Texas Thanksgiving weekend highlights Big 12 week
Things to watch in Week 14 of the Big 12 Conference season, a holiday week version:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 6 TCU at Texas, on Thanksgiving night. This will be the 1,200th game in Horned Frogs history, but only the second time since 1928 they’ve played on Thanksgiving Day. The last time was two years ago at Texas, when Big 12 newcomer TCU beat Texas for its 600th victory. The Horned Frogs (9-1) are now playoff contenders – still No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings – and looking to win a Big 12 title. Bowl-bound Texas (6-5) goes into its regular-season finale with a three-game winning streak for first-year coach Charlie Strong.
BEST MATCHUP: Art Briles vs. Kliff Kingsbury. Both coaches like big-play offenses. They were once at Texas Tech together, when Briles was the running backs coach from 2000-02 while Kingsbury was the starting quarterback. Kingsbury’s second season at his alma mater will end with a losing record, so this is the closest the Red Raiders (4-7) get to a bowl game. Briles has Baylor (9-1) in contention for another Big 12 title and a playoff spot. Baylor is the Big 12 leader with 345 yards passing per game and 30 TDs, while Tech averages 328 yards with a league-high 34 TDs. In the last three meetings in the Dallas Cowboys’ climate-controlled stadium, the teams have combined to average nearly 101 points and 1,145 total yards.
LONG SHOT: Sunflower Showdown upset. No. 11 Kansas State is a four-touchdown favorite against in-state rival Kansas. Under coach Bill Snyder, the Wildcats are 10-1 at home against Kansas – the lone loss coming in Snyder’s debut season in 1989. Since the inception of the Big 12, K-State has a 14-4 series lead, with the Jayhawks’ wins all coming in a five-year span (2004-08). K-State won the last four by an average margin of nearly 37 points.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: While Texas Tech and Kansas (3-8) finish up, Texas and West Virginia will have bowl games after their regular-season finales. … Big 12 home teams are 19-18 in conference play this season. … Baylor WR Corey Coleman has averaged 40.3 yards on his 11 career TD catches. He also has the nation’s longest active streak with TD catches in seven consecutive games. … Iowa State, which hosts West Virginia, is coming off its best non-overtime offensive game in six years. The Cyclones had 599 total yards against Texas Tech, but are still looking for their first conference victory this season.
IMPACT PLAYER: West Virginia WR Kevin White is the Big 12 leader with 98 catches for 1,270 yards, and his nine TD catches are tied with Coleman for the league lead. White’s 8.9 catches per game and 115 yards per game both rank in the top five among FBS players.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas.