#13 Iowa State @ #17 Texas
Friday, November 27th 11:00 AM CT, ABC
The marquee match up of Big 12 over the holiday weekend kicks off Friday morning as #13 Iowa State (6-2, 6-1) travels to Austin to take on #17 Texas (5-2, 4-2). With Iowa State sitting alone atop the Big 12 standings, they are in a great position to make the Big 12 championship game with two games left to play. However, Iowa State absolutely needs to take care of business against the Longhorns, who are also still in the hunt for a Big 12 championship game berth. Iowa State completely dismantled Kansas State last week, winning 45-0. In fact, the Cyclones enter this game on a three game winning streak, beating Kansas State, Baylor, and Kansas. However, this will certainly be the toughest game Iowa State has had since their loss to Oklahoma State. Texas also enters this game on a three game wining streak, defeating West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and Baylor. Their West Virginia game was close, with the Longhorns only winning by 4. The real question in this game might be which Brock Purdy decides to show up at quarterback for the Cyclones. Purdy was electric in the Kansas State game, throwing for 3 touchdowns and 236 yards on only 20 pass attempts. However, as we all know, Purdy threw for three interceptions in the first half the game before against Baylor. Texas is a 1 point favorite in this game, so the odds are a virtual toss up. I’ll take Iowa State in a close one.
24-21 Iowa State
#23 Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech
Saturday, November 28th 11:00 AM CT, FOX
#23 Oklahoma State (5-2, 4-2) limps into this week after suffering an embarrassing, 41-13 loss to instate foe Oklahoma. Texas Tech (3-5, 2-5) should be riding a relative high after beating Baylor on a last second field goal in their last game. I think the big takeaway for Tech from that game is that Alan Bowman should absolutely be the guy for the Red Raiders, as Tech did next to nothing offensively before Bowman took over in the second half. For Oklahoma State, their season is really going to come down to what they can figure out at quarterback. Spencer Sanders has been nursing a bad ankle and came out of the OU game after doing next to nothing. His replacement. Shane Illingworth, did even more of nothing, throwing 5 of 21 for 71 yards. I think it’s safe to say, if Oklahoma State doesn’t have Sanders back at full strength, they are an entirely different football team. Even with Oklahoma State favored by 11 points this week, I think that uncertainty bodes well for Texas Tech, especially as they might have rediscovered some quarterback consistency.
20-17 Texas Tech
Kansas State @ Baylor
Saturday, November 28th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2
So I said last week that if Baylor (1-5, 1-5) didn’t beat Texas Tech, I wasn’t going to pick them in another game moving forward. I fully intended to stick by that statement but wow did Kansas State look ATROCIOUS last week in their 45-0 loss to Iowa State. The Wildcats have practically no offense with the loss of quarterback Skylar Thompson. One needs to look no further than the complete stat lines from the Wildcats’ game against Iowa State. Will Howard started the game at quarterback and threw 3 of 9 for 32 yards, 1 interception, and a quarterback rating of 6.5. You read that right, six. point. five. And Howard was in for most of the first half so that wasn’t for lack of opportunity. Nick Ast replaced Howard just before halftime and put up marginally better numbers, throwing 6 of 10 for 44 yards. Ast’s quarterback rating was, drumroll please... 8.7! By comparison, for all of the hand wringing over Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer’s performances, his lowest QBR this season was 17.6 against TCU, and that rating is significantly lower than any of his other performances. In fact, to compare apples with apples, Brewer’s QBR against that same Iowa State defense, also on the road like Kansas State, was 63.7. That’s almost 10 times better than Howard and over 7 times better than Ast. All that to say, we as a fandom can often get into our narrow cone of vision when it comes to quarterback performance but things could be much, much, MUCH worse and that much worse is Kansas State right now. Baylor should be strong enough defensively to give either/both Howard and Ast similar issues. So this might be an ugly, ugly game but I’m going out on a limb and picking Baylor one last time. Baylor is favored by 5.5 points.
TCU @ Kansas
Saturday, November 28th 7:00 PM CT, FS1
TCU (3-4, 3-4) travels to Lawrence for a Saturday night showdown with Kansas (0-7, 0-6). I’ll keep this one brief: TCU has had somewhat of a disappointing season thus far but will absolutely end the night with a .500 record. The closest game Kansas has had this entire season was a 15 point loss to Coastal Carolina. They are so, so, so bad. TCU is favored by 24.5, and even though TCU hasn’t been the most explosive offensive team this year, I think they probably cover that with some room to spare.