Publish date:

Big 12 Week 2 Predictions

Bob Stoops

Bob Stoops

The Big 12’s Week 2 slate is relatively light on interesting matchups. However, the Oklahoma-Tennessee contest should compensate for a schedule featuring a couple of blowout wins by teams against FCS opponents. Outside of the Volunteers-Sooners meeting on Rocky Top, Iowa State-Iowa is the other must-see matchup from the Big 12 in Week 2.

In addition to the on-field action, all eyes will be on Texas as the Longhorns look to rebound after a dismal performance against Notre Dame. Will new play-caller Jay Norvell make a difference?

Athlon Sports offers its Big 12 Week 2 predictions from four editors: Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven), David Fox (@DavidFox615), Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch) and Braden Gall (@BradenGall)

Big 12 Week 2 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

1. Oklahoma at Tennessee

Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

David Fox:

Tennessee’s looking to make a big-time statement, but the Volunteers might not have the depth in the secondary to pull it off. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield was that impressive in Week 1.

Oklahoma 38–28

Braden Gall:

The first ever trip inside Neyland Stadium for Oklahoma will be as good an atmosphere as any game this season. Both teams are ranked, both offenses are loaded with playmakers and both lines of scrimmage have questions. Baker Mayfield will try to exploit a Vols secondary that got torched for 424 yards last week, while the Sooners will try to stop a Vols offense that rolled up 399 yards of offense. It's back and forth and very close. Give me the Vols in a tight one. Tennessee 38-35

Steven Lassan:

This matchup has to be one of the most intriguing games of Week 2. The Sooners’ revamped offense got off to a slow start last week, but quarterback Baker Mayfield finished with 388 passing yards and three scores. Mayfield’s performance and the development of Oklahoma’s receivers is critical, especially when you consider Tennessee allowed 433 passing yards against Bowling Green last week. This is also a good barometer test for the Volunteers as they look to continue the momentum behind coach Butch Jones’ rebuilding effort.

Oklahoma 34-31

Mitch Light:

Oklahoma took to the air in its first game under new offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, a Mike Leach disciple with roots at Texas Tech. The Sooners threw the ball on 54.5 percent of their offensive plays in their 41–3 win over Akron; last year, they attempted a pass on only 40.1 percent of their snaps. With Tennessee’s struggles defending the pass last week against Bowling Green, expect another pass-happy plan of attack from Riley and the OU coaching staff. Oklahoma 33-30

Related: Ranking the Top 15 Quarterback Debuts from Week 1

College Football Podcast: Week 2 Preview



Subscribe:iTunes | Stitcher

2. Iowa at Iowa State

Kickoff: 4:45 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FOX

David Fox:

The rivalry game actually carries some weight for the respective futures of coaches Kirk Ferentz and Paul Rhoads. Iowa has a big-time defensive difference maker in Drew Ott and the makings of a competent offense. Edge: Hawkeyes.

Iowa 34–21

Braden Gall:

One of the more underrated rivalries in the country has gone the way of the Cyclones and Paul Rhoads more times than not recently. Both offenses played well in Week 1 and Jack Trice is also underrated. Iowa's balance on offense gives the CyHawk Trophy to the Hawkeyes. Iowa 30-24

Steven Lassan:

A rivalry matchup in Week 2 is certainly welcomed to help spice up a pedestrian slate of games. Iowa State has won three out of the last four games in this series, but I think the Hawkeyes take this one on Saturday.

Iowa 27-20

Mitch Light:

Iowa showed nice balance last week, rushing for 210 and throwing for 221 in its 31–14 win over FCS power Illinois State. 

Iowa 24-20

3. Rice at Texas

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Longhorn Network

David Fox:

Rice is 1–40 against Texas since 1965, yet the Owls are (realistically) thinking upset. Charlie Strong will have to do more than change playcallers if that happens.

Texas 21–14

Braden Gall:

If the offense, under the new direction of Jay Norvell, doesn't do something (anything) against Rice, then maybe the issues in Austin are bigger than previously imagined. And no Rice band? Who's fault is that? Texas 35-10

Steven Lassan:

I’m not sure the switch to Jay Norvell as the play-caller over Shawn Watson is going to drastically help the Texas offense. But not having to play Notre Dame this week will help Norvell’s transition to the coordinator role. The Longhorns ease some of the pressure on Charlie Strong.

Texas 30-13

Mitch Light:

All eyes will be on the Texas offense, which made the move to Jay Norvell as the offensive coordinator after a dismal showing at Notre Dame. But the Horns’ defense — so stout last year — is also on notice after getting torched for 527 yards in South Bend. 

Texas 28-14

Related: Will the Switch to Jay Norvell Make a Difference for Texas' Offense?

4. UTEP at Texas Tech

Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FOX

David Fox:

Arkansas put up passing yards against UTEP. Who knows what Texas Tech can do? The Red Raiders defense, it seems, needs to force turnovers to keep the team afloat.

