Now that the Big XII has officially passed the SEC as top conference (and continues to look internally stable for the moment), it might be worth knowing what the rest of the conference will be up to on Saturday. Come for the early top 20 non-conference battle, stay for Robert Griffin going absolutely bonkers, and grimace as you read the news ticker under the ISU/Texas game, as Bob Stoops take $900,000 worth of last week's frustration out on Ball State.
11:00 CST - Texas Tech (3-0) @ Kansas (2-1)
(Pinstripe Bowl Quarterfinals)
The undercard matchup of the morning, both of these teams need this win this game to have a prayer at bowl eligibility and a respectable season. Despite dispatching their FCS cupcake and holding on to pull out a win against a strong Northern Illinois team, the Jayhawks got demolished last week as Georgia Tech scored 66 points in an absolute blowout. Kansas' scoring defense is dead last (120th) in FBS football, giving up over 44 points a game. Texas Tech, meanwhile, has two equally soft wins over an FCS school and a struggling New Mexico squad, and had to come from behind to take down Nevada at home, 35-34.
Is Kansas as bad as advertised? Will Texas Tech hang 50 on them? You'll have to be there to find out, as the game isn't going to be televised. Still, it should be a good diagnostic game to help us figure out the lower third of the Big XII.
12:00 CST - (#14) Texas A&M (2-1) vs. (#18) Arkansas (3-1), ESPN/ESPN3, [Arlington, TX]
(SEC West Entrance Exam)
The nationally televised Big XII Game of the morning time slot, Texas A&M will face off with Arkansas in the last Marquee non-conference game left on the Big XII's schedule. Texas A&M will no doubt be trying to impress their future SEC brethren, and Arkansas will no doubt try to continue the process of crushing A&M's BCS Bowl bid dreams.
A win here by A&M (and a win by Oklahoma later) would give the conference a 28-2 record in non-conference play for the year, or a 93.3% winning percentage. That is absolutely INSANE, and reflects why the Big XII has knocked off the SEC in ESPN's conference power rankings for the second straight week.
2:30 CST - (#15) Baylor (3-0) at Kansas State (3-0), ABC/ESPN
(This Really Shouldn't Be a C-USA Relegation Game)
An intriguing matchup of undefeated middle tier teams in the Big XII. Baylor's big win over TCU made them a top 20 team, and subsequent wins over in-state cohorts Stephen F Austin and Rice kept them undefeated through the non-conference portion of their schedule. Kansas State, meanwhile, used a gritty defensive stop late in the 4th quarter to take out Miami on the road. They also blanked Kent State, and like the Cyclones, had to come from behind to conquer their week 1 FCS foe.
This year's Baylor team features one of the Top 10 offenses in the country. Unfortunately, it's coupled with a very mediocre defense, one that gave up 31 points to Rice. Still, if Baylor can keep up their scoring average for this game (51.3 Points), Kansas State's ball-control, run-the-clock offense may have trouble keeping up.
6:00 CST - Ball State (3-1) at (#2) Oklahoma (3-0)
(MACrifice in Memorial Stadium)
Ball State has quality wins over Indiana, Buffalo, and Army, but struggled with their only decent FBS competition, losing to a ranked South Florida team. Expect Oklahoma to walk away from this game with a solid 50 point win and probably a shutout to boot, as they make up for only winning by 10 last week against Missouri.
6:00 CST - (#17) Texas (3-0) at Iowa State (3-0), FX
The Big XII Conference Game of the Week (HEY STOP LAUGHING) features a pair of teams that may or may not be for real. Iowa State has won three games by a total of eight points against some decent competition. Texas' one close game was to a BYU school, and even that doesn't look like much of an achievement after last week.
The Iowa State Roster features over 20 players from the Longhorn State, many who were recruited after they had been passed over by Texas schools. While Texas may be coming into this game with a chip on their shoulder after last year's upset in Austin, a lot of Cyclone players will be wanting to prove themselves to the in-state school that didn't want them.