Thursday, July 25, 2013
Ranking Big 12 nonconference games: 30-21
By David Ubben
We've looked a bit at the Big 12's nonconference schedule this offseason, and now that we're about a month out, we'll start counting down the 30 nonconference games across the league from worst to first.
Let's get started:
No. 30: South Dakota at Kansas: These two teams won a combined two games a year ago, and will kick off the Jayhawks season in Lawrence. You won't find a worse game on the Big 12 schedule than this one. The Coyotes lost their lone FBS matchup a year ago by 31 points to Northwestern.
No. 29: Southeastern Louisiana at TCU: TCU is one of the favorites to win the Big 12, and the Lions went 5-6 in FCS a year ago, giving up 62 points to Missouri in their only game against an FBS opponent. This will be over quickly and one of the worst FBS-FCS matchups of the year.
No. 28: William and Mary at West Virginia: WVU has modest expectations this year, but they should be able to handle the Tribe, who stumbled to a 2-9 record a year ago. William and Mary did lose to Maryland just 7-6, but the Terrapins offense was nothing like WVU's. The second half of this one could be rated NC-17.
No. 27: Stephen F. Austin at Texas Tech: The Lumberjacks lost 52-0 last year to SMU and finished just 5-6. Tech has taken care of business against FCS teams lately, avoiding close calls. Expect a similar outcome here.
No. 26: Lamar at Oklahoma State: Believe it or not, this is the only home game Oklahoma State will play out of conference. A few former Cowboys have headed to the Texas-based FCS school, but the most notable, Herschel Sims, is gone. This won't be on Savannah State levels, but it'll be ugly.
No. 25: Northern Iowa at Iowa State: This in-state game is actually pretty fun, and not your average FCS game. Northern Iowa nearly knocked off the Cyclones in 2011, and has beaten Iowa State three times since 1992, including a 24-13 win in 2007.
No. 24: Wofford at Baylor: The Terriers are a solid FCS team who went 9-4 a year ago, but Baylor's high-powered offense should make this one a no-doubter.
No. 23: Massachusetts at Kansas State: The Minutemen are an FBS team, but in name only. The new MAC members were shut out three times last season and won their only game of the season against Akron.
No. 22: Buffalo at Baylor: Buffalo's fallen on some lean times since Turner Gill's exit. The program is just 9-27 since he left, and the Bulls' best win in that span is a 2011 upset of Ohio.
No. 21: New Mexico State at Texas: The Longhorns' balanced offense will be tough for anyone to stop, and that's especially true for the Aggies, who had the nation's No. 114 defense a year ago.