Big 12 Football Preview - Week Six - Four Undefeateds Travel Away From Home

It's not the most critical time of the season yet, but jockeying for position in the crowded Big 12 race continues this week with five more conference games. Everyone is in action, with teams atop the standings venturing away from home.

THE NOTES

Due to injuries, five different Wildcats have played quarterback for Kansas State this year. Included in that number is wide receiver Kody Cook, who was pressed into emergency service last week. With TCU and Oklahoma up the next two weeks, it will take another wizarding job by head coach Bill Snyder to avoid the inevitable fallout of that toll.

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It's time for the Big 12 to stop presenting co-offensive players of the week. Yes, we know the offensive numbers have been ridiculous, and that it can be difficult to leave off someone that threw for 400 yards and four TDs. But if someone else played better, then they deserve the whole award, not just a part of it. These aren't participation trophies, and someone in the league office should be able to make a call and pick one player per week. We also know that the picks are as much to publicize the league as to recognize individual accomplishments, and that the league wants to promote its stars, but where does it all end? And while we're at it, get off our lawn.

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All four undefeated teams play away from home this week, as Baylor, Oklahoma State and TCU are in enemy venues while Oklahoma squares off with Texas in Dallas. The Cowboys are the only underdog as they travel to West Virginia. The Big 12 has four of the 20 remaining undefeated FBS teams.

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Ridiculous Baylor offensive note of the week: Wide receiver Corey Coleman leads the nation with 11 touchdown receptions in four games, but his 66 points are just 25% of the Bears' scoring output so far.

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Big 12 defensive coordinators have learned to adjust their expectations in the high-scoring league. Where once the goal was 20 or 24 points allowed, that's now a reasonable goal for a half in some games. One has to wonder, though, if presidents and athletic directors have done the same. Do they realize that giving up 34 points might have been a heck of a job? How do they, or head coaches, measure that against teams from, say, the plodding Big 10? Their stats are going to look better by comparison without even trying. Will that play into future hiring and firing decisions?

THE PICKS

The worst upset pick in the history of the world was laid down here last week in the form of Texas hanging with TCU. No such predictions this week, as the Longhorn mess appears to be worsening as the season progresses. Oklahoma continues to roll with a big win in Big D.

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Baylor (4-0/1-0) visits Kansas (0-4/0-1) in a game that should not be on TV. In fact, kids under 18 should not be admitted due to the potential for carnage. The Bears name the score, and only a running clock or an intentional let-up will keep numbers like “6” and “7” from appearing as the first digit in BU's point total.

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Iowa State (2-2/1-0) won the Cellar Bowl last week over Kansas, but thinks will be tougher this week as the Cyclones visit Texas Tech (3-2/0-2). The records are totally deceptive here, as the Red Raiders' losses have been to TCU and Baylor. They get into the Big 12 win column in this one.

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West Virginia (3-1/0-1) hosts Oklahoma State (5-0/2-0) in a critical game for the Mountaineers. The Cowboys have momentum and plenty of offense, but WVU figures to be playing with November-like desperation, what with Baylor and TCU looming the next two weeks. The home team gets a narrow win.

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Kansas State (3-1/0-1) has fought through more injuries at quarterback than paparazzi have booty shots of Kim Kardashian. That leaves the Wildcats ill-equipped to take advantage of similar injury gaps in TCU's defense. The Horned Frogs (5-0/2-0) are the pick as road victors, but K-State will make it closer than many predict.


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