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Weekend Warzone: Big 12 Roundup Week 1

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It's been a long offseason and it certainly looked that way on the field. Who were the big winners and big losers from the Big 12's first week of play?

The old image still works!
The old image still works!
Trey Fallon

Oklahoma State Cowboys 24, Central Michigan Chippewas 13

It was expected to be a roll over for the boys from the Big 12, who many pegged as a darkhorse for the Big 12 title this season, but instead it ended up being a bit of a dogfight as the Cowboys actually trailed as late as the third quarter, and only put up a two score difference in the fourth.  The good news is the Cowboys passing game was effective (and turnover free) as quarterback Mason Rudolph spread the ball around- 6 receivers had at least two catches for the cowboys, and 11 total made a reception- but the running game wasn't quite what OSU was expecting facing off with a MAC defensive front.  Still, a win is a win, and the Cowboys get some credit for going so far afield, even if it wasn't against the stoutest competition.
Staff Picks: Everyone had OSU to win, but Samantha came closest by predicting a 14 point margin for the Cowboys.
Cowboys Ride For Free coverage:
The Kool-Aid Resevoir is leaking

Next week: Vs. Central Arkansas

#2 TCU Horned Frogs 23, Minnesota Gophers 17

TCU had an interesting debut as they traveled up to Minneanappolis to take on the Gophers, and it ended up being much more of a fight than expected.  With the suspensions of a few players and injuries to a few more key cogs it felt like the Frogs were determined to win with one hand behind their back- and to that end it was successful, but it was a bit of a let down for a team debuting as the #2 team in the nation.  While it never really felt like the  was going to slip away from the Frogs, TCU just wasn't able to deliver the kill shot, and that frustration about not being able to put the Gophers more than two scores in the rearview mirror led to a rehash of a lot of the more frustrating moments from last season where the Frogs repeatedly went for broke and the highlight rather than patiently working their way down the field, leading to a lot of deep passes that were just off.  With those negative notions out of the way though, the Frogs had the second toughest test of the opening week, and unlike a certain other team with "Texas" in the name, they escaped undefeated.  Speaking of that other team, though...
Staff picks: Everyone picked the Frogs, because... Of course we did.  Melissa had the closest margin of victory.
Frogs O' War coverage: Why, you had the power to look at Frogs O' War inside you the whole time!  Just click the banner in the upper left corner one time and say "There's no place like homepage."
Next week: Vs. Stephen F. Austin

#11 Notre Dame 38, Texas 3

Yeah, that year 2 rebuild, "Tyrone Swoopes is greatly improved" and "Texas has recruited so well it will be fine on defense" stuff?  Not so much.  The Longhorns went up to South Bend and were on the butt end of a butt kicking, being shut out in the first half and scraping together only four plays of more than 10 yards all game as Notre Dame did essentially anything they wanted to the Horns on both sides of the ball.  I don't think Notre Dame is that good, but even if they were, there is no silver lining for Texas in this one.  4.5 yards per pass attempt, 8/23 overall and 2.1 yards per carry is all you have to read- it could be another long year for our friends in Austin, and it may be worse if the unthinkable happens next week...
Staff Picks: Selices was the lone believer in the Longhorns, so the rest of us are sitting pretty on this one.  Warrior had the biggest margin of victory though, so well predicted!
Burnt Orange Nation coverage:
Talk of "Progress" ringing hollow.
Next week: Vs. Rice

Baylor Bears 56, SMU Mustangs 21

This was actually a pretty interesting game, as the Mustangs and Bears traded punches throughout the first half, but in the second half the Mustangs had a few breakdowns with missed tackles- and suddenly it was over.  That's about all you need to know about Baylor going into this season- there are some vulnerabilities, and they can get bogged down at times, but all it takes is one blown assignment and then suddenly they're in the end zone.  As for what can be extrapolated from this game it's really hard to say- SMU was the worst team in FBS last year, and it's not easy to say how much they've improved yet.  Fortunately in a couple of weeks the Frogs will have an excellent point of reference to see where we are compared to Baylor, in what will likely be a season long case of comparing stats until Black Friday.
Staff Picks: Yeah, you know what we all picked, and it was all by a lot.
Our Daily Bears coverage:
The glass is half full
Next week: Baylor non-conference opponent #2.  Do they even need names?

Oklahoma Sooners 41, Akron Zips 3

Well... How are you feeling about the Sooners after this one?  Yes, the scoreboard looks good, but the stats don't quite hold up under closer inspection.  There were big plays, yes, but the running game that was supposed to be so talented managed just three yards per carry (which was also the per carry average of the NCAA single game rushing leader, Samaje Perine), which leads me to suspect that the Sooners may have some issues on the line this year.  Of course it's early, and the defense certainly looked stout but- it's Akron.  A road trip to Knoxville will give us a clear idea of whether or not the Sooners will be contending for the Big 12 championship this year or not.
Staff Picks: It's Akron, give us some credit
Crimson and Cream Machine coverage:
They're excited about Baker Mayfield
Next week: @ Tennessee

