Big 12 showdown; Hot seat watch in SEC

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Most people will agree that Alabama and Clemson will be in the conversation again, but there are a few surprise teams who have looked sharp thus far.

The Cowboys (3-0) are hot off a 59-21 road win against Pittsburgh. Last weekend, linebacker Justin Phillips took a Panther pass 10 yards for a 56-14 lead in the third quarter.

Expect TCU to steal a page from Oklahoma State's book and come out swinging early.

There's only seven Big 12 football teams in action this week.

Hill threw both of his interceptions this season in easily avoidable triple-coverage situations. New coach Will Healey made significant progress with the Governors last season, despite the 0-11 record; they came within a touchdown of Mercer and one point of beating Tennessee Tech past year. He pre-determined a throw prior to the snap and he didn't progress.

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger did his best to push the Longhorns over the edge but two ill-timed interceptions cost the team. "Other than that, he's been really really good". That includes a 49-29 loss where TCU limited the Cowboys to two first downs and 122 yards of total offense in the second half. Gary Patterson and his crew are pretty talented, but the talent level of Oklahoma State is much higher in this game.

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Enough of the impressive play - how about the prospects who have been failing to impress so far? "For me, it's how do I stop it and how do I slow it down?"

"When you perform well running the ball as offensive lineman, it's motivating and you just want to keep doing it", Noteboom said. Patterson is one of college football's top defensive minds while Oklahoma State's offense might have the nation's best collection of skill players.

NDSU rattled cages in week one with a 72-7 win over Mississippi Valley State, while James Madison returned serve last week by demolishing Norfolk State 75-14. The Bears (0-3) are hoping to earn their first victory of the season.

"They are definitely an into-it [type of] crowd", Noteboom said.

Iowa State has a quarterback with star qualities (Jacob Park) and a dynamic young coach (Matt Campbell). And that's been a good program. "They do a good job with their inside receivers too with [Jalen] McCleskey and No. 17 [Dillon Stoner], so they know the system, do a good job blocking and they do a lot with their tight ends where they split them out on screens and the things they do outside". "Had respect for them when we came into the league and still certainly do".

The first big game of the season in the Big 12 could be a typically high-scoring affair. Having outlasted Todd Graham-coached Arizona State 52-45, the 2-0 Red Raiders lead the nation in total offense.

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"I've been studying all three sides this (Monday) morning".

Kansas will face West Virginia at home Saturday to open up Big 12 play. "I know they're disappointed in the outcomes of the last two games".

And yet, they have lost their past four games in Stillwater, with their last victory at Boone Pickens Stadium being in 1991.

As the thinking went, the two quarterbacks - the Sooners' Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph - would continue to amass video game-like statistics, torching the rest of the Big 12. In that contest, Wildcats QB Bill Ransdell completed 20 of 23 passes for 161 yards, yet only won 10-3. Elliot notched two interceptions and also had seven tackles, five solo, and two pass breakups in a double-overtime loss at USC.

Oklahoma State may boast arguably the most potent offense in the conference by an institution not named Oklahoma or Texas Christian.

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