Big 12: Week 4 Preview
The conference slate is a bit lighter in Week 3, with just five contests slated for Saturday. There are two enticing matchups to watch nevertheless, and jobs on the line in Austin for the marquee Big 12 showdown. .
The Game to Watch:
Kansas State vs. Texas (7 p.m. ABC)
Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
There is a lot on the line under the national spotlight. Hopes for a Big 12 championship are still viable for Longhorns coach Mack Brown, while Kansas State has designs defending its crown.
For Brown, his eye is on the prize, but the alumni and Longhorn faithful have their eyes on Brown’s coaching position. Rumors ran rampant this week that if things are not put back on course in Austin this week, or after a loss to Oklahoma, would prompt a change in leadership.
The Rest of the Field:
Louisiana Tech vs. Kansas (11 a.m. FS1)
Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, Kan.
LA Tech is still breaking in on its new home in Conference USA and Kansas is looking for a win against an FBS opponent to jump-start the season. The Bulldogs were a BCS contender last season, but do not have the same high-powered attack since Sonny Dykes left for Cal. KU last beat an opponent from the Bowl Subdivision in 2011, Turner Gill’s last season as head coach.
After losing to Rice in Week 3, maybe this is the Saturday Charlie Weis gets off the schneid?
Maryland vs. West Virginia (2:30 p.m. ESPN U)
Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, W.V.
On paper, this one looked like it could be one of the better non-conference games for the Big 12. However, WVU has looked suspect on offense and in its 2-1 stars; 0-1 in the Big 12. Maryland is 3-0 with wins against FIU, Old Dominion and UConn, so this is the Terps’ first real opportunity to prove if they are for real.
Maryland faces Florida State following the Week 5 bye, so the Terrapins could be looking past a retooling West Virginia.
UL-Monroe vs. Baylor (3 p.m. FS1)
Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, Texas
This is a semi-realistic measure of where this Baylor team is. Baylor won big over Wofford and Buffalo to enter the season. Oklahoma opened its season with a 34-0 win against this ULM team, which beat Wake Forest last week. It’s safe to assume the Warhawks can score more against this particular Big 12 opponent’s defense.
Texas State vs. Texas Tech (6 p.m. FSN)
AT&T Jones Stadium, Lubbock, Texas
Texas Tech crept into the Top 25 after a win over TCU last Thursday, but returns to action with questions coming on its offense. Tech put up 20 points on TCU, well below what is typical of the air raid spread. Kliff Kingsbury’s offense will look to regain its momentum behind expected starter Baker Mayfield, who came out of the TCU win late.
Texas State has opened 2-0 with wins against Southern Miss and Prairie View A&M. I am not ready to call for an upset special, but if there was one for Week 4, this may be it. Bobcat head coach Dennis Franchione has been around the block a few times, and may have something up his sleeve.