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Week Two Takeaways From the Big 12

Week Two Takeaways

It would be very easy to let Texas be the only one of the week two takeaways from the Big 12 worth discussing. Don’t worry Longhorn fans, we will discuss. And while Texas deserves its moment, there are some things still happening in the conference that need to be addressed. Those include Texas’ most pesky opponent in recent memory looking good, two other Texas schools still winless, and the newest Big 12 members pulling their weight.

Week Two Takeaways From the Big 12

Texas Is (Almost) Back

The prophecy is in motion. Last Word gave everyone multiple opportunities to see what was going to happen. With Texas’ 34-24 over Alabama, the Longhorns have made it clear to the college football world that they are a true playoff contender. The Crimson Tide clearly are not the Death Star that they have been for the last 15 years. However, this night was more about what the Longhorns did than what Alabama isn’t doing. Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers looked the part of someone who was the number one recruit coming out of high school. The ICBM trajectory of his 44-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Worthy that dropped so accurately and delicately in his hands was breathtaking.

Yes, there was a moment where it looked like Texas was going to turn back into a pumpkin in the fourth quarter as the Tide got back to within three points. But Texas was the better team throughout this entire game. The exclamation point on it was the final drive of the game. Texas got the ball with 7:14 left and did not attempt a pass for the rest of the game. Nine rushing attempts later, Texas was able to kneel out the remaining time on the clock. Texas has to show that they won’t trip up down the stretch of the season, but it very much looks like the discussion will be a matter of who will they play in Arlington for the Big 12 championship.

So Is…Kansas?

A Friday night smackdown by Kansas will not be overlooked in these week two takeaways. The final score of 34-23 is not indicative of how one-sided this game was. It was 34-7 Kansas with 3:45 remaining in the third quarter. Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels made his season debut without any signs of rust. He finished the game going 21-for-29 with 277 yards and two touchdowns. The Kansas offense finished the game with 539 yards of total offense. Head coach Lance Leipold has to be feeling great about what he has seen two weeks into the season. With Nevada and BYU home games before a trip to Austin, will the college football world get a battle of 4-0 teams at the end of September?

Baylor and Texas Tech Start 0-4

Baylor head coach Dave Arranda and Texas Tech head coach Joey McGuire are looking for the restart button on this season. No one would have expected in preseason that in the week two takeaways, these two teams would find themselves at the bottom of the conference standings. The Bears and the Red Raiders very well could be 4-0. Instead, neither program has a win to its name. Both watched fourth-quarter leads dissolve this past week. Baylor had an opportunity to upset Utah but ultimately fell 20-13, Texas Tech acquitted itself well and showed flashes of a team that can compete with anyone in the Big 12. However, coupled with the double overtime Wyoming loss, the latest 38-30 defeat to Oregon leaves a lot of burn amongst the Red Raider fan base. Both teams have FCS opponents on the schedule before opening Big 12 play in two weeks, so each should be shedding the zero from the win column soon.

New Members Are 7-1

The four teams making their Big 12 season debut have always shown the ability to “punch above their weight class.” So, in a vacuum, seeing some of the victories this past week wasn’t too surprising. UCF had a gutty victory on the road at Boise State by a score of 18-16. Cincinnati pulled a small upset over Pitt on the road by a score of 27-21. BYU remained undefeated after handling an FCS opponent (but will get the first test next week against Arkansas). The lone loss by the newest Big 12 members came in the Battle for the Bayou Bucket. Houston has an impressive victory over UTSA to start the season, which seemed to cool off Dana Holgerson’s hot seat. But his Cougars got behind by a score of 28-0 against their city rivals. They mounted a furious comeback, only to fall to Rice in double overtime by a score of 43-41. The real test for all of these programs will be how well they hold up against a full Big 12 schedule. But early returns, as a group, look promising for the season.

Sooners, Wildcats, Cowboys All Dispose Of Trap Tests

A few Big 12 members have some interesting opponents in week two. Some appeared to be bigger traps than others. But a week after the Big 12 had some head-scratching losses, these teams all made sure they avoided stepping in the traps. Oklahoma defeated SMU 28-11, Kansas State destroyed the defending Sun Belt champions 42-13, and Oklahoma State gave the Pac 12 one of only two losses this season with a 27-15 victory over Arizona State. In terms of week two takeaways, there was not much to learn from all three of these games. Each of these teams should feel good about themselves after the victories, but we will get to know more about all of them in the next few weeks.


Week Two Takeaways

Photo courtesy: Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK


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