Lincoln Riley and OU looked dominant. Harry How/Getty Images
The Big 12 did not disappoint in week 1, as six of its nine teams who hit the field were victorious. Not to mention, four of those victories concluded with the Big 12 representative scoring over 50 points. The title of most impressive team from Week 1 would have to go to the University of Oklahoma, as they dominated Florida Atlantic 63-14. For the second straight season, the University of Texas lost to a non-descript Maryland team, starting of Year 2 of the Tom Herman era with an unfortunate setback. Now that Week 1 has come and gone, lets take a look at what is in store for Week 2.
Must watch games Week 2
Oklahoma vs. UCLA: The first must watch game of this coming weekend of college football is Oklahoma vs UCLA. As I mentioned earlier, Oklahoma played a nearly perfect game on their way to lighting up the scoreboard and making an early statement to the nation and all their sceptics. First year starting quarterback Kyler Murray lived up to expectations and flashed his next level, playmaking ability, which had been sidelined for the last two seasons. Also, running back Rodney Anderson picked up right where he left off in 2017 with an unbelievably efficient performance of 100 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 5 carries. UCLA on the other hand fell short in a tough loss to a talented Cincinnati team, but I would expect that outcome to only raise their intensity as they head into what is all or nothing game for the Bruins if they want to hold onto any hope of a championship run. This matchup will be another good test for a talented Oklahoma team that will most likely be fighting all season to prove themselves worthy of comparison to powerhouse teams and title contenders like Alabama, Clemson, and Georgia.
Iowa State vs. Iowa: The second game I recommend keeping an eye on will be Iowa State vs. Iowa. The Cyclones will have a tough test in front of them this coming week, not only because of Hawkeye team they will be lining up against, but also because their first game of the season was canceled due to inclement weather not even halfway into the first quarter. While the University of Iowa will have the advantage of entering into this Week 2 showdown with a solid victory over Northern Illinois under their belt, the Iowa State players will be experiencing their first significant amount of game action, which could be a very big difference maker. With that said, Iowa State is known to be a team that plays up to its competition and does not shy away from a challenge, which was evident in 2017 when they upset three top 25 ranked opponents. Also, you can always count on both teams bringing their best to the field during an in-state rivalry game such as this one.
Tulsa at Texas: The Longhorns should bounce back from their opening loss with a get-right game against Tulsa. The next four games are USC, TCU, Kansas State and Oklahoma, so this is an important game for Texas to work out their Game 1 issues on both sides of the ball.
Big 12 players to watch Week 2
Iowa State RB David Montgomery: My No.1 Big 12 player to watch going into week 2, is Iowa State standout running back David Montgomery. The talented back ran for almost 900 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2017 while only playing in nine games for the Cyclones. Montgomery will play a key role this coming week when his team will have to face the always stout Iowa hawkeyes defense. If Montgomery is able to consistently move the down markers and draw the defenses focus, it will go a long way in helping his team get a big win against their in-state rivals.
TCU QB Shawn Robinson: Another exciting player to have your eye on in week 2 is TCU's dual threat quarterback. Robinson lit up the stat sheet last week with 5 total touchdowns, 3 of which came through the air and 2 on the ground. Robinson will have a chance to have another eye opening performance in Week 2, as TCU will face off against an SMU defense that gave up 46 points to the University of North Texas and quarterback Mason Fine. Robinson looks to be a star on the rise in 2018, and could begin to draw national attention if he continues his hot start.
Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown
My final spotlight player heading into Week 2 is Oklahoma deep threat receiver Marquise Brown. While a lot of attention has been given to Murray and Anderson, Brown reminded everyone of his scary playmaking ability after averaging 22 yards per-reception in Week 1. Brown is an obvious favorite target for Murray and will look to take the top off of the UCLA defense next week. While the defense will be forced to respect the dangerous Oklahoma running attack, Brown could make easy work of whoever has the unfortunate responsibility of trying to contain the dangerous playmaker.
The Houston Astros were in need of some serious help in the bullpen with Phil Maton, Hector Neris, and Ryne Stanek likely leaving this year in free agency.
The Houston Astros have acquired RHP Dylan Coleman from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for RHP Carlos Mateo. pic.twitter.com/hDYuBLn2Kv
— Houston Astros (@astros) December 6, 2023
While some fans were getting concerned about the quiet offseason, the club has made two moves this week to get the ball rolling.
First the team signed Victor Caratini to be the backup catcher, and now they have added some relief pitching.
The Astros traded pitching prospect Carlos Mateo to the Royals for RHP pitcher Dylan Coleman.
Coleman appeared in 96 games in the past three seasons for KC, including 68 games in 2022 and 23 games last season. He has a career 3.88 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He’s fastball (95 mph), slider (81) and cutter (90) and walked 57 batters and struck out 99 in 92 2/3 innings.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) December 6, 2023
Coleman is under club control for the next several years, and made just over $700,000 in 2022. With the Astros right up against the tax threshold, this is a good way to add to the bullpen without having to hand out a large contract.
The Royals had a tough roster decision to make with Coleman, and the Astros made the decision easy for them by making the trade.
Something to note
There's a reason Kansas City wasn't determined to protect Coleman from the Rule 5 Draft. Despite his decent numbers over the last three seasons, 2023 was a rough year for him, posting an 8.84 ERA over 23 games.
In fact, Coleman pitched more innings (30.2) for the Royals AAA team than he did for the big league club (18.1) in 2023.
Hopefully, the Astros can get him back on track this season with some help from their highly touted player development program.
You can watch some of his 2022 highlights above.