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Big 12 Football Week 5 Preview

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

#12 West Virginia @ #25 Texas Tech

Saturday, September 29 11:00 AM CT, ESPN2

An 11 AM kick for the only top 25 vs top 25 match up of the day for the Big 12 features #12 West Virginia (3-0) facing off against #25 Texas Tech (3-1). Both are flying high after dominant wins: Texas Tech easily handled then ranked Oklahoma State in Stillwater and West Virginia annihilated Kansas State. ESPN has Texas Tech favored in this game, likely due in part to it being in Lubbock, but I don’t buy that. West Virginia is likely the best defense the Red Raiders will have faced and the Mountaineer offense, led by Will Grier, is just as dangerous. Texas Tech has enough offensive power to keep it close, but the Mountaineers pull away as the more complete team.

42-31 West Virginia

Oklahoma State @ Kansas

Saturday, September 29 11:00 AM, FSN

As the complete opposite of the other two teams in the 11 AM slot, Oklahoma State (3-1) and Kansas (2-2) are coming off of devastating losses. Oklahoma State got beat down on their home field against a then unranked Texas Tech team and Kansas lost the momentum it had built with its previous two wins by being thoroughly dominated by Baylor. It seems that Kansas still hasn’t dug itself out of the Big 12 cellar and while Oklahoma State might be disappointed, I don’t see them losing in Lawrence.

35-10 Oklahoma State

Baylor @ #6 Oklahoma

Saturday, September 29 2:30 PM, ABC

Baylor (3-1) has tripled its wins from a year ago and is tied for first in the Big 12 at 1-0 in conference play. I don’t really care about the details of how they got here, that’s a great spot to be in regardless. Baylor showed some good things in a great win over Kansas last week: Charlie Brewer is the guy and played like it, JaMycal Hasty was able to break some runs after his first half suspension, the receiving corps is loaded with both veteran and young talent, and the defense (especially the defensive front) showed marked improvement from weeks past. The Bears are trending in the right direction. #6 Oklahoma (4-0) showed some noticeable weaknesses against Army, especially defensively. The Oklahoma defense was also not that great in the week before that against Iowa State. Clearly Kyler Murray and the offense is the highlight for the Sooners. So the deciding factor in this game will be controlling time of possession, which requires strong offensive and defensive play by the Bears. Baylor isn’t quite yet where it needs to be to get a top 10 road win, but I think this game will be closer than many might expect.

38-31 Oklahoma

#18 Texas @ Kansas State

Saturday, September 29 2:30 PM, FS1

#18 Texas (3-1) has shot back into the polls after back-to-back top 25 wins over USC and TCU. It seems the Longhorns may have corrected themselves after their week one loss to Maryland. They’ll likely continue their winning streak against Kansas State (2-2) who has looked bad, almost losing to FCS South Dakota and getting dominated by Mississippi State and West Virginia.

24-3 Texas

Iowa State @ TCU

Saturday, September 29 6:00 PM CT, ESPNU

Both of these teams are in a fairly disappointing spot after the first quarter of the season. TCU (2-2) was hoping to make a playoff push and Iowa State (1-2) was looking to be a dark horse contender for the Big 12 title. While not the start either team wanted, those goals are still technically alive for both. Iowa State’s sole conference loss is against Oklahoma and they have some momentum after beating a sneaky good Akron squad. TCU, on the other hand, seems to have lost its footing with quarterback Shawn Robinson having a pretty terrible game against Texas. Things won’t go much better for the Horned Frogs this weekend as Iowa State brings one of the best defenses in the Big 12 to Fort Worth. This will likely be a defensive slug-fest. TCU is the favorite, and for good reason with the game’s location and the talent on that roster, but I think the Cyclones are trending upwards and are going to get a somewhat surprising win.

13-10 Iowa State