As the Big 12 looks for national respect, the first weekend of the college football season didn’t spark many positive feelings, thanks to struggles from Texas and Baylor.
Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU looked good, rolling past overmatched foes. Baker Mayfield was nearly perfect (19-20, 329 yards, 3 TD passes) in a 56-7 rout of UTEP. And his OSU counterpart, Mason Rudolph was good also, going 20-24 for 303 yards and three scores in a 59-24 victory against Tulsa.
TCU pummeled Jackson State 63-0, while Texas Tech routed a good FCS foe in Eastern Washington 56-10 in solid showings. And even Kansas fans got to celebrate, as the Jayhawks took down Southeast Missouri State while Kansas State rolled past Central Arkansas. And Iowa State fans can feel good about a nice start, a 42-24 win at home against in-state rival Northern Iowa.
A 31-24 loss to Virginia Tech left a bit of a sting for West Virginia and its fans. But it’s far from time to panic in the mountains. The matchup of top-25 teams might have been one of the best of college football’s first weekend, as the Hokies barely hung on to the final margin as West Virginia drove the field in the closing minutes.
There’s a lot to like about how West Virginia and new quarterback Will Grier looked, and the Mountaineers look like a squad that can make some noise this season.
Texas had high hopes coming into the season under new coach Tom Herman. But the first chapter of Herman’s tenure was a sour one, as Maryland came into Austin and left with a 51-41 victory. It’s a familiar story for Texas, which has been decent offensively but unable to stop anybody the last few years. It happened again.
And with a trip to USC looming Sept. 16, it could get worse before it gets better for Herman and the Horns.
If you read up on what we had to say about the Big 12, you knew we weren’t excited about Baylor’s chances this season. But even as negative as we were, there was no way anyone could have expected Liberty University would come to Waco and leave with a 48-45 victory.
Needless to say, the schedule only gets tougher from here, and the Bears could be on the losing end a whole lot this season.