Two potential upsets marking Big 12's impressive start

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe has to be smiling somewhere as he's watching the Saturday afternoon games transpire.

His conference is close to notching two big upsets if Missouri can maintain its stunning 37-9 lead over Illinois and Baylor can hold a 24-14 advantage at Wake Forest.

The Tigers' large victory might be one of the day's biggest stunners. Most observers expected Missouri to decline after key players like Chase Daniel, Chase Coffman, Jeremy Maclin and Ziggy Hood left for the NFL .

Blaine Gabbert has already thrown for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another touchdown. It continues a trend of previous starters like Daniel and Brad Smith, who both led the Tigers to victories over Illinois in their first career starts.

And Baylor's defense has produced four turnovers, including intercepting Riley Skinner three times to pace the Bears' lead.

Most importantly, the performances of Baylor, Missouri and Oklahoma State are showing that the Big 12 can play a little defense