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Big 12 Football Preview Week Nine Preview

Another full slate of Big 12 matchups as a number of teams look to continue their midseason turnarounds!

NCAA Football: Albany at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma @ Kansas

Saturday, October 28th 11:00 AM CT, FOX

Oklahoma (7-0, 4-0) survived a mighty scare from UCF last weekend, ultimately winning 31-29. They now travel to Kansas (5-2, 2-2) who had a bye week to recover from a 39-32 loss to Oklahoma State two weeks prior. For Kansas, they’ve been struggling some with star quarterback Jalon Daniels out with injury. Backup Jason Bean has performed admirably, but the offense just isn’t quite the same without Daniels. So if KU wants a shot in this game, you’d hope Daniels will be good to go. But with his return nebulous, I’ve got to go with Oklahoma to win this one (even if they looked very mortal against UCF last week). Oklahoma is a 10.5 point favorite, which sits right on the edge of where I see this game going.

38-28 Oklahoma

Houston @ Kansas State

Saturday, October 28th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN2

Kansas State (5-2, 3-1) has recovered very nicely since their loss at Oklahoma State, winning 38-21 at Texas Tech and then absolutely blowing the doors off of TCU last weekend, 41-3. The Wildcats have all the momentum in the world and look like they’re going to make a play at another Big 12 title berth. Their game at Texas next weekend will be pivotal, but KState can’t look too far ahead as they host Houston (3-4, 1-3) this weekend. The Cougars gave Texas all they could handle last weekend, ultimately falling 31-24. Between that and their miraculous win over West Virginia, Houston has slowly become a dangerous team this season, even if their record doesn’t show it. Still, Kansas State is playing so incredibly well right now, I just don’t see them losing at home to Houston. Kansas State is a 16 point favorite, which I have them covering.

42-20 Kansas State

West Virginia @ UCF

Saturday, October 28th 11:00 AM CT, FS1

UCF (3-4, 0-4) is certainly having a rough go of it in their inaugural Big 12 season, as they are still searching for their first conference victory. They were very close last weekend against Oklahoma, but came up short on a two point conversion that would have tied the game. They now host West Virginia (4-3, 2-2) who is looking to recover from a two game losing streak. Their most recent loss was a 48-34 defeat at the hands of Oklahoma State. In both of their most recent losses, West Virginia let their opponents score more than 40. So the defense needs to do some soul searching. The offense can certainly score, however, as they put up 39 and 34 in those losses. So I expect this game to be a shootout. I actually like UCF to get their first conference win at home here. Surprisingly, UCF is a 6.5 point favorite, which feels really high for a team that is winless in conference play.

44-40 UCF

BYU @ #7 Texas

Saturday, October 28th 2:30 PM CT, ABC

#7 Texas (6-1, 3-1) survived a pretty substantial scare from Houston in their last game. However, the Longhorns did not come through that game completely unscathed, as quarterback Quinn Ewers left the game with a right shoulder injury. Rumor has it that he will miss an extended period of time. That’s a big issue, as the Texas offense looked much weaker in his absence, with backup Maalik Murphy only throwing two passes, completing one for seven yards. So what will the Texas offense look like in Ewers absence? No one is certain, but they’ll need it to keep up pace if they want to continue vying for a spot in the Big 12 championship. They’ll be challenged by BYU (5-2, 2-2) who took care of Texas Tech, winning 27-14. I think Texas is actually very upset prone right now, and BYU seems like the right team to do it, as the Cougars actually hold a 4-1 all time record over the Longhorns. Texas is a whopping 18 point favorites in this one, which I have them losing outright.

27-23 BYU

Iowa State @ Baylor

Saturday, October 28th 2:30 PM CT, ESPN+

Baylor (3-4, 2-2) jumped out to a 20-7 lead over Cincinnati in the first half and was able to hold onto that lead, winning 32-29 on the road. The receiver play for Baylor was certainly encouraging, with Ketron Jackson Jr. and Monaray Baldwin combining for 12 receptions and 179 yards. However, Cincinnati is one of, if not the worst, teams in the Big 12 this season. If Baylor wants to turn its season around and start a bowl eligibility campaign, a win at home against Iowa State (4-3, 3-1) would go a long way. The Cyclones have had a midseason turnaround of their own, sitting tied for second in the Big 12 standings after the extreme low of a 10-7 loss to Ohio earlier in the season. The Cyclones are coming off of a bye, with their prior game being a 30-10 win at Cincinnati. Iowa State boasts one of the stronger defenses in the Big 12 (letting up 50 points to Oklahoma aside...). Baylor’s offense has certainly been very spotty, so that matchup scares me. Baylor definitely has a chance here, but I’ve got Iowa State winning until I see Baylor’s offense perform more consistently against non-bottom-feeding teams. Iowa State is a 2.5 point favorite at the time of this writing, which feels about right. Hopefully Vegas and I are wrong!

28-25 Iowa State

Cincinnati @ Oklahoma State

Saturday, October 28th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Speaking of midseason turnarounds, Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1) has also recovered nicely from a nasty two game losing streak to South Alabama and Iowa State. Since then, the Cowboys have rattled off wins against Kansas State, Kansas, and West Virginia. All of those are mid to upper level teams in the Big 12, so that’s been a really nice streak. However, the Cowboys need to stay focused as they host Cincinnati (2-5, 0-4). The Bearcats are... not great, but they aren’t completely helpless. They can and probably will steal a win somewhere. I worry that could be Oklahoma State as they might very well be looking ahead to their game next week against Oklahoma, the last Bedlam matchup for the foreseeable future. So while Oklahoma State is certainly the better team here, I’m keeping an eye on them for upset alert. Still, I think the Cowboys get it done (but might not cover the nine point spread in their favor).

31-24 Oklahoma State