Big 12 Preview: Week Seven

The Big 12's strength is evident, but it makes deciphering each week's games a difficult task.

ON THE ROAD

Six Big 12 teams are undefeated on the road, while two others have just one loss away from home. Only Kansas (0-2) is winless on the road this year.


POWERS

In the first BCS Standings of the 2012 season, the Big 12 is tied with a nation-leading seven teams in the top 25 - 4. K-State, 9. Oklahoma, 13. West Virginia, 17. Texas Tech, 23. TCU, 24. Iowa State and 25. Texas. Nine Big 12 teams have been ranked in the national polls at some point during the season.


PARITY

Other than at the very top and bottom of the conference, win and loss streaks are very short. Kansas State has won six in a row going into Saturday, and Kansas as lost five straight. No other team has won or lost more than two consecutive games.


PUNTING PERFORMANCE

Nine of the league's ten punters are averaging more than 40 yards per boot. West Virginia is the only school in the Big 12 without a punter over that mark. Three punters -- Oklahoma State's Quinn Sharp, Texas' Alex King and TCU's Ethan Perry -- are battling for the top spot with averages of 47.5, 47.4 and 47.3, respectively.


PICKS

  • Iowa State travels to Oklahoma State in the toughest game to pick of the week. The Cyclones have earned a lot of respect this year, but overcoming the Cowboys at home is a bit too much to expect. The Cyclones are the pick.

  • TCU has weathered the loss of Casey Paschall quite well, and deserves a great deal of credit for hanging in near the top of the league. Can they keep it rolling against Texas Tech? This is a match-up of the two best defensive teams in the league -- squads that play fundamentally sound football and don't beat themselves. Even though they are one the road, that doesn't seem to mean much in the Big 12, so the Red Raiders get the nod in a close one.

  • Kansas travels to Oklahoma with designs on holding the Sooners' offense in check. The Jayhawks were very competitive at home against Oklahoma State, and do seem to be improving a bit, but they don't have enough to spring an upset this week. It's going to happen at some point this year, however.

  • West Virginia's defense has been awful against the pass, but the Mountaineers have been respectable against the run. One deficiency has been perimeter containment, which bodes ill against K-State's zone read, which can punish poor discipline on the edge. While WVU has been nearly magical in night games at home in recent years, the Wildcats still have enough to remain undefeated.

  • Baylor visits Texas with something totally unexpected on the line -- a spot in ninth place in the league for the loser. Who would have made that call in the preseason? Both teams are coming off a pair of disspiriting losses, and the squad that goes down for the third time in a row is facing the prospect of battling for a bowl bid. Texas' depleted defense may have trouble with the Baylor passing game, so the Bears are the selection for another road victory.


    BAYLOR
    (3-2, 0-2)
    at Texas
    Sat 10/20
    8:00 E / 7:00 C
    ABC
    Wide receiver Lanear Sampson improved his reception streak to 35 consecutive games, the third-longest active streak nationally.

    With two touchdown passes against TCU, QB Nick Florence moved into sole possession of 10th place on Baylor's career passing touchdowns list (26).

    Sirius/XM: 117/202


    IOWA STATE
    (4-2, 1-2)
    at Oklahoma St
    Sat 10/20
    12:00 E / 11:00 C
    FX
    Iowa State is 10-6 in games decided by seven or fewer points under Paul Rhoads.

    LB Jake Knott moved past Lester Williams and Mike Schwartz into 11th on ISU's career tackles chart.

    Sirius/XM: 117/202


    KANSAS
    (1-5, 0-3)
    at Oklahoma
    Sat 10/20
    7:00 E / 6:00 C
    FSN
    Kansas held Oklahoma State scoreless in the first quarter, marking just the second time OSU was held scoreless in a quarter this year.

    The Jayhawks surrendered 371 yards to an Oklahoma State offense that came into the game averaging 659 yards per contest.

    Sirius/XM: 138/196


    KANSAS STATE
    (6-0, 3-0)
    at West Virginia
    Sat 10/20
    7:00 E / 6:00 C
    FOX
    The victory over Iowa State gave K-State a 6-0 start overall and a 3-0 start in Big 12 play for the second straight year and just the third time since 1999.

    With the win, the Wildcats have won three-straight Big 12 road games against ranked opponents.

    Sirius/XM: 137/195


    OKLAHOMA
    (4-1, 2-1)
    vs. Kansas
    Sat 10/20
    7:00 E / 6:00 C
    FSN
    Oklahoma has outscored its last two Big 12 foes (Texas Tech & Texas) by a combined 104-41 margin.

    The Sooners have won seven straight games vs. Kansas, OU's longest victory string since winning seven in a row from 1985-91.

    Sirius/XM: 138/196


    OKLAHOMA STATE
    (3-2, 1-1)
    vs. Iowa State
    Sat 10/20
    12:00 E / 11:00 C
    FX
    The Cowboys are 14-3 in their last 17 road games and have won 13 of their last 15 conference road games.

    The 72-yard J.W.Walsh-to-Charlie Moore touchdown pass in the third quarter was OSU's longest play from scrimmage this year and the longest since 2010.

    Sirius/XM: 117/202


    TEXAS
    (4-2, 1-2)
    vs. Baylor
    Sat 10/20
    8:00 E / 7:00 C
    ABC
    The Longhorns blocked their nation-leading sixth kick of the season, an extra-point attempt in the first quarter against Oklahoma.

    Texas scored on defense for the third time this season when Carrington Byndom returned an interception 28 yards for a TD. Texas' 84 nonoffensive touchdowns since 1999 are tied for most in the FBS.

    Sirius/XM: 117/202


    TCU
    (5-1, 2-1)
    vs. Texas Tech
    Sat 10/20
    3:30 E / 2:30 C
    ABC
    With four against Baylor, the Frogs lead the nation in passes intercepted with 14.

    Freshman DE Devonte Fields leads the Big 12 in both sacks (6.5) and tackles for loss (11.5).

    Sirius/XM: 117/202


    TEXAS TECH
    (5-1, 2-1)
    at TCU
    Sat 10/20
    3:30 E / 2:30 C
    ABC
    QB Seth Doege passed for a career-high 499 yards (32-of-42) and tied a career-high with six touchdowns against West Virginia.

    The win over West Virginia was Texas Tech's fifth home win over a Top 5 team in school history.

    Sirius/XM: 117/202


    WEST VIRGINIA
    (5-1, 2-1)
    vs Kansas St
    Sat 10/20
    7:00 E / 6:00 C
    FOX
    Since 2010, QB Geno Smith has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all but three games.

    Smith has thrown 313 straight passes without an interception, a streak that dates back to the middle of the fourth quarter in WVU's 2011 win at USF.

    Sirius/XM: 91/91


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