Week two of the college football season cranks up, and the Big 12 takes a little breather from the difficult slate of FCS teams scheduled in week one. The big game this week is the first Big 12 game of the season, as West Virginia travels to Oklahoma. Other than that, the only other test SHOULD be Texas seeing if they can fight off the creepy 26 year old Mormons that make up the majority of BYU's football team.
Southeastern Louisiana @ TCU - Saturday 9/8, 11:00 AM CDT - FSN
Line: TCU -42.5
TCU's offense put up a pretty solid effort against an LSU defense that will be strong again this year, and this week faces a completely overmatched SE Louisiana team at home. The main question here will be if they've covered the spread before Casey Pachall takes a seat on the bench. The other question is if Pachall is holding, and if so; can he hook a guy up?
TCU 56, SELA 3
Oklahoma State @ UT-San Antonio - Saturday 9/8, 11:00 AM CDT - FS1
Line: OSU - 26
In the season opener last week, Oklahoma State's new offensive coordinator almost completely scrapped the Cowboy's air assault after Mississippi State took the passing game away. OSU then proceeded to dominate the Bulldogs with a little-recognized facet of their offense, the triple-option (for an excellent breakdown of the way OSU exploited MSU's defensive gameplan, see Steven Godfrey's article here).
The big question mark here will be whether or not OSU gets rolling through the air with J.W. Walsh or if they continue their ground assault. The last time they had a dual threat runner starting (Zac Robinson) they eventually plateaued. Walsh showed promise last year but will have to show he can consistently win with more than just his legs. Defense had a great showing against Mississippi State and the same should happen here.
Oklahoma State 35, UTSA 14
Buffalo @ Baylor - Saturday 9/8, 2:30 PM CDT - FSN)
Line: Baylor - 27
Last week, Buffalo looked completely hapless against a strangely fired-up Ohio State team (going for the two-point conversion on touchdowns, Buckeyes? You're playing the Buffalo Bulls, not the Buffalo Bills). Meanwhile, Art Briles has clearly brought Baylor to the next level. The Bear's offense showed little-to-no dropoff from the past few years, cruising to a 69-3 victory against Wofford.
Four touchdown favorites against a middle-to-lower tier MAC school? Baylor is going to hang 60 again without breaking a sweat.
Baylor 61, Buffalo 20
UL-Lafayette @ Kansas State - Saturday 9/8, 5:30 PM CDT - FS1
Line: Kansas State - 10.5
Last week's surprising loss needs to not turn into a habit if Bill Snyder wants to salvage Kansas State's season. Yes, the Wildcats are young on both sides of the ball, and yes, they play the defending Sun Belt champions that return most of their offense. But if K-State can run the ball they win by three touchdowns. Snyder has been at this coaching thing long enough to know the Wildcats need to get momentum on the ground to keep the defense fresh and pull off the wizardry they have in previous seasons.
Lost in last week's loss was Jake Waters looking mostly competent through the air, but this team cannot afford to be one dimensional.
Kansas State 31, ULL 17
West Virginia @ Oklahoma - Saturday 9/8, 6:00 PM CDT - Fox
Line: OU - 21
West Virginia didn't look impressive against William & Mary last week, needing a touchdown in the last few minutes to seal the win, but three touchdown dogs to an Oklahoma team that had their own problems with UL-Monroe? That seems high.
Oklahoma is going to win this game by virtue of their defense, the fact that the game is in Norman and the Mountaineer's inability to put a balanced offense on the field this early in the season. That said, West Virginia should cover here. OU takes away WVU's run game and forces Millard to pass to unproven receivers, leading to a loss that looks closer on paper than it actually is.
Oklahoma 27, WVU 13
Stephen F. Austin @ Texas Tech - Saturday 9/8, 6:00 PM - FSN
Line: Tech - 38
Even with a walk-on starting at QB last week the Tech offense was impressive against a decent SMU team. Although Stephen F. Austin is one of the better teams in the FCS, there's just no way the Lumberjack's holds tight with them very long. Watch out for Tech becoming one dimensional over time. Last week against SMU they threw 60 times to only 27 rush attempts (at 1.8 yards per attempt). These stats are sustainable in the non-conference, but Tech will to play better defenses at some point that will take away those easy passes.
Texas Tech 56, SFA 14
South Dakota @ Kansas - Saturday 9/8, 6:00 PM - Jayhawk Network
Line: Kansas -23
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME JAYHAWK FOOTBALL? Hopefully not, 'cause the only way you can catch this game is on the Jayhawk's proprietary network. You can probably find a better way to spend your time anyway.
After a bewildering first week bye, the Charlie Weis JUCO Experiment takes flight in this tilt, but it will be transfer quarterback Jake Heaps that all eyes will be on. Between Heaps' clear talent advantage over USD and James Sims in the backfield this game won't be close and the Jayhawks finally win their first game in 12 tries.
Kansas 41, USD 17
Texas @ BYU - Saturday 9/8, 6:00 PM CDT - ESPN
Line: Texas -7
BYU lost last week on a late TD by Virginia but there's no doubt that Bronco Mendenhall will be ready for Texas this week. Texas' uptempo offense led by David Ash will get its first test against a defense that has seen the system in the past (former Texas OC Bryan Harsin was the OC at Boise State). Major Applewhite has surely added his wrinkles but the system remains the same.
BYU's chances at success here all lie with stopping the Texas rushing attack that racked up 359 yards rushing against New Mexico State last week with five players carrying most of the load. BYU gives Texas a game, but in the end the up tempo attack with the three-headed monster in the back field prevails.
Texas 24, BYU 17