Baylor's final two “tuneups” before it opens conference play appear to be name-your-score-type games.
But last weekend's college football shocker — Louisiana-Monroe defeating No. 8-ranked Arkansas in overtime — was a reminder that playing a non-BCS school isn't an automatic win.
Coming off a bye week, Baylor hosts Sam Houston State on Saturday. Six days later, the Bears play a Friday night game on the road against Louisiana-Monroe.
Sam Houston State finished 14-1 last season and was the Football Championship Series national runner-up.
“Both of them are tough games, and we play them in a six-day span,” said Baylor coach Art Briles. “We have a lot of respect for what Sam Houston State did last year. And they've upgraded their personnel. We're just working on our end, trying to be the best we can be.”
HOLGORSEN: REMEMBER VIRGINIA TECH
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen reminded his team that James Madison upset Virginia Tech two years ago.
“We talked about it quite a bit,” Holgorsen said. “That's one of the games we told them about. A 3-point (James Madison) loss to Maryland three years ago is something else we talked about.
“We've also talked about this year there's already been six FCS (Division I-AA) teams that have beaten (Division I) teams. It's going to happen again. We need to do everything we can to make sure it doesn't happen to us.”
The game will be played at the Washington Redskins home — FedEx Field in Landover, Md., a key recruiting area for the Mountaineers. Next season, West Virginia will play Maryland at the Baltimore Ravens stadium.
WEIS BLAMES HIMSELF
Kansas' first-year coach, Charlie Weis, said one of the biggest challenges to inheriting a program that's gone 2-23 the past three years in league play is teaching players how to win.
“When a team has been used to losing, (the coaches) have to guide them through that,” Weis said. “You have to believe. You have to teach them how to finish games. I put that more on the responsibility of me and the coaching staff.”
Kansas owned an 11-point third quarter lead last week against Rice. Two interceptions, a fumble and two missed field goals allowed the Owls to rally for a 25-24 win. Rice won it with a 45-yard field goal on the final play.
“When you're dealing with reclamation projects, sooner or later something has clicked when they started to figure it out,” Weis said. “Unfortunately, it didn't happen this week. Even if we had won the way the game went down we would have disguised a lot of things we did wrong.
“The bottom line is, to truly turn the corner, we're going to have to guide them through that.”
TEXAS FACES IMPROVED OLE MISS
The Longhorns' first road game is at Mississippi. The Rebels finished 2-10 last season, 0-8 in the SEC.
But Ole Miss has looked like a different team with quarterback Bo Wallace, a junior college transfer. The Rebels, who average 551.5 yards on offense, romped past Central Arkansas and defeated UTEP 28-10.
“They're a very, very much improved football team,” said Texas coach Mack Brown. “When you look at their offense, they're a lot like what we see every week in the Big 12. They're up tempo. They have a lot of speed. Both tailbacks can run. Their wide receivers can run. They can beat you a number of ways.”
CYCLONES USED TO UNDERDOG ROLE
Iowa State has been a slight underdog its first two games but is 2-0 following a home win over Tulsa and a road win at Iowa. It was the first time in a decade the Cyclones have won in Iowa City.
“We've been underdogs a lot more than two weeks in a row,” said ISU coach Paul Rhoads. “We've been picked to win eight games the past three years, and we've won 20. We like the role, I guess. We're used to the role. Maybe that's more accurate.”
ISU is led by a veteran defense that hasn't allowed a touchdown the past seven quarters.
“Wow, I didn't realize that,” Rhoads said. “Counting upperclassmen, at one point we had seven seniors and four juniors on the field. They're playing like who they are. We are a veteran (defense). We're playing fast. That doesn't mean we have a bunch of fast guys. We're just playing defense fast.”
KLEIN IS PLAYING WELL
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein rarely compiles gaudy stats, but his play in the Wildcats' 52-13 romp over Miami was an example how he impacts a game.
Named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, Klein rushed for 71 yards and three touchdowns. He completed 9 of 11 passes for 210 yards and a score.
“He's an extremely wise, young guy,” said K-State coach Bill Snyder. “He's wise enough to understand he will not take his preparation or his performance for granted. He won't become excessively comfortable. He's playing well ... but is always focused on correcting errors that he makes.”