The Big 12 race is officially on as two of the conference's top programs the last couple of years outside of the Oklahoma Sooners line up against each other this weekend.
Baylor (2-1) and Iowa State (3-0) should be the main attraction on the Big 12 schedule this weekend — no disrespect intended for Kansas and Duke fans, of course. This head-to-head matchup has the potential to be a difference-maker in the Big 12 race later on, if not a potential preview of a Big 12 Championship Game should the Sooners fall out of the top spot in the conference.
Baylor has won two of the last three meetings in this series, but the Bears will be a road underdog this weekend as they look for their first victory in Ames since 2016. One should expect a healthy dose of defense in this matchup with Dave Aranda and Matt Campbell each having their programs playing some of the best defense in the Big 12 in recent years.
Here's a look at this weekend's Big 12 showdown between the Bears and Cyclones.
No. 17 Baylor at Iowa State
When Baylor Has the Ball
Baylor will look to establish a rhythm on the ground with its running game. Richard Reese has already rushed for five touchdowns in the first three games of the season, averaging 6.97 yards per carry in the process. Keeping that kind of production going against Iowa State will be difficult, but it has been a formula for success for the Bears. The real chess match will begin if the offense gets in the red zone. Baylor has the Big 12's third-best red-zone touchdown percentage (83.3) and the Cyclones boast the second-best red-zone defense in the Big 12 coming into this game.