Big 12: Ten things to watch in Week 2

Here's what my eyes will be on when Week 2 kicks off on Saturday:

1. Strap 'em up or lay down. Kansas has kept it positive this week after the embarrassing debut in Week 1, but how will that translate on the field? Kansas doesn't have to beat Georgia Tech, but they have to keep it respectable. Turner Gill can't transfer that positivity to the fan base and prove his team has made progress if the Jayhawks get rolled 41-3, but he might if they lose 28-20.

2. Encore? Encore. Encore! Nebraska's starting quarterback Taylor Martinez made it very clear what he's capable of after accounting for 263 yards of offense in his first game. Can he keep it rolling against tougher competition in Idaho this week and only tougher competition as the season progresses?

3. A coverage sack would be a good sign. Oklahoma's secondary troubles in a win over Utah State took focus with a weekend showdown against one of the best quarterbacks in the country, Christian Ponder, fast approaching. Coach Bob Stoops told me on Wednesday he feels fine, confident the secondary misplayed a few balls and they'll show him the form that earned them those starting spots this week. Look for more on this tomorrow.

4. Can somebody run away with this? You've probably heard this by now, but the Big 12 has the nation's top three rushers after Oklahoma State's Kendall Hunter, Kansas State's Daniel Thomas and Oklahoma's DeMarco Murray all topped 200 yards in Week 1. Which running back validates his performance with the strongest performance in Week 2?

5. Picking up good vibrations. Colorado has to do more than check out their new digs this weekend in Berkeley. Part of me wants to buy what the Buffs are selling this time around, but many a Boulder believer has had their trust broken in recent years. That might change if his team can earn its third road win in over four seasons.

6. Gut check time up north. Iowa State looked pretty good in its opener against Northern Illinois. At the very least, a dramatic, close loss might show signs that this beast of a schedule may not end up eating the Cyclones alive after all. Utah in Ames is a winnable game, and there's a chance the Cyclones could be 4-2 with a win in that game. We'll have a better idea after Saturday. The Hawkeyes are for real. Perhaps the Big Tennest of all the Big (11) Ten teams.

7. Let's try this again. Simple, but meaningful question for the Longhorns: You're more physically impressive than Wyoming. Can you dominate them on the line of scrimmage on offense? If they're given trouble in the running game by teams like Rice and Wyoming, that's a bad sign for dates with Oklahoma and Nebraska next month, not to mention Texas Tech next week. Texas didn't look the part against Rice, but they'll get a chance to show some improvement in their home opener.

8. Where have all the QBs gone? Taylor Potts and Jerrod Johnson are the only Big 12 quarterbacks in the national top 15 in passing yards after Week 1. They, along with Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, will get a chance to move up this week in glorified practice games against New Mexico, Louisiana Tech and McNeese State, respectively. Louisiana Tech, however, did play LSU and Boise State close on the road in 2009, but was blown out by Auburn and Navy.

9. Prove you're one of us. Here's the thing about Big 12 teams: they don't mess around with teams like Buffalo. A respectable MAC team, yes, but not a team that requires any kind of fourth-quarter dramatics to beat. Can Baylor put them out of the game in the second half? Baylor's Big 12 doubters will feel a bit better about the Bears bowl chances if they do to Buffalo what they did to Sam Houston State last week: Get up early, stay up late. Baylor beat the Bulls 34-21 in 2007, but that was in the time period of B.R.G.3.

10. Blackshirts need to be scarier. It's not a good sign when the quarterback throws the most impressive set of bones in the season opener. Bo Pelini wasn't happy with his defense's work in Week 1, but Idaho comes to Lincoln after throwing for 399 yards and running for another 148 last week against North Dakota. Sure, it was North Dakota, but Idaho has talent. You can't win eight games in any league without it. Shutting the Vandals down like Nebraska did all last season to almost everyone will make Pelini a happy man on Saturday night.