In the season's first Big 12 game for both teams, Oklahoma State visits No. 16 Baylor on Saturday. Both teams have had turbulent starts, though they've done so in drastically different ways.
Oklahoma State is 2-1, coming off an exciting, rain-soaked win against Pitt. The Cowboys' lone loss wasn't exactly their fault, as officials incorrectly awarded Central Michigan what turned out to be a game-winning Hail Mary attempt in Week 2 in Stillwater. OSU's only loss is, in essence, a technicality. But it counts all the same.
Baylor is 3-0, having not played anyone of consequence. The Bears let indicted former player Shawn Oakman into their locker room after last week's game against Rice, and much of their week has been devoted to damage control after that. They'll get back receiver Ishmael Zamora this week. Head coach Jim Grobe suspended him for the team's first three games after a video surfaced of Zamora beating and kicking his dog.
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Fox. The broadcasters are Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, and Shannon Spake.
Online streaming: Fox Sports GO
Spread: Baylor opened as a 10-point favorite.
Three big things to know
1. Seth Russell's been rolling. The Baylor quarterback, a senior, has thrown for 761 yards and nine touchdowns TDs on 62-of-105 clip through three games. After Russell needed neck surgery and missed the end of last season, he's made a highly encouraging comeback. Oklahoma State's pass defense has looked completely gettable, and Russell could wind up having a big night. If he does, it's hard not to like Baylor's chances.
2. Mason Rudolph faces a test. The Oklahoma State junior has been solid, but the Baylor pass defense is better than any he's seen. There's a big caveat here, in that Baylor's played a tissue-soft schedule to this point. But the Bears are stifling in both efficiency and explosiveness through the air. Opponents average 3.2 yards per throw against them, and they've picked off three passes in three games. (On another hand, Rudolph will be the best this unit's seen, too.)
3. The winner here will have a great Big 12 shot. Preseason favorites Oklahoma and TCU have obvious problems, as does a defensively challenged Texas. This league is open, and either Baylor or Oklahoma State is about to be 1-0 with one of the league's tougher opponents already out of the way. In Week 4, it's hard to ask for much more.