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Big 12 Preview: Week 14

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

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia @ Kansas State
Bill Snyder Family Stadium (Manhattan, KS)
3:30 PM CT, FS1
Line: West Virginia (-6.5)

It's hard to believe that this is the final conference game of the Big 12 season. West Virginia looks to cap off a strong close to 2015 while Kansas State tries to get back to the .500 mark. The Wildcats are likely headed for a bowl game regardless of the result in this game. The NCAA ruled this week that if 5-7 teams are needed to fill bowl slots, APR will be used to determine participants. Well K-State happens to have the third highest APR of teams that currently have 5 wins, so it appears they'll have a game to play over the holidays. I'm sure Bill Snyder would rather his team win this game to "earn" their bowl trip. WVU's resurgence has been headlined by a stout running game led by Wendell Smallwood, the 2nd leading rusher in the conference. Couple that with a defense that has found its sea legs again after a rough October, and the West Virginia team has been a much more effective unit overall over the last four games. But given Skyler Howard's propensity to turn the ball over, I would expect K-State to stack the box and force West Virginia to beat them the air. On the other side, KSU has to have built up some confidence from their last two games against Iowa State and Kansas given their offensive struggles that marred their 6 game midseason losing streak. Joe Hubener has been efficient lately for what K-State asks him to do at QB. I can see this being the type of game where the Wildcats grind the game down to a halt by possessing the football and not allowing explosive plays from West Virginia's offense. The turnover battle favors K-State and the Wizard finds a way to pull a mini upset and get a 6th win.

Prediction: Kansas State 28 West Virginia 27

Championship Game Picks

ACC: #1 Clemson 42 #10 North Carolina 31
Big Ten: #5 Michigan State 30 #4 Iowa 13
Pac-12: #20 USC 38 #7 Stanford 35
SEC: #2 Alabama 31 #18 Florida 3
American: #19 Houston 38 #22 Temple 25