Things to watch in the Big 12 in Week 4, when the league has its last four non-conference games of the regular season, none against Power-Five teams.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Oklahoma St. (2-1) at No. 16 Baylor (3-0). The only game this week that counts in the Big 12 standings provides the first real test this season for Baylor, the league’s only three-win team. The Bears have wins against two 0-3 teams and SMU, which struggled to win at home last week against FCS team Liberty. This game could be a nightmare for defensive backs — Baylor’s KD Cannon (24 catches, 352 yards, 4 TDs) and Oklahoma State’s James Washington (19-399-3) are the league’s top two receivers. Cowboys junior quarterback Mason Rudolph’s college debut was against Baylor in November 2014, and the Bears are the only Big 12 team he hasn’t defeated.
West Virginia offense against BYU (1-2), one of the remaining candidates for possible Big 12 expansion. At the NFL stadium of the Washington Redskins, the Mountaineers (2-0) will display their passing game that has some roots at BYU since coach Dana Holgorsen played and coached for Mike Leach, who is a BYU alumnus and developed much of his Air Raid offense on plays former BYU coach Lavell Edwards used to run with the Cougars. “A lot of the principles in the passing game … we took them and stole them and maintain them to this day,” Holgorsen said.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Four Big 12 teams have the weekend off: No. 21 Texas, No. 25 Oklahoma State and Kansas, all coming off losses, and Texas Tech. … Iowa State hasn’t gone winless against non-conference teams in a season since 1997. …Kansas State last week tied a school record with seven rushing touchdowns. The Wildcats close out their non-conference scheduled against Missouri State (2-0), which hasn’t allowed a rushing touchdown. Missouri State is among the top FCS defenses, allowing only 11 points and 52 yards rushing per game. … Big 12 teams are 15-11 vs. non-conference teams .
A short week for TCU, but the Horned Frogs are a three-touchdown favorite Friday night at SMU, which lost 40-13 at Baylor two weeks ago. TCU has won eight of the last nine meetings against the former Southwest Conference rival, and had 720 total yards against the Mustangs last season.
AP College Football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org