Friday, June 6, 2014
Big 12's Ultimate Road Trip: Week 9
By Brandon Chatmon
The home stretch of the season is nearly upon us.
Last week, we kicked off our Big 12's Ultimate Road Trip series. This week, we journey deeper into the 2014 schedule.
To those unfamiliar with this series, we both pick a game featuring a Big 12 team in every week of the season that we’d cover if the travel budget were unlimited and there were no editors telling us where to go.
We’ll be basing our choices on several factors, including the quality of the matchup and the stakes that could be involved. The only restriction is that each of us can pick only one game per week.
Let’s continue with Week 9.
West Virginia at Oklahoma State
Texas Tech at TCU
Texas at Kansas State
Jake Trotter’s pick: Texas Tech at TCU
Arguably the strangest Big 12 game last season, Texas Tech knocked off the Horned Frogs with a late Davis Webb touchdown pass amid a series of bizarre fourth-quarter calls.
The 2014 version of this old Southwest Conference rivalry will feature one of the budding passing attacks in the country against a tenacious and deep secondary. The Red Raiders will want to turn this into a shootout. Even with their new offense, the Horned Frogs will try to make the game a grinder like last season's.
Another compelling storyline to watch in this one: former Texas Tech QB and assistant Sonny Cumbie (now TCU’s co-offensive coordinator) going up against his alma mater, and the staff he coached with last season.
You can best believe both sides will pull out all the stops to win what will be a pivotal game for either team.
Brandon Chatmon’s pick: Texas at Kansas State
The other two games on the Big 12 schedule are interesting, but watching Bill Snyder’s Wildcats try to return to their winning ways against the Longhorns tops the list of conference games in Week 9.
The Wildcats' recent success is well-documented, winning five of the last six meetings between the two teams including three straight wins in Manhattan, Kan. But the Longhorns' lone win was a 31-21 triumph last September which sparked their run to the pseudo-Big 12 title game at Baylor on the final day of the 2013 regular season.
K-State’s battle with UT comes in the midst of a tough five-game stretch, sandwiched between games with Texas Tech and Oklahoma before UT’s visit followed by Oklahoma State and TCU after Charlie Strong’s squad comes to Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Strong’s Longhorns will be looking to show they can to be a good road team in just their second road contest of the season to this point. The game at K-State kicks off a stretch of three of four games on the road and will go a long way to determining where UT ends up in the standings.
It will also be intriguing to see how Snyder’s underrated offense goes about attacking Strong’s defense in a game that could drastically shift the fortunes of either team.
Week 1: Trotter -- SMU at Baylor; Chatmon -- West Virginia vs. Alabama (in Atlanta)
Week 2: Trotter -- Kansas State at Iowa State; Chatmon -- Kansas State at Iowa State
Week 3: Trotter -- Texas vs. UCLA (in Arlington); Chatmon -- Tennessee at Oklahoma
Week 4: Trotter -- Auburn at Kansas State; Chatmon -- Auburn at Kansas State
Week 5: Trotter -- Texas Tech at Oklahoma State; Chatmon -- Baylor at Iowa State
Week 6: Trotter -- Baylor at Texas; Chatmon -- Baylor at Texas
Week 7: Trotter -- Texas vs. Oklahoma; Chatmon -- TCU at Baylor
Week 8: Trotter -- Kansas State at Oklahoma; Chatmon -- Oklahoma State at TCU