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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The Big 12 Primer: Week 9

By David Ubben

I'll have my predictions up first thing in the morning, but here's when and where you can find this week's Big 12 games. I'll also be revealing which game I'll be attending this week in tomorrow's predictions column. Let's hear your predictions in the comments.

Here's a look at this week's schedule:

West Virginia is idle.

No. 23 Texas at Kansas (noon, Fox Sports Net): Kansas loves to run the ball. Texas can't seem to stop the run. Could the Longhorns make it interesting? It's been an interesting couple weeks in Austin, with Mack Brown quieting talk about his job security with a win over Baylor but making headlines with complaints about the Longhorn Network. The Longhorns are banged up, but getting a win here is a tall order for KU.

TCU at Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net): Oklahoma State is trying to figure out if Wes Lunt is ready to reclaim his spot as the team's starter, but Trevone Boykin is coming into his own as TCU's quarterback, throwing four touchdown passes in consecutive weeks as a redshirt freshman. The Frogs have dealt with more injuries than anybody in the league, but OSU may need to lean on Joseph Randle more this week. Is the offensive line up to the task against an underrated TCU defensive front seven.

No. 15 Texas Tech at No. 3 Kansas State (3:30 p.m., FOX): Kansas State thought it had grabbed a sizeable lead in the Big 12 title race, but Texas Tech has been the Big 12's biggest overachiever this season, and is already bowl eligible. With a win, the Red Raiders can put themselves in position to win the school's first Big 12 title, too. Texas Tech coordinator Art Kaufman's defense is improved, but this is a different challenge this week, and both sides of the ball showed weakness in a blowout loss to Oklahoma. Can K-State duplicate that blueprint?

Baylor at Iowa State (7 p.m., Fox Sports Net): There may not be two more unbalanced teams in the Big 12, and that makes this game wholly unpredictable. Iowa State's defense has been about as good as any in the Big 12 this year. Baylor's offense has been about as good as any in the Big 12. But the Iowa State offense and Baylor defense? Woof. The winner of this one gets a huge win and one step closer to a very special bowl bid. The loser might have to face a reality of a five-win season after reaching the postseason last year.

No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 8 Oklahoma (8 p.m., ABC): There's all kinds of history on the field here, but Oklahoma is just 1-8 against the Irish. Notre Dame is 4-0 this year in close games, but OU will be by far the best team Notre Dame has faced this season. Few teams in the country have been more impressive the last three weeks than Oklahoma, and Notre Dame will try to win a game in Norman as a ranked team, a situation in which Bob Stoops has lost just once in 15 opportunites. The last time? Earlier this season versus now-No. 3 K-State, who is undefeated.