Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Big 12 Upset Alert: Week 12
By David Ubben
Each week, I pick the one game in the Big 12 this week that is most likely to go the opposite way experts expect.
Only four Big 12 games this week, but here's this week's team firmly on Upset Alert:
My pick: Iowa State at Kansas
The Cyclones travel to Lawrence as a touchdown favorite, but the Jayhawks are hungrier than ever, and aren't all that far off from being in a very different place this season.
The Jayhawks are just 1-9, but held big fourth-quarter leads against Rice and Northern Illinois to begin the season. The Jayhawks collapsed against NIU and a turnover led to a Rice game-winning field goal.
Last week, the Jayhawks erased a double-digit, fourth-quarter lead against Texas Tech and struck first with a touchdown in overtime, but gave up a TD and failed to score and push the game to a third overtime.
Change a couple plays here and there, and all of a sudden KU is playing with five wins in its pocket. Iowa State has those five wins, and this game could have been for bowl eligibility.
Still, Kansas is inching closer and closer to a win, and Iowa State was the lone team last year that KU came close to outplaying for 60 minutes. Iowa State held on for a 13-10 win, but the recipe for an upset is there. James Sims and Anthony Pierson combined for 339 yards on 46 carries last week against Tech, and though the passing game is still stalling, KU might not quite need it.
Iowa State allowed Texas' top two backs last week to average more than 6 yards a carry and the Cyclones suffered a 26-point loss to the Longhorns, their most lopsided result of the season.
If KU runs the ball like that, there's no doubt they'll have another opportunity to win. Linebacker Jake Knott is gone for the season with a shoulder injury, and reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, A.J. Klein, is still adjusting to his new position on the weak side. He's been quiet the past couple weeks, and his production has slowed.
Can KU take advantage? It's definitely possible. That 19-game Big 12 losing streak is in peril this week, and Iowa State's officially on upset alert.