Big 12 Preview

The Big 12 opens the 2012 college football season with nine games on the first weekend; eight of them at home.

WINNING OUTSIDE THE BORDERS

Including bowl games, the Big 12 was a nation-leading 33-5 (.868) in games outside the conference in 2011, including a 27-3 (.900) mark in non-conference regular season games. The .900 winning percentage was the best among all conferences since 1996.


THE ENVELOPE PLEASE

The Big 12 has 111 nominees on 15 national award preseason watch lists.


KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING

Of the 30 non-conference games on the Big 12 football schedule, only six are true road games. WVU has a neutral site game against James Madison at FedEx Field in Landover, Mary.


OH-FER

The eight Saturday opening day opponents have never beaten the teams they are facing. The Big 12 schools are a combined 22-0 against their foes. The Sunday game, SMU - Baylor, is a different story. The Bears are looking to even the all-time series record, which currently stands at 36-35-7 in favor of SMU.


PICKS

A murderers' row does not await Big 12 teams on opening weekend, but there are some squads capable of springing an upset.

  • WVU will face an emotionally-charged foe in Marshall, which is down to its last chance to record a win over the Mountaineers. The Herd will battle, but look for West Virginia to hold serve at home.

  • Iowa State hosts Tulsa in the first meeting between the two schools in 51 years. Tulsa has a real chance of snaring a signature win for itself, and the Golden Hurricane is the "out on a limb" pick for an upset.

  • Kansas isn't expected to do much this year as it begins a rebuilding process. Still, it's South Dakota State on the other sideline. The Jayhawks get the win at home, but probably won't match the 80-point margin of victory it recorded the last time it faced the ...um ..er...oh yeah, the Jackrabbits.

  • Kansas State won't fool around with the Bears of Missouri State. Look for a dominant win for the Wildcats.

  • The Savannah College of Art and Design might have a better chance than Savannah State as the Tigers travel to Stillwater to cash a paycheck.

  • The Red Raiders of Texas Tech don't figure to be scared by the Demons of Northwestern State, even after the sun goes down. Tech laid 75 on NSU in 2007, and could approach that total again.

  • Wyoming has a classic logo, and a color scheme of mustard yellow and brown that is either really cool or hideously ugly. The latter description might also apply to the offensive output of the Cowboys when they travel to Texas.

  • UTEP has a large part of its balanced offense back, but even that and the home field won't be enough to ambush Oklahoma.

  • Baylor learns what life is like after RGIII, but it's still good enough to top the Mustangs of SMU.


    BAYLOR vs. SMU
    Sun 9/2
    6:30E/5:30C
    FSN
  • Baylor enters 2012 with a six-game winning streak, the third-longest national streak among FBS schools.

  • The Bears set or tied 101 offensive school records in 2011. Baylor set or tied 26 team and 75 individual marks, and was the only school that ranked in the nation's top 10 in both rushing and passing yards.

  • Sirius/XM: 92/190

  • IOWA STATE vs Tulsa
    Sat 9/1
    3:30 E/2:30C
    FSN
  • Iowa State starts the season one win away from the 500th victory in program history as it currently has a record of 499-595-46.

  • Steele Jantz is projected to begin the season as the Cyclones' signal caller. Jantz started seven games in 2011, throwing for 1,519 yards and 10 touchdowns.

  • Sirius/XM: 117/202

  • KANSAS vs. S. Dakota St
    Sat 9/1
    7:00e/6:00C
    Jayhawk Net
  • Charlie Weis enters his first season as the 37th football head coach in KU history.

  • RB James Sims finished last season with 727 yards rushing. He has led Kansas in rushing each of the past two seasons. The last Jayhawk to lead KU in rushing for two straight seasons was Jon Cornish in 2005 and 2006.

  • Sirius/XM: 104/None

  • KANSAS STATE vs. Missouri St.
    Sat 9/1
    7:00E/6:00C
    KState HD.TV
  • Last season, K-State reached the 10-win plateau for the ninth time in school history, including the eighth time under Bill Snyder.

  • Returning quarterback Colin Klein's 27 rushing touchdowns in 2011 tied former Texas player Ricky Williams for the most rushing TDs by a Big 12 player in a single season.

  • Sirius/XM: 106/None

  • OKLAHOMA at UTEP
    Sat 9/1
    10:3E/9:30C
    FSN
  • Oklahoma is ranked No. 4 in both preseason polls, marking the eighth time since 2001 that the Sooners will open the season ranked in the top five, and the 12th consecutive year in which OU is featured in the preseason top 10.

  • OU posted its 33rd season with at least 10 wins in 2011 - a number that leads the nation.

  • Sirius/XM: 92/None

  • OKLAHOMA STATE vs. Savannah St
    Sat 9/1
    7:00E/6:00C
    FCS
  • The Cowboys finished 2011 at 12-1, reaching a dozen wins for the first time in school history. The squad set a record for total offense per game with an average of 545.8 yards.

  • The season opener against Savannah State will mark OSU's 23rd straight game as a member of the AP top 25. OSU has been in the preseason AP top 25 just five times in its history, but three of the last four seasons.

  • Sirius/XM: 138/None

  • TEXAS vs. Wyoming
    Sat 9/1
    8:00E/7:00C
    Longhorn Network
  • The Longhorns, who welcome back 16 offensive and defensive starters from last year's 8-5 squad, are ranked among the top 15 in the AP preseason poll for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons.

  • Mack Brown is 13-1 in openers at Texas, including 12 in a row, and has won 15 of his last 16 and 21 of his last 24 season-opening games.

  • Sirius/XM: 117/202

  • TCU Open Date
    Next Game
    9/8
    vs. Grambling
  • Gary Patterson needs just one win to become the Horned Frogs' alltime winningest coach. His 109 victories are currently tied for the top spot with Dutch Meyer (1934-52).

  • TCU is the only school in the nation to win at least 11 games in six of the last seven seasons. The Horned Frogs have won at least 10 games eight times in the last 10 years, including seven campaigns with at least 11 victories.

  • Sirius/XM: 94/None

  • TEXAS TECH vs. Northwestern St
    Sat 9/1
    7:00E/6:00C
    Fox Sports SW+
  • In his first full season as a starter in 2011, Seth Doege threw for 4,004 yards and 28 TDs while finishing seventh nationally in total offense with 337.5 yards per game.

  • Tommy Tuberville is one of just five head coaches in NCAA history to win a bowl game at three different schools.

  • Sirius/XM: 125/None

  • WEST VIRGINIA at
    Sat 9/1
    12:00#/11:00C
    FX
  • West Virginia owns a 46-25-2 combined record against its 2012 opponents.

  • Senior quarterback Geno Smith finished with 4,385 yards passing for the 2011 season, becoming the first 4,000-yard passer in WVU history. He was named Big 12 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.

  • Sirius/XM: 91/91

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