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Big 12 FanNation Week 1 Staff Predictions

The staffs of three FanNation Big 12 sites provide their game predictions for Week 1 of the college football season.

The Big 12 season begins this weekend with all 10 teams in action. While there are no conference games to begin the season, there are several good matchups. The ‘Backyard Brawl’ is back, played for the first time since West Virginia joined the Big 12. TCU has an intriguing non-conference road trip at Colorado. And, Oklahoma State should mind the store against Central Michigan, which beat the Cowboys the last time they played in Stillwater.

Staff members from Longhorns Country, Inside the Bears and Red Raider Review provide their picks on each Big 12 game this week.

Central Michigan at Oklahoma State (Thursday, 6 p.m. CT, FS1)

Zach Dimmitt, Staff Writer: It was six seasons ago when Central Michigan stunned the Cowboys with a miracle lateral sequence to pull off the improbable road upset. Unless the Chippewas have another impossible win up their sleeves, this one should be over early. Oklahoma State 41, Central Michigan 10

Adam Glick, Staff Writer: The Chippewas will compete for a MAC title and give the Cowboys a test. The talent will overwhelm the Chippewas however and the Cowboys cruise to victory. Oklahoma State 34, Central Michigan 17

Matthew Postins, Staff Writer: I saw CMU host OSU in Mount Pleasant, Mich., several years ago and it was a tough game for the Cowboys. And you know what happened the last time they played in Stillwater. Cowboys win, but it’ll be close. Oklahoma State 33, Central Michigan 27

Cole Thompson, Staff Writer: The Chippewas are a good program under former Florida coach Jim McElwain. The Cowboys are a better one and play host in Week 1. Pokes by at least two scores. OK State 38, Central Michigan 10

West Virginia at Pitt (Thursday, 6 p.m. CT, ESPN)

Zach Dimmitt, Staff Writer: The Pitt Panthers have lost a lot of key offensive talent this offseason but snagged former USC quarterback Kedon Slovis. West Virginia has their own former Trojan signal-caller in J.T Daniels, who should give the Mountaineers a fighting chance. But ranked No. 17 coming into this game, the Panthers come out with the win. Pitt 29, WVU 23

Adam Glick, Staff Writer: One of the most underrated rivalry matchups in college football. I think this game will come down to the end but Pittsburgh hangs on. Pitt 31, West Virginia 27

Matthew Postins, Staff Writer: I’m so glad this game is back. But I have no clue who’s going to win. Both teams have new quarterbacks. I’ll take the home team by a field goal. Pitt 33, West Virginia 30

Cole Thompson, Staff Writer: The Backyard Brawl is back for the first time in 11 years and good golly does this game have storylines. Can JT Daniels remain healthy to prove his potential? Will Kedon Slovis make the Panthers a viable ACC contender? Is Graham Harrell happy he landed “that former USC QB” in Morgantown. I hope this game goes to four overtimes and ends with a bang. Pitt 35, West Virginia 31

Tennessee Tech at Kansas (Friday, 7 p.m. CT, Big 12/ESPN+)

Zach Dimmitt, Staff Writer: Kansas will begin its season with a win over Tennessee Tech at home. In what should be their only double-digit win of the season, the Jayhawks will dominate. Kansas 45, Tennessee Tech 13

Adam Glick, Staff Writer: Will Kansas lose to another FCS opponent? Not this year, and I believe the Jayhawks will be slightly improved. Kansas 35, Tennessee Tech 14

Matthew Postins, Staff Writer: Kansas SHOULD win this game. Last year Kansas hosted a solid South Dakota team and beat them, 17-14. Tennessee Tech was 3-8 last year. This should be a good start for the Jayhawks. Kansas 33, Tennessee Tech 23

Cole Thompson, Staff Writer: Kansas wins. And they don’t just win by a field goal. For the first time since 2019, the Jayhawks win by double digits. Kansas 35, Tennessee Tech 13

TCU at Colorado (Friday, 9 p.m. CT)

Zach Dimmitt, Staff Writer: Colorado took Texas A&M to the brim last season, but ultimately finished with a disappointing 4-8 record. The Horned Frogs are fixing to be one of the Big 12’s worst teams this season but should pick up a season-opening win against a team that used to call the conference home. TCU 23, Colorado 19

Adam Glick, Staff Writer: The Horned Frogs travel to Boulder to face Colorado for a Week 1 matchup. TCU is in rebuild mode however Colorado is not talented enough to upset them. TCU 28, Colorado 17

