Things to watch in the Big 12 in Week 3, when Iowa State goes to TCU for the first game that counts in the conference standings. But more important to the league could be three more nonconference games against Power Five teams after going 0-3 in such games last week:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 14 Oklahoma (1-1) hosting No. 3 Ohio St. (2-0). The Sooners and Buckeyes meet for the first time since 1983, and this is a game Oklahoma likely has to win to have any realistic chance of making it back into the four-team College Football Playoff. The Buckeyes were national champions two seasons ago in the first year of the CFP format, and Oklahoma last season became the first Big 12 team to make it. Ohio State’s defense hasn’t given up a touchdown this season while also returning three interceptions for scores. Baker Mayfield has thrown five TDs for the Sooners, who had that season-opening loss to sixth-ranked Houston.
No. 11 Texas (2-0) at California (1-1). Freshman quarterback Shane Buechele and the Longhorns are headed to the West Coast for their first road game. When California came to Austin with quarterback Jared Goff last season, the Bears escaped with a 45-44 victory after Texas made a late 21-point rally only to miss an extra point with 1:11 remaining. Goff was the first overall pick in the NFL draft and replaced by graduate transfer Davis Webb, who never played against the Longhorns while with Texas Tech the past three seasons.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Baylor, Texas and idle West Virginia are the league’s only undefeated teams . … Kansas State is 22-2 in home openers under coach Bill Snyder. The Wildcats host Florida Atlantic on Saturday. … Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes is again the national leader in total offense, with 562 yards per game. He goes into a game against Louisiana Tech already with 12 touchdowns (nine passing, three rushing). … Kansas goes to Memphis after 14 tackles for losses last week against Ohio, the most in a game for the Jayhawks since 2007.
Iowa State is more than a three-touchdown underdog at TCU. Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson will remind everyone that the Cyclones won in Fort Worth when they played there four years ago — like Saturday will be. But there were unique circumstances in 2012, with that game coming only two days after starting quarterback Casey Pachall’s DWI arrest and suspension.
Oklahoma State sophomore WR Jalen McCleskey is tied for the Big 12 lead with 7.5 receptions per game. He had 11 catches for 103 yards against Central Michigan, when the Cowboys had seven different players caught passes. They Cowboys are home against Pittsburgh.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas.