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Big 12 Preview: Week 11

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

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 Preview is here and is so very #ReadyForOU. Fortunately once the Baylor/OU game is over and done, you still have a full afternoon and evening of Big 12 action including a giant matchup at Amon Carter. Let's get to the picks:

Iowa State @ Kansas
Memorial Stadium (Lawrence, KS)
2:30 PM CT, FSN
Line: Iowa State (-3.5)

My full and complete analysis of this game:

Prediction: Iowa State 24 Kansas 17

For more on Iowa State, check out Wide Right & Natty Lite, SB Nation's Blog for the Iowa State Cyclones.

For more on Kansas, check out Rock Chalk Talk, SB Nation's blog for the Kansas Jayhawks.

#23 West Virginia @ Texas
Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, TX)
2:30 PM CT, ABC
Line: West Virginia (-3.5)

CAUTION: LETDOWN-LOOKAHEAD SANDWICH ALERT. West Virginia rolls into Austin fresh off of a gut-wrenching last second defeat at the hands (or foot, I guess) of TCU last weekend. How quickly can they get up off the mat and get ready to play a Texas team that they're expected to handle? Will they be looking ahead to a huge upcoming Thursday night home game with K-State? The key will lie with Dana Holgersen's offense. The turnover bug bit the Mountaineers 5 times last Saturday as they choked away a 9 point lead in the 4th quarter against TCU. It will be up to Clint Trickett and his running back corps to take care of the football as turnovers can be a dangerous pill against a home underdog. Texas' secondary has played well in earlier games against big passing teams and I would expect them to do the same here. The WVU unit that has been playing incredibly well of late has been its defense. The Mountaineers have had success by being hyper-aggressive with their linebackers and safeties and I would expect more of the same against Texas. The Longhorns obviously aren't going to wow anyone offensively but they have shown signs of being competent in the last few weeks with the exception of a clunker at K-State. If Texas can get a ground game established as they did last week against Texas Tech, it opens up play-action for Tyrone Swoopes, which may be the key to forcing WVU to play back a little more often. I think there is a real sense of urgency for Texas to pick up 2 more wins and get bowl eligible this season. It can't happen without a win on Saturday. I also have felt all season that WVU is the type of team that will lose a real head scratcher of a road game. It almost happened in Lubbock, but I think it'll happen here. I've got the Horns outright in a minor upset.

Prediction: Texas 28 West Virginia 27

For more on West Virginia, check out The Smoking Musket, SB Nation's Blog for the West Virginia Mountaineers.

For more on Texas, check out each of the SB Nation blogs for the Texas Longhorns: Barking Carnival and Burnt Orange Nation.

#7 Kansas State @ #6 TCU
Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, TX)
6:30 PM CT, FOX
Line: TCU (-6)

Although everyone predicted that the Big 12 "game of the year" would take place on the second weekend in November, I don't know that anyone had Kansas State and TCU in that game. Alas, this is the showcase primetime game that relegated Baylor/Oklahoma to 11AM duty. It's interesting that Gary Patterson and Bill Snyder face off in such a critical game given that Patterson, a former K-State player and grad assistant in the early '80s, nearly replaced Snyder when Snyder decided to retire following the 2005 season. Now with the two men still at their respective institutions, they face off in what amounts to an elimination game for the College Football Playoff. A big key for Kansas State will be if their defense can force Trevone Boykin into having an off game as he did last Saturday against West Virginia, completing just 12 of 30 passes. Boykin would be greatly aided if TCU could establish a ground attack against a salty K-State front but it appears he'll be without leading rusher B.J. Catalon in this one. This puts a lot of pressure on backup RB Aaron Green. K-State can control this game defensively if they force TCU into consistent 3rd and long situations but if the Frogs offense is able to get in an early rhythm, that's a recipe for disaster for Bill Snyder. When the Wildcats have the football, they're going to need their wide receivers to win a few battles down the field, a spot where TCU has been vulnerable at times but has looked a lot stronger of late. CB Kevin White had a huge game last week locking down the West Virginia WR of the same name. Look for K-State to try to control the clock with the running game but make a bigger impact through the air. I think these teams are very evenly matched and this could be a game that goes right down to the final play, as it did a year ago when KSU won on a last second field goal. In a situation such as this, I'll go with the home team.

Prediction: TCU 35 Kansas State 32

For more on Kansas State, check out Bring On The Cats, SB Nation's Blog for the Kansas State Wildcats.

For more on TCU, check out Frogs O' War, SB Nation's Blog for the TCU Horned Frogs.