Matthew Postins, Staff Writer: All I need to know is that Sonny Dykes doesn’t know who TCU’s starting quarterback is going to be on Friday against a 4-8 team from a year ago. Colorado 28, TCU 24

Cole Thompson, Staff Writer: All three QBs for TCU are expected to play. One should separate himself as the front-runner for Week 2, but the trio will combine for enough points to start the Sonny Dykes era off with a win in Boulder. TCU 28, Colorado 14

Southeast Missouri at Iowa State (Saturday, 1 p.m. CT, Big 12/ESPN+)

Zach Dimmitt, Staff Writer: Iowa State may have lost Breece Hall and Brock Purdy to the NFL Draft, but against SE Missouri, the Cyclones will likely look like their whole roster is capable of going pro. Coach Matt Campbell can dive deep into his bench to see what kind of depth he has in a game that should be over by halftime. Iowa State 51, SEMO 9

Adam Glick, Staff Writer: Iowa State has had some trouble in Week 1 games in the past. I do think this year they cruise to victory as they look to improve upon a disappointing 2021 campaign. Iowa State 38, SE Missouri 13

Matthew Postins, Staff Writer: Iowa State seems to struggle in these FCS games lately. The Cyclones only beat Northern Iowa, 16-10 last year. SEMO went 4-7 last year. Iowa State will probably struggle a bit, but eventually pull away. Iowa State 33, SEMO 17

Cole Thompson, Staff Writer: Hunter Dekkers gets a warmup game before taking on Iowa. And yes, while every game could end in an upset, the Redhawks will need to pull a 2007 Appalachian State out of their keester to make it happen. Iowa State 38, SEMO 3

UTEP at Oklahoma (Saturday, 2:30 p.m. CT)

Zach Dimmitt, Staff Writer: The UTEP Miners already have a game under their belts, as they fell 31-13 to North Texas on Saturday. But this bit of extra juice should them little in a game against an Oklahoma team with a lot to prove this year. Sooners coach Brent Venables opens up in career in Norman with a win. OU 47, UTEP 10

Adam Glick, Staff Writer: UTEP has already played a game and looked absolutely awful. Oklahoma starts off the Brett Venables campaign with a bang and cruises to victory. Oklahoma 55, UTEP 21

Matthew Postins, Staff Writer: UTEP is a LOT better than it used to be. Tip your hat to Dana Dimel, who has made the Miners respectable. But, end of the day, this is OU and this game is in Norman. I don’t care how ‘green’ the Sooners might appear to be. Oklahoma 44, UTEP 21

Cole Thompson, Staff Writer: New coach, new QB, same outlook. Dillon Gabriel and Brent Venables begin a new chapter in Norman with a 20-plus point win — as is the Sooner tradition Week 1. Oklahoma 54, UTEP 10

Albany at Baylor (Saturday, 6 p.m. CT, Big 12/ESPN+)

Zach Dimmitt, Staff Writer: Baylor's Big 12 title win from last season ago put them in conversation for teams on the bubble for the College Football Playoff. And though the four teams who wound up making it to the semis were deserving, the Bears still ended the year as one of the top programs in discussion. With the Albany Great Danes coming to Waco to open up the year, it's hard to envision anything other than a massive season-opening blowout. Albany could be well on its way to a rebounding season going 2-9, but it'll have to take a beating against Baylor first. Baylor 52, Albany 6

Adam Glick, Staff Writer: Albany is making quite the trip for a payday. Baylor runs all over them for a nice start to their 2022 season. Baylor 44, Albany 10

Matthew Postins, Staff Writer: Bad things, man. Bad. Things. Baylor 67, Albany 10

Cole Thompson, Staff Writer: Could the Bears be working through some kinks early Saturday? Sure. Is Baylor still going to win even with the flaws? Yes. Baylor 48, Albany 7

Connor Zimmerlee, Staff Writer: The reigning Big 12 champions kick off their title defense against Albany. Aranda and company look to win their second straight Big 12 title, going back-to-back for the first time since 2013 and 2014. Opening against Albany is a good game to iron out kinks, as they should expect this one to be all but over by halftime. Baylor 52, Albany 7

South Dakota at Kansas State (Saturday, 6 p.m. CT, Big 12/ESPN+)

