Big 12 weekend preview- Who still has hopes for a conference title?
The initial College Football Playoff rankings have been released and they include four Big 12 teams in the top 25, led by Oklahoma at number nine. What games around the league this weekend impact the Big 12 championship game?
Iowa State vs #9 Oklahoma-- 7 PM FOX -- Norman, Oklahoma
The late night (7 PM is late to those who watch OU) kickoff is a rarity for the Sooners as they host the Cyclones. This is a revenge game for Lincoln Riley and staff as Matt Campbell brought his team into Norman back in 2017 and pulled one of the biggest upsets in OU history. Will we see a repeat? Can the Sooners bounce back after their loss to Kansas State? This game is big because if OU loses, they fall to 4-2 in the Big 12 and into a tie with ISU. If Iowa State falls, they will miss a chance to play for the conference championship.
#12 Baylor vs TCU-- 11 AM FS1-- Ft. Worth, Texas
Baylor has been the surprise of the Big 12 to some, while not so much to others. If you were questioning the hire of Matt Rhule before, you are probably singing a different tune now. As the lone unbeaten team in the Big 12, they Baylor Bears have the best chance to make the Big 12 title game as well as the playoffs. This week’s matchup against the TCU Horned Frogs is no easy task. Gary Patterson is one of the longest tenured coaches in the country as well as one of the most underrated. While boasting the league’s best defense, the TCU offense is a work in progress. Will the Bears be able to win on the road again? Baylor has already knocked off both OSU and KSU on the road and looks to run the win streak to nine in a row before the showdown with Oklahoma next week.
#16 Kansas State vs Texas-- 2:30 PM ESPN--Austin, Texas
In what may be the nation’s most disappointing team, the Longhorns are coming into the matchup with the Wildcats off a bye week. They were bested by the Horned Frogs in Ft. Worth the week prior. Kansas State enters the game riding high after beating the Sooners in Manhattan. The Texas defense has been banged up and is struggling to slow down anyone. Will the Wildcats run all over the Longhorn D? How will Chris Klieman and his staff stop/slow Sam Ehlinger. A loss by either team knocks them from the running for a conference title. The winner is still very much at play with a shot to make a trip to Dallas in December.
Texas Tech at West Virginia-- 11 AM ESPN2-- Morgantown, West Virginia
The Red Raiders head to Morgantown reeling, losing five of their last six games. The lone victory comes against the Cowboys, in Stillwater--surprising to say the least. The Mountaineers haven’t fared much better as they lost four in a row, with their lone conference victory coming against Kansas. Neither team has a shot to win the conference title. This is more of an intriguing matchup of bright up-and-coming coaches. WVU is favored by 2.5 at home in what could be a low scoring game.