We are within 100 days until we kick off the 2018 college football season. Well, it’s 82 to be exact, but who’s counting? The Big 12 Conference has a slew of great non-conference games that will get fans juiced up for the conference schedule, which begins as early as mid-September for some teams. Heartland College Sports’ Pete Mundo and Derek Duke will be taking you through the top 10 non-conference games on the Big 12 football schedule, ranking from No. 10 down to No. 1. Let’s get to it!
If you missed others in our countdown:
9/1/18 @ 11 AM CT: Texas Tech vs Ole Miss (NRG Stadium in Houston, TX)
This is may be the best Big 12 non-conference game for Week One. Texas Tech is entering a crucial year for head coach Kliff Kingsbury as he needs all the help he can get to retain his job. As for Ole Miss, head coach Matt Luke is still trying to pick up the pieces after the NCAA sanctions. The biggest question we all have is who will start at quarterback for the Red Raiders? Jett Duffey or McLane Carter? Also, how much of a step forward will this defense take this season under year four of DC David Gibbs? A lot of questions surround this football team but there is no time to waste as they will have their hands full in Houston.
As for Ole Miss, expectations are still low considering they are still under some sanctions. I believe most have them finishing last or second to last in the SEC West division. Even though Shea Patterson transferred to Michigan, the Rebels have found their quarterback in Jordan Ta’amu who was fantastic last season. Along with Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss has an excellent group of wide receivers to have a solid passing game. While the offense may be electric, the Rebels defense is not so good. I guess the national perception could be they look like a Big 12 team? This will be an interesting match up between the Ole Miss offense and the improved Texas Tech defense.
This game will be crucial for both teams because more than likely they will both be fighting for bowl eligibility late in the season. As a neutral site game, it’s hard to tell right now which fan base will pack the house but I expect there to be a decent crowd at NRG Stadium in Houston. Like I mentioned earlier, even though it’s the first week of the season, the stakes will be high between these two football programs.
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