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 State @ Oklahoma State
Chip: Oklahoma State hasn't really been challenged yet this season. Stillwater is not a likely place for this to happen, but I was one of those who didn't think Oklahoma would lose at Norman, either. And the team that OSU matches up with this week, Kansas State, beat the team that upset OU at Norman, and the Cats did it on the road. Something tells me that the Cowboys are due for a flat game - all teams have one or two games like that a year. K-State will be coming in angry and with something to prove after suffering its first loss of the season, and in embarrassing style, to Oklahoma last week. I sense an upset.
Prediction: Kansas State 33, Oklahoma State 30
Chris: I can't say I really agree that Oklahoma State hasn't been challenged this season. Texas A&M, Texas, Missouri, and Baylor all possess formidable football teams, and they all fell to the Cowboys. The only one of those games that was really all that close was Texas A&M. Oklahoma State will win this game for the same reason they've won every game so far: their offense has been unstoppable (second in the nation in scoring). Cowboy quarterback Brandon Weeden is quietly having one of the best seasons in college football (71% completion rate, 22:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio). Kansas State's defense has played well for most of the season, but they were exposed last week by Oklahoma. Kansas State falls for the second week in a row.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 41, Kansas State 28
Missouri @ Baylor
Chip: Missouri heads to Waco with a lot of confidence after upsetting Texas A&M in College Station a week ago. Baylor, on the other hand, got slapped around really hard by league-leading Oklahoma State, not exhibiting much scoring punch until late in the contest. Missouri's secondary will be an open invitation to Baylor QB Robert Griffin III to fire and will, and fire he will to Kendall Wright and other possession receivers and playmakers in the Bears' second-ranked Big 12 offense, averaging 560 yards a game. Baylor's defense might not be as good as Mizzou's, but the Tigers won't be able to outscore RG3 and the Bears.
Prediction: Baylor 42, Missouri 31
Chris: I'm going to have to disagree with you again here, Chip. Yes, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III will likely be the best player on the field Saturday. But the Bears have shown that they lack the necessary support around him to beat good teams. In both of their last two games, Baylor has been blown out because they don't play much defense. Sure, their offense will score some points, but their defense is 115th in the country in giving up points. Missouri, led by young stars James Franklin (quarterback) and Henry Josey (running back), are more than capable of putting up their own points. The team that gets the key stops will win, and I think it will be the Tigers.
Prediction: Missouri 45, Baylor 35
Kansas @ Iowa State
Chip: What can I say about this one? I don't think I've seen a worse Kansas football team in all my years following my alma mater. Turner Gill has lost his team on the field and in the locker room. They're all playing for themselves, and certainly not for their coach or coaches. I don't even have faith that the Jayhawks could win this game if it were played in Lawrence. It isn't, and they won't. Iowa State is playing much better football - evidenced by the Cyclones' convincing 41-7 smackdown of Texas Tech last Saturday in West Texas - and Kansas won't stand in its way of ringing up win number five on the season and the Cyclones' second in conference play.
Prediction: Iowa State 35, Kansas 14
Chris: If your alma mater was at home, I would be tempted to pick them, just to keep the disagreements going. But I have to admit, I think you're right. In this match-up of the Big 12's bottom feeders, Iowa State is playing better right now. The Cyclones' defense played much better against Texas Tech, which is what turned things around for them. They will face a much-less potent offense against the Jayhawks, but I don't see them turning in the same kind of convincing win two weeks in a row. Iowa State sneaks out the win.
Prediction: Iowa State 28, Kansas 20
Texas A&M @ Oklahoma
Chip: OU showed what it was made of last week in totally dominating previously unbeaten and top-ten ranked Kansas State in Manhattan on the Cats' homecoming. The Sooners will need to find a way to replace their leading running, back Dominique Whaley, but they have a lot of back up talent at that position. I don't think OU will be caught flat-footed a second straight time at home. Texas A&M has a recurring tendency this season to get ahead in games and then let up some and allow teams to get back in the game. That would be a huge mistake against this never-quit Sooner squad, which likes to really crank it up after halftime. I see Landry Jones having a field day against the conference's worst pass defense.
Prediction: Oklahoma 45, Texas A&M 24
Chris: I am still trying to figure out what happened to head coach Bob Stoops and company against Texas Tech at home. Nevertheless, I wouldn't want to face this angry Sooners' team the rest of the way (and that includes bowl games). Texas A&M, which started off the year with such high expectations, really has been a disappointment. Traveling to Norman is no way to cure a struggling season. Oklahoma's fifth highest-scoring offense in the country and second-best passing game should have its way at home against the Aggies. Texas A&M does have plenty of talent, though, and almost stole one from Oklahoma State, so I don't expect a blowout.
Prediction: Oklahoma 42, Texas A&M 28
Texas Tech @ Texas
Chip: After sandwiching two surprising home losses with an incredulous upset win at Oklahoma, where virtually no road team wins in the Stoops era, Texas Tech has me scratching my head. I'm not sure which Tech team is going to show up in Austin this
Saturday. I'm fairly certain, however, that Texas will come to play and that the Longhorns' combination of a steadily improving offense and a bend-but-not-break defense will be too much for coach Tommy Tuberville's Red Raiders to overcome. No road upset this time.
Prediction: Texas 34, Texas Tech 24
Chris: I'm as perplexed as you are, Chip. Texas Tech has lost to one of the Big 12's worst and beaten one of the Big 12's best in back-to-back weeks. I'm not sold on either Mack Brown or his Texas team-they've done nothing impressive this year-but I do think they'll get this one. The Longhorns do rely on a freshman quarterback in David Ash (62 percent completion rate , three touchdowns, five interceptions)-which always makes things interesting-but possessing the 16th best running game in the country certainly eases that burden a bit. The home team will play more defense, and thus get the win.
Prediction: Texas 34, Texas Tech 21
For more information:
Big 12 Conference official website
Big 12 Conference official website