#12 Baylor @ TCU
Saturday, November 9th 11:00 AM CT, FS1
Another week, another opportunity for #12 Baylor (8-0, 5-0) to prove they are for real and continue to build a gap between themselves and other contenders for the Big 12 Championship. They face off against heated rival TCU (4-4, 2-3) who is clawing for postseason eligibility. The Horned Frogs have shown flashes of talent, eviscerating Kansas and beating Texas. They’ve also had some issues in their blowout loss to Iowa State and close losses to KState and Oklahoma State. Granted, KState and Oklahoma State are good teams and those close losses show the Horned Frogs are certainly decent. A big question for this game will be if Baylor’s defense can force the Horned Frog offense to make some mistakes with whoever their starting quarterback is. Rumor has it starting true freshman quarterback Max Duggan and backup Michael Collins might be out this game. Patterson said he expects Duggan to start, but that could just be coach talk. If Duggan is out, the start would have fallen to KState transfer Alex Delton... except he just left the team. And the redshirt freshman behind him, Justin Rogers, also just left the team last week... So who knows what happens if TCU ends up being down four quarterbacks. The other key matchup will be between the Baylor offensive line and the TCU defensive front. The Bears certainly lost the line of scrimmage for significant portions of the West Virginia game. However, even though the TCU defense is a good nine points better than West Virginia’s, WVU had arguably the stronger defensive line. Baylor might also be getting some key OLine pieces, with Xavier Newman burning his redshirt and Connor Galvin potentially coming back from injury. If Baylor can win the line of scrimmage, they should be able to eat with how well Charlie Brewer has been playing, even while under duress. This game scares me for a number of reasons but Baylor, on paper, is a much better team than TCU. They should be able to end the losing streak to TCU and add another win to the resume. Besides, Baylor seems to play better on the road and better in games that people are discounting the Bears.
Texas Tech @ West Virginia
Saturday, November 9th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN2
Texas Tech (3-5, 1-4) and West Virginia (3-5, 1-4) are both dead even in overall and conference records which makes this a critical game for any hope of a postseason berth and getting out of the basement of the Big 12. As we saw in last week’s game against Baylor, West Virginia has a savvy defense. But wow is that offense atrocious. The Mountaineers got only 14 rushing yards the entire game. Even with Texas Tech’s defensive woes against the Jayhawks, Jett Duffey and the Tech offense should be able to outscore the Mountaineers in Morgantown.
31-17 Texas Tech
#16 Kansas State @ Texas
Saturday, November 9th 2:30 PM CT, ESPN
#16 Kansas State (6-2, 3-2) and Texas (5-3, 3-2) meetup in Austin for a game that will almost certainly decide who still has Big 12 Championship aspirations and who is moving to the middle of the pack. Texas has some significant defensive issues they need to resolve. They let Kansas score 48 points and then TCU dropped 37 on them next game. Not only was the defense not great, but the offense had some issues against the Horned Frogs as Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw four interceptions. Ehlinger will need to clean things up as they face an even better purple team in Kansas State. KState kept up their winning surge, dominating instate rival Kansas the week after a huge Oklahoma upset. The Wildcats are looking more and more for real (and like a better and better win for Baylor). There’s honestly a decent chance Baylor meets Kansas State once again in the Big 12 Championship, but it will depend on KState and Baylor continuing to win. The Wildcats do just that in Austin.
42-24 Kansas State
Iowa State @ #9 Oklahoma
Saturday, November 9th 7:00 PM CT, FOX
After a pair of losses and bye weeks from both of these teams, #9 Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1) and Iowa State (5-3, 3-2) are looking to get their seasons back on track. A win for Oklahoma keeps them in position as a favorite for making the Big 12 Championship Game. A win for Iowa State locks up bowl eligibility and immediately boosts them back up into the conversation of teams that could make the championship. There’s precedent for a Cyclones upset in Norman, too. Iowa State did it the last time they played in Norman, knocking off Baker Mayfield’s OU squad. And the Cyclones have better talent now, especially at quarterback with Brock Purdy. Granted, Purdy had an ugly end to the Oklahoma State game two weeks ago, throwing three late interceptions. But that seems to be more of an outlier than the norm. OU, on the otherhand, has had some defensive issues for much of the season. KState exploited that, dropping 48 on the Sooners. Another legitimate question to ask: How will Jalen Hurts respond to a loss? It’s happened so few times in his career it’s worth the thought. Oklahoma is a 14 point favorite at the writing of this article. I would take the points for Iowa State in a heart beat. However, I do think they come up just short in Norman.