<
>

Big 12 television viewers guide for this week

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Gather around Big 12 fans. The first week is over and the weekend approaches. Here's a ranking of the conference's Saturday's games in terms of a television viewer's appeal.

A ranking of four stars indicate must-see television, and maybe even a game tape to be savored by more devoted viewers. Three-star games are worth the investment in time. Two-star games bear a quick glimpse or two for occasional score updates. And one-star game are indications that your time might be better spent with a lawnmower or some hedge clippers.

Here's a list of the games for this week.

Four-star games

None this week. Check the other conferences.

Three-star games

Cincinnati at Oklahoma (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC) -- The Sooners are facing the Big 12's only challenge from a BCS conference opponent this week. And Brian Kelly's team isn't bad after making six bowl trips in the last eight seasons, including three-straight wins from 2004 to the present.

Texas at UTEP (10:15 p.m., ESPN2) -- What a difference 14 years makes. The Longhorns will be traveling to the Sun Bowl for the first time since beating Mack Brown's North Carolina team there in the 1994 Sun Bowl. Who would have ever thought Brown could have ended up coaching the Longhorns?

Texas A&M at New Mexico (6 p.m., Versus) -- This one will test the Aggies resiliency coming back from their late collapse against Arkansas State. The Lobos have beaten two of their last three Big 12 foes and will be a test for the Aggies.

Houston at Oklahoma State -- The Cowboys have enough players from the Houston area and still remember their loss in 2006, so this will be about revenge. It also represents new Houston coach Kevin Sumlin's return against a Big 12 opponent after working on Bob Stoops' staff at Oklahoma.

Texas Tech at Nevada -- Enough cracks were shown against Eastern Washington to make this potentially a harrowing trip to the Silver State for the Red Raiders. And their defensive lapses aren't a good sign heading into a contest against a Nevada team that produced 426 rushing yards and 629 yards in its opener against Grambling.

Two-star games

Kent State at Iowa State -- Cyclones fans still remember how Golden Flashes ruined Gene Chizik's debut last season.

Louisiana Tech at Kansas (7 p.m., FSN) -- Tech will come into Lawrence soaring after upsetting Mississippi State last week. Mark Mangino just wants to develop a running game.

One-star games

San Jose State at Nebraska (12:30 p.m., PPV) -- The Cornhuskers need to shore up their pass defense, despite big plays produced against Western Michigan. San Jose State used three quarterbacks against Cal-Davis before escaping with miraculous 13-10 victory in opener, winning in the final minute.

Eastern Washington at Colorado -- The Buffaloes will never overlook any Football Championship Series opponent after losing to Montana State in 2006. And they won't in this one, even after the Eagles' success against Texas Tech last week.

Northwestern State at Baylor -- Robert Griffin receives his first collegiate start after a strong showing in the Bears' season-opening loss to Wake Forest. The Demons will be taking a big step up in opponents after beating Texas A&M-Commerce in their opener.

Montana State at Kansas State (7 p.m., FCS) -- The Bobcats limited Adams State to 112 yards in a 59-3 victory. But Josh Freeman was playing like he boasted last week, accounting for five touchdowns and showing a great understanding in the new offense.

Southeast Missouri at Missouri (7 p.m., PPV) -- Even if Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin doesn't play, it shouldn't matter. Southeast Missouri was behind 21-3 early in the third quarter before rallying for a 35-28 overtime victory over Southwest Baptist. But look for a struggling Missouri secondary to be challenged by Redhawk QB Houston Lillard, who passed for 181 yards in the fourth quarter to lead the late charge.