Big 12 Football: Week 7's Previews and Predictions
Big 12 football showcases one of college football's greatest rivalries this week in the Red River Shootout between Texas and Oklahoma. But there's more than just this contest to keep football fans salivating.
Seven teams have one conference loss and all seven of them play this week. In fact, no Big 12 teams are on a bye. What does this mean?
After Saturday, a few Big 12 teams may be out of the race to win the conference crown and go on to the Fiesta Bowl. Or beyond.
Here are Week 7's matchups with some predictions.
Enjoy the carnage.
Texas vs. Oklahoma (at Dallas)
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Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is 23-13 at a neutral venue. Mack Brown, at Texas, is 20-14 at a neutral venue. So yeah, they're pretty close to each other in terms of records in neutral venues.
The real issue here is how Oklahoma can stop the Longhorns' offense.
Quarterback David Ash is legit and running backs Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown have been solid. Oklahoma also has a solid running back duo in Dominique Whaley and Damien Williams and a veteran quarterback in Landry Jones.
Brown and Bergeron combine to average 121.25 yards per game, while Whaley and Williams together average 134. Jones averages 259.3 passing yards per game while Ash averages 255.
The Sooners' defense averages 306.8 yards per game compared to the Longhorns' defense at 404.2. The difference is that Oklahoma hasn't played West Virginia or Oklahoma State, while Texas has played both; those inflated stats for Texas' pass defense may be over inflated.
Oklahoma is favored by three points over Texas. Brown is listed as questionable for this game and linebacker Jordan Hicks is also questionable. This will be a tight game early on but the Longhorns' offense is fairly lethal and I see them scoring more points in this game.
Oklahoma State at Kansas
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Oklahoma State is coming off of a bye week after losing to Texas, 41-36.
The Jayhawks are not a Big 12 title contender this year but they did play Kansas State fairly tough for two quarters last week; the score after the half was 21-14, Kansas State.
The Cowboys have had two weeks to prepare for the Jayhawks and head coach Mike Gundy will undoubtedly have looked at the game film between Kansas State and Kansas. Jayhawk coach Charlie Weis has shown he's not afraid to fake a punt or dig into his bag of tricks.
The cat's out of the bag. I don't expect the Cowboys to get fooled twice like the Wildcats did.
Oklahoma State wins big in Lawrence, Kansas.
West Virginia at Texas Tech
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This game in Lubbock, Texas will be the second leg of a two-week road trip for the West Virginia Mountaineers. Strangely, West Virginia is only favored by 3.5 points. Why is that?
Two reasons come to mind; Texas Tech has the Big 12's best total defense (and the best passing defense in all of FBS football) and this is a trap game.
The Mountaineers face Kansas State at home next week and they may overlook the Red Raiders. Is anyone buying this? Not me.
Tech may have the best passing defense but they gave up 40 points to Oklahoma last week as well as 259 yards and two touchdowns through the air courtesy of Sooner quarterback Landry Jones.
Not only do the Mountaineers win this game, but they cover the spread.
TCU at Baylor
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This wasn't a good week for TCU's fans.
First the 37-23 loss to Iowa State at home and now the news that quarterback Casey Pachall has left the school to enter an inpatient care facility. His backup, Trevone Boykin, went 23-of-40 for 270 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions against Iowa State.
Baylor has a fairly prolific passing attack and I can't see Boykin matching quarterback Nick Florence's numbers, although TCU is much better than Baylor at defending the pass. The Horned Frogs' pass defense averages under 200 yards per game, while Baylor's pass defense averages over 400 yards.
Bear starting safety Mike Hicks is questionable for the game.
Baylor is currently an eight-point favorite and that sounds about right. The under is set at 68 points so expect a high-scoring game with Baylor coming out on top.
Kansas State at Iowa State
Scott Sewell-US PRESSWIRE
One of my trusted sources in Las Vegas has told me that Kansas State (-6.5) will lose this game in Ames, Iowa. Why?
Because the Wildcats are coming off of a blowout over Kansas and they'll be caught looking ahead to their game at West Virginia next week.
He may have a point. Last year Kansas State beat Kansas 59-21 and then came out flat against Oklahoma, losing 58-17.
But wouldn't one of the best coaches in the country show film of that Oklahoma loss to his players and make sure they stay focused on this week's game against Iowa State, and not next week's game at West Virginia?
Moreover, Iowa State did upset TCU but how much of that was really an upset? Casey Pachall didn't play in that game.
Paul Rhoads is a helluva coach but Bill Snyder is, well...Bill Snyder.
He'll have the Wildcats ready for this game. The Cats win and cover the spread.