Week 10 start of Big 12 round-robin among playoff contenders
Things to watch during Week 10 in the Big 12 Conference, opening a month when the league's top four teams still have to play each other:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 5 TCU (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) at No. 12 Oklahoma State (8-0, 5-0). One of the Big 12's playoff contenders will be knocked from the ranks of the undefeated in the first of the big November games. The Horned Frogs have a school-record 16-game winning streak and were expected to be in this position after starting the season ranked second. Oklahoma State has gone from unranked to undefeated with Mason Rudolph and J.W. Walsh in a two-quarterback system. TCU's offense is one of the nation's best with the QB-WR combo of Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson, and the Frogs are vastly improved on defense since getting some seniors back from injury.
BEST MATCHUP: Kliff Kingsbury vs. Dana Holgorsen in a coach's duel. Long before he was Texas Tech's head coach, Kingsbury was the Red Raiders starting quarterback, including three seasons (2000-02) when the current West Virginia coach was a receivers coach in Lubbock. After playing professionally, Kingsbury joined the football staff at the University of Houston, working with offensive coordinator Holgorsen. West Virginia (3-4, 0-4) has lost its four Big 12 games, which all came against playoff-hopeful teams. Texas Tech (5-4, 2-4) is one win from bowl eligibility.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Baylor (7-0, 4-0) has the nation's top offense (61 points and 686 yards per game), and is the only team in the top 10 in both passing (348 ypg) and rushing (338 ypg). ... Kansas State (3-4, 0-4), which hosts Baylor on Thursday night, has never lost its first five Big 12 games. ... Kansas (0-8, 0-5) has never beaten Texas in conference play, including an 0-6 mark in Austin, where they play Saturday. The Jayhawks haven't won in this series at all since 1938 ... The Longhorns (3-5, 2-3) are coming off only their third shutout loss in 20 Big 12 seasons.
LONG SHOT: Iowa State hopes to follow up a 24-0 win over Texas with another Big 12 victory. The Cyclones (3-5, 2-3) are nearly four-touchdown underdogs going to Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1), which is still in contention for its ninth Big 12 title and maybe a spot in the playoff. Under coach Bob Stoops, the Sooners are 10-0 against Iowa State, winning by an average margin of 40-8.
IMPACT PLAYER: Texas Tech receiver/kick returner Jakeem Grant leads the Big 12 with 190.1 all-purpose yards per game. He had a 100-yard kickoff return and a 90-yard touchdown last week in their 70-53 loss to Oklahoma. He is second in the Big 12 with 7.8 catches a game, and third with 106.3 yards per game.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas.
AP college football website: http://collegefootball.ap.org