BIG 12 WEEKEND
A look at the upcoming weekend action involving the Big 12 along with their TV listings. All times are Central. All rankings are BCS.
2:30 p.m. Saturday, Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK. (FSN)
What to Watch: This game is pretty much for bowl placement. Both teams are eligible. The Cowboys aren’t sure if QB Wes Lunt will play but senior Clint Chelf played well last week at West Virginia. Texas Tech had to survive double overtime in a win over Kansas and plays its final two games away from Lubbock. Quarterback Seth Doege has thrown for more than 300 yards in five consecutive Big 12 games.
6:00 p.m. Saturday, Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS. (FSN)
What to Watch: An absolute must-win for the Cyclones because they are still one win shy of gaining bowl eligibility. But they have to be ready for the Jayhawks’ running game, which is the second-best in the conference (213.1). While freshman quarterback Michael Cummings has not thrown for 100 yards in the last three weeks, running back James is second among all Big 12 backs with 875 rushing yards.
6:00 p.m. Saturday, Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WVA (FOX)
What to Watch: The bleeding continues for the Mountaineers, who have surrendered at least 39 points in each Big 12 game. This is a matchup of the Sooners’ strength – the passing game – against the Mountaineers’ weakness – pass defense. Oklahoma is averaging 309 yards per game, which is actually fifth in the Big 12. West Virginia continues to be the nation’s worst pass defense at 343.6.
7:00 p.m. Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco (ESPN)
What to Watch: How good are the Wildcats? They are first in the conference in sacks (27), kickoff return average (29.0), committed the fewest penalties (32) and are first in turnover ratio (plus 20). QB Collin Klein wasn’t sharp last week at TCU but had a key 34-yard TD run. Baylor’s running game has taken shape with the emergence of Lache Seastrunk. The Bears have a chance to pull off the monumental upset if they protect the football.
BIG 12 POWER RANKINGS
Each week, RattleandHumSports unveils its weekly power rankings. Agree or disagree, these make for great water cooler talk.
1. Kansas State – Wildcats have the second-best Red Zone defense (74.3%) in the conference
2. Oklahoma – Sooners averaging 37 points per game in Big 12 play
3. Texas – Longhorns have 400+ yards of total offense in eight of 10 games
4. Texas Tech – DL Kerry Hyder has 16.5 plays for losses behind the line of scrimmage
5. Oklahoma State – Despite QB issues, Cowboys are bowl eligible
6. TCU – Patterson to Arkansas rumors starting to appear
7. West Virginia – This four-game slide is epic
8. Iowa State – LB A.J. Klein’s production dropping after necessary position switch
9. Baylor – QB Nick Florence has to bounce back from a tough outing last week at OU
10. Kansas – Is this the weekend the Jayhawks collect their first conference win?
In August, we unveiled our inaugural Big 12 bowl projections. More than half of the conference membership – Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, TCU and Texas Tech – is already bowl eligible.
Iowa State and West Virginia are each at five wins and should meet the minimum six before the regular season concludes on Dec. 1. Baylor is still in the running, but time is running out. Should the Bears miss out, the conference likely won’t have a team eligible to play in the Heart of Texas Bowl.
Of course, this is subject to change:
BCS Title Game – Kansas State. The Wildcats continue to be in good position here and the schedule is favorable.
BCS Fiesta – Oklahoma. Just keep winning, Sooners, and the at-large may take care of itself.
Cotton – Texas. If the Longhorns falter to 8-4, they likely will move around. But if they get here, it may not be against Texas A&M. LSU?
Alamo – Oklahoma State. The winner of the Texas Tech-Oklahoma State game this week likely goes to San Antonio.
Holiday – Texas Tech. The loser of the Texas Tech-Oklahoma State this week likely goes to San Diego.
Buffalo Wild Wings (formerly Insight) – Iowa State. If the Cyclones don’t win at Kansas this weekend, they have a lot of pressure on them in the finale Nov. 23 against West Virginia.
New Era Pinstripe – West Virginia. This one still makes sense for the Mountaineers given their slide and the ease to get to New York City.
Meineke Car Care – TCU. The Horned Frogs can finish anywhere from 6-6 to 8-4. But it’s making more sense to keep them in Texas. Their opponent in this game comes from the Big 10 and likely would be Minnesota.
By the Number
Opponents’ third-down conversion percentage against TCU. The Horned Frogs lead the Big 12 in that category.