Kansas State Wildcats 34, South Dakota Coyotes 0

As I mentioned in my pick this week, South Dakota is not just an FCS team, but they are a bad FCS team.  Kansas State's defense was stout, as expected, and the offense did enough that there were no serious red flags, but we might've had some more interesting things to discuss on this one if Kansas State and Kansas had switched opening week FCS opponents.  Hopefully we can discuss the cats more next week.
Staff Picks: FCS teams playing teams that aren't KU/ISU get unanimity.
Bring on the Cats coverage:
A surprising amount of pessimism, really.
Next week: @ UTSA

West Virginia 44, Georgia Southern 0

Man was one of our staff members wrong about this one!  West Virginia did what you have to do when playing veer option teams- they stopped the dive, and as a result, Georgia Southern was dead after their very first series, letting West Virginia do pretty much as they wanted on offense.  What kind of idiot would've possibly picked against West Virginia in this one?
Staff Picks: Yeah, I picked Georgia Southern, and I was the only one.  Oops.
The Smoking Musket coverage:
Looking like a complete team.
Next week: Vs. Liberty- somehow this game will be close, just to spite me.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits 41, Kansas Jayhawks 38

Yeah, Kansas isn't very good, but there's something to be said for the way that KU battled back after the Jackrabbits went up by 24 early to repeatedly pull within three points- but in the end they couldn't get off their game tying field goal attempt (that happened a lot this weekend, huh?) and the Jayhawks went down.  There's no such thing as a good loss, particularly when it's an FBS team losing to an FCS team, but there were definitely things for Kansas to build on and feel good about in this one, which is very important in what looks like it will be a very long season for the Jayhawks.  At least it wasn't as bad as what was happening to the Jayhawk over at the KSU game...
Staff picks: Myself, Rusty, Scott and Selices92 picked the Jackrabbits, and both Selices and Scott had 4 point margins of victory for SDSU- huzzah!
Rock Chalk Talk coverage:
Unable to complete the comeback.
Next week: Vs. Memphis

Texas Tech Red Raiders 59, Sam Houston State Bearkats 45

It was a bit closer in the end than I expected, but in the end my prediction on this one rang true- The Raiders offense was excellent, but SHSU did more than enough to make even the most dyed-in-the-wool Techspert has to be worried about the defense.  The Raiders were gashed on the ground to the tune of almost 7 yards per carry (Including sacks) and the secondary had some issues with tackling- but did come up with a pair of picks as well that greatly aided Tech's cause.  On offense, newly entrenched starter Patrick Mahomes had an excellent debut, throwing for 428 yards and running for another 48, while last year's starter Davis Webb (who they ran off Baker Mayfield for) went just 1/4 for 12 yards in relief.  Oops.  The Raiders are going to have to stiffen up that run defense again, as the ground heavy UTEP Miners come to town next week.
Staff picks: Everyone had Tech, but Melissa had the perfect margin of victory.
Viva the Matadors coverage:
Ten overreactions.
Next week: Vs. Utep

Iowa State Cyclones 31, Northern Iowa Panthers 7

This was a big deal for the Cyclones, and I mean that without any sort of sarcasm.  Iowa State lost its last two games against FCS teams, including a 28-20 loss to Northern Iowa in 2013 and a noncompetitive 2014 loss to NDSU, so the fact that the Cyclones rattled off 31 straight points after falling behind early in this one is a definite step in the right direction.  Iowa State quarterback Sam Richardson had a solid game, going 21-29 from the air with two touchdowns, but the running game was a bit of a disappointment as ISU racked up under 100 yards rushing.  A team without a ton of playmakers like Iowa State is going to have to get more production on the ground if they're going to stay in games come Big 12 season, but after week 1 it's just good to get away with a win and go into next week's showdown with big brother with their heads held high.
Staff Picks: This was a bit of a divisive one, but all of the staff but myself, Warrior, Rusty and Selices92 picked the Cyclones, while the rest of us know our shame.  Kudos to Mason for getting Iowa State's point total right!
Wide Right and Natty Lite coverage:
The Cyclones first in-season winning record since 2012.  . . . I'm sad now.
Next week: Vs Iowa

And now, here are the updated Staff Pick Standings:

Rank

Name

This Week

All Time

% Correct

Closest Score

T-1

RustyFrog

14-1

14-1

93.3%

2

T-1

Scott Boase

14-1

14-1

93.3%

0

T-3

Mason Jamboogie

13-2

13-2

86.6%

4

T-3

Melissa Triebwasser

13-2

13-2

86.6%

3

T-3

HToadSwayze

13-2

13-2

86.6%

2

T-3

Marshall Weber

13-2

13-2

86.6%

1

T-3

Andrew Felts

13-2

13-2

86.6%

1

T-3

Jamie Plunkett

13-2

13-2

86.6%

0

9

Selices92

12-3

12-3

80%

0

T-10

Samantha Calimbahin

11-4

11-4

73.3%

2

T-10

Hawkeyed Frog

11-4

11-4

73.3%

1

12

Warrior Horned Frog

8-7

8-7

53.3%

1