The Baylor-TCU rivalry has been fierce and competitive since the first time they met in 1899 when they played to a scoreless tie.
It was dead even until the Horned Frogs took a 53-52-7 series lead with last year’s 62-22 shellacking of the Bears at McLane Stadium.
Needing a win to clinch a berth in the Big 12 championship game against Oklahoma, the Horned Frogs are heavy favorites to beat the Bears for the third straight year. An upset by the one-win Bears appears highly unlikely considering what TCU has on the line.
Baylor (+24.5) at No. 10 TCU
Since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12 in 2012, the intensity of this longtime rivalry has risen a few notches.
It didn’t get better than in 2014 when the Bears rallied for an epic 61-58 win over TCU in the first season at McLane Stadium. It didn’t get worse than TCU’s 40-point win last year when off the field distractions derailed any chance of a Baylor win.
While TCU’s offense is nothing great, the Horned Frogs’ Big 12 leading defense is just too powerful for a sputtering Baylor offense that’s made six turnovers in the last two weeks.
TCU 38, Baylor 10
Texas Tech (+10) at Texas
After losing the last four games in Lubbock, Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury might be fighting for his job against the Longhorns on Friday night in Austin.
The Red Raiders’ usually solid offense did very little in last week’s 27-3 loss to TCU, and will have trouble again against a strong Texas defense.
The Longhorns became bowl eligible with a 28-14 win at West Virginia last weekend, and won’t be shaken by a 5-6 Texas Tech squad that needs a win to become bowl eligible.
Texas 35, Texas Tech 17
Iowa State (+2.5) at Kansas State
Iowa State bounced back from a two-game losing streak with a 23-13 win over Baylor last weekend as freshman quarterback Zeb Noland threw for 180 yards and two touchdowns and running back David Montgomery pounded his way for 144 yards.
Kansas State became bowl eligible by holding off a furious Oklahoma State rally to secure a 45-40 win in Stillwater.
Like Iowa State, Kansas State is down to its third quarterback of the season as Skylar Thompson hit 10 of 13 passes for 204 yards and three scores and ran for 93 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys. He should experience more success back home in Manhattan.
Kansas State 24, Iowa State 17
West Virginia (+21) at No. 3 Oklahoma
The Sooners have already clinched a spot in the Big 12 championship game, but their eyes are on the bigger prize of a College Football Playoff berth down the road.
West Virginia’s offense went south when quarterback Will Grier broke his throwing hand while diving for the end zone against the Longhorns last week.
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won’t start or serve as a team captain this week after making obscene gestures against Kansas last week, but he’ll be in the game soon enough and will likely play with even more motivation.
Oklahoma 42, West Virginia 17
No. 1 Alabama (-4.5) at No. 6 Auburn
The Iron Bowl between these passionate rivals is shaping up as the college football game of the year.
Unbeaten Alabama survived a 31-24 win at Mississippi State in its last SEC game two weeks ago.
But the Crimson Tide hasn’t played anybody as strong as Auburn which pounded previously Georgia, 40-17, two weeks ago.
With former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham leading the way, Auburn has the tools to beat mighty Alabama. But Alabama has been in so many of these situations before that it will find a way to win.
Alabama 28, Auburn 21
Last week: 2-3 overall, 3-2 against the line
Season: 35-20 overall, 30-24-1 against the line