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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 black.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas @ #15 TCU
Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, TX)
11:00 AM CT, FS1
Line: TCU (-45)

This game is going to be a downright bloodbath. So cheer up with my new favorite vine ever. And it's not my fault if the Toto gets stuck in your head.

Prediction: TCU ∞ Kansas -4

Texas @ West Virginia
Milan Puskar Stadium (Morgantown, WV)
11:00 AM CT, ESPNU
Line: West Virginia (-9)

Another Big 12 game between two teams fighting for bowl eligibility takes place in Morgantown. Texas is coming off a big win at home over Kansas (whoopdee doo) but now the Horns have to go on the road where they have been absolutely abysmal in 2015. Texas has dropped its 3 road games this season by a combined score of 112-10. ONE HUNDRED AND TWELVE TO TEN. That's not ideal. To make matters worse for UT, West Virginia finally got snapped their losing streak with a win last weekend against Texas Tech and now they've got some positive momentum and another game in Morgantown, which we all know is weird. So this sets up to be a WVU blowout right? Ahhh not so fast my friends. I really like the matchup that UT's running game has against a depleted West Virginia defense and particularly against a suspect Mountaineer front. Like Kansas State, the Longhorns will try to control the clock by establishing the run and maintaining the football. Throw in the fact that Skyler Howard is always good for one or two really dumb interceptions every game and I think this could be a battle to the end. I do think that West Virginia will be able to make a few explosive scoring plays over the top on offense and utilize their effective run game with Wendell Smallwood and Rushel Shell enough to propel them to a win. But I think this will be closer than a lot of people think.

Prediction: West Virginia 28 Texas 24

Kansas State @ Texas Tech
Jones AT&T Stadium (Lubbock, TX)
2:30 PM CT, FS1
Line: Texas Tech (-5.5)

This is about as big of a contrast in styles as you will find in college football as two teams desperately in search of a win square off in Lubbock. Tech remains one win away from bowl eligibility but is running low on opportunities as they only have 2 games remaining. Meanwhile, K-State still has an outside shot at postseason play but they'll need to get hot down the stretch as they currently sit at 3-5. Snyderball has flummoxed Coach Bro the last two years and given Tech's problems stopping the run, look for the Wildcats to try to utilize the same formula that has given Baylor and TCU fits: possess the football. K-State will be in good shape if they can stay ahead in down and distance to be able to do what they do best and not be forced into obvious passing situations. The problem for KSU is that their defensive weakness aligns with what Texas Tech loves to do most: spread the field and distribute to playmakers in open space. Pat Mahomes has several weapons at his disposal and I expect that the Red Raider offense will be in peak form at home, where they've topped 50 points in every game this season. In the end, I think the home field advantage makes the difference and Tech picks up that sixth win.

Prediction: Texas Tech 45 Kansas State 37

#8 Oklahoma State @ Iowa State
Jack Trice Stadium (Ames, IA)
2:30 PM CT, ESPN
Line: Oklahoma State (-13.5)

An undefeated Oklahoma State traveling to an underdog Iowa State in mid-November. For most Big 12 fans, that conjures up memories of the 2011 matchup between these teams when Iowa State stunned then #2 OSU 37-31 in double OT. That remains the signature win of Paul Rhoads' tenure in Ames, which could be in jeopardy with a loss as ISU will need to win their last three games to reach bowl eligibility. The Cyclones will have a tough task against an Oklahoma State squad that is gaining confidence by the week and only has to jump this hurdle to reach 10-0 with home games against Baylor and Oklahoma in front of them. OSU made a loud statement to its critics last weekend with the way that they thumped TCU in Stillwater, somehow making Trevone Boykin look like an average football player. Mason Rudolph also had a great game last week and James Washington is beginning to state a case that he should be considered among the top WRs in the Big 12. But Oklahoma State is still having some issues running the ball and that could cause this game to be closer than expected if Iowa State can get their recently rejuvenated run game cranked up with Joel Lanning, Mike Warren, etc. If the Cyclones can stay in this game early and get the crowd involved, they stand a chance of scaring the Cowboys once again. But déjà vu? I don't think it happens this time.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 31 Iowa State 20