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Updated Big 12 Predictions and Superlatives After Week Eight

There were only two games in the conference during week eight. The other six teams were busy preparing for the stretch run in conference play. Check out my updated predictions and superlatives for the rest of the season.

NCAA Football: Baylor at Texas John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

It was a relatively slow week for the Big 12 during week eight. Kansas traveled to Texas Tech to take on the Red Raiders and OU traveled to Fort Worth for a tilt with TCU. Everyone else had the week off. Let’s take a look at where things stand after week eight.

Standings

1. Texas Longhorns (6-1)

2. Oklahoma Sooners (6-1)

3. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-1)

4. Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-2)

5. Iowa State Cyclones (3-3)

6. Baylor Bears (4-3)

7. TCU Horned Frogs (3-4)

8. Kansas State Wildcats (3-4)

9. Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-3)

10. Kansas Jayhawks (2-5)

Baylor and TCU switched places after the Horned Frogs loss at home to Oklahoma. The standings remained the same outside of that switch. Every team has had their bye week at this point and we’ll have a full slate of games this upcoming weekend. Let’s recap the two games from last weekend and preview the week nine slate.

Texas Longhorns

Texas had their bye week last week, and it came at a great time as Sam Ehlinger is expected to return from his shoulder injury for this weekends game against Oklahoma State. Hopefully the Longhorns have Shane Buechele ready to play against the Cowboys just in case.

The Horns head to Stillwater this weekend to take on Oklahoma State. Sam Ehlinger needs to prove he’s healthy by having a good game this weekend. At this point, it’s survive and advance for Texas. They are in the primetime slot for the first time in years and this team will experience the pressure that comes with being #6 in the nation. Everyone expects them to run the table, but it would be easy for them to slip up somewhere along the line. That likely won’t happen against a struggling OSU team this weekend as the Horns should roll to a comfortable victory.

Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma dismantled TCU in Fort Worth 52-27. Kyler Murray had another sparkling stat line and the emergence of Kennedy Brooks, who had 168 yards and a score on 18 carries, helped carry the Sooners. If OU will utilize Brooks the way they did last weekend, OU adds another dimension to an already lethal offense.

Oklahoma gets Kansas State at home this weekend. This one will be over quickly in Norman as Kansas State’s offense will struggle to keep up with OU. This game won’t tell us much, rather, OU will be one step closer to the Big 12 Championship game. Oklahoma won’t play West Virginia until the final game of the regular season, and if both teams and Texas win out, that game will be for the second spot in the Big 12 Championship game. Everything between now and then for the Sooners is about not losing to a team they should beat.

West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia had their bye week to prepare for their home game with Baylor this weekend. The Mountaineers are coming off a loss at Iowa State in a game in which nothing went right for WVU. They should have ironed out their problems for Baylor as they gear up for the stretch run of the season.

West Virginia should get a win in Morgantown on Thursday against Baylor. Much like OU, this week is a building block week for West Virginia. They need to perform well as they continue to gear up for the games that will define their season. West Virginia should roll Baylor this weekend.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Texas Tech beat Kansas at home 48-16 last weekend in an impressive performance. It was a slow start for Tech, but Alan Bowman had a good game in his first game back from injury. Antoine Wesley had a big day receiving with 155 yards and a touchdown. This team will put Oklahoma and Texas on upset watch when they play them later in the season.

Texas Tech travels to Ames to take on the revamped Iowa State Cyclones this weekend. This is never an easy game for Big 12 teams to play. Tech is a gritty team though and they can get it done. They have to play a fundamentally sound game and not let the crowd get into the game. The Red Raiders already have one big road win at Oklahoma State, and they could get #2 this weekend. It should be a close game, so tune in to ESPN2 at 11 a.m. on Saturday if you have the chance.

Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State is coming off a huge win at home over West Virginia, and they’ll need to do the same against a good Texas Tech team this weekend. The Cyclones had their bye week last weekend and should have a good gameplan in place for this weekend.

Iowa State will be upset minded once again when they welcome Texas Tech to Ames. Iowa State will have to play stellar defense like they played against West Virginia if they want to win this one. Both teams are starting Freshman quarterbacks, so expect both teams to send a lot of pressure defensively. This should be a tight one that could go either way.

Baylor Bears

Baylor had their bye week last weekend after their 23-17 loss in Austin the week before. This Baylor program is beginning to turn things around, and will be looking to start a winning streak this weekend against West Virginia.

The Bears have to travel to Morgantown this weekend. This isn’t a game Baylor will likely win, however, if they can have a similar showing to the performance they had against Texas, it will give them momentum moving forward. This weekend is going to be about keeping it close on the scoreboard and other moral victories for Baylor. Like many games this weekend, this will be a building block game for both teams, albeit in very different ways. While West Virginia is gearing up for a run to the Big 12 Championship game, Baylor will be looking for a way to scratch out two more wins and become bowl eligible.

