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Texas Tech & Big 12 Preview: Week 2

Conner previews and predicts Week 2 for the Big 12 and muses over last week's half-time fan exodus.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I went 9-1 in my predictions. I would’ve been perfect if I had not thought a Big 12 team (Kansas) would be able to beat a FCS team I had never heard of (South Dakota State)…. Thanks to all who tweeted me with score predictions for last week’s game. @kchantx21, Kyle, predicted that Tech would win by 14 points. Tech won 59-45. So he will be repping you VTM readers this week. No pressure, Kyle. If you would like to pick next week, either comment below or tweet @ConnerCrisp with your score prediction for this week’s game against UTEP. The person who is closest to, or predicts, the winning margin with pick for week 3. In the case of a tie, I choose.

Saturday, September 12

Kansas State Wildcats (1-0) @ Texas San Antonio Roadrunners (0-1)

Alamodome; San Antonio, TX; 11:00 AM; Fox Sports 1

The Roadrunners played at #22 Arizona State and played them pretty close last week, only losing by 10. Kansas State crushed South Dakota 34-0. This game will be somewhere in the middle. I was unable to watch any of the Wildcats game, but, based upon the box score and the game recap, it looks like they will much better than I thought they would be... Wildcats 31, Roadrunners 20.

Kyle's Pick: Kansas State

Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0) vs. UTEP Miners (0-1)

Jones AT&T Stadium; Lubbock, TX; 2:00 PM; FOX

Last year this game was too close. I remember thinking that Tech might actually lose it in the fourth quarter. However, last year the offense did not look in sync. Based upon last week, the offense looks great! On the defensive side of the ball there were some flashes of brilliance; the four forced turnovers, and shutting out Sam Houston State in the third quarter. On the flip side of that, the same problem that has plagued Tech since the Leach era is STILL a problem, the defense can’t stop the run. At all. UTEP has a pretty good runner in Aaron Jones… Red Raiders 52, Miners 35

Kyle's Pick: Texas Tech

West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0) vs. Liberty Flames (1-0)

Milan Puskar Stadium; Morgantown, WV; 2:00 PM

The Mountaineers looked pretty stout in Week 1 against Georgia Southern, winning 44-0. I see no reason for this week to be any different against the Flames. Also, I was unfamiliar with Liberty University before now. I looked up to see what a Flame mascot would look like, and it was not a Flame, but a bird. Talk about a letdown. I was expecting to see a flaming ball with a face like in Super Mario. Liberty officials, call me and we will spruce things up... Mountaineers 35, Flames 10

Kyle's Pick: West Virginia

#2 Texas Christian University Horned Frogs vs. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks

Amon G. Carter Stadium; Fort Worth, TX; 2:30 PM; Fox Sports 1

I know many people are down on TCU because they only won by 6 over Minnesota. I disagree with all the folks who feel that way. That was a good road win against one of the Power 5 conference (Big 10) opponents. Minnesota is a team that many pundits believe can win 8-9 games this year. Good win. Now if TCU only wins by 6 over SFA, then raise the red flags… Horned Frogs 66, Lumberjacks 10

Kyle's Pick: TCU

Iowa State Cyclones (1-0) at Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0)

Jack Trice Stadium; Ames, IA; 3:45 PM; FOX

The battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy renews this Saturday. For those of you who are not familiar with this rivalry, it is actually a pretty important and heated one to the folks in the state of Iowa. Don’t believe me? Look at the ticket prices on Stubhub. As of press time, the cheapest seats were on sale for $130. Also, Iowa State had a pretty good margin of victory last week. If you read my article last week you would know that I had little hope for the Cyclones this season. I will peg them to win this game, but I’m still not sold that they will win more than 4 games… Cyclones 24, Hawkeyes 21

Kyle's Pick: Iowa State

#19 Oklahoma Sooners (1-0) at #25 Tennessee Volunteers (59-30) Game of the Week

Neyland Stadium; Knoxville, TN; 5:00 PM; ESPN

Let’s be honest, the majority of Red Raider fans wished Baker Mayfield well with his future NCAA career, but did not want to see him perform as well as he did last weekend. Think back to when he played at Tech, he performed great against the "have-nots", SMU, Stephen F. Austin, and  Texas State. Against the "haves", Baker was unimpressive and lost the starting spot to Davis Webb. He looked great against "have-not" Akron this past week. This week we get our first look at he will do against one of the "haves" when the Sooners take on the Volunteers… Volunteers 38, Sooners 27

Kyle's Pick: Oklahoma

Kansas Jayhawks (0-1) at Memphis Tigers (1-0)

Memorial Stadium; Lawrence, KS; 6:00 PM; ESPN 3

56 days until Jayhawks’ basketball tips off… Tigers 35, Jayhawks 21

Kyle's Pick: Memphis

Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-0) vs. Central Arkansas Bears (0-1)

