Big 12 Preview: Week One

Nine Big 12 teams are in action in Week One of the 2013 football season, and there are some interesting match-ups sprinkled in with the usual assortment of buy-in games.


All losses suffered by Big 12 teams last season were to squads that played in bowls. League teams jump into the fray right off the bat again this year, with four games against 2012 bowl teams.

Overall, The Big 12 led the nation in regular season non-conference win percentage (.866) for the second consecutive season in 2012, recording 26 wins in 30 tries. The Big 12 also had the fewest regular season non-conference losses (26-4). Going back two years, the league is 53-7 in regular season non-conference games -- a winning percentage of .883.


While Texas Tech is the only Big 12 team playing a true road opener (at SMU), two other leage squads open at neutral sites in the Lone Star State. Oklahoma State faces Mississippi State in Houston, while TCU squares off against LSU in Arlington. Kansas has an extra week of preparation, and doesn't begin play until next Saturday.


The top all-time scoring weekend in the Big 12 occurred in 2008, when league teams combined for 528 points on Sept. 6. Offenses that year were clearly prolific, as they also rang up the second highest total (490) the weekend before.

With some tough opening day foes, those marks aren't likely to be in jeopardy this week.


It's a bit more challenging opening weekend than usual, with three teams facing good to great opponents.

  • Texas Tech travels to SMU in a game that might have upset written on it. The Mustangs have played non-conference foes well over thier past few years -- their problem has been in defeating teams that they are superior to. With a very good quarterback and an offense primed to score a lot of points, the Red Raiders will need to make sure they aren't overlooking their former Southwest Conference foes. SMU keeps it close, but Tech pulls out the win.

  • K-State has a lot of rebuilding to do, but that's routine for Bill Snyder and his juco-dominated squad. The Wildcats are one team that's difficult to peg by looking at their losses from a year ago, because they bring in more game-ready players than most other schools. North Dakota State isn't your average FCS foe, however. The Bison have won two consecutive FCS titles, and don't appear to be slowing down. It's a prime upset spot, but there's still a bit too much Purple Power for N.D State in this one.

  • West Virginia hosts William & Mary, and will be more focused on figuring out its starting quarterback than anything. The Mountaineers win, but it might not be as smooth as hoped for in WVU land.

  • Oklahoma State gets a tester against the defensively tough Bulldogs, but there's just too much firepower on the Pokes side of the field to match up against a rebuilding Bulldog secondary. Only a QB controversy might make the Cowboys shaky, but that didn't seem to be an issue a year ago, when OSU rolled signalcallers off the sidelines with assembly-line precision.

  • Going by name recognition, this is a blowout. But it might not shape up quite that way. The Warhawks went to a bowl a year ago and have that prerequisite for an upset -- an experienced quarterback and offensive line -- waiting to take the field. Oklahoma wins this one on talent alone, but ULM might put up a bit of a fight.

  • Wofford travels to Baylor, and it won't be pretty. The Bears will top the half century mark and serve notice that they are a force to be reckoned with.

  • Iowa State has sold a record number of season tickets, and it wouldn't do to cough up the opener, even though Northen Iowa isn't a dog. The Cyclones will be hoping to muster a more consistent offense, one that can build a comfortable margin against foes from lesser conferences. If they can't, UNI will try to grind out a win, but ISU should be good enough to thwart that plan as well.

  • Texas gets some work in with its newly-sped up offense against an opponent that has been abysmal, and has few signs of improvement this year under a new head coach. The Longhorns should enjoy a workout-like evening against the Aggies.

  • The marquee matchup of the weekend sees TCU squaring off against LSU. The Tigers are a clear favorite for many, but if TCU makes the right choice with its starting quarterback, the Frogs have a chance to pull off an upset -- and the feeling here is that they will.

    BAYLOR vs. Wofford
    Sat 8/31
    7:30 PM E \ 6:30 PM C
    Fox Sports Net
  • Baylor's 25 wins over the last three seasons are the most over a threeyear span in program history.

  • Big 12 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Lache Seastrunk averaged 138.5 yards during the fi nal six games of last season. He totaled 1,012 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012 while earning Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year and Holiday Bowl MVP.

  • IOWA STATE vs. Northern Iowa
    Sat 8/31
    8:00 PM E \ 7:00 PM C
  • Iowa State has set an all-time high with over 43,000 season tickets sold, and has gone over the 40,000-mark for the second consecutive season.

  • ISU is one of two teams (Ohio State) in the nation to beat a ranked team on the road in each of the last three seasons.

  • KANSAS Open Date
    Next Game
    Sat 9/7
    vs. South Dakota
  • Kansas averaged 212 yards rushing per game in 2012, which ranked 22nd nationally.

  • HB James Sims led the Big 12 in rushing last season and ranked 17th nationally with 112.6 yards. He was one of two Conference backs to average over 100 rushing yards.

  • KANSAS STATE vs. North Dakota State
    Fri 8/30
    8:30 PM E \ 7:30 PM C
  • The Wildcats have won 20-straight season openers under Bill Snyder with the only loss coming in his inaugural campaign in 1989.

  • Junior receiver Tyler Lockett led the Big 12 in kickoff returns last year with an average of 32.8 yards to rank third nationally.

  • OKLAHOMA vs. UL-Monroe
    Sat 8/31
    7:00 PM E \ 6:00 PM C
  • Oklahoma leads the nation with 20 seasons of 11-plus wins and 34 seasons of 10 victories, including the 2012 campaign.

  • The Sooners have gone undefeated at home 10 times under Bob Stoops and open 2013 with three straight home outings.

  • OKLAHOMA STATE vs. Mississippi State (Houston)
    Sat 8/31
    3:30 PM E \ 2:30 PM C
    ABC \ ESPN2
  • Oklahoma State was picked to win the 2013 Big 12 title by media representatives. The Cowboys were one of six teams to receive fi rstplace votes and topped out with 15.

  • In 2012, the Cowboys fi elded the most prolifi c offense in school history by averaging 547 yards per game.

  • TEXAS vs. New Mexico State
    Sat 8/31
    8:00 PM E \ 7:00 PM C
    Longhorn Network
  • The Longhorns return 19 starters for the 2013 season, more than any other team in college football.

  • Texas will play nine of its 12 games this season against 2012 bowl game participants.

  • TCU vs LSU
    Sat 8/31
    9:00 PM E \ 8:00 PM C
  • The last time TCU opened its season in the Cowboys Classic (2010 vs. Oregon State), the Horned Frogs went on to a 13-0 record & Rose Bowl championship.

  • For the second straight year, TCU has sold out of football season tickets with a record-breaking total.

    Fri 8/30
    8:00 PM E/7:00 PM C
  • Former Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury enters his fi rst game as the 15th head coach of the Red Raiders. Kingsbury is one of six former Big 12 QBs to throw for over 11,000 yards in their career.

  • The Red Raiders will be the fi rst Big 12 team to kick off the season with their 7 p.m. start time on Friday.

  • WEST VIRGINIA vs. William & Mary
    Sat 8/31
    12:00 PM E\11:00 AM C
  • Junior Paul Millard and junior transfer Clint Trickett (Florida State) are listed as co-starters at quarterback on the depth chart for WVU's opener.

  • West Virginia registered 330 fi rst downs last season, setting a school record and moving the chains an average of 25.4 times a game.

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