Monday, October 22, 2012
Peeking ahead to Week 9: Big 12/SEC
By David Ubben
Here’s a peek ahead to Week 9 in the Big 12, and what you can expect:
If you love college football tradition, this week is for you. Two of the game’s most storied programs will go head to head with two top 10 rankings and just one loss (to a top five team) between them. Notre Dame and Oklahoma will play, with College GameDay there to log the fanfare, in a primetime game on ABC. Oklahoma will face a tough test offensively against a big-time Notre Dame defense led by Manti Te'o, whose story you’ll surely hear more about as the game time arrives. He’s played through the death of his grandmother and girlfriend this season. Seeing these two helmets on the same field will just be very, very cool. It’s the last Big 12 nonconference game of the year, and an opportunity for the league to earn a little respect, too.
So, you thought Kansas State had the Big 12 title wrapped up? Texas Tech will get yet another chance to make the Wildcats work for it this week. Nobody expected Tech to have just one loss at this point in the season, but that’s where we’re at. Both of these teams went on the road and beat top 25 teams last week. This week, another top 25 team awaits. Who cracks first?
Texas should be OK offensively, but don’t be surprised if KU makes it a game against the Longhorns this week because of the matchup. The one thing the Jayhawks can do is run the ball with some consistency, and the Longhorns DBs aren’t quite the ballhawkers we’ve become accustomed to lately, so KU might have a little balance. Michael Cummings didn’t look very impressive last week, but he was on the road against the best defense in the Big 12. I’d expect him to get another shot, but we’ll see if the Jayhawks can make some headway after last year’s 43-0 debacle. KU will be at home, and Texas’ tackling issues could make it interesting with a Jayhawks team that can run the ball well.
We could see a tale of replacement QBs out in Stillwater. TCU makes their first trip to Oklahoma State as a Big 12 member, and Trevone Boykin’s had his rough times, but he’s played OK replacing Casey Pachall. J.W. Walsh has been outstanding in replacing Wes Lunt, throwing for 400 yards a week ago, but he's out with a knee injury. Could we see Lunt return, or is it time for Clint Chelf to get a shot? Mike Gundy will give both No. 1 reps this week and make a decision late in the week.
Here’s the full schedule for this week’s games (all times ET):
West Virginia is idle.
Texas at Kansas, noon, Fox Sports Net
TCU at Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net
Texas Tech at Kansas State, 3:30 p.m., FOX
Baylor at Iowa State, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Net
Notre Dame at Oklahoma, 8 p.m., ABC
No. 20 Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2 SEC) at Auburn (1-6, 0-5 SEC) 6 p.m. CT, ESPNU: Johnny Manziel couldn't get past LSU's vaunted defense in the second half, and that makes two stout defenses that have held him in check. Well, he should get more breathing room against Auburn's defense. The Tigers are giving up more than 400 yards a game and are winless in SEC play. This is a chance for the Aggies to rebound, but it might be Auburn's last chance to win a conference game this season. -- Edward Aschoff