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Big 12 Preview: Now with Actual Big 12 Games!

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As the calendar flips to October, now the quest for the One True Champion™ begins.

where towel girl at tho
where towel girl at tho
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

THURSDAY NIGHT RECAP TECH BEAT KANSAS

I didn't get a preview in last night for the much anticipated Thursday night Kansas/Tech game that somehow got national TV treatment (wtf). So here is a quick two GIF recap.

This is Texas Tech's offense normally:


This was Texas Tech's offense last night against Kansas even with a backup quarterback:

#22 Texas @ Oklahoma State
Boone Pickens Stadium (Stillwater, OK)
11:00 AM CT, ABC
Line: Oklahoma State (-2.5)

Texas beats Notre Dame? TEXAS BACK. Texas loses to Cal? TEXAS DECIDEDLY NOT BACK GOTTA BLAME THE SWEATPANTS THAT MAKES SENSE. As such, the Longhorns will be showing up in Stillwater in their finest formal attire as they open conference play against Oklahoma State. UT is coming off a bye week while OSU is fresh off a 35-24 loss at McLane Stadium last Saturday night. Both teams had high expectations this season and avoiding consecutive losses will be key to meeting those expectations. This game has all the making of a bigtime shootout with two offenses that are capable of explosive plays against two defenses that like to give them up. The one big key I see is Oklahoma State's running game, which finally showed signs of life in the loss to Baylor. Can OSU run the ball on Texas effectively enough to consistently open up the downfield passing game for James Washington to get behind a leaky UT secondary. The Longhorns have shown that they are potent this season on the ground as well as through the air so I would expect Shane Buechele, D'Onta Foreman and crew to put up big numbers behind a physical offensive line. Texas has won 8 straight games in Stillwater so it would seem time for that streak to end, but I think UT makes the big play late to squeak out a road win. This game feels like a real toss up though.

Prediction: Texas 38 Oklahoma State 37

Kansas State @ West Virginia
Milan Puskar Stadium (Morgantown, WV)
2:30 PM CT, ESPNU
Line: West Virginia (-2.5)

Conference play begins for the Big 12's only other undefeated squad as West Virginia plays host to Kansas State. WVU picked up its second nice win of the non-conference slate last week, hanging on at the end for a 35-32 victory over BYU on a neutral site. Skyler Howard continued his brilliant start to 2016 as he is still completing over 70% of his passes through 3 games. Now the Mountaineers will have to prove their worth again versus what looks to be a stout K-State defense. However, it will be interesting to see how the Wildcat D fares against a spread attack, something they have not yet been faced with this season. KSU has historically found tough sledding against spread teams that can get athletes in space, and athletes are something West Virginia has a plethora of. So I would expect that even if KSU holds their own up front where they appear to have the advantage, West Virginia's skill position guys will still be able to create big plays and put up points when needed. So I think this game will be decided when K-State has the ball. The Wildcats have been solid on the ground against lesser competition the last two weeks but how do they manage against a patented bend but don't break group from WVU? I think pressure will be on K-State QB Jesse Ertz to make plays in passing situations when the Wildcats get off schedule on down and distance. If they can control the clock, I like their chances. But with this game being in Morgantown, I'll take the Mountaineers to stay unbeaten.

Prediction: West Virginia 28 Kansas State 23

Oklahoma @ #21 TCU
Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, TX)
4:00 PM CT, FOX
Line: Oklahoma (-3.5)

What looked in the preseason like the potential game of the year in the Big 12 now becomes a bad episode of Survivor as Oklahoma and TCU square off at Amon Carter. OU is staring down the real possibility of a 1-3 start (!) after a pair of non-conference losses to Houston and Ohio State. The Sooners have been dominated on the front lines in both losses and after a bye week, I would expect them to come out with a renewed focus as they begin Big 12 play. An interesting aspect to this game will be OU's commitment to the run. Lincoln Riley has somewhat abandoned what should be a powerful rushing attack with Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon in those losses, and TCU's defense has been stout against the run as the Frogs only allow 3.2 ypc on the ground. The big plays in the passing game should be there for Baker Mayfield, but TCU will look to capitalize on his mistakes as well. Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs' offense has continued to have bouts with inconsistency, highlighted by a meager 6 point 1st half against SMU last week before getting their act together in the 2nd half (sound familiar to SMU's game against Baylor game at all?). TCU is without KaVontae Turpin indefinitely so they will need guys like John Diarse and Desmon White to be able to make plays in Turpin's absense. OU is an athletic defense but they are certainly not an unstoppable unit by any means. This appears on paper to be an extremely evenly matched game but my gut says to lean with the home team here. Plus the Frogs are overcoming their poocheese purple/black color scheme with these sweet new helmets:

Prediction: TCU 37 Oklahoma 30