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Big 12 football: Predictions, superlatives after Week 2

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Three teams made a sad exit from the Big 12 Fun Fort and more in Week 2.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 featured sad matchups across the Big 12 along with Texas’ marquee matchup against LSU. The bottom of the Big 12 looks especially weak this year. We will find out this week if Iowa State is for real, or if one of the teams from the next tier below them should be looking to jump the Cyclones. Let’s take a look at my updated Big 12 power rankings and predictions.

Standings

No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners (2-0)

No. 12 Texas Longhorns (1-1)

Iowa State Cyclones (1-0)

Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-0)

Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-0)

Baylor Bears (2-0)

Kansas State Wildcats (2-0)

TCU Horned Frogs (1-0)

West Virginia Mountaineers (1-1)

Kansas Jayhawks (1-1)

Kansas and West Virginia made extra sad exits from the Big 12 Fun Fort while Texas couldn’t quite pull off a comeback win against LSU. That leaves seven schools still in the Fun Fort. Now, who will stay the longest?

Oklahoma

Oklahoma played South Dakota last weekend and everyone should know exactly how this one turned out. OU rolled over SD and Sooners fans got their first look at Spencer Rattler. Jalen Hurts stacked up 259 passing yards and three touchdowns before making an early exit.

Both Rattler and Tanner Mordecai looked good in mop-up duty, as they should against a school like SD. Rattler was a perfect 4-for-4 passing for 50 yards and a touchdown. Mordecai completed 6 of his 8 passes for 114 yards and two scores.

CeeDee Lamb was the star receiver as usual, but freshman Jadon Haselwood, Trejan Bridges and Theo Wease all looked good as well.

Everyone looks good in a 70-14 win. Everyone looks good against SD. The only decent opponent OU has scheduled for a home-and-home in the next 10 years is Michigan in 2025 and 2026. The Sooners might have one with LSU, though the dates are still “to-be determined.”

I would like to see OU play top competition once every year in the non-conference, especially when the Big 12 has down years. The only real regular-season test for OU will come against Texas, and maybe having to play Bedlam in Stillwater. Either way, OU is 2-0 and we won’t know much about this team until they play the Longhorns.

Here is the first touchdown for Allen, Texas product Theo Wease, who absolutely bullies his way to the end-zone.

OU returns to the Rose Bowl next weekend to play a bad UCLA team.

Prediction: OU wins big.

Texas

Texas faced the toughest competition of any team not named Texas A&M last weekend. The Horns hosted “College GameDay” and No. 6 LSU in Austin. Texas fell behind early and spent the rest of the night trying to play catch-up, and the comeback attempt fell just short as LSU escaped with a 45-38 win.

Texas played just fine. They should still be favored in every game left except for OU. The Horns have two massive concerns going forward though — the run game and defense. The run game was horrific against LSU, and Keaontay Ingram rushed for just 29 yards on 10 carries. The secondary did come up with an interception, but they allowed three 100-yard receivers. The LSU passing game has come a long way, but that’s no excuse to let Joe Burrow pick apart the secondary all night long.

Sam Ehlinger impressed, completing 31 of his 47 attempts for 401 yards and four touchdowns. It wasn’t a Heisman worthy performance, but it was good enough to get Texas a win in most games, just not this one. Devin Duvernay and Brennen Eagles were the leading receivers with more than 100-yards each and three combined touchdowns.

It’s easy for Big 12 fans to continue the “Texas isn’t back” jokes, but that doesn’t mean any team but OU should feel confident about beating the Horns. I expect both Texas and LSU to have great seasons. The Horns get Rice next weekend in a bounce back game before Big 12 play begins.

Prediction: Texas wins.

Iowa State

Iowa State had an early bye week so there isn’t much to talk about this week. The Cyclones have only played one game this season and it was a triple overtime thriller against FCS Northern Iowa. Yeah, Northern Iowa.

This week we get to find out if the Cyclones are for real. Iowa State plays hated rival Iowa at home, and Ames will also play host to “College GameDay” to mark back-to-back Big 12 visits. If ISU can’t get up for this game, there isn’t another game on the schedule they will get up for.

I expect ISU to bounce back from a close loss with a win over No. 19 Iowa.

Prediction: ISU wins.

Oklahoma State

OSU waxed FCS McNeese State 56-14 in its home opener. There is only so much to take away from these games.

Spencer Sanders didn’t look quite as good as he did against Oregon State, but still had a good game. He completed 12 of his 18 attempts for 250 yards and three scores and was also the team’s leading rusher with 51 yards.

Backup Dru Brown took his first meaningful snaps in a Cowboy uniform, passing for 142 yards and two touchdowns and showing OSU have a backup that could start at most other programs. Tylan Wallace had a monster game with five receptions for 180 yards and three touchdowns.

OSU travels to Tulsa this week for its last non-conference game before visiting Texas. With ISU looking shaky in Week 1, OSU should be looking to challenge Texas and OU as a darkhorse Big 12 title contender.

Prediction: OSU wins.

Texas Tech

Texas Tech beat UTEP fairly handily, 38-3. I would have liked to see Tech be a little more dominate, but there isn’t much to take from these games. Just because Tech won by 35 and not 45 or 50 doesn’t mean much of anything.

Alan Bowman completed 30 of his 45 passes for 260 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Most of those completions went to T.J. Vasher, who caught six balls for 78 yards and two scores. Armand Shyne led in rushing once again.

