Monday, October 1, 2012
Peeking ahead to Week 6 in the Big 12
By David Ubben
Another great set of games this weekend, headlined by West Virginia's first road trip in the Big 12. No pressure, guys, just your everyday, routine matchup of top-10 teams against the league's biggest brand-name team.
- Holy cow, I don't know about you, but I absolutely can't wait for West Virginia and Texas to tangle. There still seems to be more skepticism about the Longhorns than there is about WVU, but there's no doubt that West Virginia will have the best player on the field. He'll be facing one of the best defenses he'll see all year in Texas. Or will he? The Longhorns' tackling issues haven't gone away, but their form seems to have gone missing. Can Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs figure out how to cover Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin? I'm not sure it's possible. Help from the rest of the secondary will be needed. This is more than a one-man job.
- Oklahoma: How good is this team? There's plenty of reason to doubt the Sooners, who have looked poor in two of their three outings this season. What about Texas Tech? The offense sputtered in the first half against Iowa State, but it has been impressive in three games against patsies. We'll learn a lot about both of these teams this week, but you'll be hearing plenty about the Sooners' troubles in Lubbock. They haven't won there in almost a decade.
- Geno Smith is the Heisman front-runner, but this is one game in which he can really win this thing. A good enough performance on Saturday might give Smith enough slack to even suffer a loss and still maintain his lead in the race, as long as he plays decent in the loss.
- Iowa State couldn't get the win against Texas Tech, but TCU has left doors open all season long, and nobody's taken advantage. Other than K-State, is any team in the Big 12 more liable to take advantage of anything a team gives it? ISU is very dangerous heading down to Fort Worth. TCU gets somewhat of a pass for the mistakes against SMU because of the rain, but this is still becoming a trend.
- Will the bye week matter for Kansas? KU has gotten absolutely steamrolled against rival K-State the past two years, as the Wildcats have turned in some of their best performances. K-State has pretty much nothing to prove in this game, but can KU at least make this thing competitive? For the sake of those of us who have to watch these games (ahem), I hope so.
- Oklahoma State gets a week off to think about last week's heartbreaking loss to Texas. Baylor's also off this week after losing to West Virginia on Saturday, despite scoring 63 points.
Want the full Big 12 schedule? Here you go (all times ET):
- Kansas at No. 7 Kansas State, noon, FX
- No. 17 Oklahoma at Texas Tech, 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2 (reverse mirror)
- No. 15 TCU at Iowa State, 3:30 p.m., Fox Sports Network
- No. 8 West Virginia at No. 11 Texas, 7 p.m., FOX