A couple of weeks ago, it was same old, same old at Arkansas. The Razorbacks couldn’t handle Auburn in the second half of the opening game, when the Tigers’ suspended starting quarterback, Nick Marshall, returned.
The Big 12 and SEC have four regular-season matchups this season, and two are this weekend when Tennessee visits Oklahoma and Arkansas goes to Texas Tech. Next week, Auburn travels to Kansas State. The conferences were almost evenly matched for the first decade or so of the Big 12’s existence, but the SEC has dominated since then.
The Big 12 attempts to put its best foot forward this week when its college football teams take on seven opponents from the four other power conferences. The league hopes to avoid the same fate as the Big Ten, which lost its high profile games last weekend.
Some encouraging results like the narrow losses by Oklahoma State and West Virginia against the nation’s top two ranked teams, Florida State and Alabama, provided an upbeat opening weekend in the Big 12. The cold water came Monday with injury reports. Texas lost center Dom Espinosa for the season and quarterback David Ash for at least this week’s game against Brigham Young. Iowa State lost its top wide receiver, Quenton Bundrage, for the season.
Our third of 16 #PaperChiefs action figures, Travis Kelce, is out Friday in the Chiefs Extra section of The Star's print edition. Tweet your most creative photos with the hashtag #PaperChiefs or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to win upcoming prizes (we gave away a TV on Thursday, Sept. 18th). Check out our photo gallery of some of the best submissions so far:
Iowa State, which dropped their opener last year to a lower-level team and went on to a 3-9 season, takes on three-time defending Football Championship Subdivision champion North Dakota State on opening week in the Big 12. In the SEC, four teams play Thursday night.
A 60-yard catch-and-run touchdown from Montell Cozart to Justin McCay early in the fourth quarter propelled the Jayhawks, 2-1, to a victory that could be critical for coach Charlie Weis’ immediate job security. In the aftermath of a 41-3 debacle at Duke, the Jayhawks were hardly dominant or impressive — but they survived the afternoon.
Follow along on your desktop or mobile device during Saturday’s Kansas-Central Michigan game for live stats and updates from Rustin Dodd, The Star’s KU beat reporter, and other Star sportswriters and editors. Kickoff is at 2:30 on FSN.
A full day has passed since Auburn defeated Kansas State 20-14. Here are three lingering thoughts on the game, including one on Wildcats kicker Jack Cantele, who missed three field goals but handled it with class.
The Tigers’ 20-14 victory buzzed with atmosphere, dripped with drama and although game film won’t be shelved for future football clinicians, it provided edge-of-the-seat entertainment until the final minute.