Big 12 outright lead on line; No. 5 Oklahoma hosts No. 8 TCU
Some things to watch in the Big 12 Conference during Week 11, with two of the five games Saturday being Top 25 matchups:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 5 Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1, No. 5 CFP) vs No. 8 TCU (8-1, 5-1, No. 6 CFP). The Big 12 co-leaders meet with sole possession of first place on the line, plus the winner stays on track for a shot at the College Football Playoff . These two teams could meet again in the league’s championship game Dec. 2. The Sooners are 4-1 against the Horned Frogs since they became Big 12 foes, but those games have been decided by a total of 21 points (4.2 per game). The only loss this season for both teams is by seven points to No. 24 Iowa State. Oklahoma, with the nation’s top offense, is coming off that wild 62-52 win over Oklahoma State in which Baker Mayfield threw for a school-record 598 yards with five touchdowns, plus another score running. TCU has the Big 12’s top defense, and has allowed only 27 points in its last four games.
No. 24 Iowa State has given up only 47 points in the last 18 quarters. No. 12 Oklahoma State scored 52 points in its last game, a loss. The surprising Cyclones (6-3, 4-2, No. 21 CFP) play their home finale against the Cowboys (7-2, 4-2, No. 15 CFP), who lead the Big 12 with 45.3 points a game. Of those 47 points allowed by Iowa State its last 4 1/2 games, seven came on a kickoff return by TCU and six came when Texas Tech scored on a 7-yard TD drive after a turnover.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Big 12 already has five bowl-eligible teams, and could end up with as many as eight. … Kansas State, which plays bowl-eligible West Virginia, needs one more win to be bowl eligible for the eighth straight year and 19th time in coach Bill Snyder’s 26 seasons. … Texas and Texas Tech, who meet in a regular-season finale, both need two wins in their last three games to reach six. … The series between Baylor and Texas Tech, which dates to 1929, is tied 37-37-1.
Texas isn’t likely to lose again to Kansas (1-8, 0-6), which is coming off a 29-point home loss to then-winless Baylor. The Jayhawks last year won 24-21 to end a 13-game losing streak against Texas with their only Big 12 victory over three seasons. This time, the Longhorns (4-5, 3-3) are a nearly five-TD favorite at home. Kansas also still has to play No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 12 Oklahoma State.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Kansas State cornerbacks Duke Shelley and D.J. Reed are tied for the Big 12 lead with 11 passes defended each, and both have five in the last two games. Reed had a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Wildcats’ overtime win at Texas Tech last week. K-State plays at home against West Virginia, whose quarterback Will Grier leads the Big 12 with 30 TD passes.
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