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Quick Look: Football is back this week for the Big 12, but TCU won’t be playing

Eight of the conference’s 10 teams will be in action this weekend.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 CFP Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Oklahoma v LSU Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We should be previewing TCU versus SMU in this post, anxiously looking forward to the return of college football and Horned Frog athletics.

But... well, we know how that went. Monday, Oklahoma State also saw their schedule change, when they agreed to push their opener against Tulsa back a week due to COVID-related issues stemming from the Golden Hurricane’s program.

Let’s take a look around the conference and see what other programs have on their slates.

Louisiana #23 at Iowa State:

11:00 AM (Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA)

The Big 12 kicks off their season with a sneaky good morning game between a very fun Louisiana team, coached by rising star Billy Napier. The Ragin Cajuns went 11-3 last season winning their division, while scoring almost 38 points per game — 10th most in DI. They return eight starters on offense, including quarterback Levi Lewis, one of the mist under appreciated players in the game.

Iowa State expects to be very good in 2020, and returns a couple of key offensive pieces of their own. This game could be a lot closer than you think, and should be entertaining as hell either way.

Eastern Kentucky at West Virginia:

11:00 AM FS1 (Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV)

This almost feels like a regional rivalry game, but alas, it shouldn’t be all that intense. Neal Brown has enough talent to take a nice leap in year two with the Eers, and if Jarrett Doege continues to improve — and the running game is even serviceable — they should at least be able to put up points. The defense looked very good at times in 2019, but loses some key pieces. Regardless, expect WVU to start of year two under Brown 1-0.

Louisiana Tech at Baylor:

11:00 AM FOX (McLane Stadium, Waco, TX)

A ten win team in 2019, La Tech is no opening game pushover. And despite returning QB Charlie Brewer, the Bears have a lot to replace in 2020 — and will do so with a first time head coach at the realm. Early reports on Dave Aranda have been overwhelmingly positive, but he has yet to coach a game — and who knows how anyone has handled the last few months.

The Bulldogs will have plenty of new faces in 2020 as well, but Skip Holtz has proven he can score points with anyone. Still, expect Baylor to roll and start their bid to return to the conference championship game positively.

Arkansas State at Kansas State:

2:30 PM FS1 (Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS)

This one could be even better than the sneaky good Iowa State-Louisiana game, as Arkansas State is an annual candidate for “fun team you root for that you have no abject relationship to”. Under the guidance of Blake Anderson, the Red Wolves haven’t quite crossed the precipice into greatness, but are good for at least one upset and a handful of super entertaining games each year. They gave a good Memphis team a good scare in week one, and could do the same for Kansas State — a program that overachieved in year one under Chris Klieman but has a lot of work to do in 2020.

This will likely end in a Wildcats win, but should be a fun one to watch.

Missouri State at #5 Oklahoma:

6:00 PM (Memorial Stadium , Norman, OK)

Missouri State-Oklahoma might be the biggest mismatch in the conference this week, and should be over by the second drive. They were 1-10 last year, and will start 0-1 this one, but at least we will get a good long look at Spencer Rattler, the Sooners’ heir apparent at QB.

UTEP at #14 Texas:

7:00 PM (DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX)

Preseason Champions once again, local and national media are proclaiming TEXAS BACK yet again. With the intangibles of Sam Ehlinger, four and five star skill position players littering the field (and the bench), and some of the most talented defenders in the country, the Longhorns will make Tom Herman’s seat very hot very quickly if they don’t win, win often, and win big.

UTEP won’t present much of a challenge, but they better make it look easy.

Houston Baptist at Texas Tech:

7:00 PM BIG12|ESPN+ (Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX)

Who cares about the score in this one, the real question will be can the Red Raiders’ defense manage to look competent against a school that most of us are just now discovering has a football program?

Coastal Carolina at Kansas:

9:00 PM FS1 (David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS)

Still heavily scarred from the CWS, writing about Coastal Carolina in any sport gives me hives. I don’t know what the expectations for Lew Miles and the Jayhawks are this fall, or if anyone will care if they put up another bowl-less campaign.

This one could be fun, though, as neither team has an established quarterback, and hey, it’s late night college football. That’s enough of a reason to watch, right?

Need a way to watch this week’s games? Check out FuboTV using this link and get a seven day free trial. And to catch all the Big 12 games on ESPN+ this season, make sure you’re subscribed here.

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