The Big 12 was shaken in the opening weekend of the 2013 season. In Week 2 the first conference game is the marquee matchup, while there are three other intriguing pairings to watch on Saturday — one due to the location more than the game itself.
Game of the Week
West Virginia vs. Oklahoma (6 p.m. Fox)
Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, Okla.
West Virginia looked awful in Week 1. Dana Holgorsen is still scratching his head despite the win. But a seven-point victory over William and Mary may be just as embarrassing as some of the conference losses to FCS teams last week. On the other side, Trevor Knight had a lackluster first half for the Sooners but did show that he has an accurate arm, and legs behind him, to get the job done in a win against Louisiana-Monroe in Norman. This is the Big 12’s feature matchup, simply because it means more than the rest: a win in the conference column.
The rest of the field of games
Southeastern Louisiana vs. TCU (11 a.m. FSN)
Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
TCU held close to LSU last week in a Top 25 showdown at AT&T Stadium, ultimately falling by 10 points. This week, TCU opens its home schedule against the Lions of SELA. If TCU is up and ready for this game, which has been questionable for the Frogs to get going into 11 a.m. games the last few years, TCU should get a chance to look at its future in the second half, playing the young reserves in a blowout. However, I said that last week about Kansas State, which ended up losing to North Dakota State. So there is that…
Oklahoma State vs. UTSA (11 a.m. FS1)
Alamodome, San Antonio Texas
I am intrigued by how a third-year program, now in Conference USA, got Oklahoma State to agree to play on the road for this one. The Roadrunners play in the Alamodome, but the fact remains that UTSA is an upstart and in its first year of eligibility to reach the postseason. Either way, Oklahoma State should be too much for UTSA. UTSA can show that there is a future for this program, but that thunder runs out as the Cowboys have too many options across the field on both sides of the ball.
Buffalo vs. Baylor (2:30 p.m. FSN)
Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco Texas
It’s unfortunate the Bears didn’t schedule a game to show how good they may be, but for the second week in a row we are left wondering what Baylor is going to bring to the table when it comes to the conference’s title race. BU took care of Wofford last week, racking up impressive numbers for the stat sheet and in Week 2, the Bears will be at it again (though a win over Buffalo isn’t “big” in any traditional sense).
Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Kansas State (5:30 p.m. FS1)
If last week’s loss to NDSU was any indication of where Kansas State’s program is, this one could be a game that stays close. The Wildcats are better than last week’s result and that this should be the first win of the year, but the Ragin’ Cajuns will have something to say about that in the end. A miserable week of practices likely sent K-State into this game.
Stephen F. Austin vs. Texas Tech (6 p.m. FSN)
AT&T Jones Stadium, Lubbock, Texas
This game goes in the same category as Baylor’s, a team that has way too many patsy games to begin the year. Baker Mayfield was exciting in Week 1, but I would like to see that against a team that has a defense on the other side of the ball. Texas Tech should put up 50 points against the Lumberjacks of SFA, though, SFA will likely put up 30 with its own high-powered offense.
Texas vs. BYU (6 p.m. ESPN)
LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah
A close second for the game of the week designation, this one intrigues me and will have my attention. BYU has an impressive schedule for an independent team not named Notre Dame. However, this is one of only two games actually in Provo that bring much to the table. The Cougars are going to test the Longhorns for four quarters and maybe beyond. Texas, if the fans are any indication, is looking beyond this game down the schedule and that could make this a closer game than expected. LaVell Edwards is a tough place to play and Texas is going to have to be up for this one to come up with a win.
South Dakota vs. Kansas (6 p.m. JHN)
Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, Kan.
The Jayhawks took the opening week off and start the season off against South Dakota. If there was a 50-50 non-conference match-up for a Big 12 team against the FCS, this would be it. Kansas is not good on paper and South Dakota is mystery. The Coyotes’ conference (Missouri Valley) is 2-0 against the Big 12 after last week’s game, with NDSU’s win over K-State and Northern Iowa beating Iowa State, and it could be 3-0 after Week 2.