Big 12 Football Notebook: Could the Conference Actually Go Winless Against FCS Teams Saturday?


This being one of the few weekends with Oklahoma State not playing on a Saturday, opportunities abound for Big 12 football viewing in non-conference matchups.

The thing is, it might not be real pretty. And no, it’s not because of some lowly Big 12 team playing a contending team like Alabama, Ohio State, or USC.

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  • It’s because some bad Big 12 teams are playing some good FCS teams this weekend, and the FCS teams actually stand a (small) chance to run the table.

    Sure, it’s not likely, but stranger things have happened (probably.) Here’s a quick look at the four games:

    South Dakota State at Kansas – 11 a.m. CST

    The Kansas Jayhawks are in ultimate rebuilding mode. A new coach, a team decimated by transfers and defectors, all the makings are there for a long, winless season. The Jayhawks currently have just 60 players on scholarship, so they actually look the part of an FCS team. The Jackrabbits of South Dakota State return 16 starters, including nine on defense for a team that finished 9-4 and No. 12 nationally. Things could get pretty ugly for head coach David Beaty in his first game at the helm in Lawrence.

    Sam Houston State at Texas Tech – 2:30 p.m. CST

    Sam Houston State is pretty good. The Bearkats come into the 2015 FCS season ranked No. 4 in the poll, and are fresh off of an 11-4 season where they reached the semifinals of last season’s FCS NCAA championship. Texas Tech is coming off on a 4-8 season where they somehow managed to play 12 games without a defense. Sam Houston State was a great running team last season, while Tech finished towards the bottom nationally in run defense. Hmm. Yeah, the Bearkats got drilled last year against LSU, but the makings are there for a very disappointing beginning to a season where Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury could very well end on the hot seat.

    Northern Iowa at Iowa State – 7 p.m. CST

    Northern Iowa is another team that comes into the FCS season ranked in the top 10. The Cyclones are no strangers to losing to an FCS team, and they actually lost to Northern Iowa in 2013. ISU quarterback Sam Richardson is back with some decent depth at wide receiver, but this is a team that went 2-10 last year. Northern Iowa has nothing to lose, and they already know that they can beat this team.

    South Dakota at Kansas State – 6 p.m. CST

    This one is obviously the least likely. One, it’s Kansas State, and Bill Snyder is still on the sidelines. Two, South Dakota sucks. The Coyotes finished 2-10 last season, and are picked to finish last in the Missouri Valley Conference yet again. The Wildcats lost most of their offensive production from last season, but they should be just fine, barring any bizarre events.

    Ok, so 0-4 probably isn’t going to happen, but 1-3 or 2-2 is a strong possibility. Combine that with TCU and OSU’s narrow victories in their openers, along with Texas’ looming spanking from Notre Dame, and you have a pretty weak opening week for the Big 12.

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