TCU @ West Virginia
Saturday, November 14th 11:00 AM CT, FOX
TCU (3-3, 3-3) and West Virginia (4-3, 3-3) are both firmly in the middle pack of the Big 12. This game could help give one team some separation, moving them into the upper half of the conference, while simultaneously moving the other team back into the lower half. TCU is on a two game winning streak, picking up a clear victory over Texas Tech last weekend. West Virginia has been very up and down, winning only one of their last three games. They lost a low-scoring 17-13 game against Texas last weekend. The Mountaineers are favored by 3 points in this one but I like the Horned Frogs, who have a bit more adept offense and a comparable defense.
Baylor @ Texas Tech
Saturday, November 14th 3:00 PM CT, FS1
This year’s BU-TT Bowl could not be more critical for the future trajectories of both teams. Baylor (1-4, 1-4) has been on a losing skid ever since their opening win against Kansas. The Bears showed promising signs against Iowa State last week, especially in the first half. However, offensive ineptitude once again reared its head as the Bears could do next to nothing in the third quarter and let Iowa State come back and take the lead. Still, the Bears were right on the cusp as they had the ball in the redzone before Charlie Brewer threw a game sealing interception. For what it’s worth, I thought Brewer looked much better last week than in any other game this season not against Kansas. That might be a hot take and there’s still plenty of room to improve, but if he can consistently throw some of the mid-range routes he was hitting for much of that game, there’s hope.
The not so hopeful side of things is the lack of consistent running game for Baylor. The Bears had just found what looked like an electric running back in Craig “Sqwirl” Williams, before he was injured on a non-contact play that has sidelined him for the rest of the season. So the Bears will desperately need someone to fill that gap in order for the offense to not sputter out of control. While listing offensive problems, I think many fans would also agree that Coach Dave Aranda needs to have more urgency at times. The drive before the half against Iowa State was inexcusable, the Bears had well over a minute to try to add some points to their lead that could have very much changed the outcome of that game.
Texas Tech (2-5, 1-4) has had its own woes, only beating West Virginia so far in conference play. Their last two games against TCU and OU were not close. That’s where I think the difference in this game is: I’ve still seen a lot of fight and leadership out of Baylor, especially defensively. I’m not sure Tech has that same motivation. Baylor has to win this game as they will likely not be favored in any of their last three games. Tech is favored by a point, so Vegas sees this game as a virtual toss up. Give me the Bears close, but if they lose here it’s very likely I won’t be picking them to win another game this season. Hence why this game is critical.