Big 12 Football: Week 14's Previews and Predictions
The Big 12 doesn't have a conference championship game on Championship Saturday, but in a brilliant marketing move, it scheduled four conference games on the same day as four conferences hold their championship games.
It's smart to keep putting higher profile teams on the major networks during this most important Saturday, and it's even smarter to give Heisman voters one last chance to see Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein make his case for the most prestigious college football award.
On to the games.
Oklahoma at TCU
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While Oklahoma can't control its BCS bowl destiny, it can still end its season with a 10-2 record and make its case as an at-large team.
What happens after that depends on whether Kansas State wins or loses—a Kansas State win over Texas knocks Oklahoma out of the Fiesta Bowl.
A Kansas State loss coupled with an Oklahoma win over TCU puts Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Finally, a Kansas State win, an Oklahoma win and a Kent State loss in the MAC Championship puts Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl and Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl as an at-large.
Obviously, this is a must-win for Oklahoma, and although coach Bob Stoops hasn't lived up to his "Big Game Bob" moniker, this Saturday is the perfect time to revive it.
Prediction: Oklahoma 30, TCU 24
Texas at Kansas State
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Last year No. 10 Kansas State dropped a game to No.11 Oklahoma and then the following week, lost again to No. 3 Oklahoma State.
Surely, the highly-ranked No. 6 Kansas State Wildcats won't drop two in a row again this year—the Fiesta Bowl is riding on the line here.
Texas has improved after an early-October meltdown, but the Longhorns are also coming off a loss to TCU last week.
Kansas State has too much balance on both sides of the ball to let this Fiesta Bowl opportunity slip away.
Prediction: Kansas State 41, Texas 21
Oklahoma State at Baylor
Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE
The Baylor Bears are coming off a huge 52-24 upset of Kansas State as well as a 52-45 upset over Texas Tech, so they may come out a little flat.
On the other hand, the Bears have never really looked flat—the last time they looked flat was in their 35-21 loss to Iowa State in October. The Bears have also only lost once at home (TCU) so that's something to think about.
This game between Oklahoma State and Baylor will be a shootout; the over/under is 86. But Oklahoma State has the better defense—it's actually underrated—and for that reason, I'm taking the Cowboys in a real squeaker.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 48, Baylor 45
West Virginia at Kansas
Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE
Kansas won't beat West Virginia but the game will be closer than that three-touchdown spread. Kansas tends to hold on to the ball for a long time in its drives, and that should lessen the Mountaineers' opportunities to score.
Look for the usual Weis trickery and some decent offense by Kansas, but West Virginia prevails in this game.
Prediction: West Virginia 38, Kansas 23