Big 12: game predictions

Big 12 game predictions: Week 14

November, 29, 2012
Time for one final week of picks. I'm headed to Fort Worth, Texas, this weekend for Oklahoma versus TCU. The staff at HornsNation will have you covered out in Manhattan, Kan., for Kansas State-Texas. You'll be covered from all angles this weekend, as usual.

Let's get to the picks.

Iowa State and Texas Tech have completed their regular seasons.

Last week: 3-1 (.750)
Overall: 52-19 (.732)

No. 23 Oklahoma State 44, Baylor 34: There's something to Oklahoma State's mastery of Baylor. The Bears are better, but Oklahoma State is playing great football late in the season and has found its stride with Clint Chelf taking care of the ball and producing. The Bears' defense faces a much tougher test in a more balanced Oklahoma State offense, and the Pokes make them pay. Solid day for Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith.

No. 11 Oklahoma 27, TCU 21: There's lots of upset potential here; I just couldn't bring myself to pick it. The Sooners are tired and susceptible to teams strong against the run. This one gets uglied up by the TCU defense, and the Frogs have success with the zone read with Trevone Boykin and Matthew Tucker. Too much aerial attack by Landry Jones and his growing set of receivers. He turns it over one or twice but finds Kenny Stills and Jalen Saunders enough to outweigh the mistakes against ball-hawking TCU secondary that has 20 interceptions, four more than any team in the Big 12 and tied for third-most nationally.

West Virginia 51, Kansas 21: Fast-paced offense. Lots of talented players in one-on-one matchups. That spells all kinds of trouble for Kansas, which has played decent team defense, but the Jayhawks don't have the talent on defense to slow down Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin. The KU running game might make a difference and keep West Virginia's offense off the field, but I'm not betting on it. KU's imperfect season is complete.

No. 6 Kansas State 31, No. 18 Texas 20: With Case McCoy against a really disruptive Kansas State defense, I just don't see the Horns pulling off the upset. Meshak Williams is all over McCoy for 60 minutes, and Arthur Brown does a solid job spying and making sure he doesn't get loose scrambling on broken plays. Collin Klein bounced back with a good game, but one that's just average for him this season, accounting for all four touchdowns.

Big 12 game predictions: Week 12

November, 15, 2012
I'll be heading south to Waco this week for another Kansas State game. The new BCS No. 1 travels to Baylor to face the Bears, which are still fighting for bowl eligibility. Should be a good one.

Without further ado, let's get to the picks!

Last week: 4-1 (.800)
Overall: 46-17 (.730)

TCU and Texas are idle.

No. 24 Oklahoma State 44, No. 23 Texas Tech 31: Oklahoma State has quarterback issues, but it's solely regarding personnel, not production. Tech is again leading the Big 12 in total defense, but this is the highest-ranked offense Tech will have faced all season. Joseph Randle gets back with a big game, and Clint Chelf keeps the train rolling. This is my game of the week, so come back later today for a video looking further into the matchup.

No. 12 Oklahoma 47, West Virginia 27: Oklahoma's defense is the Big 12's best against the pass, and the Sooners' secondary gets the job done. Like WVU's past four opponents, Landry Jones takes advantage and earns Big 12 Player of the Week honors with a huge night. He tops 350 yards through the air, and WVU's offense can't keep up with the defense. Oklahoma's BCS hopes truck onward.

Iowa State 27, Kansas 20: So close yet again, but Iowa State needs this win even more than KU. The Cyclones have put themselves on the doorstep of the postseason, not needing a mammoth upset like last season to reach a bowl. ISU takes advantage of the opportunity and gets it done against KU, despite giving up major yardage on the ground.

No. 1 Kansas State 44, Baylor 20: What pressure? Kansas State picks off Baylor's Nick Florence twice, and the Wildcats turn in another great performance to get within a win of the BCS title game. The Kansas State faithful travel in force to Floyd Casey Stadium. Collin Klein bounces back with another Heisman-worthy stat line to add to his lead in the race while Johnny Football beats up on Sam Houston State.

Big 12 game predictions: Week 6

October, 4, 2012
Time to pick this week's games across the Big 12. It's a small slate -- only four games -- but it should be interesting. Outside of Kansas State-Kansas, I'd say anything could happen in the other three games. Could be a very upset-filled Saturday.

I'll be in Austin, Texas, on Saturday to see the Longhorns host West Virginia in the Mountaineers' first Big 12 road game. I'm pretty excited about it.

Oklahoma State and Baylor are off this week.

On to the predictions!

Last week: 4-0 (1.000)

Overall: 29-5 (.853)

No. 7 Kansas State 44, Kansas 17: Nobody is taking this game more seriously than Bill Snyder. The man gets his teams ready for Kansas. Ron Prince never beat the Jayhawks. Snyder, meanwhile, is 16-4 against his in-state rival, including two of the most complete beatdowns the Turner Gill-coached Jayhawks ever received. Snyder gets his guys up for this game, and Collin Klein takes care of business against an improving KU defense.

Texas Tech 28, No. 17 Oklahoma 27: Give me the upset. Texas Tech's revamped defense harasses Landry Jones and proves it's here to stay. Meanwhile, Oklahoma's struggles in Lubbock continue. Seth Doege has a big game against the Sooners secondary and Texas Tech propels itself into the top 25. Art Kaufman might be something of a miracle worker with this defense.

