The Big 12 Primer: Week 8
Here's a look at this week's schedule:
No. 24 Iowa State at Oklahoma State (noon, FX): Last season, Iowa State ended the Cowboys' undefeated season and destroyed their hopes of a national title. The Cyclones are headed to Stillwater this time, but both teams already have two losses. The Cyclones are in great position to qualify for a third bowl in four years. OSU quarterback Wes Lunt's knee continues to heal, and he dressed out last week. Is this the week he takes his spot back from J.W. Walsh?
No. 17 Texas Tech at No. 23 TCU (3:30 p.m., ABC): TCU has moved on without Casey Pachall, and Trevone Boykin filled in admirably a week ago with four touchdown passes in a win against Baylor. Texas Tech's defense, though, is a much tougher test, and the Frogs were dominated by Iowa State in their last home outing. The Red Raiders knocked off their second top five team in two years last week, but didn't win a single game after beating No. 1 Oklahoma last year. Can the Red Raiders keep the good vibes rolling against the Frogs? This could be a budding Big 12 rivalry.
No. 4 Kansas State at No. 13 West Virginia (7 p.m., FOX): The Big 12's Game of the Week is a contrast of styles. The league's youngest coach, 41-year-old Dana Holgorsen, goes up against its oldest, 73-year-old Bill Snyder. Both teams have Heisman-caliber quarterbacks that couldn't be more different -- or better fits for their respective schemes. Geno Smith will command the Mountaineers' Air Raid while Kansas State dual-threat Collin Klein handles almost half of his business on the ground. If Kansas State wins, the Wildcats have a stranglehold on the Big 12 title race. If WVU wins, the race becomes a scramble.
Kansas at No. 9 Oklahoma (7 p.m., Fox Sports Net): The Jayhawks are five-touchdown underdogs to the Sooners, who have played better than any team in the Big 12 in the past two weeks. That's a welcome development after a rough start. Meanwhile, Kansas is dealing with a quarterback controversy. Will Charlie Weis bench his transfer, Dayne Crist, for Michael Cummings, who nearly engineered a huge comeback against Oklahoma State last week?
Baylor at No. 25 Texas (8 p.m., ABC): How serious is the heat in Austin on Mack Brown after two losses in two weeks and a disappointing defense? Not very serious if you ask me, but losing to Baylor in three consecutive seasons is a bad look for any coach of the Longhorns. Texas' David Ash suffered an injury to his non-throwing wrist last week, but says he'll play. Baylor's Nick Florence will be hungry to get back on the field after throwing four interceptions against TCU, and without Texas' best defensive end, Jackson Jeffcoat (left pectoral, out for season), Florence should have some more time in the pocket this week.
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Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Play Podcast Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.
Play Podcast Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.