The Big 12 started the 2013 football season in extremely rocky fashion when West Virginia barely nipped William and Mary, and Kansas State and Iowa State fell to FCS schools from the upper Midwest. Given that six Big 12 teams draw relative patsies this week, the opportunity exists for the mighty Big 12 to get its shins kicked bloody once again. But lessons learned--don't expect the conference to succumb to the same traps two weeks in a row.
Baylor versus Buffalo: Teams possessing potent spread offenses tend to really roll against inferior competition. Baylor, whose spread attack may be second to none, did just that against something called Wofford last week. This week the masochistic Buffalo Bulls—they opened at Ohio State—come calling. Now Buffalo actually put up a respectable fight against a Buckeye offense Kliff Kingsbury regards as a type of spread, so the Bulls may be reasonably well prepared for Baylor. They will not, however, be ready for the CenTex heat and humidity. A blowout will ensue late.
Baylor 52 Buffalo 28
West Virginia at Oklahoma: Here is a pair of teams that are somewhat oversold. The Mountaineers have been unstable under Dana Holgorsen for quite some time, and are very much trying to find themselves in 2013. Oklahoma looked surprisingly good on defense against Louisiana-Monroe last week, but their freshman quarterback is not going to scare anybody at this point. This one will be a low-scoring grind, and perhaps surprisingly close. But West Virginia is nowhere near strong enough to win in Norman.
Oklahoma 24 West Virginia 12
Oklahoma State at UTSA: The Cowboys didn't exactly light it up offensively last week, but then they were facing an SEC defense. UTSA, which got a win in Albuquerque to open the season, will not throw up as many roadblocks. And with J. W. Walsh presumably in charge from the get-go, the OSU offense should feel its oats.
Oklahoma State 37 UTSA 7
Kansas State versus Louisiana-Lafayette: Kansas State often starts the season slowly and plays down to the level of non-conference competition. Nevertheless, such an established history should not hide the fact that the Wildcats have real problems. The defense is entirely revamped, the ground game was anemic in the loss to North Dakota State, and quarterback Jake Waters is not good enough to compensate for that lack. Don't be surprised to see KSU struggle again; do be surprised if they lose.
Kansas State 29 Louisiana-Lafayette 20
Texas at BYU: The once mighty BYU offense just hasn't ever been quite the same since the retirement of seminal passing guru Lavell Edwards. At this point, the Cougars are more of a defensive than an offensive program. The post-Vince Young Texas Longhorns are trending that way, too. Thus, expect to see a defensive struggle in Provo with the UT blue chippers inevitably prevailing in a knock-down slugfest.
Texas 24 BYU 18
Texas Tech versus Stephen F. Austin: The Lumberjacks gave up 50 points to Weber State, and that's really all you need to know. Tech's Baker Mayfield will have a heyday, and the Red Raider running game might even chew up some turf. Tech's defense may be marginally stressed by a decent SFA passing attack, but that won't be enough to keep this game close for more than a quarter.
Texas Tech 63 Stephen F. Austin 21
TCU versus Southeast Louisiana: Apply all the casuistry you like to TCU's close loss to LSU in an attempt to denigrate their effort, but at the end of the day a 10-point defeat against the Bayou Bengals is pretty darned impressive. But how will the Frogs bounce back from such an emotionally taxing loss? Throw in the fact that Southeast Louisiana is more formidable that you'd think, and Gary Patterson has his work cut out for him. But Patterson is more than capable of rising to the occasion.
TCU 33 Southeast Louisiana 25
Kansas versus South Dakota: Here comes another of those pesky Dakotas! And don't be surprised if they make the Jayhawks sweat mightily to eek out an ugly victory.
Kansas 20 South Dakota 13