Monday, June 25, 2012
Predicting the 2012 season: Week 2
By ESPN.com staff
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, 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 2.
Iowa 24, Iowa State 20: I picked the Cyclones to win this one in my bold predictions last season, but I'm not going out on a limb for the growing Cyclones this time around. That was in Ames. This one's in Iowa City and I'm still not a believer that ISU will fully have its quarterback spot settled by this time. Meanwhile, Iowa's starting quarterback is killing bears in his offseason! The defense puts in a valiant effort, but it's not good enough.
Kansas 31, Rice 27: Let the whispers begin. With a win over the Owls in Lawrence, Kansas will have equaled its win total from 2011 in its first two games. Charlie Weis has KU looking up, but the big question remains after Dayne Crist's heroic fourth-quarter effort gives the Jayhawks a comeback win: When will the first Big 12 win arrive?
Kansas State 24, Miami 21: Another year, another nailbiter, even without the muddy field and bloodied elbows from Collin Klein. The Hurricanes miss a field goal at the gun and Bill Snyder's Cardiac Cats live again, sneaking into college football's top 15.
Oklahoma 66, Florida A&M 3: Good grief. Get the Rattlers off the field. That Miami team we just mentioned? The one that lost to K-State and went 6-6? They beat A&M 45-0. Granted, watching an A&M team get beat badly in Norman should be nothing new for Big 12 fans.
Oklahoma State 34, Arizona 21: This is a game OSU fans should rightly be nervous to see. You never know how a team will look under a first-year coach and (apologies in advance, WVU readers) Rich Rodriguez has a proven track record, despite his struggles at Michigan. I'm a Wes Lunt believer, though. He's not fantastic, but he's good enough in his road start to give Oklahoma State another big win over the Wildcats.
TCU 45, Grambling 17: Welcome to the 2012 season, Frogs! TCU had to endure a bye in Week 1, but the Frogs' Big 12 debut gets off to a nice start against an overmatched Grambling team. TCU's defense struggles early, but hits its stride late for a second-half shutout.
Texas 41, New Mexico 0: New Mexico? Well, they're not very good. Beating the Lobos won't impress anyone, but Texas comes as close to turning a few heads as possible against a team that wasn't ready to handle the Longhorns.
Texas Tech 44, Texas State 20: The new WAC members (and hosts for this game) give the Red Raiders a little trouble early on, but the Red Raiders move to 2-0 with a solid second half. Welcome back, Eric Stephens. The back returns from his dislocated knee last year to earn his first 100-yard rushing game of the season.
BIG 12 STANDINGS
1. Oklahoma: 2-0
1. Kansas State: 2-0
1. Kansas: 2-0
1. Texas Tech: 2-0
1. Texas: 2-0
1. Oklahoma State: 2-0
7. West Virginia: 1-0
7. Baylor: 1-0
7. TCU: 1-0
10. Iowa State: 1-1