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Big 12 Football Preview: Week 9

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A Saturday packed with Big 12 action!

Baylor v Iowa State Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images

#22 Texas vs. West Virginia

Saturday, November 7th 11:00 AM CT, ABC

#22 Texas (4-2, 3-2) is feeling much better about themselves after scoring a massive, upset win over Oklahoma State in Stillwater. They now host West Virginia (4-2, 3-2) who effectively bounced back from a loss to Texas Tech with a big win over Kansas State. Texas is favored by 6.5 points in this game, which seems right or even low if Texas plays like they did against Oklahoma State. One of the keys to watch in this game will be pocket protection for Sam Ehlinger. West Virginia has a relentless pass rush with the Stills brothers on the defensive line. If they are able to effectively pressure Ehlinger, I could see this game going to WVU. However, I think Texas does enough to protect their QB and move the ball to win.

31-24 Texas

#19 Oklahoma vs. Kansas

Saturday, November 7th 2:30 PM CT, ESPN

#19 Oklahoma (4-2, 3-2) continued its upward trend with a blowout victory over Texas Tech, winning 62-28. They now face Kansas (0-6, 0-5). Kansas got worked by Iowa State last weekend. These Kansas previews are going to be short because I don’t expect them to win a game this year and this CERTAINLY will not be that game, if they do. The only real question is if Oklahoma covers the 38 point spread, which they probably do.

65-17 Oklahoma

Texas Tech @ TCU

Saturday, November 7th 2:30 PM CT, FS1

Texas Tech (2-4, 1-4) followed up a big win over Kansas State with a blowout loss to Oklahoma. They now have to bounceback as they face one of the lower rung teams in the Big 12 this season, TCU (2-3, 2-3). TCU got a win over Baylor last weekend but really faded down the stretch. They need to play a more consistent game throughout to get a win against the Red Raiders. A lot of that starts with the offense, which was almost entirely lifeless for much of the Horned Frogs’ second half against Baylor. TCU is a 9.5 point favorite. I think it’s a bit closer than that, but TCU wins.

35-31 TCU

#14 Oklahoma State @ Kansas State

Saturday, November 7th 3:00 PM CT, FOX

#14 Oklahoma State (4-1, 3-1) suffered a devastating overtime loss to Texas last weekend. Many think that likely eliminated the Cowboys from playoff contention given the relatively weak strength of the Big 12 this year. The question, then, is if OSU can mentally bounceback and play as well as they need to against a potentially tricky Kansas State (4-2, 4-1). Kansas State is suffering the effects of losing their starting quarterback, Skylar Thompson, for the season. The Wildcats got schlacked by West Virginia, with quarterback Will Howard throwing three interceptions. He has to perform much better than that for the Wildcats to be competitive for the rest of the season. Oklahoma State is favored by 12.5 points, which seems to be right around where I would put them.

31-17 Oklahoma State

Baylor @ #17 Iowa State

Saturday, November 7th 6:00 PM CT, FS1

As we are all keenly aware at this point, Baylor (1-3, 1-3) has had some major issues with offensive efficiency and slow starts. The Baylor offense looked horrendous in their first half against TCU. Quarterback controversy was at an all time high. The offense did come out in the second half and make the game interesting, but not enough to beat TCU. Quarterback controversy still abounds, although slightly less pronounced than if the offense had played a whole game like it did the first half. Baylor absolutely MUST get the ball moving early and consistently in order to have a chance at beating #17 Iowa State (4-2, 4-1). The Cyclones annihilated Kansas last week, but everyone is doing that so big deal. Iowa State’s only conference loss was to the Cowboys. They are good, but they have struggled some when defenses have been able to 1. Stop Brock Purdy from consistently throwing to his stable of large, talented tight ends and 2. Slow down prolific running back Breece Hall. Baylor’s defense certainly has the ability to do both of those things. The question, then, is if the Baylor offense will give the defense enough help to catch their breath and keep morale high. It’s so hard to predict what Baylor’s offense will look like because, for multiple games now, they have started terrible and then looked decent to good down the stretch. If Baylor can start with just a little more of that late game explosiveness, I think they have a chance here. Worth noting is that Baylor has been the heaviest hit team in the Big 12 by COVID-19. As such, I think Baylor has one of the highest ceilings for improvement as day-to-day practices and routines find some consistency. If we see some of that improvement this week, Baylor sweats out a close, fairly defensive win.

20-17 Baylor