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Big 12 Week 9 Preview and Predictions

West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia Mountaineers

The Big 12 probably needs this type of weekend. Not to take anything away from West Virginia visiting Oklahoma State — which could be a battle for first place — but this entire league needed to catch its breath after last weekend.

Forty percent of the Big 12 is off this weekend including both Baylor and Oklahoma, who will sit at home and lick their wounds. That still leaves the Mountaineers, Cowboys, Wildcats and Horned Frogs to jockey for the top spots in the standings.

Week 9 Previews and Predictions:
ACCBig Ten|Pac-12|SEC

Big 12 Week 9 Game Power Rankings

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1. West Virginia (+1) at Oklahoma St

3:30 p.m., ESPN

It’s conceivable that the winner of this coaching grudge match will be alone in first place in the Big 12. If Texas knocks off Kansas State in Manhattan (stop laughing), the 4-1 winner between the rising Mountaineers and stumbling Pokes would be atop the league. Dana Holgorsen’s defense was fantastic last weekend against Baylor, holding the Bears to 318 total yards and 4.0 yards per play. Against TCU, Oklahoma State’s was not. Glenn Spencer’s young and struggling group gave up 676 yards and 8.2 yards per play in the 31-point loss. West Virginia is much better at home (21.5 ppg allowed) than it is away from Morgantown (34.7 ppg), so Mike Gundy’s offense will have to match Clint Trickett and Kevin White’s production if Oklahoma State wants to get the win at home. White has posted seven consecutive 100-yard games.

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2. Texas (+10) at Kansas St

Noon, ESPN

This has been a fascinating rivalry in the Big 12 over the years and this edition features some role reversal, as the Wildcats enter as the heavy favorites. Texas is 1-5 all-time in Manhattan but the Longhorns toppled KSU in Austin last year, breaking a five-game losing streak to the Cats. If Charlie Strong wants to make it two in a row, the Big 12’s top defense will have to play near-perfect football. Texas leads the Big 12 with 4.75 yards per play and 364.5 yards per game allowed in conference games. Meanwhile, Tyrone Swoopes, who is coming off back-to-back 300-yard games, will have to be effective against a KSU team that doesn’t beat itself. The Wildcats lead the Big 12 in turnovers lost (6) and penalties (3.7 per game). If Texas isn’t mistake free and physical on both sides of the ball, Jake Waters will simply will his team to victory. Waters has been brilliant this fall and is largely overlooked in the league despite leading all Big 12 QBs in rushing yards (371) and TDs (7) while ranking No. 2 in completion percentage (65.1) and passing efficiency (151.75).

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3. Texas Tech (+22.5) at TCU

3:30 p.m., FOX

The Frogs are the highest-ranked team (No. 10) from the Big 12 and are a three-TD favorite to move to 6-1. And they are doing it running an offense that Kliff Kingsbury wishes he had in Lubbock. The wide-open spread attack led by Trevone Boykin — one that is averaging 537.7 yards per game and 6.46 yards per play — makes TCU one of the most balanced teams in the nation. Texas Tech’s 109th-rated defense should be no match for the Horned Frogs' surging offense and will be hard-pressed to match last year’s performance in which the Raiders held TCU to 10 points. Unless Tech tightens up on defense and irons out its undisciplined play — it ranks 127th in penalties (10.1/game) and 122nd in turnover margin (-8) — it should be another banner day for Gary Patterson. Let’s just hope the fans in Fort Worth show up to appreciate what their coach has done.

Off: Baylor, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Kansas

Big 12 Predictions:


Braden Gall

Mitch Light

David Fox

Steven Lassan

WVU (+1) at OSU

WVU, 34-30

WVU, 37-30

WVU, 28-24

WVU, 34-31

Texas (+10) at KSU

KSU, 27-17

KSU, 24-7

KSU, 21-14

KSU 30-20

T. Tech (+22.5) at TCU

TCU, 45-21

TCU, 37-24

TCU, 42-21

TCU 45-24

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