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 @ Texas
Chip: Kansas State is coming off a big, highly emotional win in quadruple overtime over Texas A&M. On the other end of the scale, the Longhorns limped home following their worst performance of the season, failing to score a touchdown in a 17-5 defeat to Missouri. Quarterback Collin Klein has been playing out of his shoes in willing K-State to several outstanding wins this season. Klein is the second leading rusher in the Big 12, and has had over 50 more rushing attempts (241) than any player in the league. If any team has the ability to stop the K-State running game, it's the Horns, who lead the league in total defense and rushing defense. With Tyler Lockett out for the season, it will fall on Klein and running back John Hubert to get the job done vs. Texas, which won't be enough in Austin.
Prediction: Texas 27, Kansas State 21
Chris: Can't fault your reasoning, Chip. Texas should be motivated coming off a tough loss to Missouri, while Kansas State may be vulnerable on the road after an emotional win against Texas A&M last weekend. The only problem: They don't start in equal places. Kansas State is the better football team, led by a veteran quarterback, while Texas doesn't have an impressive win yet this season and depends highly on a young quarterback. Wildcat head Coach Bill Snyder will have his group ready to win this game on the road.
Prediction: Kansas State 41, Texas 24
Kansas @ Texas A&M
Chip: Texas A&M will regain its confidence very quickly against the defenseless Jayhawks. What Kansas experienced in its last trip to the Longhorn State could get even uglier this weekend in College Station. The Jayhawks are the worst in the conference in about every statistical category except punting, in which they get a lot of practice every outing. The only debatable thing about this game is how wide the margin of victory will be for the Aggies. I'm going to go a touchdown better than the oddsmakers and predict a five-possession spread for A&M.
Prediction: Texas A&M 52, Kansas 17
Chris: I'm certainly with you in that I don't see the Jayhawks coming together to win this game. However, it was interesting to see Kansas put together their best game of the season against Baylor, eventually falling, 31-30, in overtime. That was after leading 24-7 heading into the fourth quarter. I guess that makes me think this game will be a little closer than you think it will be. Although the Aggies have plenty of frustration to take out on somebody after losing this past weekend for the fifth time this year, blowing second half leads in four of those losses. Three of those blown leads were after double-digit leads against quality teams, such as Oklahoma State and Arkansas. Do you feel sorry for them yet? Nonetheless, it's a good time to be playing the Jayhawks.
Prediction: Texas A&M 34, Kansas 17
Texas Tech @ Missouri
Chip: The biggest question in the Big 12 at this stage of the season, other than can Oklahoma State run the table all the way to the BCS Championship, is what has happened to Texas Tech. After what is now looking like the most improbable upset of the year in the Red Raiders 41-38 win over Oklahoma, Texas Tech has been blown out in three straight games. Tech isn't going to find things any better when it takes on Missouri in Columbia this weekend. The Tigers (5-5, 3-4) have had a disappointing season themselves, but even without the Big 12 leading rusher, Henry Josey, they have more cylinders firing on offense and defense to dispose of the Red Raiders, especially in front of the Missouri faithful.
Prediction: Missouri 35, Texas Tech 24
Chris: Saturday's 17-5 win over Texas showed why the Tigers are a dangerous team to be playing at this time of the year. The conference affiliation mystery has been solved, and they have improved over the course of the year. If a few bounces had gone their way against the likes of Arizona State, Kansas State, and Baylor, we'd be writing much different things about Missouri. All that to say, the opposite is true for Texas Tech. They had us fooled for a minute there, sneaking into the rankings after the Red Raiders upset Oklahoma. They even represented themselves well in losses to Texas A&M and Kansas State. But then, three straight blowout losses, one of them dealt from a struggling Iowa State team. What is the problem in Lubbock? Is it coaching? Locker room issues? I would be surprised if Missouri didn't make it four blowouts in a row for this Red Raider team.
Prediction: Missouri 45, Texas Tech 13
Oklahoma @ Baylor
Chip: It will be interesting to see how the Sooners' offense compensates for the loss of playmaker Ryan Broyles. OU is also without its leading rusher, Dominique Whaley - like Broyles, lost for the season due to injury - but the Sooners have plenty of other weapons in their arsenal capable of wreaking havoc on opposing defenses. Baylor's league leading offense will get its points, but not in high enough quantity to outshoot Landry Jones and OU's prolific passing game. Dual-threat QBs, like Baylor's Robert Griffin III, pose problems for the Sooners' speed on defense, but the Bears' up-and-down defense will have bigger problems stopping Oklahoma, even without Broyles.
Prediction: Oklahoma 48, Baylor 28
Chris: I do think this will be a close game. As you noted, Chip, injuries are a problem for Oklahoma. One player cannot replace the production of a player like Broyles; the Sooners will have to do it by committee. Baylor's offense is potent, and you can bet that the Sooners have circled their end-of-season battle with Oklahoma State. It also helps that the Bears are at home in this one. I might be tempted to pick an upset in this one had the Bears not almost lost to Kansas last weekend. In the end, the better defense will win in this one, and that belongs to Oklahoma.
Prediction: Oklahoma 41, Baylor 31
Oklahoma State @ Iowa State
Chip: On paper, this game has all the markings of a blowout, and it very well could end up that way. There is no way Iowa State can stop, let alone slow down, Oklahoma State's wide-open, multi-dimensional, quick-strike offense. The Cowboys certainly realize what's at stake, but I don't expect them to take this matchup on the road in Ames with as much seriousness as they would otherwise. Expect the Pokes to jump out in front with three or four relatively quick scores and then take things a little easier from there. That could be good news for Iowa State in that it might be able to avoid the magnitude of embarrassment that many of the Cowboys' foes have endured this season.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 49, Iowa State 21
Chris: I agree that Iowa State is not what the Cowboys-#2 in the BCS-have in mind right now. But they are good enough (and Iowa State is bad enough) to win this game without playing their best. Oklahoma State's lowest point total of the year is 38 (against Texas on October 15), and I don't see them scoring any less than that number. On the other hand, Iowa State's highest point total of the year is 41 (October 29 at Texas Tech), and I don't see them reaching anywhere near that number on Friday.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 52, Iowa State 17
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