The Big 12 takes center stage on Friday night with two matchups leading to a filled Saturday slate of college football. Kliff Kingsbury’s era at Texas Tech kicks things off in Dallas.
Texas Tech vs. SMU (7 p.m. ESPN)
Gerald J. Ford Stadium – Dallas
The highly anticipated debut of Kingsbury’s tenure at Texas Tech begins in what will be a rowdy crowd in Dallas. Expect this one to be closer than most think as SMU is a much improved team heading into the season.
Ford Stadium will be a sea of red; there should be a lot of Red Raider faithful in the crowd.
North Dakota State vs. Kansas State (7:30 p.m. FS1)
Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium – Manhattan, Kan.
Post-Collin Klein era, Bill Snyder’s reloading style on offense finally takes the field.
The Wildcats should have a big lead by half time and expect 60 points to be put up on the board by K-State.
William and Mary vs. West Virginia (11 a.m. FS1)
Mountaineer Field – Morgantown, W.V.
Dana Holgorson appears to have given the nod Clint Trickett to replace Geno Smith in the Mountaineer’s high-flying offense. Trickett took all of the snaps with the first team this week.
This one shouldn’t test WVU, starting the day with one of many games that will be decided at halftime.
Mississippi State vs. Oklahoma State (2:30 p.m. ABC)
Reliant Stadium – Houston
The first of two marquee matchups for the conference in Week 1. The Cowboys are looking to start out with their two-QB system in a high powered offense pitted against the defense of the SEC.
Mississippi State may not be at the top of the SEC, but expect a battle with conference pride on the line. The Cowboys are entering as a favorite, but expect a close game heading into the fourth quarter.
Louisiana-Monroe vs. Oklahoma (6 p.m. FSN PPV)
Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium – Norman, Okla.
Looking back at 2012, Monroe is not a team to mess with. ULM knocked off Arkansas last season in one of the biggest upsets of the season. Oklahoma is breaking in Trevor Knight at QB and it will be interesting to see what the Sooner’s system will be when it comes to using Blake Bell.
Question are all over the field for Oklahoma, the defense gave up big numbers last season and will need to be much improved to make sure Oklahoma doesn’t disappoint in its opening game.
Wofford vs. Baylor (6:30 p.m. FSN)
Floyd Casey Stadium – Waco, Texas
If Baylor does not put up at least 60 points in its opener, there may be questions if it can live of to the hype this season. Baylor is on a short list of teams expected to compete for the conference crown.
One not, this will be the last home opener for the Bears at Floyd Casey before they move into their brand new facility opening in 2014.
New Mexico State vs. Texas (7 p.m. LHN)
Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium – Austin, Texas
David Ash kicks off his season against the Aggies, not the in-state rival, but those from New Mexico State. NMSU is making a transition through conferences this season and expect the Aggies to have a fight in them.
However, Texas should power through the Aggies and be able to rest the starters at some point in the second half.
Northern Iowa vs. Iowa State (7 p.m. Cyclones.TV)
Jack Trice Stadium – Ames, Iowa
The Cyclones will have a fight on their hands when facing Northern Iowa. On paper this one is closer than it should be as a power conference team hosts a mid-major. Northern Iowa has been good over the years and will give Iowa State a fight.
Sam Richardson takes the reigns this season as the ISU quarterback and it will be interesting to watch if the sophomore can lead Iowa State to the postseason.
LSU vs. TCU (8 p.m. ESPN)
AT&T Stadium – Arlington, Texas
The Horned Frogs close out the opening week in the Big 12 with a highly anticipated showdown with the Tigers at Jerry World.
TCU has questions on offense and returning quarterback Casey Pachall will have to break off the rust early. One of many story lines to watch will be if suspended All-American Devonte Fields takes the field or not. Also, TCU has hinted at a quarterback system that includes both Pachall and Trevone Boykin.
Topics: Baylor Bears, Big 12, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, TCU Horned Frogs, Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders, West Virginia Mountaineers