Archive for Saturday, September 8, 2001

Big 12 faces full slate this week

No. 12 Kansas State, Baylor, Iowa State, Texas Tech finally open season

September 8, 2001


— The rest of the Big 12 finally joins the party this weekend.

No. 12 Kansas State, Baylor, Iowa State and Texas Tech will play their belated season openers today. It is the first week, and the only one outside of head-to-head play, when all of the league's teams are in action.

Kansas State plays its toughest opener in coach Bill Snyder's 13 seasons with a trip to Southern California, a team the Wildcats have never played. Snyder is going for his 100th victory at K-State.

Baylor, Iowa State and Texas Tech all open at home. The Bears play Arkansas State, Iowa State plays Northern Iowa and Texas Tech takes on New Mexico.

In the other games today involving Big 12 teams, third-ranked Oklahoma (2-0) plays North Texas; fourth-ranked Texas (1-0) is home against North Carolina; fifth-ranked Nebraska (2-0) takes on No. 17 Notre Dame; Kansas (1-0) plays No. 14 UCLA; Colorado (1-1) plays San Jose State; Missouri (0-1) plays Southwest Texas; and Oklahoma State (0-1) plays Louisiana Tech.

Texas A&M; (2-0) got the Big 12 weekend off to an early start with a 28-20 victory at Wyoming on Thursday night.

Nebraska won 24-21 at Notre Dame last season, but is still hoping for a different kind of return this year. The Irish had more than 300 return yards in last year's game, including a 100-yard kickoff return and 83-yard punt return for touchdowns.

The Cornhuskers have won 15 straight home games. Notre Dame is playing its season opener.

Mack Brown is in his fourth season at Texas after spending the previous 10 years at North Carolina (0-2), which opened its season with a 41-27 loss at Oklahoma after falling behind 41-7 by halftime.

Brown said there won't be any extra emotion, especially since his former defensive coordinator, Carl Torbush, who succeeded him, was fired after last season. Plus, the game is in Austin, not Chapel Hill.

Oklahoma, after two easy victories, gets a real breather against North Texas (0-1). The Sooners lead the series 4-0, winning those four games by an average margin of 49-9.

Kansas and UCLA (1-0) haven't played since the 1995 Aloha Bowl. The Jayhawks have won the last two games in the series, 51-30 in that Christmas Day bowl and 28-24 in the previous regular-season meeting in 1978.

Baylor plays its season opener at home for the first time since 1997, and just the second time since 1988. The Bears, 2-9 last year, have an eight-game losing streak.

Iowa State resumes its off-and-on rivalry with Northern Iowa. The 20-game series which the Cyclones lead 14-3-3 dates back to a scoreless tie in 1899. The last meeting was 1996.

Texas Tech goes for its second straight season-opening victory over New Mexico (1-0), which tied a school record with nine quarterback sacks in its opener last weekend.

Colorado, assured of not starting 0-4 for the second year in a row after beating then-No. 24 Colorado State last weekend, plays San Jose State (0-1), which has lost all four previous meetings against the Buffaloes.

Oklahoma State's Les Miles and Missouri's Gary Pinkel, the Big 12's two new coaches, are still looking for their first wins. The Cowboys are home against Louisiana Tech (1-0) while Missouri plays Division I-AA Southwest Texas (1-0).

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