Hi, folks! This week we take a look at the Big 12, a storied conference with tons of tradition and blossoming offensive talent. So let’s look at —
*everything’s on fire*
Oh. Well. I’m sure that’s nothing, we can —
*oh no, here come bloodthirsty panthers devouring everything that’s left*
Ah. Got it. Texas and Oklahoma are leaving for the SEC sometime soon. Well, surely whatever’s left will —
*oh no the panthers are on fire and everything’s dissolving into existential nonsense*
I’m sure everything will be fine. Eventually. Maybe.
This year, at least, the Big 12 will play on. And you need to know the very best games this season! That’s where I’m here to help out. I’ve blazed through the Big 12 schedule to preview the best games for the 2021 season:
SMU vs. TCU (Week 4)
As usual, the first few weeks of the Big 12 schedule are kind of quiet. But then we get the Battle for the Iron Skillet! The Mustangs are loaded for a Group of 5 squad. They do have to replace Our Lord and Shane-viour, but Tanner Mordecai from OU and new hotshot Preston Stone are competing to lead the offense. SMU returns a ton of starters on offense to bolster whoever ends up at quarterback. Still, they’ll have to improve from a leaky 76th-in-the-nation defense last year. New defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt should help upgrade that side of the ball. Then, there’s the Horned Frogs. Max Duggan is back leading a deep backfield and a promising group of wide receivers. The defense is always solid under head coach Gary Patterson, but they need to replace some safety and linebacking talent. A fantastic early season matchup!
Oklahoma vs. Texas (Week 6)
You can call it the Red River Rivalry. I’m gonna call it the Red River Shootout, because this should be one. Offenses will be front and center here, starting with the Sooners, who have returning Heisman contender Spencer Rattler commanding a serious cadre of talent, from Eric Gray at RB to Mike Woods and Mario Williams at WR. Oklahoma cleaned up in the transfer portal, and they should benefit from that. The Longhorns arrive with a question mark at quarterback. Is it Casey Thompson or Hudson Cord? And how well will the line protect him, whoever it is? Will there be any breakout folks on offense outside of Bijan Robinson? Will the defense be any better after some solid offseason moves in the transfer portal? Expect points, and watch with bated breath. I know I will.
Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State (Week 8)
A matchup between two fun, full-bore squads. Let’s start with the Clones, who return Brock Purdy, Breece Hall, and Charlie Kolar and pretty much the entire team. The offense is loaded with returning production, as is the defense. Can the Cowboys overcome it? Spencer Sanders returns with considerable experience slinging the pigskin, and he’ll have a solid trio at running back headed by Dezmon Jackson to hand to. The defense will have to improve in coverage to contend with a Clones squad looking for double-digit wins for the first time in program history.
Texas vs. Iowa State (Week 10)
Texas will be looking to avenge last season’s loss to Iowa State. In a twist, Iowa State may have more to lose than the Horns, making this a more interesting spot than normal. The Clones played in their fair share of close games last year and, presumably, this could be one of those games where that maturity will be put to the test. Regardless, this game will feature offense. And that makes for a slam-bang drag-out brawl, perhaps for a spot in the Big 12 title game.
Iowa State vs. Oklahoma (Week 12)
Finally, the Sooners get to match up with a team deserving of their likely conference-dominating talents. They better hope their defense can tighten its belt against a veteran Clones offense. This game should be well worth your time.
And that’s that! Onward to the final conference: the PAC-12, next week. Thanks for reading, follow me at @watchingFB, and happy watching!