For the first time in over a month, the Big 12 Championship trophy appears to be in play.
It wasn’t a good weekend for The Jug’s football picks this weekend. Turned in a better performance than K-State did against Baylor, but that’s not much of a standard to hold anyone to. An 0-4 outing picking against the spread drops the season record to 18-19, which is a record only a mother could love. Additionally, a big loss by Texas Tech drops the conference to only four ranked teams. And while parity once again reigns supreme on the plains, a couple unexpected outcomes put the Big 12 in position to qualify nine of its ten teams for bowl games. Not too shabby.
Straight Up: 2-2 (28-9)
Against the Spread: 0-4 (18-19)
#23 Texas Tech at #24 Oklahoma State (-10)
Prediction: Oklahoma State 43, Texas Tech 34
Final Outcome: Oklahoma State 59, Texas Tech 21
Going into this game, the only thing seeming to separate these two teams was momentum (Texas Tech was falling after achieving a top-15 ranking while Oklahoma State was pulling itself back into the polls). After this game, there appears to be a lot more than momentum separating these two. Oklahoma State looks like a great Cotton Bowl candidate, as the Cowboys should be capable of scoring on any SEC team they’re paired with. They can also get crucial stops, as evidenced by their containment of Tech’s Seth Doege.
#1 Kansas State (-13) at Baylor
Prediction: Kansas State 53, Baylor 27
Final Outcome: Baylor 52, Kansas State 24
Someone apparently found the game tape from K-State’s meeting with KU earlier this year – or at least read The Jug while strategizing for the Wildcats. The Jayhawks brought a simple yet effective offensive approach to the game: short pass to the outside, short pass to the outside, short pass to the outside, big play up the middle after the Wildcat defenders are all drawn to the sidelines. Baylor executed the plan to perfection with a game that leaves a lot of soul-searching to be done in Manhattan. The search party remains vigilant in attempting to locate where K-State’s offense got lost, but there’s been an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ request as the search enters that crucial 72 hour mark. Baylor has finally shed the tag of being the best team that can’t beat anyone.
Iowa State (-5.5) at Kansas
Prediction: Kansas 26, Iowa State 24
Final Outcome: Iowa State 51, Kansas 23
Up until the mid-second quarter of this game, the Jayhawks were playing good football the entire month of November. Then, after going up 14-10, the Jayhawks allowed 4 straight Cyclone touchdowns in just 11 minutes and the rout was on. James Sims still had a decent game for KU, but the Jayhawks played from too far behind to make him much of a weapon. Redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Richardson started the game for Iowa State after not attempting a single pass all year. The win pushes ISU into bowl eligibility at 6-5 with one game left on their schedule, while KU falls to 0-8 in the conference with one game left against West Virginia. Welcome to the Big 12, Charlie Weis. We hope you’ve enjoyed your stay so far this year.
And now, for your Easy Pick’em of the week, where The Jug identifies the Vegas line that’s just too easy to call (and once again fails miserably):
#12 Oklahoma (-11) at West Virginia
Prediction: Oklahoma 42, West Virginia 27
Final Outcome: Oklahoma 50, West Virginia 49
This game went from future match up to determine the Big 12 champion to uninteresting fodder. The game lost a lot of luster when K-State decided take the conference championship by force and West Virginia dropped into an unstoppable tailspin. And while no one knew it at the time, a few hours after this game ended the Baylor Bears would be pulling the surprise of the year in Waco. Before Kansas State’s upset, one of the best games this year unfolded. The electric Tavon Austin was moved from receiver to running back for the game and set a West Virginia record with 344 yards rushing. On the other side, Landry Jones threw for 554 yards and six touchdowns. His last one was a doozy, hitting Kenny Stills from five yards out with 24 seconds left to secure the victory. No matter how poorly their defense performs, it’s amazing a team as dangerous as the Mountaineers sits at 2-5 in conference play. ESPN just ranked the Big 12 as the third best conference behind the SEC and the Pac-12 – there’s no way this team fails to have a winning record playing out west.