Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Big 12 Upset Alert: Week 5
By David Ubben
Every week, we take a look at the game most likely to go the way experts don't expect. Which of the five Big 12 games gets the nod this week?
My pick: Texas Tech at Iowa State
The Cyclones are only three-point underdogs in this game, but get to host the Red Raiders on Saturday night (7 ET) with plenty to prove for both teams.
Still, there's a huge history here. Texas Tech is 3-0 with three lopsided wins over outmatched opponents, but last year, Tech hosted Iowa State in Lubbock after beating No. 1 Oklahoma on the road. The night was anything but a celebration.
Texas Tech was a 14-point favorite in that game and lost by 34 points, kicking off what would be a five-game losing streak that left the Red Raiders outside of the postseason.
Two years ago in Ames, Iowa State was a touchdown underdog and knocked off Texas Tech by 14 in a 52-38 shootout that made it clear the Red Raiders defense had a long way to go.
What happens this year? It's anyone's guess, but the underdogs would love to beat the Big 12 team with the worst opponents but the most style points through three weeks. Iowa State is tested, more so than any team in the Big 12. The Cyclones have proven themselves in tight games all season, rallying from nine points down to beat Tulsa and edging out Iowa on the road in a 9-6 win.
Ugly wins, sure. But wins that make a team feel like they're winning any game that's close. Nobody's better in the underdog role than Paul Rhoads' Cyclones, and Ames is proving to be a tough spot for teams to win lately. Just ask Oklahoma State.
This is one of two Big 12 games this week between undefeated teams, and if this game is close late, there's no question about which team believes it can make the plays to win, and which team absolutely knows it can make the plays to win the game.
We'll have even more on this matchup later this week.