Thursday, 16 August 2012 23:17

Looking at the Week One Spreads in the Big 12

Written by Jay Beck
If there are such thing as must win games in week one, Iowa State's game with Tulsa might be it. If there are such thing as must win games in week one, Iowa State's game with Tulsa might be it. Beth Hall-US PRESSWIRE

In less than two weeks, it's officially college football season when South Carolina heads to Vanderbilt in ESPN's first Thursday night game of the season.

Big 12 fans will have to wait an extra two days until Saturday to see their teams in action, but as long as there is football in between, we should be able to make it.

As kick off approaches, here's an early look what's on tap in week one for the Big 12 along with the current lines according to Sportsbook.ag.  Let's just say, outside of Iowa State's game with Tulsa, there isn't or won't be a single game that has a point spread in the single digits.

So without further ado, here's a quick glimpse at the matchups and early lines for the September 1st/2nd games.

Marshall @ West Virginia - WV favored by 23.5

The Mountaineers kickoff their inaugural season in the Big 12 against a familiar foe.  West Virginia has played in-state rival Marshall in each of the past six seasons, winning all six and they also lead the all-time series 11-0.  Expect that streak to go to 12 straight as Geno Smith gets his Heisman campaign underway.

Tulsa @ Iowa State - Tulsa favored by 1

Iowa State is the lone team in the league that isn't favored in the first week of action.  Tulsa is coming off an 8-5 season and an appearance in the Armed Forces Bowl where they fell to BYU 24-21.  The Golden Hurricanes won't go lightly, but it would be disappointing and a hit to the Cyclones bowl chances if they didn't walk away from their opener with a victory in their back pocket.

Tulsa will be led by quarterback Cody Green who will be making his second career start at Jack Trice.   The former Nebraska quarterback led the Huskers to a 31-30 overtime victory over ISU in 2010 starting in place of the injured Taylor Martinez.

Wyoming @ Texas - Longhorns favored by 29

This might actually be a better game than some think.  Not that Texas is probably in any danger of losing, but the Cowboys feature a quarterback, Brett Smith, who might be the type of QB that can make a play or two against a rock solid Texas defense.   He completed 61% of his passes a season ago and also rushed for another 710 yards.

Not to mention, former Mizzou offensive coordinator Dave Christensen - now Wyoming's head coach - has faced Texas seven different times during his career, including a 41-10 loss during his first season in Laramie.  Hey, some experience is better than none at all.

Oklahoma @ UTEP - Sooners favored by 30.5

About the only interesting aspect of this one is that OU hits the road to open the season.  The Miners are coming off a 5-7 season in 2011 and a 5th place finish in Conference USA's west division.  OU's new wide receivers should get plenty practice running up and down the field at the Sun Bowl.

SMU @ Baylor (Sunday night) - Bears favored by 11

If you're looking for one upset among the porous opening week schedule, this is probably it. Baylor's defense was, well, not good last year and you can bet June Jones' offense is going to test them early.  Now, whether Texas transfer QB Garrett Gilbert can make their offense go is another story in itself, but word out of fall camp is that Gilbert has looked great so far.

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The rest of the Big 12 opens with opponents from the FCS so there aren't any lines posted yet, and in some cases, there may not be at all.  This nine game conference schedule has done wonders to everyone's willingness to play a team with a pulse early in the season.

Missouri State @ Kansas State

Kansas State also opened with an FCS opponent last season, that being Eastern Kentucky.  The Wildcats needed a late TD to pull off a 10-7 win so never say never.

South Dakota State @ Kansas

Let's hope Charlie Weis' KU regime gets off to a better start than Turner Gill's did.  The Jayhawks lost to North Dakota State to begin Gill's short tenure in Lawrence.

The Jackrabbits played Nebraska in 2010 and only lost 17-3 in Lincoln so they're capable of playing good football.  But surely Kansas can't take any game for granted, can they?

Northwestern State @ Texas Tech

Let's hope Northwestern State isn't looking past Texas Tech to their game with Arkansas-Monticello the following week.  Wait, never mind.

Savannah State @ Oklahoma State

Savannah State isn't messing around with their early season schedule.  After taking on the Cowboys in Stillwater, they head to Tallahassee to play Florida State the following week.  I don't know much about the Tigers other than they were 1-10 last year  and lost to Bethune Cookman by 56.  Wes Lunt may indeed look like Brandon Weeden in his first ever college football game.

TCU has the opening weekend off before starting the season with Grambling State on September 8th.

Last modified on Friday, 17 August 2012 09:31
Jay Beck

Jay Beck

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