Four-star viewers guide for this week
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
That's right, I said this week. Because the Big 12 will have games scheduled four straight nights this week.
Ah, the nirvana of football on multiple nights. What a concept.
Here's the latest four-star viewer's guide for the games of the weekend. Plan your week and set your tape recorders and Tivos accordingly.
Like always, a ranking of four stars indicates must-see television, and maybe even a game tape to be savored by more devoted viewers. Three-star games are worth the investment in time. Two-star games bear a quick glimpse or two for occasional score updates. And one-star games are indications that your time might be better spent painting the dining room or playing with the kids. All games will be played on Saturday, unless otherwise noted.
West Virginia at Colorado (Thursday, 8:30 p.m., ET, ESPN): The Mountaineers toyed with the Big 12's best team last year. Can they expect a repeat playing against the hungry Buffaloes -- especially at high altitude?
Kansas State at Louisville (Wednesday, 8 p.m., ESPN2): The Wildcats haven't played any BCS opponents so far. But this game could be a winnable one, particularly as Steve Kragthrope's tenure at Louisville has never looked shakier.
Baylor at Connecticut (Friday, 8 p.m., ESPN2): The nation will be introduced to Baylor QB Robert Griffin, who will hook up with the underrated 3-0 Huskies. Coach Randy Edsall's team ranks fifth nationally in rushing, eighth in scoring defense and 19th in rushing defense and might be better than last season's Meineke Car Care Bowl team.
Miami at Texas A&M (3:30 p.m., ABC-TV): This battle of once-potent nationally powers sounded better when it was announced than today. But A&M coach Mike Sherman has special impetus to win this game after preseason comments by his boss, A&M president Elsa Murano, a Miami native.
Buffalo at Missouri (Saturday, 2 p.m.): Sentimental trip back to the Big 12 for Buffalo coach Turner Gill, who tormented the Tigers during his playing career at Nebraska. Buffalo is coming off wild last-play victory over Temple. But they won't find accommodating hosts in the Tigers, who lead the nation in total offense and scoring and rank third in passing.
Rice at Texas (Saturday, 7 p.m.): Old Southwest Conference rivalry has been dominated in recent years by the Longhorns, who have won nine straight games and 37 of their last 38 against the Owls since 1966. This one shouldn't be close, although young Texas secondary will be tested by Rice's pitch-and-catch combination of QB Chase Clement and WR Jarett Dillard.
Iowa State at UNLV (Saturday, 9 p.m., MTN): Struggling Cyclones have got to have better red-zone production against Rebels, coming off impressive overtime victory at Arizona State. Rebels have cobbled together a 2-1 record despite not ranking above 75th nationally in any of the eight major team statistical categories.
Sam Houston State at Kansas (Saturday, 7 p.m. FCS): Lack of a running game doomed Kansas against South Florida. The Jayhawks will have a chance to work on that weakness against the Bearkats, who haven't played in more than three weeks since beating East Central on Aug. 28. Sam Houston QB Rhett Bomar returns to the Big 12 with a high-powered offense that leads FCS teams in scoring offense and turnover margin, is third in passing efficiency and fourth in rushing and total offense.
Massachusetts at Texas Tech (Saturday, 7 p.m.): Look for another offensive binge by the Red Raiders, who will be meeting their second FCS opponent so far this season. The Minutemen have struggled defensively, allowing 94 points in their last two games and rank 94th among the 109 FCS teams in scoring defense. This one could get really ugly.