Thursday, June 21, 2012
Predicting the 2012 season: Week 1
By ESPN.com staff
Today begins 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 here on the Big 12 Blog. The end goal is to offer my official prediction for each Big 12 team's record heading into the bowl season.
Remember, these are preseason predictions. We'll obviously still do week-to-week picks, 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 heading into the season, here's how I see the Big 12 shaking out.
Baylor 41, SMU 31: Nick Florence breaks out with a big debut in this Southwest Conference showdown. Lache Seastrunk has a quiet day, but shows flashes of brilliance that warn the rest of the league.
Iowa State 28, Tulsa 24: The Cyclones defense comes up big as the offense sputters early with quarterbacks Jared Barnett and Steele Jantz rotating throughout. Jantz makes enough plays in the fourth for yet another fourth-quarter comeback.
Kansas 38, South Dakota State 14: Turner Gill's debut vs. North Dakota State ended in a 6-3 loss. I've never seen South Dakota State, but I can tell you that they are not North Dakota State. So ... that's something.
Kansas State 34, Missouri State 10: Last year's opener was a nailbiting, come-from-behind 10-7 victory over Eastern Kentucky that made K-State look like the worst team in the Big 12. No such work here. K-State takes care of business, and by custom, Bill Snyder reveals just two plays in his playbook (Klein Left, and Klein Right).
Oklahoma 41, UTEP 17: This one kicks off in the desert at 9:30 p.m. Oklahoma time. The last time OU played in this stadium, it rolled over Stanford in the Sun Bowl. You can go to bed early in this one, Sooners fans. Get some sleep and get to church in the morning.
Oklahoma State 172, Savannah State 4: Does this game really need to be played? The competition from high school to Savannah State is not all that different for Wes Lunt.
Texas 27, Wyoming 17: Don't get caught sleeping on Wyoming. Dave Christensen's team is pretty good. Overlook them at your own peril. Texas won't. The Longhorns have a lot to prove this year. The difference: They have the personnel to do it.
Texas Tech 55, Northwestern State 20: Tech is finally healthy, and the Demons quite simply can't hang. Time to flex for the Red Raiders.
West Virginia 47, Marshall 14: The battle for bragging rights in West Virginia was close in Bill Stewart's final year. It wasn't last year. It won't be this year. WVU rolls against one of a few familiar opponents it will face in 2012.
BIG 12 STANDINGS
- Oklahoma: 1-0
- Kansas State: 1-0
- West Virginia: 1-0
- Texas: 1-0
- Oklahoma State: 1-0
- Baylor: 1-0
- Texas Tech: 1-0
- Iowa State: 1-0
- Kansas: 1-0
- TCU: 0-0 (Gotta hate those opening weekend byes. I feel for you, Frogs. It's no fun to wait a week longer than everyone else for the season to arrive.)