Big 12 Football: Week 9's Game-by-Game Picks and Predictions
Last week was a so-so week for me.
I went 3-2 straight up and 3-2 versus the point spread missing on both Oklahoma State and TCU. I'll try to do better this week, although several of this week's games look like toss-ups.
This week, we have a non-conference game, but oh, what a matchup it is: Notre Dame at Oklahoma.
West Virginia is on a much-needed bye this week after dropping two straight games.
Enjoy the carnage.
Baylor at Iowa State
You have to wonder how much gas is left in the Baylor tank. The Bears have thrown up 63 points (against West Virginia) and 50 points (against Texas), and those points weren't enough to tally a win.
It's all about defense.
Iowa State's defense is allowing around 383 of offensive yards per game, whereas Baylor's defense is allowing around 553. Sweet mercy. The Bears defense is ranked dead-last among all FBS football teams.
Baylor has the No. 3 offense in FBS, while Iowa State's offense is ranked No. 103.
What we have here is Baylor's prolific offense vs a good defense and Iowa State's poor offense vs an awful defense. Basically, Iowa State should slow down Baylor's offense, while Baylor's defense should help Iowa State's offense.
Iowa State is favored by 2.5 points, and although I don't think the Cyclones can keep up with Baylor in a shootout, I do think they'll prevent a shootout much like TCU did in its 49-21 victory over Iowa State.
Iowa State wins and covers the spread.
Texas Tech at Kansas State
The Red Raiders have been a huge surprise in the Big 12 and are currently ranked No.14 in the BCS, while the Wildcats have looked every bit the No. 3-ranked team in the country. The Red Raiders struggled against TCU last week in their victory over the Horned Frogs—their vaunted defense gave up 516 yards.
Both quarterbacks—Collin Klein and Seth Doege—are huge weapons, but Kansas State has already shown that if you live by the pass, it'll make you die by the pass.
While Texas Tech has the fourth-most productive passing game in the FBS, the Wildcats completely shut down West Virginia's passing attack last week in its 55-14 victory.
Kansas State is favored by 7.5 points, and while I do think this game will be hard-fought early in the game, Kansas State's defense wins the war in the trenches, shuts down Doege in the second half and covers that spread.
TCU at Oklahoma State
TCU is 3-0 on the road (2-0 vs Big 12 teams), and this Saturday, it travels to Stillwater, Oklahoma to take on the 4-2 Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Oklahoma State has been hit hard by injuries, specifically at quarterback. J.W. Walsh (knee) is now out for the year, according to reports, so Wes Lunt, who had missed some games due to a knee injury of his own, is likely to start this Saturday.
The Cowboys have had horrible luck so far, but you have to question whether the offense can adjust with Lunt back in. Just how healthy is Lunt?
TCU's defense is very good. The Horned Frogs defense is allowing a little over 313 yards a game and has a 2.71 sack average per game. That defense will be going after the quarterback to make the Cowboys offense more vulnerable.
That 7.5-point spread favoring the Cowboys looks too high. This will be a close game. Too close to call.
*Flips a coin and it lands on TCU*
Texas at Kansas
There will be no upset in Lawrence, Kansas this week.
The Longhorns offense averages over 457 yards per game, and the Jayhawks defense is yielding over 428 yards per game. A good offense vs a bad defense usually has the same result every time they are matched up.
Head coach Charlie Weis will probably try to mix things up against the Longhorns secondary—and it'll probably work—but when the final scoreboard is lit up, Kansas will be the one with under 20 points and Texas will have over 40 points.
Texas wins and covers the 20.5-point spread.
Notre Dame at Oklahoma
The Big 12 Game of the Week pits Oklahoma against a non-conference opponent. Not just any non-conference opponent, mind you, but No. 5 Notre Dame.
I'm not going to throw a bunch of stats at you to analyze this game. Oklahoma is not the same team it was in September and, in fact, is entirely different. The Sooners' No. 17-ranked offense looks unstoppable, and their No. 16-ranked defense looks stingy. This team is balanced on both sides of the ball.
Oklahoma looks on fire right now. So does Notre Dame's defense. But I can't say the same thing about Notre Dame's offense.
Look, Oregon State lit up BYU (in Provo) for 42 points with its reserve quarterback (Cody Vaz), while Notre Dame (in South Bend) could only score 17 points with its reserve quarterback (Tommy Rees)? And let's not forget Rees has a lot more experience than Vaz.
This is a very dangerous game for Notre Dame, and although quarterback Everett Golson (concussion) has been given the green light to start, I can't see the Fighting Irish playing keep up with the Sooners.
I'm going with Oklahoma to beat Notre Dame by 10 points, missing on the 11-point spread.