Big 12 Easy Pick'em Predictions - Weekend of November 3

Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Not a great slate of games this weekend. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Baylor-Kansas is the only close contest on Saturday (and no, close football does not make good football). Oklahoma State may play K-State close until the Wildcats turn on the juice in the fourth quarter, and Texas-Texas Tech is the new Texas State rivalry to be at following the departure of Texas A&M. Feel free to watch these games, but keep your eyes on USC/Oregon and Alabama/LSU. On to the picks!

#24 Oklahoma State at #2 Kansas State (-9)
It bears repeating: both of these teams control their own destiny in the Big 12. The Cowboys have only lost one league game (against Texas, when Wes Lunt was on the sidelines and the Longhorns seemed to have their act together). Since then the Cowboys have won three straight, climbed their way into the BCS standings, and lead the conference in yards per game. However, they visit a team that has climbed much higher in the BCS rankings, leads the conference in points per game (44.4 to Okie State’s 44.3), and has also allowed the fewest points per game in the league (17.1 to Oklahoma State’s 23.1). Do not doubt the Cowboys’ ability to run (second most yards behind K-State) or pass (Wes Lunt is a damn accurate quarterback). Do doubt their ability to stop K-State from running and passing. Oklahoma State puts up the most points on K-State all year, but the spread remains safe. Prediction: Kansas State 54, Oklahoma State 31

#23 Texas at #18 Texas Tech (-7)
There are several two-loss teams in the country. Some are ranked, some aren’t. Texas remains ranked because it belongs t0 the Big 12 and goes by the name of Texas. Its on-field results don’t suggest it deserves ranking. Texas Tech is also a two-loss team. And Tech has received both losses in blowout fashion. So maybe I’m a little hypocritical in saying that they’re still a top 25 team, while Texas isn’t. I guess that biggest difference is Tech has demonstrated that it’s capable of tackling. And has an ability to throw the ball consistently. Because if you can’t tackle or pass in the Big 12, you’ve got problems. Prediction: Texas Tech 38, Texas 26

TCU at #21 West Virginia (-6)
This is the tail of two teams caught in a tailspin. TCU was in the top #15 before it lost its starting quarterback. West Virginia was a top five team before being embarrassingly exposed by Texas Tech and K-State. Here’s an interesting stat: TCU leads in the conference in penalties with 61 for 570 yards. West Virginia has incurred half as many flags, receiving only 31 for 233 yards. I don’t like having to choose a winner here, but when you don’t know who to believe, go with the smart guy playing at home. The Mountaineers use last week’s bye to recover from injury, regroup, and beat the line. Prediction: West Virginia 36, TCU 28

#12 Oklahoma (-11.5) at Iowa State
Jake Knott is gone. Steel Jantz is back. And attempts at predicting how Iowa State will perform remain as futile as ever. Speaking of futile: Bobby Stoops, how you gonna let Notre Dame visit your house and just steamroll you? Oklahoma’s defense hasn’t played like that all year, and I’m still not sure how a team as offensive impotent as the Irish put up 30 points against the Sooners. This conference has both the worst and best teams with two losses in the nation. Unfortunately for Iowa State, Oklahoma is the latter. Prediction: Oklahoma 39, Iowa State 27

And now, for this week’s Easy Pick’em:

Kansas at Baylor (-17)
KU has been playing decent football recently. Not good football, mind you, but they’ve improved from “don’t take that weak sauce to the county fair” status to “this sauce won’t win any awards, but is okay enough to take to the county fair.” Yet while the Jayhawks have been winning moral victories by demonstrating consistent improvement, Baylor has engaged in the backslide of the year. The Bears have traded in titles, going from ranked to conference cellar dweller over the past month. Vegas bettors give Baylor a nod in a big way, because this team’s overall talent vastly exceeds what KU puts on the field. I give Baylor the victory nod too, but only because this game is in Waco. KU can’t throw more than ten yards downfield, but its running attack is developing into a scary good unit. And Baylor can’t stop anyone. Talent doesn’t necessarily mean success, and this game ends much closer than most people predict. In fact, I’ll eat my hat if Baylor covers the spread on this one. Easy Prediction: Baylor 32, Kansas 28

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