Big 12 Preview

The first conference game of the 2012 season and a Big 12 - SEC showdown highlights the action in week three.

NEW IN NAME ONLY

New starting quarterbacks in the Big 12 were expected to have a few growing pains in the opening weeks, but that hasn't been the case so far. Baylor's Nick Florence is first in the league in passing yardage (341 ypg) and QB efficiency (209.5), while Oklahoma State's Wes Lunt (48-74, 565 yards, 4 TDs) has been effective. Backups such as Texas Tech's Michael Brewer and OSU's J. W. Walsh have also been solid.


STREAKING

Since last season, the league is 42-5 in non-conference games (.894 win percentage), and is 48-7 (.873) including bowl games.


CONFERENCE OPENER

The first conference game of the season highlights Week 3 action as No. 15/16 TCU travels to Kansas in the Horned Frogs' Big 12 opener. Seven teams continue non-league play while Oklahoma has a bye week.


NOT JUST THROUGH THE AIR

The Big 12's reputation as a pass-happy league is deserved, but in the rush to label it an air group only, the rushing game is overlooked.Four teams (West Virginia, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State) all rank in the top 12 in the country in rushing yards per game. WVU leads the league and is fourth nationally with 331 per contest, followed by Kansas State #6 -306 ypg), Oklahoma State (#7 - 297.5 ypg) and Oklahoma (#12 - 277 ypg).

The added ground punch hasn't hurt the league in the scoring column, however. The Big 12 has seven of the top 11 scoring outfits in the country after two weeks, including #1 West Virginia (69 ppg). Oklahoma State (#3 - 61 ppg), Baylor (#4 - 59 ppg), TCU (T5 - 56 ppg), Kansas State (#8 - 51.5 ppg), Texas Tech (#9 - 51 ppg) and Oklahoma (#11 - 46.5 ppg) are all jammed near the top of the national rankings.


PICKS

We'll learn a lot of lessons about the Big 12 as the season progresses. Lessons learned so far:

1) Don't underrate Iowa State.

2) Don't overrate Kansas.

As we try to keep our minds open for week three, here are the selections:

  • Two good rushing attacks take the field. Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, that's all they have. The Horned Frogs have a lot more, and win going away.

  • Oklahoma State gets the bad taste out of its mouth with a win over UL-Lafayette, but it will take more than a win over Ragin' Cajuns to toally erase the memory of its meltdown in the desert a week ago.

  • WVU plays a money game against James Madison at Fed Ex Field , the current home of ex-Baylor star Robert Griffin III. Geno Smith doesn't run like RG III, but he'll give any stray Redskin fans a look at top quality passer. The Mountaineers win, but perhaps by not as big a margin as some expect.

  • Kansas State puts its physical play on display as it hosts North Texas. The Mean Green have some players, but Bill Snyder looks to have the Wildcats on a roll. KState rarely beats itself with mistakes, and it would take too many for them to drop this contest.

  • Texas Tech is still something of an unknown quantity, but we know enough about New Mexico. The Red Raiders are the comfortable selection.

  • Baylor rolls up more impressive numbers in a win over outmatched Sam Houston State. Aren't all these little Texas schools getting tired of getting smashed by the big boys yet?

  • Iowa State hosts Western Illinois. See lesson number one above. The Cyclones shine on their in-house TV network.

  • The Ole Miss - Texas match-up might be closer than the current spread of 10 points. Texas needs to get the kinks fixed on offense, but the Longhorn defense keeps them in every game they play, and is likely too much for Ole Miss to contend with.


    BAYLOR
    (1-0, 0-0)
    vs. Sam Houston St
    Sat 9/15
    7:00 E / 6:00 C
    Net
  • Baylor has the nation's second-longest winning streak at seven games, trailing only TCU who has won nine straight.

  • Baylor has the nation's second-longest winning streak at seven games, trailing only TCU who has won nine straight.

