Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein
There is a lot of good news for Big 12 fans this week.
We have a full slate—no byes this week—of league play.
Six Big 12 teams are currently ranked in the BCS standings: No. 2 Kansas State, No. 12 Oklahoma, No. 18 Texas Tech, No. 21 West Virginia, No. 23 Texas and No. 24 Oklahoma State.
Two high-profile games to keep your eyes on are No. 23 Texas at No. 18 Texas Tech and No. 24 Oklahoma State at No. 2 Kansas State.
Enjoy the carnage.
Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones
The Sooners are still licking the wounds the Notre Dame Fighting Irish inflicted on them in Norman, Oklahoma last Saturday.
So yeah, they're going to be really ticked off when they arrive in Ames to take on Iowa State this Saturday.
Iowa State has pulled off one upset (TCU) in the Big 12 and also kept Kansas State on its toes in its six-point loss to the Wildcats. The Cyclones beating the Sooners would be shocking considering the Sooners opened as 13-point favorites.
The line has dropped to 12 points and Wynn Las Vegas has the Sooners as 10.5 point favorites. Part of the reason for this drop could be two Sooner starters with a questionable status for the game: offensive tackle Lane Johnson and running back Damien Williams.
Iowa State linebacker Jake Knott is likely out for the season with a shoulder injury—Knott is the Big 12's leading tackler.
Cyclone head coach Paul Rhoads does do a better job of coaching his team up for big games than Sooner coach Bob Stoops, but the loss of Knott can't be ignored.
The Sooners will win in a tightly contested game, but they don't cover that 12-point spread.
Last Saturday the Texas Longhorns traveled to Lawrence, Kansas and escaped with a 21-17 victory over the Jayhawks. This was supposed to be a rout—the Longhorns were three-touchdown favorites—so Texas fans have to be concerned right now, if they weren't already.
Meanwhile, Texas Tech got spanked 55-24 by Kansas State. As it stands right now, both teams are 6-2 and both teams are 3-2 in league play, so a little comparison is in order here.
Texas Tech soundly beat West Virginia 49-14 while Texas lost to the Mountaineers 48-45. Texas was strangled 63-21 by Oklahoma while Tech lost to Oklahoma 41-20.
I hate to acknowledge the transitive theory, but when you look at Texas' defense, you can't help but think the Red Raiders look like a prohibitive favorite in this game. Texas Tech opened as a 2.5 favorite, but the line has now increased to seven points.
I agree with Las Vegas and have Texas Tech beating Texas by at least seven points.
No. 2 Kansas State is in the enviable position of controlling its own destiny toward a BCS Championship Game berth. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy knows just how that feels—last year his No. 2 Cowboys were in prime position to go dancing until Iowa State upset his team in double overtime.
Gundy, no doubt, would love to share that sinking-BCS feeling with Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder, and the Cowboys do look like the team with the best shot of upsetting the Wildcats.
The Cowboys' two losses were to Arizona—a team who beat USC last Saturday—and Texas—a team that escaped Stillwater with a controversial game-winning touchdown. These Cowboys are dangerous.
But the Cowboys are also not as lethal in the air. Receiver Tracy Moore (ankle) is out indefinitely. Quarterback J.W. Walsh is also out (for the season), and while Walsh is a reserve, he became a starter after quarterback Wes Lunt was hurt in Oklahoma State's game with Louisiana on September 15.
Despite losing linebacker Tre Walker (knee), Kansas State looks very healthy for this late in the season.
Oklahoma State and Kansas State both are evenly matched in their rushing offense numbers, but Kansas State's rush defense looks a little more stout than Oklahoma State's.
I don't think Kansas State covers that 8.5 point spread, but still wins the game. Thus, I wouldn't be totally shocked if Oklahoma State pulls an upset.
The once-vaunted West Virginia offense has been limited to just two touchdowns in each of its last two games. The Mountaineers have had a bye week to get their focus back and hopefully get back to their winning ways.
Hosting TCU seems like a good start, but West Virginia's defense seems a little too suspect for me to go all in on the Mountaineers. TCU held Baylor's prolific offense to only 21 points while West Virginia allowed Baylor to score 70 points.
On the flip side, TCU allowed Texas Tech to hang 56 points on its defense, which is just slightly worse than West Virginia, which allowed 49 points.
Sometimes you just have to use the eyeball test in trying to predict a game.
It appears that West Virginia has lost its confidence after such high expectations placed on the team. While it can certainly bounce back offensively in a big way, the Mountaineers' defense is too major of a detriment for me to climb back on that bandwagon.
It's Baylor's Homecoming. The Bears are playing Kansas and are 17-point favorites.
This is just ripe for a Baylor victory, isn't it? But the Bears' prolific passing attack is facing the league's fourth-best passing defense. Will this make a difference?
Yes, but only in that Kansas will slow Baylor down. I actually think Kansas is better than its 1-7 record because the Jayhawks have kept some of their bigger games' scores close. Texas beat Kansas 21-17, TCU beat Kansas 20-6 and Oklahoma State beat Kansas 20-14.
My point? Both of these teams are still looking for their first conference win, and although I think Baylor wins this game, the Jayhawks will keep this game closer than you think.
The Jayhawks will lose, but will cover that 17-point spread.