TCU Horned Frogs

TCU lost at home to Oklahoma 52-27 over the weekend. Shawn Robinson suffered an injury and left the game. Backup Michael Collins provided a spark to the Horned Frog offense for awhile but TCU would be outscored 14-0 in the 4th quarter.

TCU will travel on the road to play Kansas this weekend in a game that they need. TCU should get their fourth win of the year, and will need two more after it to become bowl eligible. The question is, will Shawn Robinson or Michael Collins get them there? The rest of this year is about building their youth for next year for the Horned Frogs. They should roll Kansas this weekend.

Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State had their bye week after their home win over Oklahoma State. The Wildcats need to win three more games to become bowl eligible, and that journey starts this weekend against Oklahoma.

Kansas State won’t beat Oklahoma but if they can get their passing game going and Skylar Thompson can find his groove, they might get some momentum going forward. The goal is to win three games, and they get a tough draw this weekend playing on the road against arguably the best team in the conference. Oklahoma should roll K-State this weekend, but look for the Wildcats to give OU their best shot and gain some momentum going forward.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State had their bye week to address their issues on both sides of the ball while preparing for Texas this weekend. It’s Homecoming time in Stillwater, and Barry Sanders will be in town celebrating the 30th anniversery of his 1988 Heisman campaign with his offensive line. The Cowboys should get up for this one because it’s Homecoming in a primetime slot against Texas.

If Oklahoma State wants to see their upset bid through, they’ll have to be better on offense. Justice Hill has to make some big plays and the offensive line will have to allow him to do so. Whoever the quarterback may be, Corndog to start, will need to take care of the ball. The defense needs to play well, but the Texas offense isn’t particularly good. The Cowboy defense should be looking to start a new streak of consecutive games with a turnover after their last streak ended in Manhattan.

Also, check out these limited edition Nike Air Zoom Turf Jet OSU exclusive sneakers!

Nike only made 250 pairs and they are only available for purchase at the OSU Student Union Bookstore. Nike LOVES putting out rare sneakers. There’s actually a whole TED Talk about it. However, it’s cool to see Oklahoma State get this kind of love. Nike doesn’t do this for just anybody. Oklahoma State is lucky to call Barry Sanders one of their own.

Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas lost to Texas Tech in Lubbock last weekend 48-16. Kansas may not win a Big 12 game this season, however, they have improved significantly from past seasons. Pooka Williams and Joe Dineen (both second of their name) continue to lead the Jayhawk offense and defense respectively. This isn’t a horrible group, they just need to keep continue building for next year.

Kansas will host a struggling TCU team this weekend in Lawrence. If the Horned Frogs aren’t careful, this is a Kansas team that could sneak up on them. Kansas will continue to control the ground game and try to force turnovers if they want a shot in this one.

Big 12 Championship Game:

Oklahoma Sooners vs Texas Longhorns

This is the matchup everyone wants and needs. West Virginia is the only team that stands in the way of a potential rematch between these two schools, as they’re the only other school really in contention for a spot in the championship game. I still have Oklahoma in a close one for the Big 12.

Offensive Player of the Year:

Kyler Murray: Oklahoma University

Kyler had another big day this weekend against TCU. The Heisman candidate passed for 213 yards and four touchdowns and only four incompletions. He also rushed for 51 yards for the Sooners.

Defensive Player of the Year:

Joe Dineen Jr: Kansas University

Dineen recorded seven tackles and had a fumble recovery in Kansas’ loss to Texas Tech. He continues to lead the Jayhawks on defense and is near the top of the conference in tackles.

Big 12 Newcomer of the Year:

Brock Purdy: Iowa State University

Purdy and the Cyclones did not play last week, but they will be in action this weekend against Texas Tech. Iowa State looks poised to make a run down the stretch in the Big 12 and Purdy is a big reason why.

Freshman of the Year:

Caden Sterns: University of Texas

The younger Sterns and his Longhorns had the week off to prepare for Oklahoma State. Caden will get to play in the stadium that his older brother Jordan called home during college this weekend.

Coach of the Year:

Lincoln Riley: University of Oklahoma

Riley has Oklahoma in a position to potentially win another Big 12 title and earn a CFP bid. The Sooners have some work to do, but they have the right man for the job in Lincoln Riley.

Breakout Player of the Year:

Tylan Wallace: Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State had their bye week to prepare for Texas where the Cowboys will most likely lean on Wallace to do the majority of the work receiving. If Oklahoma State pulls off this upset, Tylan Wallace will be a big reason why.