Week 2 of the Big 12 football season is in the books in one of the better non-conference weekends in recent memory. There were multiple match ups against Top 25 competition and multiple games that went to overtime. What more can you ask for as a college football fan? And of the eight non-conference games played, the Big 12 went an impressive 6-2 in those games.
So with all that being said, here are the Top 5 takeaways from Week 2 in the Big 12 Conference.
1. Kansas Is Back (Relatively Speaking)
The Kansas Jayhawks are not the pushover that they have been for the better part of a decade after beating West Virginia in Morgantown 55-42 in overtime on Saturday. Kansas is 2-0 for the first time since 2011 and is 1-0 in Big 12 play for the first time since 2009.
The Jayhawks are solid in the trenches and QB Jalon Daniels is building confidence every single week after he finished going 18/29 for 219 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 85 yards. As a team, KU rushed for 200 yards and continues to prove it is much improved in the trenches.
It is so impressive what Lance Leipold has done with this team in his second season and you can see the confidence in this team in a way no Kansas team has had in years.
2. Neal Brown’s Seat Has to be Hot
West Virginia is now 0-2 after losing to Pittsburgh and Kansas. Yes, Kansas is improved, but the way these two games ended can’t be sitting well with the WVU boosters and fans. There was the decision to not go for it on 4th down and put the game away at Pitt last week. And then this week, WVU lost the turnover battle and penalty battle against Kansas, and lost the game despite outgaining KU in total yards (501-419). Also, despite a fourth quarter comeback, fans were bailing long before then, and it was noted multiple times on the broadcast. That’s never a good sign for a head coach.
Now, go look at the WVU Big 12 schedule and find me their wins? Where are they and how many? Neal Brown needs to turn this thing around fast.
3. Texas Got Hosed by the Refs
I know this is something we rarely, if ever, say, but the Longhorns got screwed. Big time. On multiple occasions.
Just look at this holding call on the biggest play of the final drive for Alabama, which ultimately resulted in the game-winning field goal for a 20-19 win.
Before you say that you can find a holding call on nearly every play, this was an egregious miss considering the moment and that it was in clear sight for any official paying an ounce of attention on that side of the field.
Then, there was a huge missed facemask call that resulted in UT kicking a field goal on that drive.
These are just two examples. We could list more.
Once again, there is no way of knowing for sure if Texas wins this game otherwise, but damn, there is certainly plenty for Longhorns fans to be bothered by from this officiating crew. All that being said, I totally understand that no other Big 12 fan base will be shedding a tear over this.
4. Provo, Utah Won’t be Fun for Big 12 Teams
I admit I’m usually not up as late as I was on Saturday watching BYU football. I have a three-year-old and a one-year-old, so I need my beauty sleep as much as the next person. Once the Big 12 games end, I’m typically done. But now that BYU is joining the Big 12, I’m going to do my best to begin watching more Cougars football, and Saturday was a good start with Baylor in town for a future Big 12 match up. Baylor lost the game in a double-overtime thriller, but Provo proved itself in a big way.
Between the elevation in Provo, Utah, lengthy travel and the raucous fans, this is not going to be an easy road trip for any Big 12 football team. At the same time, it’s an outstanding atmosphere that plays incredibly well on television.
I can’t wait to be watching more Big 12 games from Provo starting in 2023. As a fan, it will be great. As an opposing coach or team, not so much.
5. Matt Campbell Finally Ends the Streak
Matt Campbell has finally defeated Iowa. It wasn’t pretty, but Cy-Hawk isn’t meant to be pretty, regardless of outcome. Campbell had come close, losing by three points, one point, and ten points twice. But Saturday, Campbell’s Cyclones put together one of the most impressive drives of the early season in college football and won the game 10-7.
Despite all of his success, Campbell was 0-5 against Iowa coming into this game. Getting the win was not just huge for him, it was big for this team, which is turning over new players at key positions, and now gives this group, led by QB Hunter Dekkers, a huge confidence booster heading into Big 12 Conference play.
I took the Cyclones over 7.5 wins before the season and I’m feeling better about that prediction every single week.
6. S-E-C! S-E-C! Or…
The Big 12 Conference played two SEC teams on Saturday. Texas, as a 20-point underdog, nearly upset No. 1 Alabama. I know, Texas is soon to be an SEC team, but they aren’t today.
Also, K-State steamrolled Missouri 40-12. The Tigers got absolutely embarrassed. Next time any Mizzou fan tries to pull the SEC card, let’s all put them in their place. The Tigers, like Nebraska (ouch) should have never left the Big 12, but that’s a story for another day.
Then, look at Texas A&M losing to Appalachian State.
For all the media hype and propaganda, is the SEC really as superior as ESPN makes it out to be? I think we all know the answer. And Saturday was another example proving just that.