Fearless Picks: West Virginia Mountaineers - Kansas Jayhawks

The point spread is the key to this week's picks as to no one's surprise there's a unanimous selection of West Virginia as this week's winner over Kansas. However, there's a fairly significant delta in the point predictions on our panel, and with a tight race there currently underway there could be shuffling in this week's standings.

Chris Richardson Last Week: W Season: 8-1 Point Differential: 160
West Virginia has played well the last two weeks, and has settled nicely into its new identity as a power running team. Wendell Smallwood is putting together a fine season, and after a rough stretch in October, the Mountaineer defense has rallied nicely for the stretch run. Kansas has a lot of new energy too, with a new coach. They've played better in recent weeks. But they're still Kansas.
  West Virginia 41-17  
Connor Murray Last Week: W Season: 8-1 Point Differential: 169
The Mountaineers make it three wins in a row behind yet another big day from Wendell Smallwood, who goes over 100 yards again. Skyler Howard is efficient against a porous Kansas defense, and finds the end zone on the ground for the fifth time this season, while tossing a pair of TDs. West Virginia's defense keeps the Jayhawks grounded and comes up with two or three turnovers to make the second half a cakewalk.
  West Virginia 48-17  
Andy Easton Last Week: W Season: 8-1 Point Differential: 173
The last time West Virginia visited Kansas, the Mountaineers came away with 31-19 loss in 2013. This bunch of Mountaineers have a better defense and a more balanced offense which should be enough for a victory. While Kansas is 0-10 and has lost 13 straight games, it has shown life with notable efforts against TCU and Texas Tech.
  West Virginia 40-24  
Greg Hunter Last Week: W Season: 8-1 Point Differential: 191
There's no sugar-coating it, Kansas is awful. Some Big 12 observers believe it's the wors football team ithe league has produced in its 20-year history. It has lost its seven Big 12 games this year by an average of 34.5 ppg and has come closer than 25 just twice. WVU isn't a power, but it is certainly much better than the Jayhawks.
  West Virginia 37-14  
Matt Keller Last Week: W Season: 7-2 Point Differential: 154
This one's as close to a gimmie as there is, even with Kansas showing some signs of life against TCU last week. It's been considered that this Jayhawks' team might be the worst in Big 12 history. West Virginia? It's not the same downtrodden group that went into Lawrence and came away shocked two seasons ago. The Mountaineers, via the most basics of talent and execution, roll to a road win.
  West Virginia 48-16  
Roger "C.J." Harvey Last Week: W Season: 7-2 Point Differential: 175
West Virginia is finally riding a wave of momentum since barely surviving their brutal October. Kansas does pose issues for the Mountaineers, though. The Jayhawks rank 13th nationally in red zone defense, where they are only allowing teams to score 71% of the time. We saw West Virginia struggle in the red zone early this season. But a stout defense and speedy offense should be enough to handle a winless Jayhawks squad.
  West Virginia 44-10  
Jonathan Martin Last Week: W Season: 7-2 Point Differential: 184
West Virginia is riding a two-game winning streak into Lawrence, Kan., in hopes of becoming bowl eligible. No way they could lose, right? Well, wrong. It happened two years ago, and the Mountaineers desperately want revenge. Watch for another steady dose of the running game and WVU cruises -- yes cruises -- to victory.
  West Virginia 40-24  
Brian Jolliff Last Week: W Season: 7-2 Point Differential: 184
A two-game win streak, while nothing to get too excited about, doesn have me feeling better about this squad at this point in the season...much more so than a few weeks ago. At first glance the game Saturday looks to be a lopsided affair, but if I've learned anything in my years as a college football fan, it's not to into generally held assumptions. I do think WVU will win this weekend at Kivisto field, but I'm not confident it will be the four-touchdown blowout some are expecting. Kansas is hungry to gain that first win of the season, but the Mountaineer defense will control the game and give them their third win in a row.
  West Virginia 38-27  
Jane Donovan
Last Week: W Season: 6-3 Point Differential: 171
The Mountaineers get their first taste of cold weather this weekend, as the high for Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday will be about 40. Be sure and pack the winter woollies. And don't forget the gloves. Yeah, gloves would be good for the receivers, but if Wendell Smallwood keeps playing at such a high level, you guys may not even see 12 passes this week. I'm thinking maybe 10. Or eight. Hey, why mess with success?
  West Virginia 35-14  

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