Big 12 Previews and Predictions for Week 8
Big 12 Previews and Predictions for Week 8
The nitty gritty of the Big 12 Conference football schedule takes hold in Week 8, as a few teams look to continue a run toward newfound national prominence and others look to get back on their feet. The Baylor Bears and Texas Tech Red Raiders are just on the outside looking in of the nation's top 10 teams and could move that much closer to it with victories this Saturday that would keep them undefeated.
The Oklahoma Sooners will look to bounce back from a 36-20 Red River Rivalry loss at the hands of the Texas Longhorns when they take on the hapless Kansas Jayhawks and in-state rival Oklahoma State will look to build on a solid win over Kansas State in Week 7 as they welcome the TCU Horned Frogs to Stillwater in one of Saturday's early games.
The Texas Longhorns and Kansas State Wildcats both get their final weeks off of the 2013 season and look ahead to their next games on October 26th. As it stands, the Big 12 is wide open with Texas Tech, Baylor and Texas leading the pack. Who will emerge over the next few weeks to take over the driver's seat? At this point, it's anyone's guess as it's become obvious the league is top-heavy and there's a ton of parity among its top 5 teams.
Take a look at the next four slides ahead to review our breakdowns of each game, where they will be televised, the Vegas lines and what you can expect as Week 8 unfolds!
No. 16 Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-0, 3-0) @ West Virginia Mountaineers (3-3, 1-2)
Vegas Line: Texas Tech is a 6 point favorite.
Television: 12 NOON EASTERN FOX SPORTS 1
The 6-0 Texas Tech Red Raiders are flying high, but face a tough test in Morgantown, West Virginia as they travel to take on the frustrated 3-3 West Virginia Mountaineers. Dana Holgorsen's squad has struggled to find any consistency during the course of 2013 so far, and is averaging only 24 points per game while giving up an average of 28.5 through six games. One can only figure the 6 point Vegas line for the game is due to two factors: the presumed home field advantage for West Virginia and the relative inexperience of new Red Raiders QB, true freshman Davis Webb.
Webb has been effective so far in spot duty, continuing to lead Tech as they produce the nation's third best passing offense at 408.8 yards per game and its 14th best scoring offense at 41.8 points per game. I don't see how an anemic West Virginia offense and a defense that's full of holes and lacking confidence will do much to slow down the Red Raiders Air Raid in this one.
Our Prediction: Kliff Kingsbury's squad takes a quarter or so to adjust, then runs away with things by the mid second-half.
TCU Horned Frogs (3-3, 1-2) @ No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-1, 1-1)
Vegas Line: Oklahoma State is a 7.5 point favorite.
Television: 12 PM EASTERN FOX SPORTS
The confounding 3-3 TCU Horned Frogs visit Stillwater for one of the early games on Saturday to take on the 4-1 Oklahoma State Cowboys, fresh off a hard-fought victory over the Kansas State Wildcats last Saturday. TCU has traded a loss for a win over the schedule's first six weeks, literally losing one week then bouncing back with a win the next. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Trevone Boykin has done an admirable job standing in for the injured starter Casey Pachall, but hasn't gotten much production from his skill players as the Frogs average only 27.8 points per game and are posting an anemic 330.3 total yards of offense per contest.
In contrast, the Oklahoma State Cowboys have been explosive at times in 2013, averaging around 445 yards of total offense per contest and 38 points per game. If TCU can present the Cowboys the same fits defensively that hamstrung the Oklahoma offense a few weeks ago, this one could be interesting, but it'll only be interesting if TCU can do so and also establish a slow pace offensively. It seems like a tough road ahead to do so -- especially in the conference's most hostile environment -- but it's not impossible.
Our Prediction: Oklahoma State takes home a victory, but not in a blowout.
No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners (5-1, 2-1) @ Kansas Jayhawks (2-3, 0-2)
Vegas Line: Oklahoma is a 23 point favorite.
Television: 3:30 PM EASTERN ESPN
The No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners will be looking to take out some frustrations after a tough 36-20 loss to the Texas Longhorns in the Red River Rivalry, and the schedule has done them a huge favor. Bob Stoops' squad travels to Lawrence to take on the Kansas Jayhawks in what should be the biggest blowout of the conference slate this weekend.
Charlie Weis' squad is pulling up the rear in all major categories in the Big 12, giving up 81 points in their two conference contests against TCU and Texas Tech, while scoring only 33 themselves. There's little that we can see Kansas could do apart from playing absolutely perfect football and forcing a few early turnovers to maintain momentum and make things interesting, that would give the Jayhawks any chance.
Oklahoma will use Kansas as a punching bag in this one-- plain and simple.
Our Prediction: Oklahoma blowout.
Iowa State Cyclones (1-4, 0-2) @ No. 12 Baylor Bears (5-0, 2-0)
Vegas Line: Baylor is a 34 point favorite.
Television: 7:00 PM EASTERN ON ESPNU
The 1-4 Iowa State Cyclones go on the road to visit the No. 12 Baylor Bears who were brought down to Earth somewhat in Week 7 by Kansas State after four weeks of lighting up scoreboards. The Bears still have the nation's best scoring offense and are among the top units nationally both in passing and rushing yardage. Iowa State will be game to slow down the Bears however, and are in fact, probably a better football team than their record suggests. Paul Rhoades' squad has lost their four games by a combined total of 21 points and with a few breaks in any of the four, could be closer to .500.
Baylor's home-field advantage has been impressive so far in 2013 as Waco truly gets behind Art Briles and his program in the anticipation the 55-year old head coach could be a part of the Texas Longhorns coaching conversation sooner than later. The Bears faithful want nothing more than for their team to run the table, go undefeated, and play in their first BCS bowl game in program history. The Cyclones are the next task towards this goal, and no matter what, they won't go down without a serious fight.
Our Prediction: Iowa State plays with heart early -- as always -- but Baylor's talent allows them to pull away in the second half to move to 6-0.