It was a tumultuous offseason that saw Texas and Oklahoma open the exit door from the Big-12 Conference, leading to speculation that the league would dissolve. With the news on Sunday that presidents of the eight remaining schools will meet with four new campuses, the Big-12 seems poised for prominence in the upcoming years.
What better way than to kick off the 2021-22 season than with a near-slate-clearing swell of victories. Of the ten campuses in the Big-12 that began the football season this weekend, only West Virginia failed to log a win in their game against Maryland with Tualia Tagovialoa under center. The Mountaineers lost by a final score of 30-25.
All four of the Big-12 teams in Texas won their opening day matches, including double-digit victories for TCU, Texas, and Texas Tech. Baylor defeated Texas State by nine points in the closest of the four victories. Baylor sealed the win with a team safety to end the game.
TCU dismantled FCS opponent Duquesne, racking up a 35-0 halftime score en route to a 45-3 victory. Quarterback Max Duggan threw a touchdown and added another on foot, while the TCU defense shut down Duquesne QBs Darius Perrantes and back up Joe Mischler. Perrantes completed only three of nine pass attempts and Mischler’s only reception was an interception.
Texas’ first game under newly hired head coach Steve Sarkisian couldn’t have gone better for the Longhorns as the team rolled to a 38-18 victory over the visiting Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. Quarterback Hudson Card turned in a sparkling performance, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for another while compiling 224 yards on 14 completions. Running back Bijan Robinson caught a touchdown and rumbled for another in the victory.
Texas Tech had to claw their way back from an early 14-0 deficit to defeat the Houston Cougars 38-21 in a match that may one day soon be an inter-conference game. Houston is one of four schools being vetted for inclusion in the Big-12 this week. The Red Raiders won the game on the strength of their defense, robbing Houston of four passes, one of which ended up in the end zone for a pick-six.
Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes made a visit to NRG Stadium to watch the Red Raiders score 31 unanswered points in the second half. Mahomes attended Texas Tech until his junior year when he elected to become eligible for the NFL draft.
TCU, Baylor, and Texas Tech play at home on Saturday, September 11. The Longhorns travel to Arkansas to face off against the Razorbacks. The first conference game for Big-12 teams this season will be Baylor versus Kansas State on September 18.
The Presidents of the eight remaining campuses excluding Texas and Oklahoma are meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday to decide whether to invite BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston to join the Big-12. A vote for an invitation could come as soon as Friday.