Zach Dimmitt, Staff Writer: There’s no reason to overthink this one. Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn will begin right where he left off last season, which saw him finish with six-straight 100-yard rushing games. The only thing preventing him from reaching 200 total yards in this game is the fact that Chris Klieman could pull him if the score gets out of hand. Kansas State 54, South Dakota 13

Adam Glick, Staff Writer: Kansas State is my pick to be the best Big 12 sleeper. I think this team gets hot early and doesn't look back. Kansas State 41, South Dakota 17

Matthew Postins, Staff Writer: South Dakota only lost to Kansas by three points last year. Kansas State is considerably better. Kansas State 37, South Dakota 17

Cole Thompson, Staff Writer: Kansas State is a dark horse in the Big 12. It won’t be after Saturday when QB Adrian Martinez shows why he’s the ideal option to run Wildcats offensive coordinator Collin Klein’s system. K-State 45, South Dakota 7

Murray State at Texas Tech (Saturday, 7 p.m. CT, Big 12/ESPN+)

Zach Dimmitt, Staff Writer: If this was a college basketball game, it’d be a whole lot tougher to pick a winner. But Murray State would likely still be on the short-end of the stick in this matchup, regardless of sport. The Racers ended last season on a three-game winning streak to bring their record to a hopeful 6-5 mark heading into this season. The three-straight wins are tied for the longest active streak in the Ohio Valley Conference, so it’s hard to deny the momentum the Racers have entering this game. But Texas Tech, who had some embarrassing losses in the Big 12 last season, is sure to be fired up for a season-opening meeting with the Racers, who are the easiest matchup of a tough slate of non-conference games for the Red Raiders to open up the season. Murray State could make things interesting early, but nonetheless. Texas Tech 45 Murray State 23

Adam Glick, Staff Writer: Of all the opening week games I believe the Racers give Texas Tech the hardest test of the FCS opponents. I see Texas Tech being down at some point and having to wake up to avoid the monster upset. Texas Tech 35, Murray State 24

Matthew Postins, Staff Writer: Murray State was a respectable 6-5 last season. Tech Tech looks energized and ready to impress in Joey McGuire’s opener. Texas Tech 44, Murray State 28

Cole Thompson, Staff Writer: Murray State’s mascot is a jockey riding a horse. He’s off to the races — just like the Red Raiders’ offense will be under QB Tyler Shough in Lubbock. Texas Tech 48, Murray State 10

Connor Zimmerlee, Staff Writer: Year one under coach Joey McGuire is officially set to get under way this season, as Texas Tech hosts Murray State. This should be an easy win for the Red Raiders, which is a good confidence builder for a new coach, regardless of who the opponent is. Texas Tech 49, Murray State 3

ULM at Texas (Saturday, 7 p.m. CT, Longhorn Network)

Zach Dimmitt, Staff Writer: Texas lost to 2-10 Kansas this past season. In the second game of the year, the Jayhawks were demolished 49-22 by another Sun Belt team, Coastal Carolina, but still managed to beat the Horns 57-56 in a signature overtime win on the road late in the season. Do last year’s results mean anything? Not necessarily. But the Longhorns will need to be on their heels to avoid a major season-opening upset, especially since the Alabama Crimson Tide will come rolling into Austin the following weekend. The Warhawks had one of the worst offenses in the FBS last season. Texas should cruise in this one or avoid national embarrassment and criticism. Texas 52, Louisiana-Monroe 17

Adam Glick, Staff Writer: The Sark era in year 2 can't be worse than 2021. I think Quinn Ewers shines in his opening game as they prepare for Alabama in Week 2. Texas 42, ULM 14

Matthew Postins, Staff Writer: The last time they met in 2009 Texas beat ULM 59-20. That sounds about right. Texas 56, ULM 17

Cole Thompson, Staff Writer: All eyes will be on Quinn Ewers, but mine are fixated on which receiver cements himself as the No. 2 option. Most potent offenses have a combination of pass-catchers, and Texas needs a secondary target to pair with Xavier Worthy. Texas 41, ULM 10

Connor Zimmerlee, Staff Writer: Well, folks, it’s here. Week 1 of Texas football, with Louisiana Monroe coming to town. We’ll get the first look at quarterback Quinn Ewers, as well as what other improvements have been made in year two under coach Steve Sarkisian. This game might not be the true barometer for what Texas is this season, but a look at Ewers in this offense is still what Texas fans have long been waiting for. Texas 56, Louisiana Monroe 7

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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