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Stormin' Around the Big XII: Red River Edition

The Red River Shootout isn't what it used to be since Mack Brown stopped holding up his end of the bargain, but that doesn't mean there won't be fireworks in the Cotton Bowl this year.

Tom Pennington

Texas tries for another week to get Mack Brown fired, Iowa State goes on the road to face their first of three straight ranked opponents, an offensive tire fire is taking place in Forth Worth, and Kansas State will find out if they can stay within four touchdowns of Baylor... in the first half.

Oklahoma vs Texas - 11:00 AM CST, Saturday, October 19th - ABC (Cotton Bowl - Dallas, TX)

Line: OU -13.5

I'm not sure that Mack Brown would have been Kiffin'ed had he lost in Ames last week but his seat would have been scorching heading into the Red River Shootout in Dallas this weekend. As it is, it's still not cool after Oklahoma has taken the last two match ups in laughers.

Oklahoma is rounding into form and it's all led by a defense that ranks 9th in total defense and held TCU to seven straight three and outs in last week's performance. Texas has folded at the slightest hint of a tough defense and struggled against an Iowa State defense last week that is improving, but has nowhere near the talent and speed that Oklahoma's does.

David Ash is out again this week with concussion related symptoms so Mack Brown is once again betting the farm on Case McCoy to lead the way. McCoy had an above average performance in Ames last week but if he throws the ball over 40 times against Oklahoma it's going to spell big trouble for the Longhorns. Oklahoma has the speed to keep up with Mike Davis deep and will settle on keeping Johnathan Gray contained on the ground.

While the Texas defense is improving they are far from physical and will have to deal with Yeti Quarterback Blake Bell. If Texas mans up on Oklahoma's receivers like they did Iowa State's last week then Bell is going to carve them up on the ground. If they play to stop the run then Blake Bell is going to carve them up on the ground.

Stoops takes Brown behind the woodshed for the third straight year, but this time Brown might not get back up.

Oklahoma 38, Texas 17

Kansas @ TCU - 11:00 AM CST, Saturday, October 19th - FSN

Line: TCU -24.5

Tire fire. Heaps can't pass, Weis can't coach anything past the first 10 minutes, and Kansas is just fat and abhorrent this year. Flip the script to TCU and you see they are wasting an overall solid defense (33rd overall) by struggling on offense to do anything of value. Boykin has yet to develop into a polished passer, the line is built to pass and not run block, and TCU lacks playmakers on the outside.

TCU wins this one but it's a great game to take a nap during.

TCU 31, Kansas 13

Iowa State @ Texas Tech - 11:00 AM CST, Saturday, October 19th - FS1

Line: Texas Tech -14

Click here for our preview of the Iowa State and Texas Tech match up. Head over to Viva The Matadors for Texas Tech's take.

Baylor @ Kansas State - 2:30 PM CST, Saturday, October 19th - Fox

Line: Baylor -17.5

Is the trip to Manhattan Baylor's first test this season? One would think that their game against West Virginia would have presented that test after the Mountaineers upset Oklahoma State the week prior. All Baylor did was rack up 56 points in the first half on their way to 73 points and a Big XII record 864 yards.

Baylor is an offensive nightmare for a defensive coordinator and sickeningly balanced behind a line that could realistically put all five starters onto the All Big XII teams. If you stack the box to stop the run then Bryce Petty will carve you up with a litany of bubble screens to set up deep balls to receivers like Tevin Reese and Antwan Goodley. Spread out to man these guys up and Lache Seastrunk will just add to his second in the nation 148 yards per game. Here's the scary part: Seastrunk's 589 yards have come on only 53 carries. Yes, that's right, Seastrunk is averaging a first down per attempt.

Kansas State has excelled at winning games by winning the time of possession battle and they played remarkably well in Stillwater last weekend, but Baylor doesn't care about time of possession. They have lost the TOP battle in three of their four games this year, and you can do that when your offense just simply can't be stopped.

So how does Kansas State keep this game competitive? I'm not sure they do, but if they are going to try it's going to be by riding Daniel Sams like he's the new Collin Klein. A continuation of last week where they will just chew clock to keep Baylor off the field. Unlike last week they have to hang on to the ball (five turnovers in a four point loss to Oklahoma State) and not settle for field goals in the red zone.

Defensively the Wildcats are going to have to play some hard bend, but don't break defense and keep the deep ball from happening. That will put the pressure on the front seven to contain Seastrunk, and while they probably won't, they will have a fighting chance with solid tackling and making Baylor earn every yard on the field.

Kansas State puts together a solid gameplan, but Baylor is just going to keep watching the Big XII burn.

Baylor 45, Kansas State 24