Baylor finally get to step on the field after their tumultuous offseason in Waco. Baylor has a cupcake game to begin the season with FCS opponent Northwestern State. Seth Russell will be coming back after ending his season short last year with a broken vertebra in his neck. The offense will be led by Russell along with RB Shock Linwood, WR KD Cannon. The defense will be a question mark until they play a quality opponent.
The Matt Campbell era at Iowa State begins with Northern Iowa on Saturday night. The roster turnover with the new coach is incredible. The depth chart for this weekend includes 12 players from 2016 recruiting class. Campbell is going to run an offense similar to everyone else in Big 12. Joel Lanning will be back at QB after starting last five games last season and Preseason All-Big 12 RB Mike Warren will be back for his sophomore season.
David Beaty and his Kansas Jayhawks are going to be putting their best foot forward to try to avoid another 0-12 season. Kansas will return QB Montell Cozart but he is a QB battle with Ryan Willis and also have Texas A&M transfer LaQuvionte Gonzalez at receiver. The Jayhawks have hope, especially with Rhode Island to begin the season at home.
The Purple Wizard, Bill Snyder, will take his Wildcats to Stanford tonight. The question marks at QB have been somewhat settled with Snyder naming Jesse Ertz the starter but left door open for others to play in game. Defensively, they are going to need to do their best to stop the nation’s most electric player, Christian McCaffrey.
This week, Oklahoma will travel to #15 Houston to begin their rigorous non-conference slate. The Sooners defense will try to contain Greg Ward through the air and on the ground. The young Oklahoma Linebackers will get an early test against a very powerful Houston rushing attack. On offense, Baker Mayfield should make easy work of a sub-par Houston secondary, which should open up more opportunities for the run game.
After a rough 4-7 record last year, Southeastern Louisiana isn’t coming into Stillwater with expectations of an upset. This game will be primarily for the Oklahoma State coaching staff to see if any running back can pull ahead in the running for the starting job and the offensive line can take a step forward from last year. It will be a great chance for freshmen like Justice Hill or Dillon Stoner to make a good impression in front of the home crowd en route to a blowout.
Kenny Hill with have his TCU debut in the season opener against South Dakota State. It will be the first look at many players in their new roles as full time starters. The Horned Frogs should win this game convincingly and quickly move on to preparing for Arkansas.
The Irish come into Austin on Sunday looking to repeat what they did last year in South Bend. This game will come down to one thing: physicality. Whoever is more physical up front will win this ball game. Last year, Texas got manhandled in the trenches, and the results showed 214 rushing yards later. Whichever team is more physical up front and gives up fewer big plays will come out on top.
Texas Tech will start the season against the Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks. Hopefully, this’ll just be a tune up game, and we’ll see if the defense has improved enough to give the Red Raiders a better chance at success. Patrick Mahomes should be able to torch the Lumberjacks so long as he’s not focused on the looming showdown in Tempe. Tech fans should be able to just sit back and enjoy watching their team again
The Mountaineers begin the season with SEC opponent Missouri coming to Morgantown to begin the season. WVU returns QB Skylar Howard along with Daikiel Shorts and Ka’Raun White at receiver. The Mountaineers do have some work to do on defense so it’ll be interesting to see how Missouri moves the ball against them.