Kansas at Baylor: The Bears and Jayhawks have combined for 11 straight losses. Yes, it's a battle between the putrid and the rancid, but somebody has to stink a little less once the miasma has cleared. Now Kansas is bad on a street corner, bad in a Wal Mart, bad on a plane and bad in a train, but they're especially rotten on the road. Furthermore, Charlie Weis' club is coming off of a gut-twisting loss to the Texas Longhorns. Something tells me they won't have much in the tank for the Bears. And as atrocious as Baylor is on defense, they can still run a team ragged with their offense.
The Vision: Baylor 49 Kansas 21
TCU at West Virginia: If you look at West Virginia's record, they don't have a true signature win. The closest thing is the nail-biter over Texas in Austin, which is nothing to sneeze at, but that was not exactly a vintage Longhorn team that WVU beat either. TCU's best is a 49-21 trouncing of Baylor in Waco. So both teams are capable of playing well on the road.
Basically, this will be a clash between an offensive team (West Virginia) and a defensive team (TCU). West Virginia's mental state is in serious doubt after consecutive poundings at the hands of Texas Tech and Kansas State. Has the bye week cured what ails the Mountaineers? Probably not. But Dana Holgorsen's goons should have enough to get by the Frogs.
The Vision: West Virginia 29 TCU 28
Oklahoma at Iowa State: The Sooners are another team potentially in psychological turmoil after Notre Dame vaporized their shaky national title hopes with a 17-point win in Norman on national television. Does OU have anything to really fire them up after their goals have been negated?
Iowa State does. Stellar linebacker Jake Knott is going under the knife and his Cyclone career has come to a premature end. ISU will certainly miss him, but look for fiery Paul Rhoads to use Knott's absence as a motivational tool par excellence. Just win one for the Knotter.
The Vision: Iowa State 27 Oklahoma 21
Oklahoma State at Kansas State: Here is the Big 12's marquee matchup of the week. One could make the case that the Cowboys are the second best team in the conference right now, while there's no doubt that the Wildcats reign supreme. Does Mike Gundy have anything for Bill Snyder? It's hard to imaging freshman signal caller Wes Lunt faring much better against the KSU defense than did Texas Tech senior Seth Doege, and nobody, and I mean nobody, shuts down Collin Klein and the purple juggernaut for long. I'm sure the Cowboys will be competitive for quite a while, but inevitably, the Wildcats will put the visitors on ice.
The Vision: Kansas State 36 Oklahoma State 20
Texas at Texas Tech: This game is pert near unfathomable. The Red Raiders appear to be the superior team, but the Longhorns always seem to rise to the occasion when they see scarlet and black. (Perhaps the inclusion of blue on Tech's "lone star pride" unis will flummox the Horns.) Tech will be fired up, probably more so than Texas. But following an apparent defensive collapse last week against Kansas State, there is real concern about whether the Red Raiders can clamp down on a power running attack for three quarters, let alone four. Is the Tech defense wearing down? The Longhorns aim to find out.
The Vision: Texas 39 Texas Tech 38