Picks and Pontifications: WVU - Baylor

A load of good picks meant just a couple of changes in the overall standings, but there's now a tie at the top and an even tighter grouping among our leaders. How will this week's selections play out as WVU hosts Baylor?

WINNING SELECTIONS

It might have been one of the best weeks in picks history. Everyone picked WVU to win, and six of our ten panelists missed the final score by single digits, while two more were just ten off the mark. Chris came the closest, as his 38-34 selection was just one point off the final score.


HOPE YOU DIDN'T BET THIS PICK

For the second consecutive week, our group was outstanding. It's tough to ding anyone for finishing last when they miss the final score by just 14 points, but that was Brian's tough luck lot this past week.


Tony Dobies Last Week: W Season: 6-0 Point Differential: 85
This game should be fun to watch it you like offense, as I doubt either defense will have much success stopping the opposing offenses. Baylor has so much firepower, and while WVU has come a long way from a year ago in that category, the Bears just have too much to expect the Mountaineers to come out victorious. West Virginia will have to hope that the 3-3-5 confuses the Baylor offense a bit. A few turnovers could change things, but I'd expect the Mountaineers to lose a game it maybe could've won against a top four team for the third time this season.
Baylor 55-41

Michael Carvelli Last Week: W Season: 6-0 Point Differential: 85
This game will not be short of fireworks as both of these teams will move the ball up and down the field with relative ease using their dynamic offenses. The important thing for West Virginia will be whether or not its defense will be able to do enough to keep things close and give the Mountaineer offense a chance in this game. If the Mountaineers can hold their own on the defensive side of the ball, this has the potential to be one of the most fun games of the week, but that is a very tall task against this Baylor team.
Baylor 59-41

Chris Richardson Last Week: W Season: 6-0 Point Differential: 89
West Virginia didn't play well, but they did what they needed to do at the end of the day to get a Big 12 road victory last weekend at Texas Tech. Although the Red Raiders are off to one of their worst starts in years, a road win in this league is nothing you can count on, so all in all it was a good weekend for the Mountaineers.

This weekend, however, is a completely different animal. A Bear, to be more specific. Several of them. And as good as Baylor has been in recent years, this may be its most complete team. The Bears come to Morgantown leading the country in total offense, and are top 20 in both passing (sixth, one spot ahead of the Mountaineers) and rushing (16th). They also lead the nation in scoring offense at nearly 53 points per game. BU does a great job of mixing things up to keep teams off balance, and I see West Virginia struggling to keep up with that. What's just as impressive in the Bears' defense, which checks in at 10th in the country giving up just over 300 total yards per game, even after last weekend's shootout win over TCU.

In short, Baylor might be the best team in the Big 12, even better than Oklahoma. WVU will hang for awhile, but the Bears are just too much.
Baylor 49-34

Matt Keller Last Week: W Season: 6-0 Point Differential: 92
West Virginia gets its latest opportunity against yet another top five foe, which is becoming commonplace in Big 12 play, as WVU will likely face six teams on the slate currently rated in the top 15. This one, as many assume, takes on all the makings of a shootout. The Mountaineers, at the least, must be able to rush the football, and keep Baylor's defense honest in the pass game while at least forcing some third and longs in an attempt to get off the field and limit the potential landslide of points. The problem is, it's difficult to imagine West Virginia's offense - even accomplishing those things - being able to match BU's output. The Bears make a big special teams play, turn in a solid offensive performance and ride a handful of stops by their defense to a win.
Baylor 48-34


Jonathan Martin Last Week: W Season: 6-0 Point Differential: 94
In a game that has all the makings of a shootout, West Virginia must remain focused on the task at hand -- defeating a top five team. Riding high after last week's come from behind win at Texas Tech, the Mountaineers will certainly score points in bunches. But how will they tame the top-rated Baylor offense? Truth is I'm not sure they can stop the Bears' prolific attack. They do, however, need to win the turnover battle. With both teams throwing punches back and forth, whomever makes the big play on defense will likely pull out the win.
Baylor 55-48
Andy Easton Last Week: W Season: 6-0 Point Differential: 115
Going into last week's game against TCU, Baylor's schedule had been soft to say the least. The opponents' record in Baylor's first five games was 10-20, but that doesn't mean they're not a solid team. The explosive Bear offense racked up 61 points against a solid TCU defense last week.

Against Texas Tech last week, the Mountaineer defense proved it is still susceptible to the big play, which doesn't bode well against Baylor. The Bear offense has nine scoring strikes from beyond 40 yards. WVU will continue its improved play from last season but will fall short on the scoreboard against the fourth-ranked team in the country.
Baylor 45-31

Greg Hunter Last Week: W Season: 5-1 Point Differential: 74
Just like last year, when it averaged 52.4 points per game, Baylor’s offense is again incredible (52.7). Also the 2014 BU defense (20.0) had seemingly been better than last year’s version (25.7), though the TCU shootout revealed cracks. WVU has shown this year it can compete with the elite teams, but it has yet to show it can beat them.
Baylor 50-43

Roger Harvey Last Week: W Season: 5-1 Point Differential: 81
Baylor proved, once again, that it was the team to beat in the Big 12. In spectacular fashion, the Bears had a roaring comeback to beat TCU last weekend. The most high powered offense in the country has not slowed down one bit, averaging 52 points a game.

Milan Puskar Stadium also seems to have lost its magic for the Mountaineers. Since joining the Big 12, WVU has a record of 9-7 at home. That's not a stat Mountaineer fans would like to hear. But every game is its own story. Saturday's game will be WVU's third top five opponent, and you know what they say: "Third time's the charm."
West Virginia 52-48

Jane Donovan Last Week: W Season: 5-1 Point Differential: 89
So how many points will it take to beat Baylor? Sixty-two bazillion? Eleventy seven? Tweenefetty four? Where is Dr. Seuss when you need him? I'm sure he'd have the perfect point spread on this game. In the meantime, the leaves around Morgantown should be just about at peak, so as you are driving in, enjoy the autumn colors. It may be the best thing about this game.
Baylor 62-47

Brian Jolliff Last Week: W Season: 5-1 Point Differential: 122
Over the last two games the Mountaineers have had with the Baylor Bears, there have been a total of over 3,000 combined offensive yards, 125 first downs and 248 points scored. Don't look for anything less this weekend between these two teams that can put up points in a hurry. Two years ago, WVU had the offensive firepower to stand toe to toe with the Bears, but last year they were completely overwhelmed in a game that was closer on the scoreboard than it was in actuality. I don't think the disparity is as great as it was last year, and the Mountaineers have home field advantage this year, but I don't have a good feeling about this game. Baylor will take away a win as WVU just gives up too many big plays and doesn't make enough of their own.
Baylor 52-42


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