Big 12 Easy Pick’ems – Weekend of December 1



It’s finally here – the last Easy Pick’em of the regular season (don’t worry – The Jug promises one more set of misdiagnosed picks for bowl season as well). Surprisingly enough, the Big 12 champion remains to be crowned and it’s still possible for anything to happen – well, anything limited to Oklahoma or Kansas State winning the Big 12 trophy. The Big 12 is officially out of the running for a spot in the national championship game, but there’s still a bit of jockeying left for bowl slots (in case you missed the news, the Big 12 has nine bowl eligible teams). Nine outta ten is 90 percent – that’s a new national record! The conference may still receive two BCS bowl invitations! Justin Bieber is being sued because one of his concertgoers suffered hearing damage after the boyish annoyance “enticed the crowd” into a screaming frenzy! On to the picks!

#18 Texas at #6 Kansas State (-11.5)
This game must have a lot of oddsmakers uneasy. If the Wildcats were undefeated going into this game, they’d be considered unstoppable. Had they suffered a close loss to Baylor, it’d be written off as yet another team unable to handle the pressure of a #1 ranking. But losing by four touchdowns generally indicates a vast disparity in talent. Baylor’s dominance still has a lot of people scratching their heads. Yet if Vegas is uneasy about this game, Texas fans have good reason to be terrified. Bill Snyder is the ultimate motivator, there are rumors that Ty Zimmerman will be back, and Tyler Lockett and Collin Klein should be fully recovered from any lingering injuries they may or may not admit to having going into Waco.  Case McCoy is forced into two, maybe three interceptions as Meshak Williams plays 50 percent of the game in the Longhorns’ backfield. Prediction: Kansas State 38, Texas 21

#23 Oklahoma State (-4.5) at Baylor
The Jug spent several weeks referring to Baylor as ‘the best team that can’t beat anyone.’ Unfortunately, the Bears shed the second half of that moniker in a big way, beating K-State by a nasty score of 52-24. They followed that performance up with a 52-45 overtime win over Texas Tech. A third win for Nick Florence would allow Baylor to finish on a 4-1 winning streak with a 4-5 record in conference play and shot at a decent (though not great) bowl invitation. The problem is that Oklahoma State is the third best team in the conference, and the Cowboys could very well be playing for a Cotton Bowl invite if both Oklahoma and K-State win on Saturday. Baylor may feel good that the Cowboys’ quarterback situation is as mangled as it’s been all season, but Okie State seems to be able to plug and play with just about anyone under center. The emergence of Baylor’s running back Lance Seastrunk allows them to beat the spread, not the opponent. Prediction: Oklahoma State 48, Baylor 45

Kansas at West Virginia (-20)
Kansas. Oh Kansas. Two straight seasons without a conference win. That’s the designation the Jayhawks face unless they can leave Morgantown with a victory. The Jug has maintained throughout the season that this team would own a conference win if it played in any other league, and that includes the SEC (which is as top-heavy as ever, allowing pundits to gloss over how awful the bottom of the league has been this year). But KU plays in the Big 12, and West Virginia is the final disappointment in Charlie Weis’s long introduction to the conference. The Jayhawks play good team defense, but don’t have the athletes to shut down elite players. Tavon Austin has averaged over 10 yards per rush since switching from receiver to running back, and is a very elite athlete. West Virginia’s defense is just good enough to shut down Kansas’s running backs. KU is capable of keeping the game close, but as West Virginia can attest as it winds down a disappointing first year in the Big 12, potential doesn’t guarantee anything. Prediction: West Virginia 48, Kansas 23

And now, for that weekly pick wherein The Jug proclaims to offer an absolute can’t miss bet and then whiffs just about every time, here’s your final Easy Pick’em of the regular season:

#11 Oklahoma (-6.5) at TCU
Oklahoma, one of the best teams in the nation and playing with some of the biggest momentum in the conference, is favored by just under a touchdown against TCU. Yes, Oklahoma needed overtime to put away Oklahoma State last week. It’s also possible the Sooners are tired from their recent travels, but there’s really only one stat you need to know here: Oklahoma is 7-1 in conference play. TCU is 4-4. Landry Jones fails to pass for his third straight 500-yard game, but he does pass for three touchdowns. Prediction: Oklahoma 27, TCU 18