Next week Tech will play its first Power-5 opponent this season when the Red Raiders travel to Tucson to play Arizona. Kickoff won’t be until 9:30 p.m. central time for some #Pac12AfterDark action.

Prediction: Tech wins a close one.

Baylor

Baylor destroyed UTSA 63-14 to improve to 2-0. Charlie Brewer passed for 163 yards and three touchdowns. Denzel Mims caught all three touchdowns and had 101 yards receiving.

Again, it’s hard to say much about a game like this but Baylor has taken tremendous strides for a program that lost to Liberty just two years ago. Baylor’s offense and defense has been dominate through two games, but that doesn’t tell us much.

We’ll have to wait a few more weeks before we really see what Baylor can do. The Bears have a bye week this week before facing Rice in Week 3. Until then, Baylor will have plenty of time to prepare for Big 12 play.

Kansas State

I am really beating a dead horse at this point, but what can I say about a 52-0 win over Bowling Green? At least K-State has looked good through two games, which is surprisingly more than we can say about ISU.

Skylar Thompson passed for 151 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Freshman Malik Knowles caught both touchdowns and five passes for 99 yards. James Gilbert rushed eight times for 103 yards and two scores.

K-State will travel to Starkville to play Mississippi State. It’s the first test for the Wildcats, and should tell us a little more about how good they might be. This will be a close game that could go either way as MSU has problems of their own, particularly at quarterback.

Prediction: MSU wins a close one.

TCU

TCU had a bye last week, and won comfortably in Week 1 but didn’t exactly impress in a game against a poor opponent.

TCU travels to Indiana to play Purdue. It will be interesting to see who takes the majority of the snaps at quarterback, and how TCU performs against a Power-5 opponent. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. on the Big 10 Network. Big 12 fans can check that game out ahead of Tech’s game against Arizona.

Prediction: TCU wins a close one.

West Virginia

WVU struggled to get anything going on offense in a 38-7 loss to Missouri. Austin Kendall passed for 137 yards and a touchdown, but threw two interceptions. No rusher had more than 27 yards on the ground.

Missouri went up 31-0 at halftime and put the game away early. It will be a long season in Morgantown. The offense couldn’t get anything going all afternoon and the defense couldn’t stop a team that didn’t put up enough points to beat Wyoming! On top of that, WVU only lasted a week in the Fun Fort.

The Mountaineers will host North Carolina State this week in another game they will likely lose. If WVU has any chance at winning, the defense needs stops, the run game needs major improvement and Kendall needs to limit the turnovers.

Prediction: NC State wins big.

Kansas

WVU was not to be out-done by Kansas! The Jayhawks scored early to take a 7-0 lead over Coastal Carolina, but that would be the last time KU scored and the Jayhawks lost 12-7.

There isn’t much to say about the defense, but the same can’t be said about the offense. Quarterback Carter Stanley passed for 107 yards and threw two interceptions. The drive chart looks absolutely horrendous. The only bright spot: Pooka Williams Jr. played and rushed for 99 yards.

KU travels north to Boston College, and while they will probably get rocked, at least the Jayhawks can’t lost to a program like Coastal Carolina.

Prediction: BC rolls.

Last week I had Texas beating LSU in a close game, but the Horns failed me. I also had KU beating Coastal Carolina (silly me). I had every other Big 12 team winning but WVU, who did in fact lose to Missouri. This week I have KU, K-State and WVU losing.

Season record: 16-2

Big 12 Championship Game:

Oklahoma vs Texas

This one likely won’t change all season. These are clearly the best two teams in the conference. OSU and a few other schools could make a run, but it’s unlikely. I have OU beating Texas by a touchdown and returning to the College Football Playoff.

Offensive Player of the Year:

Jalen Hurts: OU

Hurts had another Heisman worthy performance and an early exit against South Dakota. He did everything he needed to and got a nice weight lifting session in after the game. Hurts will be the offensive player of the year in the Big 12 conference and a good shot to win the Heisman trophy.

Defensive Player of the Year:

Garret Wallow: TCU

Wallow and the Horned Frogs had a bye week but will be back in action against Purdue this weekend. He is still my pick for defensive player of the year.

Big 12 Newcomer of the Year:

Spencer Sanders: OSU

This award is the one most likely to change throughout the season. Again, I don’t really want to pick Hurts for this award because I already have him for offensive player of the year. It’s boring to write about the same player twice.

Sanders had a good week and an early exit much like Hurts. We will have to see how Sanders responds in Big 12 play, and if any other newcomers arise. For now, Sanders is a good bet.

Big 12 Freshman of the Year:

Jadon Haselwood: OU

Haselwood was OU’s second leading receiver, catching three passes for 78 yards and a score. Right behind him was freshman Trejan Bridges. Needless to say, any of the “Big Three” OU freshman receivers could win this award.

Coach of the Year:

Lincoln Riley: OU

Rinse. Repeat. Riley is a genius and I hope he bounces for the NFL for the sake of my Cowboys. But yeah, he’s the easy choice for coach of the year.

Breakout Player of the Year:

Chuba Hubbard: OSU

Hubbard didn’t have monster numbers this week but that’s due in part to not playing much. The ball gets spread around a lot this time of year because Big 12 teams are playing poor competition.