BYU Cougars

Ranking 2024 Big 12 Football Week 2 Games

Sep 9, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Omarion Cooper (3) tackles Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Jeff Sims (7) in the second quarter at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

There are about 10 Saturdays between us and the first week of the 2024 college football season.

While much of the conference will have a tune-up game in their opening contest, the second weekend of the game looks a little more compelling overall.

We have nine meetings between Power Four opponents—10 if you count Washington State—which gives us a slate with much more entertainment potential.

Here’s how we rank the 15 Big 12 games for Week 2 of the 2024 season.


15. Long Island at TCU

Sat, Sep 7 | 7:00 p.m. CT | ESPN+

*Yawn*. LIU played Baylor in 2023, and the Bad News Bears won that game 30-7. The Sharks’ worst loss of the year was to Merrimack College… 39-0. This is TCU’s tune-up game after going to Palo Alto (CA) to play Stanford in Week 1.

14. Northern Arizona at Arizona

Sat, Sep 7 | 9:00 p.m. CT | ESPN+

This is another snoozer. Arizona opened up their 2023 season with a 38-3 win over NAU. There’s not likely to be much difference in this score, even with a new head coach.


13. UAlbany at West Virginia

Sat, Sep 7 | 5:00 p.m. CT | ESPN+

Florida State defensive end Jared Verse went to the Los Angeles Rams with the No. 19 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Why am I bringing that up? He transferred to FSU from UAlbany. That’s about all you need to know about the Dukes for this one.

12. Sam Houston at UCF

Sat, Sep 7 | 5:30 p.m. CT | ESPN+

Sam Houston—the newest member of C-USA and one of the youngest D-I FBS programs—will travel to Orlando to take on UCF after opening its season against Rice in Week 1. The Bearkats played two Big 12 newcomers in 2023, losing to BYU 14-0 and to Houston 38-7 last season. Expect more of the same here.

11. Kansas State at Tulane

Sat, Sep 7 | 11:00 a.m. CT | TBD

Two seasons ago, despite ending the season as Big 12 Champions, Kansas State dropped a 17-10 contest to Tulane, and in Manhattan no less. Now the Wildcats will make the return trip to New Orleans in hopes of returning the favor. The good news? Willie Fritz is no longer with the Green Wave. The bad news? Now he’s in the Big 12.

10. Mississippi State at Arizona State

Sat, Sep 7 | 9:30 p.m. CT | ESPN

Kenny Dillingham will face the former OU offensive coordinator in a battle of young head coaches trying to resurrect proud football programs. Luckily for Dillingham, this game is in Tempe, so he won’t have to deal with “more cowbell” just yet.


9. Texas Tech at Washington State

Sat, Sep 7 | 9:00 p.m. CT | FOX

Technically, this is a Big 12 vs. Pac-12 matchup, but that doesn’t mean the same thing that it would have a season ago. Wazzu is gutted after a portal exodus this past offseason, and Texas Tech was supposed to be heading Northwest to play Oregon. I’d imagine the Red Raiders aren’t too upset with this trade-off, though.

8. Kansas at Illinois

Sat, Sep 7 | TBD | FS1

Kansas hosted Illinois in Week 2 of the 2023 season, beating the Illini 34-23 in a battle of basketball royalty. However, both of these programs are looking up heading into 2024. Kansas should be favored on the road, but it might be a closer game this time around.

7. Houston at Oklahoma

Sat, Sep 7 | 6:45 p.m. CT | SECN

This game doesn’t scream “Big 12 vs. SEC” just yet, but maybe if we give it a few years. Willie Fritz took a dangerous Tulane team into Norman a few seasons ago and nearly upended Lincoln Riley’s Sooners. This time around, though, he’ll face Brent Venables, and UH appears to be the bottom team in the Big 12 while he begins his rebuild.

6. Baylor at Utah

Sat, Sep 7 | 2:30 p.m. CT | FOX

While technically not a Big 12 game, this will be the first time that we see Utah take on a Big 12 opponent as a member of the conference. This game was close last season, with Utah escaping Waco with a 20-13 win. However, playing in Salt Lake City against Cam Rising might not bode well for Dave Aranda’s group.

5. BYU at SMU

Thu, Sep 5| 6:00 p.m. CT | ESPN2

Mormons vs. Methodists. What could go wrong? BYU vs. SMU provides us with two of the most recognizable acronyms in college football, and it might also give us one heck of a game. SMU might be a sneaky contender in the *checks notes* ACC this season, and BYU is looking to get back to bowl contention after a down year in 2023.

4. Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

Sat, Sep 7 | 11:00 a.m. CT | TBD

Dubbed the “River City Rivalry,” Pitt vs. Cincinnati was an annual tradition from 2005 to 2012. The Panthers and Bearcats even played for the “Paddlewheel Trophy,” which is totally underappreciated in its glory. This should be a fun one, and anytime a trophy is involved, I’m interested in watching.

3. Arkansas at Oklahoma State

Sat, Sep 7 | 11:00 a.m. CT | ABC

The fact that these two teams haven’t played since 1980 is baffling, but we will finally get to see Oklahoma State and Arkansas share the field once again in Week 2. Despite being a dreaded early kick in Stillwater, this should also be one of the best games of the weekend.

2. Iowa State at Iowa

Sat, Sep 7| TBD | CBS

If you like points, this probably isn’t the rivalry for you. However, if you are a fan of hard-nosed, downhill football and bitter in-state rivalries, then the CyHawk game is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Iowa has won seven of the last eight, but the road team has won each of the last three matchups.

1. Colorado at Nebraska

Sat, Sep 7 | 6:30 p.m. CT | NBC

Nebraska and Colorado’s rivalry dates all the way back to when the two teams started playing annually in 1948. In the 80s and 90s, Buffs vs. Huskers became must-see TV, and in the Big 12, it was traditionally played on Friday afternoons before Thanksgiving. Now, it’s Deion Sanders vs. Matt Rhule, and this matchup in Lincoln should be one of the most-watched games of the entire year.

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