Around the Big 12 Week: 2

Story posted September 17, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Neil Conley

The Big 12 conference has quickly shown weakness only two weeks through the season. It is still too early to tell for sure, but it seems as if there is only one team from the conference that is a legitimate College Football Playoff contender.

Let’s take a look at the four biggest games of the past week.

The Oklahoma Sooners are ranked No. 3, but there is reason to believe that they will drop in the rankings
The Sooners bounced back this past week, beating the Western Carolina Catamounts 76-0. Oklahoma squeaked out a 40-35 victory over Tulane in week one which raised many eyebrows.
However, this past week, the Sooners scored as if they were playing basketball and their defense held the opposition scoreless. A confidence boost and momentum gain moving into the next game.

Iowa State fell to No. 14 after its loss to Iowa. Despite the Cyclones being ranked one place ahead of the Hawkeyes, the defeat does not come as a total surprise. In the first week, the Cyclones defeated the Northern Iowa Panthers 16-10 while the Hawkeyes took down the Indiana Hoosiers 34-6. Indiana ranked No. 17 at the time, is a stronger team than Northern Iowa, but Iowa defeated Indiana with comfort.When looking at the current rankings, Oklahoma is Iowa State’s biggest competitor of its entire season. The Iowa State versus Oklahoma matchup might be closer than many think due to the Sooners’ struggles to start the season.

The Texas Longhorns were defeated by an unranked Arkansas, which pushed them out of the top 25. Texas was outplayed as Arkansas won by 19. The Longhorns losing at all to the Razorbacks would have been upset, but this was not a narrow defeat. The Razorbacks might not be at the top of their conference, but they are on par with Big 12 teams like Oklahoma State, Baylor, and possibly Iowa State. The Longhorns might have a long and disappointing season if Arkansas is an indication of what is to come.

Kansas State beat Southern Illinois 31-23, which does not reflect the team’s potential. Kansas State defeated Stanford in the first week and it was not significant at the time. Now, that win seems stronger as Stanford upset Southern California. The Wildcats won against the Salukis by a relatively small margin 31-23, but it would not be expected given the win they earned the first week. If Kansas State competes at the level they did in the first week, then they might make a run at winning the Big 12.

The Oklahoma Sooners host the Nebraska Cornhuskers this upcoming Saturday. This game will be another example of how strong the Sooners are as they take on an old Big 12 foe. Nebraska should be more competitive than Tulane, which gives Oklahoma a chance to convince skeptics and doubters that the 40-35 victory was just a minor bump in the road given that it wins. The Sooners are favored and will need to have a dominant win to maintain their position in the top five.

Neil Conley is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at nzc5252@psu.edu.