No. 15 TCU 17, Iowa State 16: This will be a rare defensive struggle in the Big 12. Iowa State has an underrated defense and its linebackers are well-equipped to shut down TCU's running game. TCU's defense will force Steele Jantz into more mistakes, too. The Horned Frogs have major problems, but make the necessary plays in the fourth quarter to get a clutch win.

No. 8 West Virginia 41, No. 11 Texas 38: I'm taking the upset here, too. West Virginia's offense is too much in Austin and though Geno Smith throws his first interception of the season, his four touchdown passes are just enough to get one of the biggest wins in WVU history. The Mountaineers negate a Texas pass rush with a healthy diet of screens, and Texas' tackling issues are a major problem against a slippery Tavon Austin, who all too often looks like he's covered in some sort of grease. More on this game later today in my Game of the Week video.

Big 12 game predictions: Week 5

September, 27, 2012
We're only two days from another helping of Big 12 football, but I'm making my way to Stillwater this weekend to get my first in-person look at both Texas and Oklahoma State.

It should be a fun weekend, for sure, and good to get back in Stillwater, where it seems like I've sort of camped out the past couple seasons. The spoils of outstanding home schedules, I suppose. No worries in Morgantown, though, folks. Our Ivan Maisel is headed to West Virginia's game vs. Baylor, so we'll have plenty of Big 12 flavor across this weekend.

Let's get to this week's picks!

Last week: 3-2 (.600)

Overall: 25-5 (.833)

No. 7 Kansas State, Kansas and No. 16 Oklahoma are all off this week.

No. 9 West Virginia 45, No. 25 Baylor 34: Baylor's looked pretty questionable in the first half this season, and the same applies in a hyped Morgantown atmosphere. The problem: These Mountaineers are tough and won't let the Bears get back into it. Shawne Alston is back on the field and has WVU's offense back to its usual self. Could we see 200 snaps in this game? It's possible, but the lion's share go to the new guys, who kick off Big 12 play in spectacular style with an exhibition of two of the league's best offenses.

No. 15 TCU 27, SMU 10: The Iron Skillet is headed back to Fort Worth. TCU has to deal with a night crowd at SMU, but Casey Pachall is able to pace the Frogs, whose running game continues to look a little punchless. The red zone turnovers aren't a problem anymore, but Garrett Gilbert is getting better in SMU's offense and moves the chains enough to make this close early. TCU pulls away late.

Texas Tech 41, Iowa State 28: This is just a painful pick. I've already been burned once by doubting Paul Rhoads, but I underestimated the craptitude that is Iowa's offense. Steele Jantz is better and gives the Red Raiders a good test, but even with the weak early schedule, I'm starting to believe a little bit in this Red Raiders team. I'm not buying this defense yet, but the offense will be back to its usual self as long as it stays healthy. For now, that's the case. Too much depth. Too much speed. Tommy Tuberville's best offensive line yet gives ISU's front four all kinds of problems.

No. 12 Texas 37, Oklahoma State 27: This is my pick of the week. Come back later today for a more in-depth look at this game, but Texas' running game will do horrible, horrible things to Oklahoma State's defensive line.

Big 12 game predictions: Week 4

September, 20, 2012
Last week was a good one, my second week this season without a missed pick. That wasn't too difficult, though. This week, it gets harder.

No big surprises in my Saturday location: I'm heading to Norman to see the Sooners and Wildcats tangle in a Saturday night prime-time showdown.

Here's who I've got in this weekend's games:

Last week: 8-0

Season record: 22-3 (.880)

Texas, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech are off this week.

Baylor 41, Louisiana-Monroe 28: I don't buy the upset potential here. Tyler Wilson looked fine against the Warhawks before he got hurt. Nick Florence should do the same. Terrance Williams and Tevin Reese give Louisiana-Monroe fits. The Bears will take care of business and have too much offense, though Kolton Browning will make plenty of plays to make Baylor's defense sweat.

No. 8 West Virginia 55, Maryland 17: Maryland is better this year under Randy Edsall, but not good enough to make this a game. West Virginia is playing like a top-10 team and will keep it going to close out nonconference play. Stedman Bailey will grab two more touchdowns and Tavon Austin will hit double digits in receptions once again. Business as usual for the 'Eers.

No. 17 TCU 44, Virginia 20: Gary Patterson is not sweating the turnovers from last week because the fumbles were so out of character for his team. The Horned Frogs will prove it this week, dominating the line of scrimmage against the Cavaliers. Matthew Tucker will clear 100 yards easily, and Skye Dawson will finally get in the mix after a Week 1 suspension and quiet game at KU last week.

Kansas 28, Northern Illinois 27: This was by far the toughest pick of the week. Ultimately, I think NIU is a bit overrated based on its reputation this season and won't be able to stop Kansas' running game. Tony Pierson and James Sims are quite the duo in the backfield, and Sims will be fired up after returning from suspension. He's ready, and KU will get a big win on the road against the Huskies. Dayne Crist should learn from his mistakes and make a couple of big throws late, instead of interceptions.

No. 6 Oklahoma 37, No. 15 Kansas State 31: This is (obviously) my game of the week. Come back later today for a video explaining why I picked the game to play out like this.