On behalf of Mark, Peter and the rest of the ODB crew, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and/or friends. It is without a doubt a great time to be a Baylor Bear. I think we all can be thankful for the job that Art Briles and his staff have done to make our football program one of the best in the country, regardless of what some arbitrary committee thinks. Let's get a great crowd in Arlington this Saturday. With that, here are this week's Big 12 picks:
#5 TCU @ Texas
Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, TX)
6:30 PM CT (Thu.), FS1
Line: TCU (-6)
Texas' annual Thanksgiving special brings a plague of Frogs into town as TCU looks to all but lock up a share of the Big 12 championship in a game that all Baylor fans will have a vested interest. TCU runs into a Texas team that is on a 3 game winning streak and is playing its best football of the season. The Longhorn defense has been strong all season (get it, it's because their coach's name is Strong) and now the offense has picked up its game over the last month. If Texas can establish their ground game with Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown behind a retooled offensive line, they have a chance to control possession and win this game. UT's defense has also had a lot of success in slowing down some of the explosive spread offenses of the Big 12 this season with a solid interior front and a secondary that is effective in space. In the end, I think Trevone Boykin will make just enough plays with his arm and his legs to keep the Texas defense off balance and win a close game late. The quarterback battle clearly leans in TCU's favor and that makes the difference. Don't be shocked if Texas pulls the upset though.
Prediction: TCU 27 Texas 24
West Virginia @ Iowa State
Jack Trice Stadium (Ames, IA)
11:00 AM CT, FS1
Line: West Virginia (-13)
One of America's historic college football rivalries on Thanksgiving weekend, West Virginia and Iowa State for the third time, all since WVU joined the Big 12 in 2012. The Mountaineers are looking to grab another win to help their bowl positioning (especially if Texas loses to TCU) while the Cyclones have one last opportunity to grab a conference win as they currently sit at 0-8 in Big 12 play. Dana Holgorsen announced earlier in the week that Skyler Howard will start in place of the injured Clint Trickett at QB. Howard played relatively well in relief of Trickett last week against K-State, so it will be interesting to see how he performs in his first start on the road. I have to think that WVU will look to help him out by running the ball against Iowa State's defense which gives up 5.6 yards per carry on the season. Expect for Iowa State to have a strong fight in this game against a Mountaineer team that is stumbling to the finish line, but WVU just has too much in the end.
Prediction: West Virginia 37 Iowa State 27
Kansas @ #12 Kansas State
Bill Snyder Family Stadium (Manhattan, KS)
3:00 PM CT, FS1
Line: Kansas State (-27.5)
The Governor's Cup is up for grabs in Manhattan as Kansas and Kansas State renew their gridiron rivalry. This has all the makings of a lookahead game for K-State with a de facto Big 12 championship game likely happening in Waco next Saturday, but I would not expect that to be an issue for the Snydercats. Over the years, Bill Snyder has taken a lot of pride in kicking the crap out of the Jayhawks. Snyder is 17-1 in his last 18 against KU and 5-0 since he unretired back in 2009. Kansas has seen a resurgence under interim coach Clint Bowen and has come close to pulling off a couple of major upsets against Oklahoma State and TCU in Lawrence. But the Jayhawks have been destroyed in their last 2 road games against Baylor and Oklahoma. With this game being in Manhattan, I don't foresee this going well at all for Kansas. If it wasn't already, full attention can now be paid to basketball season.
Prediction: Kansas State 44 Kansas 10