Perfect weeks have become commonplace this season mostly because the Big 12 has been very predictable thus far. That could change this week. All four games could go either way. This will be the toughest week of picks yet.
I’ll be in Fort Worth on Saturday for No. 7 Kansas State and No. 6 TCU’s showdown of top 10 teams. Be sure to tune in to Big 12 Live on Saturday night at 11 CT. I’ll be live via satellite from Amon G. Carter Stadium. You can watch on Fox Sports Southwest, Midwest and other regional Fox affiliates. I’ll be on with Gary Reasons, Jon Berger and Ric Renner to break down this week’s games with highlights, interviews, insight and opinion.
Oklahoma 37, Baylor 31: The most surprising thing about Baylor’s loss to West Virginia was how well it defended the run. The Bears gave up just 134 yards on 50 carries. They also won the turnover battle, 3-0. Oklahoma won’t be as kind. The Sooners will be more effective running the ball and are much better at forcing turnovers. The Sooners are tied with Baylor and Texas for second in the Big with 16 takeaways. That pushes Oklahoma over the top for a win. Baylor won’t rack up 215 yards of penalties, but the Bears still hit triple digits and the Sooners effectively end the Bears’ playoff hopes.
Iowa State 27, Kansas 23: Call it Revenge of the Great Mangino. He told reporters this week he doesn’t take any satisfaction in seeing KU flounder since his exit, but you know deep down, it’s nice for him to know how invaluable he was to that program. The difference between KU then and KU now is the same one between Iowa State now and KU now: Mangino’s team is the one with offensive weapons. They’re the difference in this game. KU runs the ball well enough to keep it close, but Iowa State gets its first Big 12 win.
West Virginia 31, Texas 17: At some point this season, Texas will knock off a team in the top half of the Big 12. West Virginia’s on a mild upset alert this week, but the Mountaineers’ offensive balance helps them escape Austin with a comfortable win. WVU’s defense is underrated, and the Mountaineers’ coverages confuse Tyrone Swoopes into a poor statistical performance. Kevin White starts a new streak of 100-yard games.
TCU 34, Kansas State 30: The Kevin White/Tyler Lockett battle will be a great one, but TCU’s offense rediscovers its groove and gets a big boost from the best crowd ever at the renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium. I’m well aware of the risks of betting against Bill Snyder. More often than not, you end up looking silly. That said, TCU is a complete team, and I agree with Snyder: This team is better than Auburn. They’re more balanced offensively and have a much better defense. The Frogs prove it on Saturday.