Continuing this week and for the remainder of the Big 12 football season, Kansas City SB Nation staff writers Chip Rouse and Chris Schumerth preview and provide insight on the conference games and their personal picks on the game outcomes. They may not be in lockstep on every game, but that's no matter because they have "agreed to disagree."
Kansas vs. Missouri (@ Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City)
Chip: On paper, everything points to a Missouri win in what well could be the final Border Showdown football game with Kansas after 120 games in this classic rivalry series, one of the longest continuous series in all of college football. With the series tied at 55 wins apiece (there have been nine ties), the winner Saturday will take the all-time lead in the series. Kansas does not have the depth, talent or coaching to matchup favorably against its longtime archrival. This is a rivalry game, however, and because of the pride at stake and the build-up of bitter feelings on the Kansas side over Missouri leaving the Big 12 to join the SEC, I expect this to be a competitive game, but just in a relative sense. Kansas is a very bad football team right now. Missouri still has something to play for.
Prediction: Missouri 34, Kansas 17
Chris: I agree that this being the last Big 12 match-up between these two makes for an interesting dynamic. I also agree that Missouri is a much better football team. Kansas showed some fight a couple weeks ago against Baylor, but then got pummeled, 61-7, against Texas A&M. My guess isn't too different from yours: a close first half with Missouri pulling away in the second half and taking the lead in the all-time series.
Prediction: Missouri 31, Kansas 14
Texas @ Texas A&M (on Thursday)
Chip: This is another long-running rivalry game that will likely come to an end or a lengthy hiatus this year. The Longhorns hold a decided edge in the all-time series (75-37-5), but they won't get the last word. Texas is too beat up at this late stage of the season, and the Horns' offense is struggling again, having managed just 18 total points in their last two games, both losses. Texas does have the best overall defense in the conference, but it's not good enough to hold down A&M's balanced offensive attack, which it must do to stay in the game. This will be Senior Day at A&M, not that the boisterous and engaged Aggie crowd will need any more incentive to be up for this game. Texas is the main reason A&M is leaving for the SEC, and the Aggie faithful would like nothing better than to lay a big whooping on its hated in-state rival.
Prediction: Texas A&M 35, Texas 20
Chris: I must be in an agreeable mood this week because I think your analysis is spot on, again. This is one of those traditional Thanksgiving week rivalry match-ups, so certainly anything can happen, but I like the way Texas A&M is playing, while Texas is on the road and has lost two straight, its offense all but absent against both Missouri and Kansas State. How are the Longhorns still ranked, by the way? The Aggies possess one of the great "what if" stories of the season, a team whose intangibles didn't quite align with its talent. I think it'll be closer and lower scoring than you think it will, but we agree that A&M wins.
Prediction: Texas A&M 21, Texas 13
Iowa State @ Oklahoma
Chip: This game has me totally baffled. Iowa State beats then No. 2 Oklahoma State, but the week before barely gets by Kansas. Oklahoma blows out Kansas State and Texas A&M, and then gets leveled by Baylor's air raid. The Sooners still have plenty to play for, with the conference championship still within their reach, and because the game is OU's final home game of the season, that should be an added motivational factor. A case can also be made that the Cyclones could come out flat after the emotional high of upsetting the other Oklahoma school. I think OU quarterback Landry Jones will have a big game in what could be his final one at Gaylord Family-OU Memorial Stadium. On the other side of the ball, Iowa State freshman quarterback will find the environment much different in Norman than at home and the Sooner defense much tougher than D played by the Cowboys.
Prediction: Oklahoma 48, Iowa State 21
Chris: It certainly has been an interesting year in the Big 12, hasn't it! I would like Iowa State's chances a little more if they're at home and if Oklahoma hadn't lost last weekend to Baylor. This Iowa State team has outdone my expectations for the year, but I suspect some extracurricular factors-i.e. a fatal plane crash, affecting the Oklahoma State community-benefitted them in last week's stunning win. The potential for a conference championship and a BCS game should be plenty enough to keep the Sooners focused.
Prediction: Oklahoma 41, Iowa State 21
Baylor @ Texas Tech
Chip: Don't expect much defense in this game. Both teams are offensive minded, but Baylor's is on fire right now behind perhaps the Big 12's most prolific all-around player in quarterback Robert Griffin III. Texas Tech, on the other hand, has not won since ending Oklahoma's 39-game home winning streak four games ago. Their once high-powered offense has become more fizzle than sizzle. Baylor is looking to notch its eighth win of the season and a potential third-place finish in the Big 12 standings, which would earn the Bears a high enough seeding to play in one of the better postseason bowls. These are two teams headed in opposite directions. Tech had not lost four consecutive games since 1993. This weekend the Red Raiders are looking at making it five straight.
Prediction: Baylor 35, Texas Tech 24
Chris: Could there be a road letdown for the Bears after last week's big win? It's possible. Texas Tech showed some sign of life in a losing effort last weekend against Missouri. At the end of day, I can't pick against Griffin, though. He was simply sensational last weekend against Oklahoma and frankly has been all year. His 34-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds to go was as gutsy a play as I've seen all year. How is he not leading the Heisman boards? If he finishes well, he gets my (theoretical) vote. And I expect him and his team to beat Texas Tech. Which means we've just agreed on every game. First time for everything!
Chris: Baylor 45, Texas Tech 24
For more information:
More coverage on the Kansas Jayhawks
More coverage on the Missouri Tigers
More coverage on the Kansas State Wildcats