Welcome to the fourth 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. CAN IOWA STATE GET THEIR FIRST WIN THIS WEEK?
Iowa State takes on San Jose State this week, in what is probably the most winnable game left on the schedule for the Cyclones. San Jose State is 1-2 with losses to Tulsa and Utah. Their one win came against Portland State. They are not a good team, and in my mind, if Iowa State does not win this week, they might not win this year.
9. WHEN WILL KANSAS BEGIN THEIR RECKONING?
If you think I’m going to stop campaigning for the Jayhawks anytime soon, you’ve got another thing coming, because my support of the greatest college football powerhouse the world has ever seen is undying. Kansas is holding back to avoid showing their hand too soon. Texas Tech better watch out next Thursday, because it may finally be time for David Beatty to unveil his flightless death machine.
8. WILL OKLAHOMA PLAY BETTER AGAINST BIG 12 OPPONENTS?
Oklahoma has an absolutely crucial bye week this week, after their nightmare scenario was realized in the first three weeks of the year. The Sooners need to recover and bounce back after two tough losses very quickly, because next they travel to play TCU and then face Texas in back to back weeks. They will have to play far better than they have if they want to avoid being 1-4 to start the year.
7. IS TEXAS TECH GOOD?
Depends. What side of the ball are we talking about? As a team? I have no idea. Do you know? Does anyone know? I don’t think Texas Tech even knows if Texas Tech is good. I’ve watched the Red Raiders quite a bit this year, and not much about them has stood out in determining if they are a good team or not. Show me something against our Jayhawk overlords next Thursday, and then we’ll talk.
6. IS BAYLOR THE BEST TEAM IN THE BIG 12?
Probably not, but honestly, I am not sure who is. The Bears need to start playing real teams, and stop letting Shawn Oakman, the former defensive star on trial for sexual assault, into their locker room. Thankfully, both of those things will change. Oklahoma State will provide a true test on Saturday, and Baylor is no longer allowing Oakman in their facilities, at home or on the road. It is a step in the right direction, but obviously more needs to be done. Jim Grobe needs to change the culture in Waco. If he can’t do that, there is no reason for him to be there. I’ll step off my soapbox now, but Baylor needs to do better.
5. WHAT KIND OF TEAM IS KANSAS STATE?
We’ll have to wait another week to get an answer to this question, because Kansas State is playing Missouri State this week, a school I didn’t know existed until I started writing this article. The games that will answer questions start on October 1st, when the Wildcats take on West Virginia, who could very possibly be the best team in the Big 12. Two weeks later, the Wildcats will have to face Oklahoma and Texas back to back, not to mention Texas Tech after West Virginia. Until then, we won’t know a lot about Bill Snyder’s team.
4. IS SMU A TRAP GAME FOR TCU?
I’m on record as saying I think SMU is a horrible team to schedule as a Big 12 team. I worry about them whenever a high level Big 12 team plays them. SMU didn’t really threaten Baylor, but I think they will scare TCU if the Horned Frogs aren’t on their game this week. I’ve got TCU on upset alert this Friday.
3. WILL A BYE WEEK HELP OR HURT TEXAS?
If Texas was still undefeated, I would say the bye week here hurts them, but they aren’t because of a dumb rule and because they played poorly against a good team. Since the Longhorns are coming off a loss, the bye week is a good thing. It should help a young team recover and get ready for a tough upcoming stretch of games that features Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Baylor all in one month.
2. CAN OKLAHOMA STATE PUT IT ALL TOGETHER?
Personally, I’m not impressed with Oklahoma State this year, but I’m also not impressed with Baylor, or any team in the Big 12. Oklahoma State will have to play better than they have shown so far in order to beat the Bears on the road. Baylor, at the ones, is the better team right now. The Pokes have shown flashes, but they won’t be able to afford their mistakes for long. Mistakes kept Pitt in the game last week. This week Mason Rudolph will have to do more than just throw the ball 40 times a game to lead his team to a victory, and if he does, he’ll need to complete more than 56.5% of his passes.
1. WILL WEST VIRGINIA STRUGGLE WITH BYU?
All three of BYU’s games have been against good competition and all three games were very close in the end. Unfortunately for the Cougars, they lost two of them. That has many people writing BYU off, but make no mistake, they are still a good team. West Virginia needs to take care of the Cougars to be considered the best team in the Big 12 this year, at least in my mind.