Justin K. Aller
Much like a Saturday during a golf tournament, the Big XII is beginning to round the corner into its homestretch of the season. The conference championship is still up for grabs but so are the spots in the middle of the conference. The last weekend in October will help determine who stays home, and who files somewhere new, in December.
Last Week: 4-1
EA Sports Last Week: 3-2
Texas vs Kansas - 11:00 AM CDT - FSN
Kansas fans think they can win this game by virtue of how awful Texas' defense is. The only problem is they're starting a redshirt freshman quarterback who may actually be worse than Dayne Crist. Charlie Weis has went full scorched earth mode on his seniors and essentially put every starting job up for grabs, so it will be interesting to see if his motivational tactics work. It didn't last week against Oklahoma.
The Jayhawks have been good in the first half in most games but eventually fold due to lack of depth and questionable play calling by Weis. Texas is going to do what they do: run the ball, and will be doing it against the 90th overall rush defense. I think Kansas puts up a fight but in the end this is one Texas should walk into and pull away easily in the 4th quarter.
Texas 38, Kansas 24
TCU vs Oklahoma State - 2:30 PM CDT - FSN
Believe it or not both teams are still in the conference title race. With games against Texas Tech and Kansas State remaining the Cowboys can simply win out and defend their Big XII crown. TCU will need more help with two conference losses already, including one to Tech, but in a league this deep strange things can happen in November.
Despite being held two scores below their average against Iowa State, the Cowboys have taken the mantle as the #1 offense in the country averaging 605.3 yards per game. In contrast, TCU ranks 17th overall in total defense and will give the Cowboys a stiff test in Stillwater. Where things get dicey for the Horned Frogs, however, is their pass defense, which ranks 53rd. With Wes Lunt returning to take over the reigns of the Oklahoma State offense it will be interesting to see how he handles game action for the first time since early September.
Oklahoma State's defense came on strong last week against Iowa State but was largely helped out by ineffective quarterback play by Jared Barnett. This is an aggressive defense that left a number of receivers open last week and as Trevone Boykin settles into his role at quarterback he will find the holes that Iowa State failed to do. The only shining star for the Cowboys is that TCU has struggled to run the ball consistently at times this year and it will force Boykin into unfavorable situations.
I have a hard time picking TCU going on the road and winning in the toughest stadium they've seen so far this year, but the Cowboys have been slowed down enough by aggressive defenses and Lunt's first game action could take him awhile to get back into the swing of things. This one is going to be a wild one but TCU steals it in the end.
TCU 45, Oklahoma State 41
Texas Tech vs Kansas State - 2:30 PM CDT - Fox
A victory by Texas Tech in Manhattan pulls them into a three-way tie for first place with Kansas State and Oklahoma. Unfortunately none of the three teams would control their own destiny as each one lost to one of the other teams in the menage trois. If teams remain tied at the end of the year the tiebreaker would go to the team with the highest BCS ranking, which would likely be Oklahoma after a Kansas State loss and a victory over Notre Dame this weekend. A lot can happen over the next six weeks and before we even talk too much about ties we need to see if Tech can win on the road for the second week in a row.
Tech's defense could be the best that the Wildcats have faced this season and the Kansas State defense is going to have to bring their best game to slow down Seth Doege after throwing for seven touchdowns vs TCU last week. This is Kansas State's toughest test remaining this season and seeing as how they have dismantled everyone in conference play except Iowa State; I have a hard time seeing them lose, especially in Manhattan. Collin Klein will take advantage of an aggressive Tech defense and the Kansas State defense will take away the run game and force Seth Doege to chew up yards through the air and be patient on his way to the end zone. If Kansas State gets a semblance of a pass rush in this one then Doege melts like sugar in the rain.
Kansas State 28, Texas Tech 24
Baylor vs Iowa State - 6:00 PM CDT - FSN
Click here to read yesterday's preview of Iowa State's Cytennial Homecoming game.
Notre Dame vs Oklahoma - 7:00 PM CDT - ABC
Oklahoma is hitting their stride (just in time to visit Ames) and Notre Dame's offense has almost as big of a revolving door at quarterback as Iowa State. No one is talking about it because of the gold dome and the semblance of an elite defense brewing in South Bend. Nuts to that though. Stoops is at home, Notre Dame can't score offensively, and Landry Jones finally found the running game that keeps defenses off his back. Welcome to your BCS freefall Notre Dame.
Oklahoma 34, Notre Dame 12
EA Sports NCAA Football 13 Predictions
Texas 21, Kansas 7: Texas holds on to their #1 ranking but Kansas put up a fight. The Longhorns put up 14 points in the first half and never looked back. Texas accumulated 294 yards on the ground.
TCU 34, Oklahoma State 21: TCU is ranked 7th in our simulation and this one was a back and forth shootout. Surprisingly only TCU ended up on the board in the 4th quarter with a field goal, but this one had over 500 yards of total offense from the Horned Frogs.
Texas Tech 27, Kansas State 24: Despite a touchdown from Kansas State with 1:12 left, the Red Raiders escape Manhattan with a victory. Collin Klein was merely human in throwing for 241 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception and piling up 66 yards on the ground. Ok, so not pedestrian at all. This one came down to turnovers as Kansas State had two and Tech only had one. Otherwise this game was as even as we can expect to see tomorrow.
Iowa State 28, Baylor 12: Jake Knott is healthy in this one, and Jared Barnett is the starter. Baylor never threatens as Iowa State runs out to a 14-0 lead while the Bears settle for two field goals in the second quarter. Touchdowns form Josh Lenz and James White make it 28-6 until Nick Florence scores a touchdown with 8:50 remaining. The Cyclones pile up 241 yards on the ground and it's safe to say if they match that total tomorrow the result will likely be the same.
Oklahoma 51, Notre Dame 14: Notre Dame's putrid offense carries over into this one but surprisingly it was 14-10 Notre Dame before OU rattled off three straight touchdowns in the second quarter to rush out to a 31-14 lead. Landry Jones threw for 353 yards and an eye popping six touchdowns.