As we stare into the Big 12 abyss of games this weekend we hold our collective breath on Friday waiting to see if Baylor can overcome their inability to do just about anything right...
Assuming we get past that seemingly insurmountable obstacle we will be greeted with a full slate of conference games for just the third time in five weeks. Bye weeks interrupted a couple of weekends but Baylor’s coronavirus challenges gifted (?) an extra weekend off to Oklahoma State.
In addition to a full slate of games, we are also blessed by the fact that both Texas and Oklahoma
are stinking it up early already have two conference losses therefore everybody not named Kansas or Texas Tech is still in the race for a rematch place in the Big 12 championship game. EVERY SINGLE GAME THIS WEEKEND HAS PRETTY SIGNIFICANT RAMIFICATIONS.
So without further delay, let’s dive into this week’s Big 12 schedule.
Kansas at Kansas State (12pm ET on FS1, KState -19.5, O/U 48.5)
Despite the fact that Kansas is involved, this game carries significance as the Wildcats look to remain undefeated and maintain a two-game lead over Texas and OU in the Big 12 standings.
KState shouldn't have ANY issues with that, especially since the only Jayhawk player worth watching (Pooka Williams) has stepped away from football due to family health issues. I'm laying the points and picking the over here because Kansas State needs to demonstrate that they too can blow out the cellar champions of the Big 12.
Oklahoma at TCU (12pm ET on ABC, OU -6.5, O/U 60)
If we had told you at the beginning of the season that after three conference games OU would be in a position where they would likely need to win out in order to secure a spot in the Big 12 title game you might have thought that a questionable statement.
Well, here we are in week five of conference play and the Sooners' backs are up against that wall for a second straight game as they travel to Ft Worth to face a competent group of Horned Toads. A third loss would surely signal the end of OU's "Kansas hoops" style run at the top of the standings, and TCU is more than capable of handling that task, especially since there is already blood in the water. The Toads are in a tough spot at 1-2 so they too are also faced with likely elimination if they take another loss.
I think Oklahoma pulls this off, but I would take TCU and the points and go with the over.
Baylor at Texas (3:30pm ET on ESPN, Texas -8.5, O/U 61)
Another big game with relevance on the line for the Longhorns as Baylor tries to eliminate Texas from the title race and potentially stay a game ahead of OU. That being said Texas can't beat the Bears bad enough to satisfy my thirst for Baylor bashing.
The challenge here is the Longhorns' defense, so while I think Texas will get this done, I would bet Baylor and the points plus the over.
West Virginia at Texas Tech (5:30pm ET on ESPN2, WV -3.0, O/U 54)
This might be the most 2020 start time for a football game.
The line is very interesting and indicates to me a dangerous game for the Neers. The Red Rovers are living in the same world as Kansas so they have no relevance here, but West Virginia at 2-1 is in the large group of wannabes ahead of Texas and OU and with both still on their schedule the Mountaineers can't afford a sloppy loss. I'll take the Neers to win, cover, and go with the over.
#17 Iowa State at #6 Oklahoma State (3:30pm ET on FOX, OSU -3.5, O/U 52)
THE FG WAS GOOD AND THE CYCLONES WILL NEEEEEEVVVVVVVEEEEEEERRRRR BE FORGIVEN!
Even the fact that our SB Nation counterparts call themselves "Wide Right Natty Light" irritates the hell out of me every time I see it.
Now let's talk about the Big 12's marquee game of the week, the ONLY matchup that features TWO ranked teams, one of which has climbed into the top ten in the country by NOT playing games.
This contest will thin out the herd a bit at the top of the Big 12 standings, meaning there will only be two undefeated teams after this weekend instead of three. OSU gets the "courtesy" three-point spread for playing at home, so Vegas is considering this a neutral field toss-up. This has the makings of a defensive battle (yes, I just said that out loud about a Big 12 football game) so the under is probably a good choice although I think it will be close. Both teams have enough offense to generate 20-28 points, but I don't think the 30 point barrier will be eclipsed. The Cowboys will get to see Spencer Sanders lead their offense and it will be interesting to see if he struggles to get back to game speed after missing over a month with the high ankle injury. Gundy alluded to the possibility of both Sanders and Illingworth playing, but I lean towards that being the normal Gundy nonsense. Spencer is the guy and will take the snaps unless he turns into a turnover monster or gets dinged up again. Oklahoma State should be really healthy after two weeks off, but I would give a slight advantage to the Cyclones as they have one more game under their belt as well as a win over OU. Purdy also knows what it feels like to win in Stillwater, so I'm going contrarian here and picking Iowa State to win outright and will go with the under. It should be a really good game and the winner has an inside track to the Big 12 title game. The loser is by no means out of it, but that would be a much taller task for OSU as they have the more difficult schedule remaining. The problem I have is that I have to coach my son's soccer game in the middle of this, which might actually be better for my sanity.
Enjoy a great weekend of Big 12 football!