#11 Oklahoma State @ #22 West Virginia
Saturday, October 28th 11:00 AM CT, ABC
This might be the most exciting week of Big 12 football across the board and it opens with #11 Oklahoma State (6-1) taking on #22 West Virginia (5-2). West Virginia survived an absolute scare from Baylor last weekend, where their offense went cold once again, a trend the Mountaineers would like to end. Oklahoma State is looking to get it’s offense back in top shape, with an ugly 13-10 overtime win against Texas. I expect Mason Rudolph and company to get things back in gear and score a good amount of points against West Virginia. I think West Virginia might hang around for a while, but they’ll slip if and when their offense goes cold as it has many times this season. I’ll take the Cowboys to win this game.
Texas @ Baylor
Saturday, October 28th 11:00 AM CT, ESPNU
Here’s the game Bears fans have had circled for a longtime. Baylor (0-7) will host Texas (3-4) and try to pick up their first win of the season. Baylor looked bad against West Virginia for 3 quarters before a monster 4th quarter comeback that left the Bears just two points shy of tying West Virginia. Texas is also coming off of a close overtime loss to Oklahoma State in what was an ugly, low scoring affair. Every week I keep thinking “this is the week the Bears could get a win.” I honestly believe this week is that week. The Bears will be energized to play their hated in-state rival. It will likely be a pretty low scoring game, with Texas’ defense being pretty strong. The deciding factor could very well be which team’s offense makes fewer mistakes. Another story line to follow will be how much Zach Smith and Charlie Brewer play for the Bears. I think we’ll see quite a bit of Brewer, even with Smith scheduled to start. My heart is telling me to pick the Bears to get their first win of the season at home and I’m going to follow it on this prediction. Bears by a field goal.
Kansas State @ Kansas
Saturday, October 28th 2:00 PM CT, FS1
This might be the least amped up rivalry game I can remember. Kansas State (3-4), while not a world beater by any stretch of the imagination, should be more than enough to handle Kansas (1-6) who set a Big 12 record for the least offensive yards in a game with 21 total yards against TCU last week. I would honestly be shocked if KState doesn’t cover this game’s 24 point spread. Wildcats win big.
#4 TCU @ #25 Iowa State
Saturday, October 28th 2:30 PM CT, ABC/ESPN2
Who would’ve thought at the beginning of the season that this week’s marquee match up would be TCU (7-0) visiting Iowa State (5-2). The Cyclones have been an absolute surprise this season, beating OU in Norman and functionally blowing out Texas Tech last weekend. Their defense has been stout and Kyle Kempt (who has yet to lose as a starter) has played the role of game manager perfectly. TCU has looked great too, with a defense that set a record last weekend for least points allowed in a Big 12 game. Their offense has been solid as well, as Kenny Hill seems to have settled in this year. The atmosphere in Ames will be electric, as the Cyclones host their first top 25 match up since 2005. I think the key here will be turnovers. Iowa State is one of only two teams in the nation that have not yet given up a fumble. Kyle Kempt also has a 7-1 TD/INT ratio. They aren’t going to give up the ball easily. Defensively, Iowa State is tied for 28th in the nation with 14 turnovers forced, whereas TCU is tied for 50th with 12 turnovers. As was evident against Texas Tech last week, Iowa State’s drop eight base defense leaves opposing quarterbacks with very few options. I think Kenny Hill will struggle against such a look and fall into some turnovers. Iowa State already has one Top 5 upset this season, I think they’ll get another this weekend with a program defining upset of the Horned Frogs (throwing the Big 12 championship race into chaos).
Texas Tech @ #10 Oklahoma
Saturday, October 28th 7:00 PM CT, ABC/ESPN2
Finally, Texas Tech (4-3) visits #10 Oklahoma (6-1) for the Big 12 nightcap. Texas Tech is trying to rally after getting stunned by Iowa State for their homecoming last week. Oklahoma is also still trying to overcome their loss to Iowa State, with a close win against the Wildcats helping their cause last week. Part of why Iowa State so effectively shut down the Red Raiders was their strong, drop eight secondary play. Nic Shimonek just couldn’t make the plays that a typical Texas Tech offense needs. Luckily for the Red Raiders, the weakest aspect of OU’s team is their secondary. I expect Texas Tech to take advantage of this and turn this into a high scoring game. I would even be tempted to say the Red Raiders would win this game if it were at home, but I think a night game in Norman will be just a bit too much and Oklahoma will win a close shootout.