Big 12 2016 Football Previews - Week Eight

Two ranked teams look to protect their standing in a Saturday of Big 12 action that won’t draw a lot of buzz – unless either of those teams is upset.

THE NOTES

A couple of weeks ago Oklahoma State’s great run of plus differential in turnovers over the past few years was highlighted. The Cowboys are at it again, but this time in an even more tangible way. Not that getting turnovers aren’t important enough, but the Pokes have scored 62 points off their 13 forced turnovers for an average of 4.8 points per takeaway. That means twenty-five percent of OSU’s 244 points this year have been scored off turnovers. That’s a difference-maker of the first degree.

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Baylor has held opponents scoreless in the fourth quarter in all six games this season, joining Ohio State as the nation’s only teams to not allow a fourth-quarter point. The Bears will hold onto that perfect mark this week as they enjoy an open date.

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West Virginia gained more than 300 yards both on the ground and in the air vs. Texas Tech – only the fourth time the Mountaineers have reached that mark. Previously, they did it twice in 2012 (vs. Oklahoma and Marshall) and once in 1965 (vs. Pitt).

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With half of its season complete, Kansas has returned just four punts. Those attempts have resulted in a net loss of two yards.

THE PICKS

Kansas hosts Oklahoma State, and the analysis pretty much ends there. KU has shown some fight, but against good passing attacks they simply don't match up well. The Cowboys will pile up the yards and record a solid victory.

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Texas travels to Kansas State for a very interesting match-up. It's a battle of the Wildcats' program stability versus the Longhorns' seemingly perpetual state of coaching chaos, but how much does that actually carry over to the field on game day? It can have some effect, but UT appeared to right the ship last week, albeit against Iowa State, while K-State was washed away by Oklahoma. The reversal of home vs. road this week gives a bit of push to the Wildcats, but Texas is the selection to get the win and push its way above the .500 mark overall.

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Oklahoma, back on a roll after a pair of tough early season losses, visits Texas Tech, which has to be doubting itself a bit after losing to two Big 12 teams that feature a physical style of play. While this isn't the OU of lore which physically pounds opponents into submission, the Sooners have more than enough talent to win upright, even with running back Samaje Perrine on the injured list. The Red Raiders might come out with a renewed vigor to prove that their season isn't over, but that won't be enough. Oklahoma returns home with a victory.

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TCU travels to West Virginia in a bit of a role reversal game from what was expected prior to the season. This time, it's the Mountaineers that are favored and looking to protect an undefeated record, while TCU fills the role of a very good team, but one looking to fight its way up the conference standings ladder. The Horned Frogs should provide a stern overall test, but it's tough to pick against the best-balanced team that WVU has fielded in its four-plus league years. The Mountaineers are the selection.


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