Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE
Kansas Football 2012: Key Opponent Update
Sorry for the delay in getting some of the regular content going this week. I had a work commitment that has kept me away from the SB Nation office for a few days. - Owen
Texas (5-2) - October 27
Last Week: The Longhorns outgunned Baylor 56-50.
Notes: Why not add Texas this week? They looked to be a pretty even match with Baylor, who I believe is the 9th best team in the conference, and we get them at home. Texas turned in yet another dreadful defensive performance, giving up 607 yards and 50 points. It was the second 600+ yard game allowed by the Longhorns, and the fourth consecutive giving up over 35 points. The positive for Texas was their balanced success in the passing and rushing game, which combined for over 8 yards per play.
What I'm Watching: The only thing to watch for teams looking for a competitive edge against Texas is their defense. Texas now ranks 110th nationally in yards allowed, and 105th in points allowed (Kansas is 87th and 92nd, respectively). Texas is sure to put up points on us this weekend, but will their 109th ranked rushing defense be able to stop Sims and Pierson? Can Michael Cummings find some success against the 94th ranked passing defense? If the offense wants to put up numbers, this and the Baylor game will be their only shots. Let's hope for a shootout and a few fortuitous bounces for the Jayhawks.
This Week: Texas only appears on this list for one week, as they face Kansas in Lawrence Saturday.
Baylor (3-3) - November 3
Last Week: Lost to Texas by a narrow margin in Austin.
Notes: Baylor further entrenched their status as an all-offense team, putting up 600+, giving up 500+ against the Longhorns. Baylor can get it done in any way when they have the ball, amassing 255 on the ground and 352 through the air this week, but they simply can't stop anyone. In a game as narrow as Saturday's, it was actually the -2 TO differential that probably cost Baylor the game.
What I'm Watching: There really isn't anything new to add to this category this week. Baylor has both amassed and surrendered 500+ in four of six games, and has gained/allowed 400+ in all of them. The Bears are now dead last in total yards allowed per game in the FBS. This defense is "us during the Turner Gill era" bad. The offense is legitimately great, and it masks their deficiencies to some extent, but I truly believe we may be able to run the ball up and down the field in Waco on November.
This Week: Baylor goes on the road to face Iowa State. I'll admit I have no clue what to expect from this game. I can see Iowa State winning comfortably, but I can also see a scenario in which they simply cannot keep up with this offense.
Texas Tech (6-1) - November 10
Last Week: Tech won in a Leach-era style 3OT shootout over TCU, 56-53.
Notes: Despite the three overtimes and 56 points, Tech actually only put up 389 yards (and yes, in this era of Big 12 football, 389 yards qualifies as "only"). The defense, which has been solid all year, allowed over 500. Turnovers were the difference in this one, as Tech took care of the ball and TCU coughed it up three times.
What I'm Watching: Tech probably shouldn't be on this list. They're 6-1, ranked in the Top 25, and we play them in Lubbock. Still, this team has an aura of "how are they doing this?" about them, and I feel like they're the most susceptible to upset of any of the Big 12's top teams. We'll probably be 30 point underdogs, and we probably won't even cover, but I just don't understand how Tech is as good as they are, so I guess what I'm watching is "when the other shoe will drop."
This Week: The Red Raiders have a key "other shoe" game Saturday, as they must travel to Manhattan to face the most maddeningly talentless great team in the country.
Iowa State (4-2) - November 17
Last Week: Iowa State was humiliated in Stillwater in a 31-10 loss to Oklahoma State.
Notes: Okie State nearly doubled ISU's yardage output, while nearly tripling their score. Iowa State had been a solid defensive team until this point, so this was something of a surprise. ISU was a Kansas-esque 4-17 on third down, and simply struggled put drives together.