Week 1 of the college football season is officially over as we move on to Week 2. While last weekend had plenty of excitement going in, I was left with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. It’s the kind of taste that lingers with you and doesn’t go away no matter how hard you try to get rid of it.
The reason I felt like this is because of how last weekend ended. I thought the Big 12 Conference had a chance to go 13-1 in their games (with the lone loss being West Virginia to Penn State) and instead, the conference finished week one with a 10-4 record.
It all started with TCU being upset by Colorado. As shocking as that was, it didn’t prepare for the rest of the day. Of course, West Virginia lost to Penn State which was expected but what I didn’t see coming were the performances from Baylor and Texas Tech.
Baylor went into their game against Texas State as a 28-point favorite and lost by double digits. It was one of the worst performances I have seen from Baylor in the Dave Aranda era. Texas State looked bigger, faster, and stronger which is not something you would expect to see from a Sun Belt team coming in to play a power five opponent.
Meanwhile, Texas Tech got off to a fast start against Wyoming on the road and just stalled out offensively. Eventually, Wyoming came back into the game and the game went into double overtime where the Cowboys converted a two-point conversion to win the game.
With TCU, West Virginia, Baylor, and Texas Tech all losing in Week 1, it certainly wasn’t a great look for the Big 12, especially when three of those teams were talked about being a conference title contender this season.
While opening weekend didn’t go as I had hoped for, there is a light at the end of the tunnel here. Week 2 has several key matchups that will make any college football fan want to tune in. Just take a look at some of the biggest games in the Big 12 this weekend.
- 12 Utah at Baylor
- Iowa at Iowa State
- Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
- 11 Texas at 3 Alabama
- 13 Oregon at Texas Tech
- UCF at Boise State
- Oklahoma State at Arizona State
There are seven games that I believe are key for the Big 12 Conference this weekend. Nobody, and I mean nobody, needs a bounce-back win more than Baylor or Texas Tech right now. Both of them will get their chance against top 15 Pac-12 teams at home. Then, you have Iowa State looking to win back-to-back Cy-Hawk games for the first time since 2012.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh is a big matchup that I feel gets lost in the shuffle a bit and the same can be said for UCF, who is traveling to the beautiful blue field to take on Boise State. Much like Baylor, Oklahoma State will get a shot at a future Big 12 opponent in Arizona State as they travel to Tempe on Saturday night.
Of course, I can’t forget about Texas who may be playing not just the biggest game in the Big 12 but perhaps the biggest game in all of college football this weekend as they take on Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
No matter how you rank these seven games they are all very important to the Big 12. Anytime you have the opportunity for wins over Power Five teams, you’ve got to capitalize. It pays off in the long run because come playoff selection time, these games are what can help a team get in.
This is going to be one of those weekends you don’t want to leave the recliner. Grab some drinks and snacks, and soak in the 12-plus hours of Big 12 football. While you may not be a fan of all these Big 12 teams, keep in mind that winning these games can help your team too, at some point.
Saturday is a chance for the Big 12 to bounce back and make a statement on the national level. The opportunity is there now it’s just time for this conference to take advantage of it and make a statement.