Note: Turburner is excited to have Amanda Staver contributing to the site. She's a huge college football fan, a Sooner grad, and will provide great insight from deep in the heart of Big 12 South Country. Amanda will be posting here every Thursday and I'm excited to have a new voice on the site, especially someone as passionate about the sport as she is. Leave her a commnent, check out her own blog, and follow on her twitter. What I'm saying is, get involved! Thanks for reading and welcome back for week two, Amanda!
Big 12 South Week 1 Match-Ups
With less than 2 weeks until kick-off, here is a break down of the Big 12 South in the first week. Easy wins and possible upset alerts? Who’s your team playing?
Baylor Bears vs. Sam Houston State Bearkats
Waco, Texas at 6:00 PM
The Bearkats went 5-6 last year in the Southland Conference but are starting the season with a new head coach, Willie Fritz. It should be an easy game for Baylor, even though they finished the Big 12 season with a 4-8 record last season. Star quarteback Robert Griffin returns for the Bears, after missing most of last season with a torn ACL.
Oklahoma Sooners vs. Utah State Aggies
Norman, Oklahoma at 6:00 PM
Considering the Sooner's dominance at home, this is really a no-brainer. Utah State finished their WAC season last year with a 4-8 record. The Aggies returning senior QB, Diondre Borel, who is on the 2010 Manning Preseason watch list and the Sporting News’ College Football Preview watch list as the best player in the WAC 2010. Last year he passed for 2885 yards. It shouldn't be a problem for the Sooner defense, however.
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Washington State Cougars
Stillwater, Oklahoma at 6:00 PM
This should be an easy one for Boone Pickens’ finest. The Cougars had a horrible season last year, their only win being a non-conference game against SMU. They finished last in the Pac-10 with a 1-11 record.
Texas Longhorns vs. Rice Owls
Houston, Texas at 2:30 PM
Game televised on ESPN
The 2009 Big 12 Champions take on an old Southwest Conference rival in Rice. These two teams go way back, and the Longhorns are usually the winner. I don’t think things are going to be different this year for the Owls. Rice went 2-11 last year in Conference USA. Their only wins coming against Tulane and UTEP. I see a double digit win for the Horns opening game.
Texas A&M Aggies vs. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
College Station, Texas 6:00 PM
With the players the Aggies have returning and the game being at Kyle Field, this is also a no-brainer. The Aggies should easily take over the Lumberjacks early in this one. Though the Lumberjacks were the Southland Conference Champions last year, finishing the season 10-3, the Aggies are quite possibly the sleeper team of the Big 12 South. Watch for big numbers from Aggie senior QB Jerrod Johnson.
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Southern Methodist Mustangs
Lubbock, Texas 2:30 PM
GAME IS ON SUNDAY televised on ESPN
Another clash between old Southwest Conference rivals. With the NFL season yet to start, this one will fill your Sunday void for football if you didn’t get enough on Saturday. This is Tommy Tuberville’s first test as new Red Raider head coach. The Mustangs finished 8-5 last year in Conference USA and have been known to give the Red Raiders a run for their money from time to time. It should be a win for the Red Raiders, but I wouldn’t count the Mustangs out early. The Tech defense needs to keep a BIG eye on Mustang QB Kyle Padron, who was a true freshman last year and passed for 1922 yards in only 6 games when taking over half way through the season. He was also named the Hawaii Bowl MVP throwing for 460 yards and 2 TD’s in the Mustang's 45-10 win over Nevada.
(Slideshow photo complements of madhvixr)