The Big 12 Conference has not had a great summer. But take heart, football season has come and, with it, the opportunity to put all those “Wait, what?” moments behind us and focus on what will prove to be one of the top five conferences in college football. Probably. If Week 1 was any indication, and judging by the number of FCS teams on Big 12 schedules, it wasn’t, we are in for an exciting season of Big 12 football and, at the end of it all, we’ll have One True (we have tiebreakers in place now, right?) Champion.
Throughout the season, no matter how many champions we end up with, we’ll be taking weekly looks around the league to see how each team fared and what those fanbases are talking about in the aftermath. So, if you want to keep up with what’s going on around the Big 12 but you don’t want to add OU to your already embarrassing search engine history, this is the place for you. Here’s a look around the Big 12 after Week 1.
Baylor - 55
Northwestern State - 7
The Bears had a relatively quiet week on the legal front as they faced off against Northwestern State on the field to open their season. Seth Russell and company made quick work of the Demons, as they opened a 48-point halftime lead. One of the biggest questions facing Baylor (on the field) coming into this season was line play. The Bears lost a lot of talent on both sides of the interior. The guys over at Our Daily Bears evaluated the OL and DL after Week 1 and came away feeling pretty good. Playing Northwestern State will do that.
Northern Iowa - 25
Iowa State - 20
There’s a new regime in Ames and if you need any evidence of just how different things are going to be under Matt Campbell, don’t ask Northern Iowa. Despite a great game from Allen Lazard (which will probably be a theme), the Cyclones were beaten (which will probably also be a theme) by UNI once again. While struggles were to be expected with a new head coach in town, this breakdown from Wide Right & Natty Light shows there were some mistakes that simply can’t continue. But probably will.
Kansas - 55
Rhode Island - 6
They won! And it’s not basketball season! What? You didn’t know Rhode Island had a football program? Well, I will have you know the Rams have been flying under the radar since 1895. Yeah. So don’t sleep on the 7-time Yankee Conference Champions. But back to the Jayhawks and their failed attempt at a field storming that just got real embarrassing real fast. The Jayhawk players fared better on the field than the fans, though. This stat recap of the game from Rock Chalk Talk is interesting because Kansas actually had stats.
Stanford - 26
Kansas State - 13
The Snydercats played the most Snydercat game ever - except they didn’t pull out the win at the end. It was gritty and kind of hard to watch and you just kept thinking “HOW IS K-STATE IN THIS GAME???” But they hung around for most of the night on the road against a top ten Stanford team. So, for like the 104th year in a row (so pretty much Snyder’s entire coaching career), the Cats might be underrated in 2016 and will probably beat a couple of teams considered better than them. Great. Here’s five things Bring On The Cats learned from Week 1, including that the interior lines and defense are going to be good.
Houston - 33
Oklahoma - 23
It’s really interesting to think about whether this win helps the Cougars in their efforts to get into the Big 12 or hurts them, until you realize that probably it will have nothing to do with it. This definitely was not how the Sooners planned to start their year, coming in as a top five team. On the bright side, the Mayfield Wall of Mythical Hate probably added an entire city. Dude’s going to have to start a second wall soon. There’s a long way to go in this season, though, and the Crimson & Cream Machine says it might not be as bad as it seems. Surprisingly, they did not suggest removing Bob Stoops from kicking game decisions. Something to think about.
Texas - 50
Notre Dame - 47
So Texas is going to win the Super Bowl. Just ask basically any major media outlet. The Horns are back. What? They beat a top ten Oklahoma team last season, but still finished 5-7? Well. This is totally different, okay? It happened in September, not October. So there. So what if we don’t know anything about Notre Dame? Those 15 starters they lost from last season probably weren’t even that good. Burnt Orange Nation had quite a bit to say following the 2OT victory, including the shocking news that true freshman QB Shane Buechele probably won’t redshirt and how Texas must now learn how to deal with success.
TCU - 59
South Dakota State - 41
The Frogs had perhaps the most confusing performance in Week 1. An 18-point win is generally comfortable enough, but this game was much much closer than that for the majority of the game and not for the reasons anyone expected. The thought coming in was TCU’s defense is downright dirty but their offense may take some time to get going. Yeah. No. As our friends over at Frogs O’ War wrote, the season opener can often be defined as “the day all offseason expectations go out the window.” TCU is still dangerous, but maybe for the exact opposite reason we thought.
Texas Tech - 69
Stephen F. Austin - 17
Texas Tech invented beating up on FCS teams. Whether that’s true or not (hardly seems to matter), they did just that in Week 1 with an easy win over SFA. The Tech offense looked as smooth and explosive as ever. And according to Viva the Matadors, Tech has a defense now and that defense graded out quite well against the Lumberjacks.
West Virginia - 26
Missouri - 11
Skyler Howard and Rushel Shell both went down with injuries, but West Virginia still managed to handle Missouri with relative ease because Missouri. The Tigers gained 462 total yards but had managed only 3 points at halftime and the scoring didn’t get much better in the second half. It looks like Howard will be good to go this week, which is good, since according to The Smoking Musket, Dana Holgorsen isn’t sleeping on Youngstown State. Aside from the perpetual state of bedhead, I see no evidence that Dana ever sleeps.