Despite the conference posting a 7-3 record last weekend, I would be lying if I said I felt good about the Big 12 last Saturday.
Iowa State had all the stars lined up for a big day and ultimately, turnovers cost them the game against in-state rival Iowa. Then Kansas lost against Coastal Carolina which was expected but then there was Texas. I don’t mean to beat a dead horse here, but the Longhorns got embarrassed against Arkansas and there is no other way to put it.
Even some of the teams that won were disappointing. Kansas State squeaked by Southern Illinois at home, and I know that Skylar Thompson got injured, but Southern Illinois? The game should have never been close. Then you had Texas Tech escape Stephen F. Austin at home which was not a good look either.
Sure, there were a few teams that won convincingly. Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Baylor all beat their opponents like they stole something but look at the competition they faced. Western Carolina, Long Island and Texas Southern aren’t exactly football powers so when a Big 12 school beats up on them, does it really mean anything? My answer to that is no.
New Week Ahead
With all that said, this is a new week, and a new week means a fresh start for some teams. There is just one more non-conference game left for most teams and before conference play kicks off, it is important for the Big 12 to have a great weekend. Saturday will be a chance for some teams to get that big win to boost their resumes and help make the conference look stronger.
When I look at the slate of games this weekend, three games stick out to me. Virginia Tech at West Virginia, Nevada at Kansas State and Oklahoma State at Boise State. The Mountaineers have a chance to beat a top 20 team at tome and show the rest of the country what they can do. As for Kansas State, it may not be pretty, but a 3-0 start would be huge for Chris Klieman before Big 12 play starts. The same goes for Oklahoma State. They have struggled so far against teams like Missouri State and Tulsa so if they can steal a win on the blue turf against Boise State, that would be a huge statement not only for the Cowboys but for the rest of the Big 12 as well.
The rest of the games in the Big 12 should not be interesting ones if everything goes the way it should. The Sooners should manhandle Nebraska in Norman no matter the history of that rivalry. Oklahoma is a good football team and Nebraska simply is not.
That Oklahoma/Nebraska game will be followed by what I would call cupcake games. FIU at Texas Tech, Rice at Texas and Iowa State at UNLV should all be easy wins for the Big 12 schools. However, a win is not enough. Those three teams need to show what they can do and win in convincing fashion. All three of those teams need rebound weekend.
Of course, how could I forget about the lone true Big 12 game on this weekend’s slate? Baylor at Kansas. Nobody is expecting much from the Jayhawks, so Baylor should be able to handle them with ease. Sorry Kansas fans, but it’s true.
After a weekend like the Big 12 had last week, this conference needs to pile up some wins before beating up on each other. Sure, some games are more important than others but right now for the Big 12, all of these games are important. If everyone can take care of business, last weekend will feel like a bad dream and if the conference has a repeat of last weekend, this season could turn into a nightmare very quicky.