Campus Corner

Big 12 steps into spotlight with matchups against other power leagues

The Big Ten put itself out there last weekend, and the results weren’t pretty.

Now, it’s the Big 12’s turn to step into the spotlight with nationally attractive matchups.

With 27 nonconference regular-season games, the Big 12 meets 10 teams against the four other power conferences. Seven of those games are Saturday. An eighth is Kansas State’s next game, on Sept. 18 against Auburn.

Besides K-State-Auburn in Manhattan, the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference meet in two other games: Oklahoma plays host to Tennessee, and Texas Tech plays host to Arkansas.

Also, Texas meets No. 12 UCLA in Arlington, Texas; TCU plays host to Minnesota; Iowa State travels to Iowa; Kansas visits Duke; and West Virginia goes to Maryland.

The Big 12 looks to avoid the fate of the Big Ten, which lost all three of its high-profile games last weekend when Michigan State (at Oregon), Michigan (at Notre Dame) and Ohio State (at home to Virginia Tech) lost on the same day for the first time since 1988.

Prospects are good the Big 12 won’t suffer a similar disaster. Oklahoma and TCU are double-digit favorites, and Tech is a slight favorite in Monday afternoon odds.

Baylor is the only Big 12 team that doesn’t meet a power-five conference team. The Bears’ last game against such an opponent came in 2009, against Wake Forest, although Baylor had a series with TCU just before the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12 in 2012.

So far, the Big 12 is 0-2 in power games but might have improved its national perception after Oklahoma State fell to Florida State by only six and West Virginia lost to then-No. 2 Alabama by 10 on a neutral field.

The Mountaineers are the lone Big 12 team this season that meets two from the power five.

The scheduling philosophy “is the future of college football,” Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said.

It is at West Virginia as long as Oliver Luck is the athletic director. He’s a member of the College Football Playoff committee, and schedule strength is a selection criteria.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

Ranking the Big 12

Team

Opponent

Comment

1. Oklahoma (1)

Tennessee

Suspension of Sooners’ Frank Shannon upheld by state Supreme Court

2. Baylor (2)

at Buffalo (Friday)

QB Bryce Petty could play, but Seth Russell was league co-player of the week

3. Kansas State (3)

open

Wildcats have extra few days to prepare for Auburn

4. Oklahoma State (4)

Texas-San Antonio

Cowboys on alert. UTSA beat Houston, narrowly fell to Arizona

5. West Virginia (6)

at Maryland

Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said his confidence in the offense is returning

6. TCU (7)

Minnesota

A Kansas coaching matchup: TCU’s Gary Patterson (Rozel) vs. Jerry Kill (Cheney)

7. Texas Tech (8)

Arkansas

Old-school Southwest Conference matchup

8. Texas (5)

vs. UCLA (Arlington, Texas)

Longhorns knew about quarterback woes, but defense was a letdown vs. BYU

9. Iowa State (9)

at Iowa

Cyclones showed fight against Kansas State

10. Kansas (10)

at Duke

Encouraging first half vs. Southeast Missouri but didn’t stick landing

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

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