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Big 12 Preview: Showdown in Morgantown

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Conference title hopes are on the line with 3 weeks left in the regular season

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

#11 Oklahoma State @ TCU
Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, TX)
11:00 AM CT, FS1
Line: TCU (-4.5)

Oklahoma State looks to keep up with Oklahoma and West Virginia this weekend as they take on the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth. The Cowboys have now won six straight games since losing in Waco back on September 24 and would likely be right in the College Football Playoff mix if it weren't for the bogus "loss" they took to Central Michigan that was directly caused by an officiating error. OSU has done this in large part due to an explosive passing game that has scored at least put up at least 37 points in each game during the streak. Coupled with an opportunistic defense and a little bit of good fortune, this has been a recipe for success for Oklahoma State. But that will be tested against Gary Patterson's TCU defense which has found its sea legs after struggling mightily early in the season. TCU has been pretty stout all season against the run but their secondary has stepped up in the latter part of the season and have been major difference makers. To me, the key to this game will be which Kenny Hill shows up. Can Hill look like the dynamic playmaker as he did against Baylor or will he be the Kenny Hill that was replaced in the Texas Tech game the week prior? I think TCU may be riding some good mojo right now and they are able to get a late score to get the win at home.

Prediction: TCU 36 Oklahoma State 31

Texas Tech @ Iowa State
Jack Trice Stadium (Ames, IA)
2:30 PM CT, FS1
Line: Texas Tech (-3.5)

Oh Tech. How does one bounce back from losing an upset bid on the road because of a shanked extra point? That's exactly what happened to the Red Raiders in Stillwater last weekend after they appeared to have themselves a game-tying touchdown, instead allowing Oklahoma State to sneak out with a 1 point win. They'll need to show some resilience and bounce back as they are now 4-6 and will need to win the last two games on the schedule to avoid missing a bowl game for the second time in three seasons. Pat Mahomes will need to have another big day against a vulnerable Iowa State defense, but when does Pat Mahomes not put up gaudy numbers anyway? This game will be decided by what the Cyclones can do with the football in their hands. Jacob Park has gotten more snaps at QB lately than Joel Lanning as Park provides a more consistent threat through the air. But I wouldn't be surprised to be both QBs mixed in regularly in this game to keep Tech's defense off balance. Iowa State has been close to pulling off a conference win at home this season on a few different occasions, and I think they finally get over the hump and sneak past Tech.

Prediction: Iowa State 41 Texas Tech 40

Texas @ Kansas
Memorial Stadium (Lawrence, KS)
2:30 PM CT, ABC
Line: Texas (-24)

No one cares.

Prediction: Texas a lot Kansas not as much

#9 Oklahoma @ #14 West Virginia
Milan Puskar Stadium (Morgantown, WV)
7:00 PM CT, ABC
Line: Oklahoma (-3.5)

The Big 12's two best chances to slip into the College Football Playoff picture meet in primetime as Oklahoma and West Virginia do battle in Morgantown. Baker Mayfield, Dede Westbrook, and the rest of the Sooners offense has been clicking on all cylinders in conference play and will look to extend OU's Big 12 win streak to 15 games dating back to early October of last season. Westbrook in particular has been downright uncoverable at times this season and coupled with Oklahoma's strong potent attack, the Sooners have been able to outscore opponents this season despite a defense that has had its share of rough afternoons. They will face their toughest test to date Saturday night when they go into a Milan Puskar Stadium crowd that is bound to be extremely rowdy and full of libations. The Mountaineer defense has been the best in the Big 12 with its 3-3-5 scheme causing confusion for a QB who is trying to make pre-snap reads. WVU also has the speed to be able to run sideline to sideline with this explosive Sooner offense. In the end, I think the fact that West Virginia's defense is more likely to get a critical stop than Oklahoma's defense leads me to think that the Mountaineers will find a way to squeak one out in what should be an absolutely fascinating game. Enjoy a cold one Holgo.

Prediction: West Virginia 31 Oklahoma 29