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Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The Big 12 Primer: Week 3

By David Ubben

My predictions for this week's games will be up in the morning, but let's hear yours in the comments.

Here's when and where you can watch this weekend's games across the Big 12, with a few thoughts on each.

Oklahoma is the lone idle Big 12 team this week.

No. 15 TCU at Kansas (noon, FX): TCU finally gets to play its first Big 12 game, but the intensity of this one might be questionable. The Horned Frogs open at KU as a 26.5-point favorite and for good reason: Kansas' loss to Rice last week was one of two for the Big 12 on the season. So far, KU quarterback Dayne Crist is completing just over 50 percent of his passes, but TCU's Casey Pachall was perfect in his first start last week, completing all nine of his passes.

Oklahoma State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (noon, Fox Sports Net): The Ragin' Cajuns are a sneaky squad that is 2-0 with two convincing wins. The last time OSU tried to reboot its team, 2010, Louisiana led the Cowboys at halftime down in the Bayou. Last year, Brandon Weeden threw a pair of pick sixes at home, too. The Cowboys are angry after last week's loss to Arizona, though.

No. 8 West Virginia vs. James Madison at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. (4:30 p.m., Root Sports/Mountaineer Sports Network): James Madison likes to play physical and run the ball. WVU can run it, too, but the Mountaineers' biggest weapons are in the passing game. Dana Holgorsen reminded his team this week that JMU beat BCS-bound Virginia Tech back in 2010, but West Virginia's no Virginia Tech. WVU will be fun to watch again after a 69-point outburst in its Marshall opener.

Baylor vs. Sam Houston State (7 p.m., Fox College Sports): Baylor had to sit and watch last week after hanging 59 points on SMU, but the Bears have to be careful in this one. If any FCS team is going to knock off an FBS team, it'll be one of the lower-league elites. That's Sam Houston State, the national runner-up a year ago. Can anybody cover Baylor's trio of Tevin Reese, Terrance Williams and Lanear Sampson?

No. 14 Kansas State vs. North Texas (7 p.m., Fox Sports Net): K-State rolled last week against Miami in the Big 12's most impressive performance, but you've got to do it every week. The most interesting storyline in this game: Former Big 8 rivals reunited. North Texas coach Dan McCarney led Iowa State for 11 seasons, and faces old friend Bill Snyder in Manhattan, a place McCarney has coached many times. K-State's only win in Snyder's first season back in 1989: North Texas. "It probably saved my sanity," Snyder told reporters this week.

Texas Tech vs. New Mexico (7 p.m., Fox College Sports): New Mexico got shut out in Austin last week, and now heads to Lubbock hoping for better fortunes. Don't count on it. The Red Raiders looked great in opening wins over Northwestern State and Texas State. New Mexico is better, but not that much better.

Iowa State vs. Western Illinois (8 p.m., Cyclones.TV): The Leathernecks have the best mascot name of any Big 12 opponent this week, but a week after knocking off Iowa in Iowa City, this one shouldn't be quite the nailbiter. WIU is 2-0, but the wins came over Indianapolis and Butler, who until recently, I didn't realize had football teams. Indianapolis is a Division II team.

No. 12 Texas at Ole Miss (9:15 p.m., ESPN): The only Big 12 matchup of the season against the SEC should go pretty well, but Texas has to take care of business. The Longhorns are a double-digit favorite against the 2-0 Rebels, but nothing would derail the Longhorns Comeback Tour 2012 like a loss in Oxford. David Ash is completing well over 70 percent of his passes, but the Longhorns would love to stretch the field more this week.