Big 12 Football Previews and Predictions for Week 10

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Big 12 Football Previews and Predictions for Week 10

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Jerome Miron - USA TODAY SPORTS

Things are starting to heat up in Big 12 football play as the conference's stronger teams are rising to the top and separating themselves from the rest of the pack. The Texas Longhorns and Baylor Bears appear to be the conference's strongest teams as of late, with the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys just on the outside looking in.

The premier matchup of this coming Saturday features Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, in a game that could further shape how the conference shakes out later in November. These two teams are relatively equal on paper and the battle between them could well be a classic in the making. Apart from Tech/OSU, the quality of games slips a little as both Oklahoma and Baylor -- two of the conference's more exciting teams are on bye weeks.

TCU and West Virginia face off as two teams struggling to find their way, while the Iowa State Cyclones look to finally put a check in the win column against a Kansas State team that's been far from stable this season, looking solid at times and disjointed at others. The Texas Longhorns and Kansas Jayhawks round out the conference slate in a game that's one-sided on paper, but rarely turns out to be when these two teams actually take to the gridiron.

Click through the next few pages and check out our previews and predictions for Big 12 Week 10!

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KANSAS STATE WILDCATS (3-4, 1-2) vs IOWA STATE CYCLONES (1-6, 0-4)

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Peter G. Aiken - USA TODAY SPORTS

VEGAS LINE: Kansas State is a 17 point favorite.

TELEVISION: 3:30 EASTERN FOX SPORTS 1

The 1-6 Iowa State Cyclones take the trip to Manhattan on Saturday afternoon to take on the 3-4 Kansas State Wildcats. The Cyclones are a strange case, losing six games, but being largely competitive in the early season while suffering recent blowouts at the hands of the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Baylor Bears. Paul Rhoads needs a statement win to prove that the 2013 season isn't a total lost cause and one that will cause the program to take a few steps back, and there's no reason that the Cyclones can't get that win against Kansas State if they take control early and establish themselves.

Kansas State has struggled with consistency all season, especially at quarterback, where neither junior college transfer Jake Waters nor dynamic dual-threat athlete Daniel Sams have been able to get a foothold on the position. The 58th ranked K-State offense will have a chance to exploit a Cyclones defense that has its problems. Home field advantage and the long-shot potential of bowl eligibility should be enough for the Wildcats to come out on top.

OUR PREDICTION: The Wildcats don't dominate, but come away with a much-needed victory to get back to .500 and stay in the mix of a bowl bid.

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TCU HORNED FROGS (3-5, 1-2) vs WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS (3-5, 1-2)

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Charles LeClaire - USA TODAY SPORTS

VEGAS LINE: TCU is a 14 point favorite.

TELEVISION: 3:30 PM EASTERN ESPNU

The 3-5 West Virginia Mountaineers take the trip to Forth Worth on Saturday afternoon to take on the 3-5 TCU Horned Frogs in a battle of two struggling teams who can't seem to find a way to make things work. The Mountaineers' quarterbacking play has been suspect to put it mildly, and their 96th ranked offense is limping along to an average of 22.9 points per game. The Mountaineers' 85th ranked defense isn't much better, giving up an average of 30.4 points per contest. WVU doesn't lack talent, they just have some holes that TCU has the ability to exploit, on a good day, that is.

The Horned Frogs looked miserable in a 30-7 beatdown at the hands of the Texas Longhorns in Week 9 and need to bounce back with authority to still have a shot at bowl eligibility. The stagnant TCU offense needs a spark, from someone, whether it be Casey Pachall, B.J. Catalon or someone else all together. Regardless, some of the sheen is wearing off of Gary Patterson and it's up to his troops to get some of that shine back against West Virginia.

PREDICTION: Even though the Frogs are a two touchdown favorite here, this one's a toss up which could go either way. These teams are two even to make a clear cut call.

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TEXAS LONGHORNS (5-2, 4-0) vs KANSAS JAYHAWKS (2-5, 0-4)

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John Rieger - USA TODAY SPORTS

VEGAS LINE: Texas is a 28 point favorite.

TELEVISION: 3:30 PM EASTERN LONGHORN NETWORK

The 5-2 Texas Longhorns welcome the 2-5 Kansas Jayhawks to the Forty Acres on Saturday afternoon in a game that promises to be interesting given the history between the two teams. Texas struggled against Charlie Weis' squad in the 2012 incarnation of this matchup in Lawrence, winning only after a 4th quarter comeback led by current starting QB Case McCoy. Texas is playing its best football of 2013 so far with consecutive inspired defensive performances, solid QB play from McCoy, a dynamic running game and the emergence of wideout Marcus Johnson in the passing game.

The 116th ranked Kansas offense will have to play the game of their careers to have much chance at staying in this one against a Texas defensive unit that's constantly playing with a chip on their shoulder. If they do, it'll come through establishing the run with James Sims. The absence of leading wideout Tony Pierson certainly doesn't help. Let's just say the deck is completely stacked against the Jayhawks in this one.

OUR PREDICTION: Texas puts its foot on the throttle early and ends this one quickly.

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NO. 15 TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (7-1, 4-1) vs NO. 18 OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS (6-1, 3-1)

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Richard Rowe - USA TODAY SPORTS

VEGAS LINE: Texas Tech is a 2.5 point favorite.

TELEVISION: 4:00 PM EASTERN FOX SPORTS 1

The most intriguing game of the Week 10 Big 12 Conference slate features the 7-1 Texas Tech Red Raiders and the 6-1 Oklahoma State Cowboys. Both teams still have a legitimate chance at the Big 12 title as a combination of games throughout November will ultimately determine how things pan out in early December.

Kliff Kingsbury's Red Raiders suffered a minor setback in a tough loss to the Oklahoma Sooners in Week 9, while Mike Gundy's team dispatched Iowa State 58-27 as the Cowboys' offense was full throttle. Like any other game that features two high-octane offenses, this one promises to be a shootout, but saying so would deny the fact there are two talented defenses at play here as well.

Oklahoma State has the 19th best defense in the country in terms of points against per game (19.6), while the Red Raiders are 26th in the same category (21.1). Whichever defense can establish its will in the early going will more than likely have the small, very small edge in this one. It's a wash on paper, but games aren't played there.

OUR PREDICTION: Another one that's a complete toss up. If there's an edge, it's the home field advantage in Lubbock. Given that, we'll roll with the Red Raiders by default.

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