We knew a few weeks ago that the Texas vs Kansas State would be important but now instead of Texas battling for the second Big XII BCS spot they're playing spoiler, and potentially costing the Big XII a lot of money.
Last Week: I took credit for a good round of picks a few weeks ago, and I will take blame for a bad round last week. Here's how I would have picked had I had time to write an article:
Texas over TCU
Iowa State over West Virginia
Texas Tech over Baylor
Oklahoma State over Oklahoma
That's right, 0-4 last week and the only real reach was on Oklahoma State; who had not won in Norman since 2001. That drops my overall record to 50-21, which is two games behind David Ubben entering the last week of the season.
This Week's Picks
Oklahoma State vs Baylor - 11:00 AM CST - FX
Baylor probably should not have won against Texas Tech last week. After a strong first half Tech decided it was in their best interest to let Nick Florence have his way up and down the field. Add that to another anti-clutch performance from Seth Doege (see: throwing interception off lineman's head) and Baylor looked an awfully lot better than they probably deserved to.
Oklahoma State on the other hand is just playing any quarterback they want and still putting up points almost at will. Having Joseph Randle in the backfield certainly helps, but Clint Chelf really has not missed a beat since taking over the starting role.
This is going to be a shootout in Waco but I really like how Oklahoma State is shaping up this late in the season and if it wasn't for a few miscues and a questionable touchdown in the Texas loss then the Cowboys would be in the thick of the conference championship discussion.
Oklahoma State 48, Baylor 41
Oklahoma vs TCU - 11:00 AM CST - ESPN
There has been a lot of complaining about how Big XII games are prone to overlap now without the exclusive windows that the previous television contract enjoyed. Count me as one of the people not complaining, however. Those exclusive windows existed when Big XII games were being shown on Versus (aka NBC Sports Network) and regional FSN broadcasts. All a thing of the past. The new TV contract may have done away with those windows but the windows were the very thing that was holding the Big XII back on exposure. I'll take overlapping windows any day of the week if it means one game on ESPN and one game on FX, as is the case this week.
The story here is going to be whether or not TCU can pull their stunt of only throwing ten passes in a game and win. Can they? In a word: No. Gary Patterson has worked a minor miracle turning his inexperienced defense into a potential force to be reckoned with and they completely removed Texas' running game and dared David Ash to beat them with his arm. He couldn't, and now Case McCoy gets the start in Fort Worth.
If Landry Jones tries to throw for 500 yards again Oklahoma will not win this game. They need the running game to get going and attack TCU with a balanced offensive game plan to win. Despite the yards and points they have allowed the last few weeks I expect the Sooners defense to show up as well and make this one a defensive slugfest.
In the end though, TCU is not going to present a big enough balanced attack on its own to hold off the Sooners.
Oklahoma 20, TCU 13
Kansas vs West Virginia - 1:30 PM CST - FSN
Just read this. I don't care if West Virginia's pass defense is awful. They're big enough inside and fast enough outside that Kansas will not be able to put together a consistent attack. The Jayhawks will get some points, but their tire fire of a defense will in no way allow them to win in Morgantown on Senior Day.
West Virginia 63, Kansas 28
Texas vs Kansas State - 7:00 PM CST - ABC
Texas could have eked their way into the BCS with a win over TCU and Kansas State but the Horned Frogs spoiled that last week. Instead, both Oklahoma and Kansas State need to win and either Northern Illinois or UCLA need to win their conference championship games in order for the Big XII to put two teams into the BCS and Iowa State to be guaranteed a Big XII bowl game.
Who knows what Kansas State team we see on Saturday night. On one hand they have the bye week to reassess what went wrong against Baylor but on the other they were not looking good the week leading up to Baylor and with the injuries on defense the chinks in the armor began to show.
Two weeks ago I would have picked Texas here but they are battling their unknowns. They could not stop TCU on the ground on Thanksgiving and Case McCoy is going to try to play hero again. The bye week should give Kansas State enough time to retool their defense enough to slow Texas' running game and force McCoy to win with his arm. Given how Texas' defense struggled at defending Trevone Boykin last week I have a hard time imagining they will have much success against a likely healthy Collin Klein. Oh, and then there's this stat:
Bill Snyder is 12-0 against the spread in games following a conference loss by 21+ points.
#KState is an 11-point favorite over Texas.
- Tyler Dreiling (@TylerDreiling) November 30, 2012
Kansas State 31, Texas 17