The Big 12 wasn’t kind to Baylor by scheduling Oklahoma, Kansas State and Oklahoma State in the first three conference games.
Though the Bears haven’t won yet, they played surprisingly well in a 49-41 loss to Oklahoma and in a 33-20 loss to Kansas State. The Bears had chances to win both of those games in the fourth quarter.
After a bye week, the Bears will travel to Stillwater to face an Oklahoma State squad that lost its last home game to TCU, 44-31, on Sept. 23.
A Baylor win over Oklahoma State would be the equivalent of Iowa State shocking Oklahoma in Norman last weekend.
Baylor (+25.5) at No. 14 Oklahoma State
After an 0-5 start, the Bears needed a bye week in the worst way to prepare for the explosive Cowboys.
Containing Oklahoma State is a chore for any defense. Mason Rudolph is one of the top quarterbacks in the country with 1,909 yards passing and 16 touchdowns, and the receiving corps featuring James Washington, Marcell Ateman and Jalen McCleskey is magnificent.
The Cowboys also feature a strong running game led by Justice Hill with 516 yards and four touchdowns. Baylor’s young defense is still dealing with injuries, but even an experienced, healthy defense would have trouble stopping the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State 49, Baylor 21
No. 24 Texas Tech (+3.5) at West Virginia
The Red Raiders popped into the Top 25 following their 65-19 blowout of Kansas in Lawrence.
But playing the Mountaineers on the road is a whole different animal. Not only is Morgantown the Big 12’s longest road trip, it’s one of the toughest with fervent Mountaineer fans packed into the stadium.
The Cowboys are coming off a tight 31-24 loss to No. 6 TCU in Fort Worth, but they should rebound at home against Texas Tech.
West Virginia 28, Texas Tech 24
No. 6 TCU (-4.5) at Kansas State
With their win over West Virginia and Oklahoma’s loss to Iowa State, the unbeaten Horned Frogs have become the Big 12’s best hope for a College Football Playoff berth.
TCU is certainly playing at a high level behind quarterback Kenny Hill and a tremendous defense.
Kansas State nearly beat Texas in Austin last week before dropping a 40-34 double-overtime decision. The Wildcats are always hard to beat in Manhattan, but TCU has the type of team that can pull it off.
TCU 27, Kansas State 20
Kansas (+20.5) at Iowa State
Iowa State pulled off the biggest upset of the weekend with their 38-31 shocker over Oklahoma in Norman.
Walk-on quarterback Kyle Kempt earned Big 12 offensive player of the week as he threw for 343 yards and three touchdowns while linebacker and part-time quarterback Joel Lanning earned defensive player of the week after recording eight tackles with a sack and a fumble recovery.
There’s no reason to think Iowa State’s success won’t continue in Ames against a struggling Kansas squad.
Iowa State 42, Kansas 17
No. 12 Oklahoma (-7.5) vs. Texas
Oklahoma’s loss to Iowa State and Texas’ losses to Maryland and USC have taken some of the shine off the Red River rivalry.
It will be interesting to see which Oklahoma team will show up and whether its defense can play at a high level after last week’s debacle against Iowa State.
Freshman Sam Ehlinger looks like Texas’ quarterback of the future, and should have some confidence against the Sooners’ porous defense. But it will be tough for Texas to stop senior quarterback Baker Mayfield and company.
Oklahoma 44, Texas 34
Season: 17-8 overall, 13-11-1 against the line