Oklahoma State at Baylor is another one of the Big 12 trap games I like for the 2012 season. This is a game where scheduling could mean everything. Since the conference gets two new schools this year, the Big 12 schedules have been shuffled around to where these teams aren’t playing each other in the normal order they have for the last few years.
Case in point is Oklahoma State. They normally play their rivals OU in the last game of the season. But this year they play OU the week before they have to travel to Waco the following week. This could potentially be a big problem for the Cowboys, who leave everything on the field when they play their Bedlam brothers to the south. In addition, both the Sooners and Baylor will be out to get some payback after both lost decisively in Stillwater last year.
Although many probably expect Baylor to fall off the earth after losing RG3, I think they will still be prolific on offense. We’re talking about a team that averaged 45 points and 587 yards per game last year. They’ll have some dropoff, but it won’t be as drastic as people think. HC Briles still has major issues on defense though. But if it’s anything like last year, those problems most likely won’t be quite as obvious at home. Keep in mind that new QB Florence has started 7 games and is a 62% career passer.
Florence’s ability was evident last year when he burned a redshirt in the 11th games of the season to come off the bench against Texas Tech and threw two TD’s. Whether he regrets that decision I don’t know. But being a senior you know he’s going do his best to go out with a bang. Especially since they play OSU on Senior Day, the last game of the season for Baylor.
If Gundy sticks with his man throughout the season, Baylor will be seeing a freshman QB, and the road can be treacherous in the Big 12, especially against an experienced senior QB playing at home.
Plus the fact that it isn’t easy playing at 100% strength the week after OU runs 90 plays on your defense. I expect the OSU defense will see a lot more action on the field this year with a less prolific offense to depend on.
Like OSU, Baylor will also employ a deep backfield, including former 5-star recruit and Oregon transfer Lache Seastrunk. Baylor WR Terrance Williams will also be one of the nations top receivers. If these running backs and receivers come along like I think they will, the transition to the new QB should be fairly smooth. I’m not sure we can say that for OSU. I’ll be closely watching this line. If the Pokes give OU a tough game and keep it within the number, we might find ourselves getting a decent line with Baylor the following week.
Can Baylor cover the spread or get the outright win? Let me know what you think.