Stormin' Around the Big XII: Parity Edition

Tom Pennington

Kansas State's trip to Morgantown highlights the Big XII this week but the other games in the conference will go a long way to establishing the pecking order as the season progresses. Any team can win in three of the four other match ups (Yes, Kansas, you don't have a chance), and the strength of the league has never been stronger.

Last Week: 3-2

Overall: 32-11

EA Sports Last Week: 2-3

Overall: 28-15

Iowa State vs Oklahoma State - 11:00 AM CDT - FX

Click here to read my preview of the game against Oklahoma State.

Texas Tech vs TCU - 2:30 PM CDT - ABC

TCU is hoping their second Big XII game at home goes better than the first. Trevone Boykin showed his athleticism last week against Baylor and what a full week of preparation can do. The Tech defense slammed the door shut on West Virginia and looked like a team that could seriously contend for the Big XII championship. This is where the parity of the league comes in to play.

TCU is athletic enough to go head-to-head with Tech but are very inexperienced on defense and had trouble with Iowa State's receivers two weeks ago. Tech's scheme is far more aggressive that the Cyclones' on both offense and defense and coupled with their experience they'll eventually take advantage of the suspect depth of TCU. Trevone Boykin will continue to show he's the real deal and will have TCU in positions to take control of the game but Tech is looking more and more like a team capable of doing some serious damage in the conference the next six weeks.

Texas Tech 35, TCU 27

Kansas State vs West Virginia - 6:00 PM CDT - Fox

If West Virginia wins this, Oklahoma slaughters Kansas like anticipated, and Tech wins against TCU there will be a four way tie at the top with West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas State, and Texas Tech all with 3-1 conference records. To further complicate matters this would be the classic circular pattern of wins. Tech would own a win over West Virginia, who owns a win over Kansas State, who owns a win over Oklahoma, who owns a win over Texas Tech. Naturally things would clear up when Kansas State plays Texas Tech next weekend and Oklahoma plays West Virginia on November 17th.

Talk about the deepest conference in the country.

As for the game itself this is going to be fun for the exact reason every other Big XII game involving Kansas State is fun: contrasting styles. Three things work in West Virginia's favor in this one. Their rushing defense ranks 41st overall even after playing Texas, Kansas State's passing defense is 76th nationally, and this is a prime time game in West Virginia. I can't compare fan bases directly but with Milan Puskar Stadium the same basic design as Jack Trice Stadium we know it will get loud and Mountaineer fans have had all day to drink and get rowdy for a top 5 team at home. With Kansas State's struggles communicating last week in Ames I fully expect a similar predicament this week.

Geno Smith gets back on track on this one against a team that lacks a pass rush and Collin Klein keeps his Heisman hopes alive in what is going to be a wildly entertaining game.

West Virginia 38, Kansas State 34

Kansas vs Oklahoma - 6:00 PM CDT - FSN

HA.

Oklahoma 56, Kansas 12

Baylor vs Texas - 7:00 PM CDT - ABC

Lucky for Texas the worst part of their defense is something Baylor doesn't like to do on offense: run. Texas is 106th in rushing defense giving up 209 yards/game. How is this even fucking possible in Austin? It's like Mack Brown and Manny Diaz told the defense to play like T-Rexes and pretend they have short, gimpy arms.

David Ash swears he'll play in this game and I'm sure he'll give it the old college try and personally I'll take busted Ash over Colt McCoy's clearly adopted brother. Baylor's defense is absurdly awful against both the run and the pass and this is going to be a classic "three yards and a cloud of dust" game for the Texas offense. The only reason Baylor stays close is because of the aforementioned Texas T-Rex Arms.

Texas 41, Baylor 31

EA Sports NCAA Football 13 Predictions

Iowa State 31, Oklahoma State 7: Iowa State puts up 250 yards on the ground and holds the Cowboys to under 100 yards rushing in a rout.

Texas Tech 34, TCU 27: The Horned Frogs put together a 17 point 4th quarter but it's not enough as Seth Doege's four touchdowns help the Red Raiders steal one in Fort Worth.

West Virginia 35, Kansas State 29: It took overtime but the Mountaineers pull it out with a Shawne Alston touchdown.

Oklahoma 34, Kansas 10: No surprises here.

Texas 30, Baylor 27: A surprising game that goes to overtime as Baylor ties it late. A David Ash pass to Jaxon Shipley gives the Longhorns the win.

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