Kansas Football 2012: Key Opponent Update

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

A small change to the Key Opponent Update this week. I think we can all agree that we have zero chance of rolling into Manhattan and even keeping it respectable after watching KSU knock off Oklahoma in Norman. I'll be replacing them with Okie State this week for a couple of reasons: 1) we play them at home, and 2) that stomping at the hands of Arizona looks pretty bad right now. We'll still probably be huge home underdogs to them, but I figure a 1 in 1,000 chance is better than 1 in 1,000,000.

Oklahoma State (2-1) - October 13
Last Week: OSU had a week off after dismantling Louisiana-Lafayette the week before.

Notes: Arizona, who put up 59 points and 500 yards on Okie State, lost 49-0 to Oregon this week, calling into question the respectability of that loss. Adding to concerns about Okie State is an injury to true freshman starting QB Wes Lunt, who is considered questionable for this week's game. The Cowboys' offense still looks pretty strong even with backup JW Walsh, but the defense has holes and it's tough to say exactly where OSU will be by the end of the year.

This Week: Saturday OSU gets their first conference test, playing host to the Longhorns. A strong showing will suggest OSU can't be taken lightly, but a lopsided loss would lead me to believe the Arizona game wasn't a fluke, and the Cowboys are truly in a down year.

Baylor (3-0) - November 3
Last Week: Baylor knocked off La-Monroe on the road, which is more impressive than it sounds. The Warhawks beat Arkansas and took Auburn to overtime, and this win propelled Baylor into the Top 25.

Notes: Baylor continues to play solid offense and bad defense, and both units are probably just a bit behind where they were last year. Those of us expecting a significant dropoff from last year, however, have been surprised. Baylor is averaging 51.3 points/game behind QB Nick Florence (1000+ yards passing, 150+ yards rushing, 11 TDs) and receiver Terrance Williams (353 yards, 4 TDs). Against SMU and La-Mornoe, however, the defense has given up 1050 yards and 66 points, so Baylor may be in a boat similar that of OSU, Texas Tech, and even West Virginia in having an explosive offense but a questionable defense, a trend we've seen frequently in the Big 12.

This Week: The scoreboard operator better stretch Saturday morning in Morgantown, as West Virginia will be hosting Baylor at 11:00. This game could easily see 1000+ total yards and 70+ points.

Texas Tech (3-0) - November 10
Last Week: Texas Tech had a bye week.

Notes: Not much noteworthy to say. The Red Raiders are flying under the radar right now because of last year's collapse, but currently average 598 yards per game, while allowing only 160. I don't care who they've played, that's impressive, especially considering they gave up 478 yards to _us_ last year. I'm picking this team to surprise some people, though their next six weeks are a real murderer's row (@ISU, vs Oklahoma, vs WV, @TCU, @K-State, vs Texas). I think they'll come out of it much better than it may sound.

This Week: Tech plays easily their best opponent of the season as they travel to Ames, and I guess we'll find out whether I'm foolish for believing their defense has turned a corner and this team will be competitive.

Iowa State (3-0) - November 17
Last Week: Bye week for Iowa State

Notes: Bye week means a slow week for team news but Iowa State is creeping ever closer to a top 25 ranking as the undefeated start is gradually helping them build momentum as others fall by the wayside.

This Week: Unfortunately you eventually have to rest on your own laurels and Texas Tech is the beginning of that for the Cyclones. Iowa State is certainly very capable of getting a win and doing it at home. If they can accomplish that and start 4-0, Paul Rhoads would appear to have Iowa State poised for another bowl game appearance in 2012.

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