Texas Tech 49–38

Braden Gall:

Patrick Mahomes II was 425 yards of excellence last week and the offense should be firing on all cylinders once again. But can Kliff Kingsbury do something with that defense? Texas Tech 47-24

Steven Lassan:

The good for Texas Tech last week: Patrick Mahomes threw for 425 yards and four scores. The bad: The defense allowed 6.5 yards per play. The Red Raiders should take a step forward on defense this week, while Mahomes delivers another big performance.

Texas Tech 48-27

Mitch Light:

Texas Tech gave up 637 yards to Sam Houston State in David Gibbs’ first game as the Red Raiders’ defensive coordinator. That’s the bad news. The good news? As usual, a Gibbs-led defense forced a bunch of turnovers. In this case, it was four — and that ended up being the difference in the game.  

Texas Tech 44-40

5. Kansas State at UTSA

Kickoff: Noon ET

TV Channel: Fox Sports 1

David Fox:

UTSA put up 525 yards and 32 points last week. With or without Scooby Wright for the Wildcats, that’s impressive. Kansas State, down to its backup quarterback, should be worried.

Kansas State 24–20

Braden Gall:

The Roadrunners put up some yards last week in a loss to Arizona. Kansas State is on its backup QB already. However, the Wildcats will still win big. Kansas State 34-20

Steven Lassan:

Kansas State lost starting quarterback Jesse Ertz (likely out for the year) last week, which means Joe Hubener steps into the No. 1 spot. Despite returning only three overall starters, UTSA played well in a road loss to Arizona last week.

Recommended Articles

Kansas State 34-13

Mitch Light:

UTSA, which lost almost every key contributor from last year’s disappointing four-win team, was surprisingly effective in Week 1 — even in defeat. The Roadrunners outgained Arizona 525-to-392 in a 42–32 loss in Tucson. This might not be as easy as most Wildcat fans would like. 

Kansas State 33-27

6. Memphis at Kansas

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN3

David Fox:

Memphis hasn’t defeated a Power 5 team on the road since Ole Miss in 2004. Should it count against this Kansas squad?

Memphis 35–21

Braden Gall:

The Tigers are good enough to go into Lawrence and roll. Pride probably keeps that from happening for Kansas, but the Jayhawks still won't win. Memphis. Memphis 31-21

Steven Lassan:

Credit Kansas for mounting a comeback against South Dakota State last week, but the schedule is only going to get tougher from here. 0-12 is a real possibility.

Memphis 38-20

Mitch Light:

Kansas is a 13.5-point underdog at home to Memphis — not a good sign for the Jayhawks going forward. David Beaty’s team did show signs of life in Week 1, gaining 576 yards in the loss to South Dakota State.

Memphis 34-32

7. Liberty at West Virginia

Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Root Sports

David Fox:

West Virginia’s shutout of Georgia Southern, led by five takeaways, was mighty impressive. Do Turner Gill and Liberty have any answer?

West Virginia 41–7

Braden Gall:

That WVU defense is much better than people think. Shutting out Georgia Southern is no easy feat. Sorry, Liberty. West Virginia 42-3

Steven Lassan:

West Virginia looked sharp in its opener against Georgia Southern, and the Mountaineers keep rolling this week against Liberty.

West Virginia 41-10

Mitch Light:

West Virginia was quietly impressive in Week 1, pitching a 44–0 shutout over Georgia Southern. GSU was missing standout QB Kevin Ellison — the only returning player who threw for 200-plus yards and rushed for 100-plus yards per game last season — but this was still an outstanding performance by the WVU defense. 

West Virginia 41-10

8. Stephen F. Austin at TCU

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Fox Sports 1

David Fox:

TCU should be able to get some of its imperfections cleaned up against SFA.

TCU 52–10

Braden Gall:

The Horned Frogs won't be nearly as jittery in this game as they were against Minnesota. TCU big. TCU 51-13

Steven Lassan:

Injuries are a concern for TCU coach Gary Patterson, as linebacker Sammy Douglas was ruled out for the year and end James McFarland may miss the rest of the season as well. It won’t matter much this Saturday. Horned Frogs win this one easily.

TCU 52-7

Mitch Light:

TCU will be eager to flex its muscles after a relatively lethargic win at Minnesota last week. 

TCU 51-13

9. Lamar at Baylor

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FSN

David Fox:

Nothing to see here.

Baylor 49–7

Braden Gall:

Ouch. Baylor 61-7

Steven Lassan:

Another week, another monster offensive performance coming for Baylor.

Baylor 60-10

Mitch Light:

Baylor will score lots of points. 

Baylor 58-14

10. Central Arkansas at Oklahoma State

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FSN

David Fox:

Oklahoma State will go 2–0 against “Central” schools. This one will be easier than the matchup against Central Michigan last week.

Oklahoma State 35–14

Braden Gall:

A lackadaisical performance against Central Michigan didn't have Pokes faithful very happy last weekend but that shouldn't be an issue this time around. Oklahoma State 49-13

Steven Lassan:

The Cowboys’ offense was a little sluggish in the opener against Central Michigan. The guess here is that changes in a big way against Central Arkansas.

Oklahoma State 52-7

Mitch Light:

Central Arkansas lost its opener at Samford, 45–16. This should not be close. 

Oklahoma State 58-10