Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Big 12 Upset Alert: Week 11
By David Ubben
Each week, we pick the Big 12 game most likely to go the opposite way experts believe.
Upset is a relative term in Big 12 play, but I've narrowed it down to one game:
My pick: West Virginia at Oklahoma State
West Virginia's slide can't last forever, can it? Well, maybe it can, but I can't shake the feeling that West Virginia's waiting to flip the switch back on and look like the top-five team it was after the first five games of the season.
The Cowboys are eight-point favorites in Stillwater, but -- and stop me if you've heard this before -- they're dealing with quarterback health issues. Wes Lunt and Clint Chelf will split reps in practice this week after Lunt suffered an undisclosed injury last week on the road against Kansas State.
Chelf played well in his absence, but if Lunt returns, it's time to address his turnover issues as a real problem. He's clearly got a huge arm and a promising future, but Lunt has basically only played three games and has seven interceptions, more than seven Big 12 quarterbacks.
West Virginia's defense looked markedly better last week against TCU before it gave up a game-changing 94-yard touchdown pass, but the Mountaineers have forced 19 sacks this year, one off the Big 12 lead. They're pressuring the quarterbacks, and with Chelf and Lunt's inexperience in game situations, we could see the Mountaineers get their interception game on.
The offense took a step in the right direction last week, too. Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin versus Justin Gilbert and Brodrick Brown should be a really, really fun matchup, but West Virginia's got the clear edge at quarterback with Geno Smith, a huge talent who's had a tough last month.
If West Virginia can turn it around and get back to playing like it did in September and early October, this one's got upset written all over it. In fact, don't be all that surprised if West Virginia rolls.