Boone Pickens Stadium; Stillwater, OK; 6:30 PM; Fox Sports Network

Last week, Mount Pleasant ended up being a pleasant place for the Cowboys. They could have lost, but ended up being able to pull out the win and move onto their home opener this week against the Bears. Central Arkansas got blown out 29 points by Samford. It’s going to be even uglier for the Bears fans this week… Cowboys 73, Bears 21

Kyle's Pick: Oklahoma State

#4 Baylor Bears (1-0) at Lamar Cardinals (1-0)

McLane Stadium; Waco, TX; 6:30 PM; Fox Sports Network

Baylor took care of business against SMU last week. I would expect them to do the same this weekend and put up style points to make up for their creampuff non-conference schedule... Bears 70, Cardinals 7

Kyle's Pick: Baylor

Texas Longhorns (0-1) vs. Rice Owls (1-0)

Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium; Austin, TX; 7:00 PM; Longhorn Network

Just like I underestimated Iowa State last week, I greatly overestimated the Longhorns. I still had them losing to Notre Dame, but only by a field goal. They only scored a field goal in that game. How is this program, with all the resources a program could want, in a situation where many many many many national and local media members are calling a game against Rice a "must-win"? Rice should never be a "must-win" for Texas. Rice should always been a "gimme" game for Texas. I do not think that Charlie Strong should be on the hot seat, but if his team loses, or is even in a hotly contested game versus Rice, my opinion on that matter would change… Longhorns 42, Owls 17

Kyle's Pick: Texas

I also want to address the crowing going on about the lack of fans on the away side of the stadium against Sam Houston State. First half, there was not many seats that were unfilled. The students were out in full force! Enough to force the stadium to open up the overflow seats in the upper-level corner. 60,079 people had tickets, or student passes, to the game and for the first half were there. Come half-time, a mass exodus occurred. The majority of the students left the game and went back to their apartments, tailgates, etc. The majority of the non-students on the away side also left. My season tickets happen to be on the away side and my friend and I stayed for the second half. IT WAS HOT!!! There were few clouds in the sky and very little wind to cool down the masses. For those of you who are saying shame on the fans for leaving, I would direct you to move the shame game to Texas Tech. While I realize that TV is king and if you can get your team on TV, then you do it. However, you need to think of the people in the grandstands supporting your team. The first few weeks of the season are still summer in Texas. In an ideal world, no games would start in September before 6PM. However, that ideal world will be not happening, due to TV… So here’s some options that the stadium can control. 1. Knock down drink prices. Some people cannot afford to stay at the hot day games when a water bottle is selling for $5. 2. Let fans bring in their own water bottles. NASCAR and MLB allow it! 3. Install mister fans on the concourses, sure it might cost a pretty penny, but isn’t the health of the fans in attendance worth the cost? I’m sure that there are plenty of other simple options that could help out the fans on game day. Earlier, I brought up that I stayed for the second half. I did, but I did not stay in my seats. My friend and I, along with a throng of others, moved over to the home side of the stadium and stood in some shade to watch the second half. Just because you did not see the stands full in the second half of the game does not mean that all those people left. I’m glad many moved to stand in the shade too. On our way out, we left through the away side exits. As we did, we saw a woman, who stayed in her away side seats, suffer what appeared to be a heat stroke and had to leave the stadium on a stretcher, with her family/friends watching on. Please, don't get onto other fans for watching out for their health, it's more important than a football game. Rant Over.

I also want to give some advice if you are going to a game on a hot day. First, dress accordingly. Second, prep for a hot game by downing water in the days leading up to, and the day of, the game. Finally, nobody knows your body as well as you do. If you are at the game and start to feel the effects of direct sunlight coupled with no clouds and very little breeze, by all means, do what you need to do to recuperate. Whether that be just going down to the concourse to regroup for a little bit or leaving the game to go to the cool confines of a car A/C or an apartment, do it. There will be plenty of more games for you to cheer on the Red Raiders!

This week is a home game that starts at 2:00 PM against UTEP. You’re probably thinking that this is about to be a redo of last week’s crowd, and it very well may be. BUT there are reasons that it won’t be! The temperature is going to have a high in the mid-80s as opposed to the mid-90s. Tech is calling for this week to be the White-Out week. That will help repel some of the heat that Scarlett and Black attract. If you attended last week, you now have a good idea of what this weekend could potentially be, which means you know what to do to prep for the game. Let me know ideas you have for Tech (or other fans) to help out your fellow fans on a hot game day, and be sure give me predictions for this week’s game by commenting below or tweeting @ConnerCrisp. GUNS UP & STAY COOL!