You mean we have to make it through another Baylor bye week?!? Thankfully this is the last bye week of the season. Here are the matchups in the Big 12 this week that will have to tide you over until next Thursday.
WEST VIRGINIA (3-5, 1-4) @ TCU (3-5, 1-4)
Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, TX)
2:30 PM CT, ESPNU
Line: TCU (-13)
This game looks to be a far cry from the 39-38 shootout won by TCU on a 2 point conversion in overtime in Morgantown. It’s a matchup between 2 offenses that have been so anemic in Big 12 play that I had to wonder whether the 13 point spread favoring TCU was actually the over/under. Bad jokes aside, both teams have struggled mightily in gaining any positive momentum with their respective offenses all season. For West Virginia, Dana Holgerson just hasn’t had the level of quarterback play that he needs to effectively run his spread passing attack. For TCU, it’s just … REALLY REALLY BAD. The Frogs do get Casey Pachall back in a starting role at QB this week so it will be interesting to see if that provides any boost. I think the tipping point in this game is that TCU’s defense will make more plays to turn over WVU’s offense than vice versa and therefore I like the Frogs to win at home. But they’re not covering that spread. Not sure what you were smokin there Vegas.
Prediction: TCU 17 West Virginia 12
For more on West Virginia, check out The Smoking Musket, SB Nation's blog for the West Virginia Mountaineers.
For more on TCU, check out Frogs O' War, SB Nation's blog for the TCU Horned Frogs.
KANSAS (2-5, 0-4) @ TEXAS (5-2, 4-0)
Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, TX)
2:30 PM CT, LHN
Line: Texas (-28)
This is your pretty standard matchup between 2 teams headed in completely different directions. Kansas appears headed towards a 5th consecutive season with 1 or fewer conference wins while Texas has started to play like the team that everyone expected them to be in preseason. The Longhorns have figured out a cure for many of their early season defensive woes and offensively are riding the horse that is Johnathan Gray. Combine those with a not as derpy Case McCoy and Texas has found a recipe for success in the first half of their Big 12 conference schedule. On the other hand, Kansas is left licking its wounds after a beatdown by Baylor last weekend in Lawrence. The Jayhawks have to hope for a big day from James Sims to even have a prayer of hanging around in this game. Kansas took Texas down to the final seconds last year before the Longhorns pulled it out with a late touchdown, but I don’t see any 4th quarter dramatics happening in this one. Texas rolls.
Prediction: Texas 37 Kansas 7
For more on Kansas, check out Rock Chalk Talk, SB Nation's blog for the Kansas Jayhawks.
For more on Texas, check out each of the SB Nation blogs for the Texas Longhorns: Barking Carnival and Burnt Orange Nation.
IOWA STATE (1-6, 0-4) @ KANSAS STATE (3-4, 1-3)
Bill Snyder Family Stadium (Manhattan, KS)
2:30 PM CT, FS1
Line: Kansas State (-17)
At the start of the season, Kansas State was playing 2 quarterbacks because neither one could assert himself from the other. Now the problem for Bill Snyder is that Jake Waters and Daniel Sams are both hitting their stride at the midpoint of the season and the Wildcats have benefitted from it. After giving Baylor a real test in their previous game, K-State had a big 2nd half on both sides of the ball in their 35-12 win last week over West Virginia. Iowa State has looked better at times than their 1-6 record would indicate but they have struggled all season in stopping the opponent’s running game, especially over the last 3 weeks. That doesn’t bode well going up against Snyderball in Manhattan. The Cyclones will need to protect the ball and get efficient quarterback play in order to have a chance to win. I think K-State is about to go on a nice run in the back half of the Big 12 schedule so give me the Wildcats big.
Prediction: Kansas State 38 Iowa State 10
For more on Iowa State, check out Wide Right & Natty Lite, SB Nation's blog for the Iowa State Cyclones.
For more on Kansas State, check out Bring On The Cats, SB Nation's blog for the Kansas State Wildcats.
#18 OKLAHOMA STATE (6-1, 3-1) @ #15 TEXAS TECH (7-1, 4-1)
Jones AT&T Stadium
6:00 PM CT, FOX
Line: Texas Tech (-2.5)
This is without a doubt the most critical game in the Big 12 championship picture as the loser will fall 2 losses behind Baylor and Texas (assuming UT beats Kansas). Tech is coming off a fairly strong showing in a 38-30 loss at Oklahoma and now must be careful of a letdown against an Oklahoma State team that appears to be gaining momentum as the season goes along. The Cowboys are still struggling with QB play but got a big game last week from Desmond Roland on the ground to buoy them to a win over Iowa State. Tech will need to count on a strong defensive interior to slow down OSU's running game. Offensively, the Red Raiders will need somebody other than old reliable Jace Amaro to be a key contributor to combat a strong Oklahoma State secondary. I think this game will go right down to the wire and I think the home crowd gives Tech the juice to come out on top. I'll even throw in an OT prediction with this pick.
Prediction: Texas Tech 40 Oklahoma State 34 (OT)
For more on Oklahoma State, check out Cowboys Ride For Free, SB Nation's blog for the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
For more on Texas Tech, check out Viva The Matadors, SB Nation's blog for the Texas Tech Red Raiders.