Texas Tech @ West Virginia
Milan Puskar Stadium (Morgantown, WV)
11:00 PM CT, FS1
Line: West Virginia (-8)
A dominating 3-0 start in non-conference had a lot of folks believing that West Virginia was ready to take a big step forward into Big 12 contention this year. Fast forward to today and, well...nah. The Mountaineers are 0-4 in conference play due to a concoction of crippling injuries to their defense, a subpar pass rush, and inconsistency across the board on offense. WVU looks to rebound against a Texas Tech team that is going through a rough patch of the schedule as well. The Red Raiders have had major issues defensively, allowing over 50 points/game against Big 12 opponents after getting gutted for 70 points last Saturday against Oklahoma State. Given the struggles of the two defeneses, this has all the makings of an old fashioned Big 12 shootout. I honestly have no feel for this game whatsoever and even though I like Tech's offense more than that of WVU, I trust the Mountaineer defense to get at least one or two stops and that might be good enough to get the job done.
Prediction: West Virginia 55 Texas Tech 45
#8 TCU @ #14 Oklahoma State
Boone Pickens Stadium (Stillwater, OK)
2:30 PM CT, FOX
Line: TCU (-5.5)
There are obviously a few higher profile games in the next couple weeks but this shapes up to be the biggest game in the Big 12 so far in 2015 as 8-0 TCU heads to Stillwater to clash with 8-0 Oklahoma State. The Frogs were expected to get to November in this position, led by a Heisman caliber QB in Trevone Boykin and one of the best WRs in the country in Josh Doctson. Gary Patterson's defense has had its moments but they seem to be improving as the season goes along. However, it has been pretty well documented that TCU has had some extremely close calls on the road this season and this will be their biggest road test to this point. Oklahoma State is the most intriguing of the Big 12 title contenders at this point simply because they are the team that we know the least about. And yet it seems as if every time people begin to count out OSU, Mike Gundy's team steps up and finds a way to win. They've had to win with their defense and they also won a 70-53 track meet in Lubbock last weekend. The Cowboys aren't favored to win the conference but they do have the advantage of getting to play TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma all in Stillwater in the next 4 weeks. In the end, I think this game comes down to consistency at the QB position. I know that Trevone Boykin is going to show up and show out for the Horned Frogs. I have no idea which Mason Rudolph will show up for OSU. Given that, I'll take the Frogs to remain undefeated.
Prediction: TCU 44 Oklahoma State 38
Iowa State @ #15 Oklahoma
Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Norman, OK)
6:00 PM CT, ESPNU
Line: Oklahoma (-25.5)
What do the Cyclones have for an encore? Iowa State comes off a surprising shutout win over Texas after a tumultuous prior week in which Paul Rhoads let go offensive coordinator Mark Mangino, presumably due to differences in offensive philosophy. Whatever it was, ISU had a lot of success on the ground against the Longhorns with freshman RB Mike Warren leading the way along with new starting QB Joel Lanning, a capable runner himself in more of the Collin Klein mold. But the Cyclones are running into a buzzsaw in Norman against an Oklahoma team that is quietly playing as well as any team in the Big 12 and maybe throughout the country. Since their shocking loss in the Red River game which makes less and less sense as the season moves along, Oklahoma has outscored its 3 opponents by a score of 180-34 and have simply clicked in every facet of the game. The Sooners are just playing too well right now for Iowa State to pull off another patented Paul Rhoads upset. And with an OU win, could College Gameday be bound for Baylor next weekend? I guess we'll have to wait and find out.
Prediction: Oklahoma 51 Iowa State 17
Kansas @ Texas
Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, TX)
7:00 PM CT, LHN
Line: Texas (-28)
Charlie Strong and crew have had a tough season and a particularly tough week, but even the 2015 Horns ain't coming close to losing to Kansas.
Prediction: Texas 31 Kansas 7