Big 12 Upset Watch: Week 1

August, 30, 2012
8/30/12
1:00
PM ET
Time to debut what will be a weekly feature this season on the Big 12 Blog: Upset Watch.

There are favorites and there are underdogs. This is the Big 12 game most likely to not go the way everyone figures it will.

My pick: Baylor vs. SMU

The Bears are a double-digit favorite, but don't you dare sleep on June Jones' Mustangs. SMU has opened its season on the road against a Big 12 team in each of the past two seasons, so you know nothing is going to surprise this unit.

That goes for atmosphere and personnel. Texas Tech (2010) and Texas A&M (2011) both have atmospheres superior to what you'll find at Baylor.

Former Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert adds a little intrigue to this one as the Mustangs' starter, but the biggest problem for the Bears may be Zach Line. He's a stud, and a tough train to derail at 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds. He's no speedster, but bringing him down is never easy. He ran for 1,224 yards and 17 touchdowns a year ago, despite missing the final three games. He nearly topped 1,500 yards in 2010, and ran for 128 yards against Texas A&M last year, averaging nearly 6 yards a carry.

Darius Johnson had 1,118 yards receiving last year, and if the Gilbert Redemption Tour lives up to the hype, you have to figure he'll have plenty more this year.

The Bears are the better team here, but still feature a lot of unknown entities. The running back spot should be productive and solid. Nick Florence should be fantastic, with all the experience he has. The receivers should be tough for SMU to keep up with.

Still, you never quite know until you know, and if Baylor opens its season flat and doesn't play well, its BCS-conference best six-game winning streak is going down in flames, and its hopes for a third consecutive bowl game will take a major, major hit.

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