Five Thoughts On Big 12 Play

From explosive offenses to a potential shakeup at the bottom of the league, here are five Big 12-related thoughts from the opening week of the college football season.

1) It appears that the offenses are back. Eight of the 10 Big 12 teams scored at least 20 points on opening weekend, with seven of those teams scoring at least 30 and six scoring in the 40s or above. They did that in a variety of ways. Five Big 12 teams rushed for at least 200 yards in their first game, while four passed for at least 300. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State accomplished both feats. Only three teams in the league failed to accomplish either: Missouri, Iowa State and Kansas State.

2) The top teams looked as expected, but we might need to re-evaluate the bottom part of the league. Last season, Kansas lost a single-digit scoring game to North Dakota State. This year, the Jayhawks opened against a better McNeese State team and put up 42 points while rushing for 301 yards. Meanwhile, Kansas State and Iowa State needed to come-from-behind to claim close home victories over Eastern Kentucky and Northern Iowa. Shoot, even Texas Tech struggled mightily with Texas State (they trailed 10-9 before halftime) before turning on the gas. It's just one week in, but those final four spots could fall differently than most people expected.

3) The Big Three could be tearing up the turf again this year. People talk about the Big Three quarterbacks — Brandon Weeden, Landry Jones and Robert Griffin III — for good reason. But in this case, the Big Three refers to those players' star receivers: Justin Blackmon, Ryan Broyles and Kendall Wright, respectively. All are capable of PlayStation type numbers, and all had big opening weeks. Blackmon failed to find the end zone, but caught eight passes for 144 yards. Broyles had 14 catches for 158 yards and a score. And Kendall Wright topped them both with 12 catches for 189 yards and two touchdowns. Blackmon and Wright opened things up enough that each had a teammate top the 100-yard mark as well. In all, nine Big 12 receivers had openers above the century mark.

4) Apparently, extra points aren't that automatic. A whopping five extra points fell astray over the weekend from conference kickers, including two apiece from Baylor kicker Aaron Jones and Texas A&M kicker Randy Bullock. Jimmy Stevens had the other miss. Overall, kickers were actually more accurate on field goals — 13-14 for 92.9 percent — than they were on extra points — 40-46 for 89.1 percent — on the weekend.

5) Unfortunately, college football immortality doesn't equal real-life immortality. This weekend saw the loss of key icons for two Big 12 schools, with Lee Roy Selmon of Oklahoma and Don Fambrough of Kansas passing on.

Ask anyone who watched Selmon play, and he was arguably the best defensive lineman of his era, a penetrating terror who also stands as one of the top defensive linemen of all time. His numbers are absurd. And unlike a lot of college stars, he was able to carry that on to a wonderful professional career. Selmon is the only Tampa Bay Buccaneer enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Fambrough was a two-time head coach of the Jayhawks. He started as a player after World War II, transitioned to an assistant coaching job and was twice fired as the head guy but remained a loyal ambassador of the program. He's best known for his extreme dislike of Missouri, and even now, he was in charge of giving the Border War pre-game speech.

Both will be missed.

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