Here we are just a few days away from Week 3 in the Big 12 Conference, and while two games is not enough time to evaluate how the season is going to go, we’ve already got a few surprises headed into week 3. Let’s take a look at what those surprises, either good or bad, are thus far in the Big 12 Conference.
Iowa State Cyclones
Through 2 weeks the Cyclones are 1-1 and sitting at #14 in the AP Poll rolling into their Saturday night game at UNLV in the new Allegiant Stadium. So far the Cyclones defense has been absolutely phenomenal. After 2 games Iowa State’s defense is ranked 7th nationally in yards/game, giving up only 224/game. They also held one of the nations premier running backs, Tyler Goodson from Iowa, to only 55 yards on the ground in last Saturday’s Cy-Hawk game. On the flip side, Iowa State’s offense has been equally surprising, but in the wrong way. Brock Purdy has yet to throw a touchdown pass in two games and has 3 interceptions. The Cyclones offense has only gotten into the end zone three times. Twice from Breece Hall, and a garbage time touchdown from redshirt freshman backup Hunter Dekkers to Tarique Milton.
Not two weeks into the Steve Sarkisian era and there is already a quarterback controversy in Austin. At the start of the year, Hudson Card was named the starter and played very well in a win against Louisiana. However, last weekend Texas got slaughtered on the road by an Arkansas team that finished 2020 with a 3-7 record. Card did not look good against Arkansas, and for what it’s worth, neither did anyone else. Now it’s been announced going into Saturday that Casey Thompson will be the starter. On top of the QB controversy, let’s just stop and think about how Texas is moving on to “greener pastures” by joining the SEC and just got manhandled by historically one of the worst teams in the SEC. UT has time to right the ship, but then again, the leash is always short for coaches in Austin.
The Jayhawks are 1-1! Celebrate Lawrence! The 13-game losing streak ended (and then immediately started again). Yes, I am including the 1-1 Kansas Jayhawks as a “Big 12 Surprise” in this week’s piece. Why? Because I, along with many others I’m sure, expected KU to finish the year 0-12 and turn that 13-game losing streak into a 25-game losing streak by year’s end. I know what you’re thinking, “They were playing the University of SOUTH DAKOTA week 1, of course they’d win!”. Ah, not so fast. USD is an up and coming program in the FCS. They haven’t been D-1 for long, but in the short period of time they have been up here they’ve compiled a lot of nice wins including over the likes of NDSU, SDSU, UNI, and they even went to Manhattan a couple years back and only lost to K-State by a field goal. So kudos to you, KU!