Welcome to the third iteration of “10 Burning Questions”, where I ask the most important questions in the Big 12 for the upcoming week. A few of last week’s questions were answered over the weekend, but the action also raised some new ones. There are plenty of unanswered questions around the conference, but I’ll keep it to one per team.
10. WILL IOWA STATE KEEP IT CLOSE AGAINST TCU?
We already know that TCU is a better team than Iowa State, being that TCU didn’t lose to an FCS school, and TCU has actually won a game. But we don’t know how much better, and Iowa State keeping it close in Fort Worth would be very impressive and encouraging for a young team.
9. CAN KANSAS STATE IMPRESS AGAINST FLORIDA ATLANTIC?
Impress is a subjective term, and in my mind, an impressive win over FAU entails a 35+ point victory and second string players seeing significant playing time. Kansas State was beat solidly by Stanford, and an impressive win would launch them out of the ranks of the bottom dwellers in the Big 12.
8. WILL TEXAS TECH STOP AN AVERAGE LOUISIANA TECH OFFENSE?
Part of Texas Tech’s charm is their complete disregard for defense, and that disregard has continued into the first two games this season as well, as Texas Tech gave up 8 touchdowns to one player against Arizona State. Louisiana Tech has a pretty average offense, and Texas Tech might look slightly defensively competent this week, but we’ll see. Louisiana Tech almost beat Arkansas, so this is not going to be an easy game for the Red Raiders.
7. IS TCU GOING TO BOUNCE BACK AFTER A TOUGH LOSS?
Losing in double overtime probably isn’t very fun (I wouldn’t know) and bouncing back this week against Iowa State is very important for the Horned Frogs if they want to get back on the right track and on their way to competing to be the Big 12 champion.
6. WILL CHAOS STRIKE STILLWATER AGAIN?
I’m on record as saying that I think the way Oklahoma State lost to Central Michigan was hilarious, even if the play definitely shouldn’t have happened. I love college football chaos, and while I hope for it to happen in every game, some people (see: OSU players, coaches, and fans) would greatly prefer if that chaos stayed away from their team. Sadly for those people, Pitt is coming to town, and the Panthers make absolutely no sense. This one should be really good as long as you have no rooting interest in either team.
5. IS OKLAHOMA GOOD ENOUGH TO BEAT OHIO STATE?
I’ll be writing the preview on this game, so look forward to that if you want a more cohesive look at the matchup, but for now, it’s just about questions, and this is the biggest of many for the Sooners. Oklahoma already has a loss through two games, and Ohio State has looked dominant through two games. Given, Ohio State has played two average teams, but Urban Meyer lives for these kind of games, and Bob Stoops, well, we love Bob Stoops, even if he struggles to beat teams with a pulse when people are watching. Ohio State definitely has a pulse, and this is going to be a really tough game for the Sooners.
4. HOW MUCH DAMAGE IS KANSAS CAPABLE OF?
Some people have asked me: “Patrick, why do you make fun of Kansas so much?” and I think I need to address that question first. I 100% believe with all of my heart that Kansas is the best thing to happen to college football. I’m not a Kansas fan, but I’m certainly not making fun of them. I’m encouraging them because I love them and I want them to perform up to my lofty expectations. I know you’re reading this, David Beatty, and I want you to know that I believe in you. The biggest question for Kansas this week is if they can beat Memphis by 150 points (or at all, Memphis is pretty good).
3. IS WEST VIRGINIA FOR REAL?
BYU isn’t a very good team this year, but they’ll probably be in the Big 12 soon, and they’re going to serve as a good measuring stick for the Mountaineers. I think West Virginia could win the Big 12 this year, but if they struggle against BYU that prediction will likely change.
2. IS TEXAS THE BEST TEAM IN THE BIG 12?
I know, it’s really early in the season but Texas has passed the eye test, and a big win in Berkeley would be monumental for a young Texas team that’s already surging forward, in confidence, and in the polls. Texas probably isn’t the best team in the Big 12, but with the way they’ve been playing, and if they can keep that level of performance consistently, they very well could be the best Big 12 team at the end of the year.
1. IS BAYLOR EVER GOING TO PLAY A GOOD TEAM?
I’m aware that it really isn’t their fault, and scheduling good teams is very difficult and needs to be done far in advance, but like, come on Baylor. The Bears better hope they go undefeated this year, because with one loss and their schedule, they’ll almost certainly get jumped by a one or even two loss conference champion that played real teams before game 7.