of possession time. It has to be even more.
Kansas State: W, UTSA 30-3
With no Jesse Ertz at quarterback, Kansas State is all about figuring out how to get the offense moving on a regular basis with Joe Hubener. In his first game against UTSA, he was okay throwing down the field and cranking up some big yards, but he’s going to need help from the ground attack that didn’t do enough averaging four yards per pop. Hubener led the team with 58 rushing yards – that’s not a plus. So far the defense has allowed just three points, so as long as Hubener isn’t screwing up, the Wildcats should be fine against Louisiana Tech next week.
Oklahoma: W, Tennessee 31-24
The defense did a fantastic job of keeping the game within reason just long enough for Baker Mayfield and the offense to find something that worked. Tennessee sold out to stop Samaje Perine, who ran for just 78 yards, and it was up to Mayfield to move the attack. He couldn’t do it until the team’s back was against the wall, and it helped to have Sterling Shephard to help bail the Sooners out with big plays late. For this all to work, though, OU has to be able to use its phenomenal backfield and get it rolling. It starts against Tulsa.
Oklahoma State: W, Central Arkansas 32-8
The offense is starting to crank it up a bit. Mason Rudolph had a huge day in the target-practice game against Central Arkansas, and now he gets another one against UTSA to gear up for the Big 12 season. So far the run defense has been swarming, and the punting game has been terrific, but now the running game has to start dominating to help out Rudolph. Throwing for 401 yards against Central Arkansas is nice, but there needs to be more balance.
TCU: W, Stephen F. Austin, 70-7
TCU had to deal with a good Minnesota team geared up to start the season – there was nothing wrong with the offense, and there was nothing wrong with Trevone Boykin. He missed a few throws against Stephen F. Austin, but the timing was better – thanks to the competition – and that was the TCU that’s going to rip up SMU next week. The most important part of the schedule is on defense, getting all the new parts in for the injured started with one more game to figure it out before going to Texas Tech.
Texas: W, Rice 42-28
Lost in the euphoria of Texas not losing in painful fashion this week was that the offense still didn’t work. The defense and special teams helped save the day for a Longhorn ground game that was merely average and a passing attack that didn’t exists. Jerrod Heard at least showed off his running ability, and he showed flashes of potential greatness as a guy to build around, but the Longhorns had the ball for just 16 minutes, couldn’t move the chains, and needed the five takeaways from the defense to survive. That’s not going to work against Cal.
Texas Tech: W, UTEP 69-20
Don’t blow off the mediocre competition – Texas Tech needed this. The passing game is rocking and rolling averaging 441 passing yards per game and with Patrick Mahomes in total command of the attack. He wasn’t always accurate against UTEP, but he made his throws count. There’s a good pace to the offense, there’s a good rhythm, and there’s confidence – at least that’s how the team appears to be playing. With six players coming up with 40 receiving yards or more, and another with 38 yards, it’s all working just in time for the Arkansas showdown. Win that, and then the Kliff Kingsbury era will really take off.
West Virginia: W, Liberty 41-17
That’s how it’s supposed to work. With so many new parts to the receiving corps needing to play big roles, and with Skyler Howard getting used to being the starter, getting to completed 21-of-26 passes for 263 yards and three scores was a very good, very steady day against a live defense to keep gearing up this sleeper team. In case you didn’t notice, the Georgia Southern team WVU whacked 44-0 just throttled a terrific Western Michigan team. If the Mountaineers can roll against Maryland, the showdown against Oklahoma will make national noise.
Predictions & Picks: How’d We Do?
Straight Up: 20-0 ATS: 9-4
Kansas State 30, UTSA 3
Line: Kansas State -17, o/u: 52, Prediction: Kansas State 33, UTSA 17
West Virginia 41, Liberty 17
Line: No Line, o/u: No Line, Prediction: West Virginia 45, Liberty 10
Texas Tech 69, UTEP 20
Line: Texas Tech -20.5, o/u: 63.5, Prediction: Texas Tech 41, UTEP 27
TCU 70, Stephen F Austin 7
Line: No Line, o/u: No Line, Prediction: TCU 55, Stephen F. Austin 20
Iowa 31, Iowa State 17
Line: Iowa -3.5, o/u: 52, Prediction: Iowa 31, Iowa State 27
Oklahoma 31, Tennessee 24
Line: PICK, o/u: 61.5, Prediction: Oklahoma 38, Tennessee 34
Memphis 55, Kansas 23
Line: Memphis -13.5, o/u: 58, Prediction: Memphis 41, Kansas 21
Baylor 66, Lamar 31
Line: No Line, o/u: No Line, Prediction: Baylor 70-7
Oklahoma State 48, Central Arkansas 13
Line: No Line, o/u: No Line, Prediction: Oklahoma State 48, Central Arkansas 13
Texas 42, Rice 28
Line: Texas -15.5, o/u: 51, Prediction: Texas 33, Rice 20