Athlon Sports previews Week 13 of the Big 12 season.
TCU is still ahead of Baylor in the playoff rankings (for better or for worse) and will sit at home and watch this weekend.
But Baylor still controls its own destiny and has a chance to earn some style points against Oklahoma State. Not to be left out, Kansas State is still in the Big 12 title mix but has to win in Morgantown.
And when Kliff Kingsbury and Paul Rhoads get together in Ames, who knows what could happen.
Big 12 Week 13 Game Power Rankings
1. Kansas St (+2) at West Virginia
Thur., 7 p.m., FS1
Still with just one conference loss, Kansas State is very much in the Big 12 championship race. Visiting Morgantown has been extremely difficult this season for everyone but Oklahoma and Bill Snyder’s bunch needs to win to keep pace with Baylor and TCU. Snyder is 2-0 against Dana Holgorsen since joining the Big 12 and his offense posted 55 points and 7.7 yards per play the last time the Wildcats visited Milan Puskar Stadium. Both offenses need to shake off some recent rust, as Kansas State managed just 34 yards rushing against TCU while WVU's Clint Trickett has posted his three worst passing totals in the last three games. Both have had two weeks to prepare and the chess match between Holgo’s offense and Snyder’s defense should be fun to watch.
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2. Oklahoma St (+28) at Baylor
7:30 p.m., FOX
Many believe that Baylor should be ranked ahead of TCU, especially considering the outcome of the head-to-head meeting. But the Bears are still two spots behind the Horned Frogs. Art Briles knows that if his team can win its final three games — and look good doing it — that his Bears are likely to be the Big 12’s representative in the inaugural Playoff. TCU missed a shot to look good last weekend against Kansas and Baylor cannot afford to do the same against Oklahoma State. The Pokes have lost four straight and scored a total of 40 points in those losses and may be without starting quarterback Daxx Garman (concussion). Mason Rudolph would have to burn his redshirt to start in his place. The Bears have scored 108 points in their last two and have had two weeks to prepare for a team that embarrassed them in Stillwater last year in their only loss of the regular season.
3. Texas Tech (+1.5) at Iowa St
3:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net
There is no reason for anyone outside of Ames and Lubbock to pay attention to anything that happens in Jack Trice Stadium this weekend. However, both head coach’s respective futures could hang in the balance. Amidst signal-gate, Kingsbury’s team has lost seven out of eight overall and have been victorious just once in its last 11 Big 12 games. Rhoads has lost six straight in the Big 12 and 14 of the last 16. Both are well-liked within their respective programs and neither is likely to get fired this season but both are in desperate need of a league win.
4. Kansas (+25) at Oklahoma
Bob Stoops has his team back in the Top 25 after a 35-point second half gave the Sooners a road win over Texas Tech. Without Trevor Knight, Samaje Perine reemerged with 213 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in the win. With Cody Thomas likely under center once again, look for Perine and company to exploit a Jayhawks rushing defense that has allowed a Big 12 opponent to rush for more than 200 yards three times this season. The good news for Kansas is Michael Cummings is beginning to blossom. He’s averaged 299.3 yards per game passing with seven total touchdowns and just one interception in his last three games.
Off: TCU, Texas
Big 12 Predictions:
|Braden Gall||Mitch Light||David Fox||Steven Lassan|
|KSU (+2) at WVU||KSU, 34-31||WVU, 34-30||KSU, 31-28||KSU, 30-27|
|OSU (+28) at Baylor||BU, 41-17||BU, 41-17||BU, 42-14||BU, 45-17|
|TT (+1.5) at ISU||ISU, 25-24||ISU, 30-23||TT, 28-17||TT, 34-31|
|Kansas (+25) at Okla.||OU, 45-17||OU, 41-10||OU, 38-10||OU, 38-13|