  • Sirius/XM: 132/None

  • IOWA STATE
    (2-0, 0-0)
    vs. Western Illinois
    Sat 9/15
    8:00 E / 7:00C
    Cyclones.TV
  • Iowa State held Iowa without a touchdown for the fi rst time since 2005, and the fi rst time without a TD in Iowa City since 1978. The 68 rushing yards Iowa State allowed were the fewest against Iowa since 1999.

  • The Cyclones broke a four-game losing streak at Iowa's Kinnick Stadium with its fi rst victory there since 2002.

  • Sirius/XM: 117/202

  • KANSAS
    (1-1, 0-0)
    vs. TCU
    Sat 9/15
    12:00 E / 11:00 C
    FX
  • In two games this season, Kansas has fi ve interceptions. Last year the Jayhawks had eight interceptions for the season..

  • Kansas and TCU will open conference play this weekend. The Jayhawks won the last meeting between the two, 17-10, on September 6, 1997.

  • Sirius/XM: 135/194

  • KANSAS STATE
    (2-0, 0-0)
    vs. North Texas
    Sat 9/15
    7:00 E /6:00 C
    FSN
  • Kansas State has scored at least 50 points in consecutive games for the fi rst time since 2002.

  • Since the 1992 season under Bill Snyder, K-State is 53-5 in games played in September, including a 44-2 mark in games played in Manhattan.

  • Sirius/XM: 128/None

  • OKLAHOMA
    (2-0, 0-0)
    Open Date
    Next Game
    Sat 9/22
    vs. Kansas St
  • In last week's win over Florida A&M, Oklahoma had eight rushing touchdowns, the most in a game in the Bob Stoops Era.

  • The Sooners have won 12-straight non-conference games, and are 51-12 under Stoops outside the Big 12.


  • OKLAHOMA STATE
    (1-1, 0-0)
    vs. UL-Lafayette
    Sat 9/15
    12:00 E / 11:00 C
    FSN
  • Wes Lunt set a Big 12 single-game record for passing yards by a freshman with 436. He broke the record of 426 set by Nick Florence (Baylor) in 2009. Lunt's passing yardage is the fourth-most in school history.

  • Oklahoma State has won seven straight home games for its longest Stillwater streak since 1984-85 when the Cowboys won a school record nine straight.

  • Sirius/XM: 137/197

  • TEXAS
    (2-0, 0-0)
    vs. Ole Miss
    Sat 9/15
    9:150 E / 8:15 C
    ESPN
  • The Longhorns will take on Mississippi for the fi rst time since 1966 when they defeated the Rebels 17-0 in the Bluebonnet Bowl.

  • Sophomore quarterback David Ash completed 16-of-22 passes for a career-high 221 yards in the win over New Mexico. He also scored his second career touchdown on a career-best 49-yard run.

  • Sirius/XM: 117/202

  • TCU
    (1-0, 0-0)
    at Kansas
    Sat 9/15
    12:00 E / 11:00 C
    FX
  • Quarterbacks Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin combined for 17- of-17 passing, a record for most team attempts without an incompletion in an NCAA FBS game.

  • Freshman Deante' Gray set a single-game school record with 160 punt return yards on fi ve returns and was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week.

  • Sirius/XM: 135/194

  • TEXAS TECH
    (2-0, 0-0)
    vs/ New Mexico
    Sat 9/15
    7:00 E / 6:00 C
    Fox Coll Sports
  • Quarterback Seth Doege tied his career-high with fi ve touchdown passes and threw for at least 300 yards for the 10th game of his career in the Red Raiders' win over Texas State.

  • Texas Tech did not record a punt in last week's game. It marked the fi rst time the Red Raiders did not punt in a game since 2008 against Baylor.

  • Sirius/XM: 112/None

  • WEST VIRGINIA
    (1-0, 0-0)
    vs. James Madison
    Sat 9/15
    4:30 E / 3:30 C
    Root Sports
  • West Virginia is ranked second nationally in total offense (655.0) and fi rst in scoring offense (69.0).

  • West Virginia's 69 points two weeks ago vs. Marshall were the most scored by the Mountaineers in a season-opener, topping the 66 scored against Richmond to begin the 1958 season.

  • Sirius/XM: 138/None

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