Monday Morning Quarterback: Big 12 shaping up to be tough
West Virginia’s scheduled game Saturday at North Carolina State was cancelled by approaching Hurricane Florence. It was unfortunate as it was an important game for both schools, and it does not appear it will be rescheduled.
The circumstances remind us that although the outcome of football games may be uncertain Mother Nature, like Father Time, will always remain undefeated.
Fans did have an opportunity to watch several future Big 12 opponents in an important weekend for the conference.
Performance by teams in a league in the nonconference portion of the schedule becomes very important for perception of the strength of the conference as a whole, and a factor when it comes time for selection for the college football playoff.
The Big 12 had a better than expected weekend, with solid wins by Oklahoma State over Boise State (44-21) and Texas over USC (37-14).
Texas Tech’s offense piled up 63 points in a win over Houston, and even perennial league doormat Kansas showed life with a 55-14 pounding of Rutgers. TCU acquitted itself well against Ohio State, but could not overcome allowing two defensive scores and a blocked punt. Inside the league,
Oklahoma defeated Iowa State 37-27 in a game that showed us the Sooners still have plenty of skills and the Cyclones are a tough out at home.
What we saw, of course, can be a double-edged sword.
While we may be pleased that the Big 12 has acquitted itself well, it also means that WVU will have a much more difficult task in navigating its conference schedule.
And if one thinks a poor weekend can’t leave some bad optics, consider this: Big Ten teams last Saturday lost to South Florida, Missouri, BYU, Temple, Kansas, Akron and Troy.
THIS SATURDAY: Kansas State comes to Morgantown with a 2-1 record, but did not fare well in its only outing against quality opposition, losing at home to Mississippi State 31-10.
One thing we can expect from the Wildcats, however, is that they are well coached, do not make mistakes to beat themselves, and are always excellent on special teams.
We also also anticipate they will be deliberate on offense in an effort to reduce the number of possessions for the Mountaineers
The last four meetings between these teams have been close calls decided by 6, 1, 1 and 5 points. But this year the superior WVU offense should allow a bit more comfort.
WEST VIRGINIA 31 KANSAS STATE 16.