What happened? That seems to be the question Saturday night and Sunday morning. Three Big 12 teams went up against Sun Belt Conference teams and all three Big 12 teams lost. On Saturday, the Sun Belt dominated the Big 12. So much so that the three losses were essentially the only games discussed when sports channels recapped Big 12 football.
Let’s take a look:
Louisiana at Iowa State: It’s long been known that strange things happen in Ames, Iowa; just try not to remember Will Grier’s nightmare in October a few years ago. That being said, I don’t think anyone in Ames saw this coming. The Ragin’ Cajuns came storming into Cyclones territory and handed the then 18th ranked Cyclones a loss they didn’t see coming. The Cajuns won 31-14 in what was their program’s first win over a Power 5 conference.
Arkansas State at Kansas State: Another pre-arranged phone-in game for the conference, the Wildcats were favored to win this one going into Saturday. The Red Wolves toppled the Wildcats with a game-winning touchdown pass with 38 seconds left in the game Saturday. The Cats were stunned at the loss, especially with several key players facing injuries and going out during the game. The was the first win over a Power 5 team for the Red Wolves in a dozen years.
Coastal Carolina at Kansas: In the words of Pooka Williams, “We scheduled this for a reason.” . . . I don’t think the reason was to watch Coastal Carolina have another party in the Kansas visitor’s locker room. Right from the start, the Chanticleers showed up meaning business, holding the Jayhawks to just a field goal in the first half; leading 28-3. Les Miles has long been known as the Mad Hatter, but Saturday’s season opener did not show much of the magician tricks he was known for down in Baton Rouge. Miles and the Jayhawks lost 38-23
The three Big 12-Sun Belt matchups were all terrible losses for the conference. West Virginia won their game, as we all know. Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State did not play. The following rounded out wins for the conference Saturday.
Houston Baptist at Texas Tech: Another writer on Twitter pointed out that Houston Baptist’s football field butts up to a CVS store. That’s the extent of my knowledge of Houston Baptist, and likely was quarterback Alan Bowman’s knowledge as the Red Raiders quite literally inched out a win on Saturday. At one point, the Huskies stopped the Red Raiders on a quarterback sneak on the four yard line that would have put Texas Tech up 11. The Red Raiders ended up narrowly winning 35-33 over the Huskies.
Missouri State at Oklahoma: The illustrious Pay-Per-View game cost almost the same number of points Oklahoma put up against Missouri State. Spencer Rattler made his Oklahoma quarterback debut with four touchdowns. Every time I hear his name, I can’t help but feel like Peter Berg missed this great football name to use back when Friday Night Lights was still on television. The Sooners are now ranked 5th in the nation and have their eyes on the top of the conference again this year, with great expectations of what’s to come from Rattler’s performance. The Sooners topped Bobby Petrino’s team 48-0.
UTEP at Texas: Sam Ehlinger started his Heisman campaign with a 59-3 home victory. As much as it pains one to type, Ehlinger’s performance, even against a lesser opponent, was nothing short of outstanding. The Longhorns quarterback was 25 of 33, for 426 yards and five touchdowns. Coach Herman’s crew was able to give their second and third string quarterbacks a small amount of playing time in the game as well.
Yes, this is real and some games in the Big 12 were this crazy. If this is any inclination of how the rest of non-conference play will go, we’re in for some treats during Week 3. Baylor hosts Dana Holgorsen’s Houston Cougars and Oklahoma State plays host to Tusla this coming Saturday, September 19.