Today is the next step in a new series on the Big 12 blog that we've never done before. I love predicting the standings from top to bottom, but we're going to do it week by week leading up to the season. The end goal is to offer my official prediction for each Big 12 team's record heading into the bowl games.
Remember, these are preseason predictions. We'll obviously still do week-to-week picks once the season arrives, and they may change between now and then. There are a lot of preseason practices and a whole lot of games between now and the end of the season.
There are always teams who disappoint and teams who surprise. But here's how I see the Big 12 shaking out in Week 3.
Baylor 47, Sam Houston State 17: The Bears won't put on a show in the first three quarters, but they take care of business against a pretty good FCS team (which is like a "pretty good Big East team." I kid.)
Iowa State 31, Western Illinois 10: Finally, ISU doesn't have a nailbiter. The Cyclones bounce back from a rivalry loss to Iowa to dispatch the FCS Leathernecks easily.
TCU 41, Kansas 17: Kansas coach Charlie Weis had his team practice kicking a game-winning field goal and reaching 3-0 in this game during an open practice in the spring. Not happening. TCU goes to Lawrence and debuts its first Big 12 game the right way. KU will improve this year, but it's not happening just yet.
Kansas State 47, North Texas 20: Former Iowa State coach Dan McCarney is back taking on an old Big 8 foe, which makes for an intriguing story line, but not much of a football game. Lance Dunbar can't save you now, Mean Green. (K-State fans know what I'm talkin' about.)
Oklahoma State 41, Louisiana-Lafayette 24: Don't sleep on these Ragin' Cajuns. U-LaLa is a decent team who won nine games and beat a very good San Diego State team in the New Orleans Bowl last year. This defense picked off Brandon Weeden three times last year and led at halftime when these two teams met in the Bayou in 2010. This one won't be easy, but the Cowboys pull away late.
Texas 27, Ole Miss 10: Unless Texas is distracted by hoards of its mascot being grilled in The Grove outside the stadium, the Longhorns should take care of business in the Big 12's only matchup against the SEC in the regular season. That sounds sexier than it is. Texas is on its way back to national prominence. Ole Miss is restarting under new coach Hugh Freeze after a two-win 2011.
Texas Tech 47, New Mexico 17: We've been over this. New Mexico: Awful. FBS by name only, I'd say.
West Virginia 44, James Madison 17: Madison shocked eventual ACC champ Virginia Tech back in 2010, but these Mountaineers are better and won't make the mistakes the Hokies did just a week after a heartbreaking loss to Boise State. FCS is still FCS. Can we start conference play now?
BIG 12 STANDINGS (after Week 3)
1. Kansas State: 3-0
1. Oklahoma State: 3-0
1. Texas: 3-0
1. Texas Tech: 3-0
5. Oklahoma: 2-0
5. West Virginia: 2-0
5. Baylor: 2-0
5. TCU: 2-0
9. Kansas: 2-1
9. Iowa State: 2-1