The Big Twelve took it on the chin, once again, in the second weekend of the college football season with Texas going down in flames at BYU. This weekend the Longhorns will have a chance to earn a bit of redemption, as will Iowa State who dropped their season opener to Northern Iowa. The Big Twelve is running out of opportunities to compete against other conferences and every game counts for prestige points. From that perspective its a busy weekend for the Big Twelve and it all gets underway tonight with the second conference game of the season.
Thursday, September 12th
6:30 - #24 TCU at Texas Tech: The Red Raiders have been lighting up the scoreboard at an impressive pace this season (51 ppg) and TCU is shockingly next to last in the Big Twelve in scoring defense (27 ppg) with Iowa State being the only team below them.
Subplot: This game is all about the quarterbacks. TCU moves forward without Casey Pachall (the Big Twelve's preseason all-conference quarterback) and will look to Trevone Boykin for the second year in a row to fill the gap. Meanwhile Texas Tech's Baker Mayfield has been the story of the young season. As a walk-on redshirt freshman, he's completed 71% of his passes for 780 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions.
Saturday, September 14th
11:00 - Tulsa at #14 Oklahoma: This is Oklahoma's final tune up game before traveling to South Bend to play the Fighting Irish. Tulsa is hoping to repeat the 2010 performance the gave at Notre Dame and pull the upset in Norman as heavy road underdogs.
Subplot: Redshirt freshman Trevor Knight is on the shelf with a knee injury and junior Blake Bell is drawing the first start of his Oklahoma career. He may have sophomore Kendal Thompson looking over his shoulder should he struggle to make plays in the game.
11:00 - Georgia State at West Virginia: This is the perfect bounce back game for the Mountaineers following their first loss of the season last weekend. Georgia State is 0-2 and losing by an average of 19 points per game.
Subplot: The Mountaineers seem to have improved on their pass defense but are still struggling against the run. In today's Big Twelve, giving up an average of 4.8 yards per carry isn't going to cut it.
5:00: Iowa at Iowa State: This rivalry has produced some entertaining games over the last few seasons and if you like ugly football then grab some popcorn and get ready.
Subplot: You hate to use the words, "Must Win" this early in the season but, after dropping their season opener, every game left in the non-conference schedule crucial to Iowa State.
6:00: Massachusetts at Kansas Sate: Can you say, "confidence builder"? This game is perfect for the Wildcats, who earned their first win of the season last week, and will give their defense to build some confidence.
Subplot: The Kansas State rushing attack has yet to develop. The Wildcats are currently dead last in the Big Twelve with an average of 95 rushing yards per game.
6:30: Lamar at #12 Oklahoma State: The Cowboys could actually score 100 points in this game.
Subplot: With all of the allegations coming out against the Cowboys this week it will be interesting to see how the program responds on the field not only in this game but in the coming weeks as well.
6:30: Kansas at Rice: Don't forget that Rice pushed Texas A&M for a half. This game is going to be a huge challenge for the revamped Jayhawks.
Subplot: After starting the 2012 season with a win, the Jayhawks lost to Rice 25-24 the following week. That was the first of eleven consecutive losses for Kansas.
7:00: #25 Ole Miss at Texas: There isn't a team in the Big Twelve that's been under more scrutiny this week than the Longhorns. This won't be a cakewalk, by any stretch of the imagination, but if you'll see a big sigh of relief from the Texas fan base should the Longhorns pull out a win.
Subplot: Don't forget that it was this game last season where questions began to surface about the Texas defense. A week after surrendering 550 yards on the ground, the Longhorns face a Rebels rushing attack that is ranked 32nd nationally and averaging 239 yards per game on the ground.
Big Twelve Week Three Power Rankings
1. Oklahoma State (2-0, last week #1)
2. Oklahoma (2-0, last week #2)
3. Baylor (2-0, last week #4)
4. Texas Tech (2-0, last week #6)
5. TCU (1-1, last week #5)
6. Kansas State (1-1, last week #8)
7. Texas (1-1, last week #3)
8. West Virginia (1-1, last week #7)
9. Kansas (1-0, last week #9)
10. Iowa State (0-1, last week #10)