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Big 12 Preview: Week 5

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Looking ahead to this weekend's Big 12 games that don't involve a certain team wearing green and gold (or gray)

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Texas @ #4 TCU
Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, TX)
11:00 AM CT (Sat.), ABC
Line: TCU (-14.5)

Texas fans, I've got something that might interest you. I happened to stumble across a video of the referees' locker room from the UT/OSU game last week that PROVES that there was a CONSPIRACY against the Horns and that the FIX was in. Click on this link. It tells the whole story. On the field, the Longhorns are looking down the barrel of a 1-4 start as they travel to TCU and take on the Horned Frogs. And TCU loves trolling Texas just as much as anyone apparently considering that this is TCU's Homecoming game (!!!) in a season where Kansas is also on the home slate. That's just some straight up next level trollin right there. As for the actual game, I don't foresee this going well for Texas. TCU miraculously survived their trip to Lubbock last weekend but they have been a much tougher team the last couple years at Amon Carter than they have in enemy territory. The Frogs have been sputtering defensively but the play of Josh Doctson, Trevone Boykin and Aaron Green on offense has allowed their defense to take its lumps while working in new pieces. This will be Jerrod Heard's first start away from Austin for Texas and I'll be interested to see how he handles the environment and if he can make plays with his feet as the current UT offense is solely based on what Heard can create on his own. The real problem for Texas in this game will be their defensive tendency to give up big plays. That is a death wish against TCU's offense. I can very easily see this game getting out of hand. And the Frogs just keep on trollin.

Prediction: TCU 52 Texas 23

#23 West Virginia @ #15 Oklahoma
Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Norman, OK)
11:00 AM CT, FS1
Line: Oklahoma (-6.5)

The matchup of the day in the Big 12 is probably this matchup between undefeated teams as West Virginia and Oklahoma open conference play. West Virginia has looked incredibly impressive in non-conference, outscoring opponents 130-23 through 3 games. They did this against 3 weaker opponents all at home but they dominated those games. The WVU defense has been stifling to this point and has the pieces in place to have the best defense in the Big 12. It's no secret that the high flying passing offense is in vogue in the Big 12 and the Mountaineers have an athletic, experienced secondary to combat that type of offense. Add in the strong play of Skyler Howard and emergence of deep threat Shelton Gibson and WVU looks like a well rounded and dangerous team that has the look of a Big 12 title contender. We'll have a better idea of where the Mountaineers stand after this matchup with Oklahoma. The Sooners have had a week off to recover from #SidelineGate and shore up some of their defensive issues after allowing 38 points to Tulsa. The offense took a while to get its feet wet in the first 2 games but Baker Mayfield looked really solid in the Tulsa game. He certainly has a bevy of weapons at his disposal with Sterling Shepard and Dede Westbrook on the outside but I would expect that OU dials down the passing attack this week and tries to beat up WVU up front and involve Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon on the ground. Mayfield is capable of making plays with his legs as well. I think the key to this game will be which QB can take care of the football and although OU is at home, I think West Virginia's defense forces 1 or 2 key takeaways against Mayfield and cements itself as a real threat in 2015.

Prediction: West Virginia 34 Oklahoma 31

Kansas @ Iowa State
Jack Trice Stadium (Ames, IA)
11:00 AM CT, FSN
Line: Iowa State (-17)

Still ain't writin about Kansas. Hooray for Ames.

Prediction: Iowa State 41 Kansas 15

Kansas State @ #20 Oklahoma State
Boone Pickens Stadium (Stillwater, OK)
3:00 PM CT, FS1
Line: Oklahoma State (-7.5)

Here's what we know about these teams: their defenses appear to be pretty good and their offenses are ehhhhhh. Oklahoma State is off to a 4-0 start but, all making fun of Texas aside, they certainly caught a few breaks down the stretch that helped them pull out a win last Saturday. Mason Rudolph has been pretty inconsistent at QB and actually got replaced briefly by J.W. Walsh. The Cowboys have had very little success on the ground this season so they will need strong QB play to carry them along in the near term. Rennie Childs and Chris Carson combined for 33 carries and just 93 yards last week. You can get away with that against Texas this year but not against some of the top teams in the conference. Meanwhile for K-State, Tyler Lockett ran out of eligibility (is still doing Tyler Lockett things btw) and the Wildcats have had trouble creating explosive plays. QB Joe Hubener is looking to fill more of the Collin Klein mold at QB in controlling the clock and moving the chains methodically. Justin Silmon stepped up and had a 100 yard game on the ground last time out against Louisiana Tech, something KSU didn't have in any game all last season. In the end, I think this may be a bit of an ugly game but I like Oklahoma State to take care of business at home. I do think K-State will make a ballgame of it and if Rudolph continues to turn the ball over, Bill Snyder's team could walk out with a W.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 27 Kansas State 21