We are within 100 days until we kick off the 2018 college football season. Well, it’s 80 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:
No. 10: Texas @ Maryland
No. 9: West Virginia vs. Tennessee
No. 8: Oklahoma State vs. Boise State
No. 7: Oklahoma vs. UCLA
No. 6: Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss
No. 5: West Virginia @ NC State
No. 4: Iowa State @ Iowa
No. 3: Kansas State vs. Mississippi State, September 8th, 2018, Manhattan, KS
If you didn’t know, the Mississippi State Bulldogs have the fourth-best odds to win the SEC this fall. They’re right behind Alabama, Georgia and Auburn. Granted, there’s a big drop off after the top three, or maybe the top two, but regardless, the Bulldogs are projected to be a very good team this fall, despite losing head coach Dan Mullen to Florida.
Mississippi State is, by far, the best SEC team that the Big 12 Conference is facing in 2018. So by it’s nature there is extra emphasis on this game. Nick Fitzgerald may be the best QB in the SEC this fall and the Kansas State defense, especially the secondary, will get a real test in this game. It will give us some insight into whether or not the Wildcats are going to be improved in this unit over last season when they were one of the worst pass defenses in the conference.
Meantime, assuming Bill Snyder has settled on a quarterback by then, how do they perform on their first big stage of the 2018 season? Is it Alex Delton or Skylar Thompson? Could this be the kind of game to make or break either player early in the season?
There are several storylines here that will be telling for the Wildcats and whether or not they are legitimate Big 12 contenders. I’ve said for weeks it feels like the kind of year where Snyder brings his guys out of no where to be 7-1 entering November, which no one saw coming. If that’s going to be the case, a win over Mississippi State at home is a must. Plus, getting revenge from their bad performance on the road against an SEC team (Vanderbilt) last season would be a nice touch.
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