Baylor has been banging on the door all season but hasn’t yet broken into the win column.
After close losses to then-No. 3 Oklahoma and then-No. 23 West Virginia, the Bears will finally play an unranked Big 12 team at McLane Stadium when they face Texas on Saturday.
The Longhorns are probably better than their 3-4 record shows since they’ve lost overtime games to then-No. 4 USC and then-No. 11 Oklahoma State.
The key for the Bears will be playing with consistency from start to finish, something they haven’t done all season.
Texas (-7) at Baylor
Though the Bears have already faced some of the best Big 12 teams, Texas might have the toughest defense they’ve seen.
The Longhorns have been strong against the run and pass, traits they clearly showed in last week’s 13-10 overtime loss to Oklahoma State in Austin.
Baylor has had difficulty establishing a running game, which has put the burden on the quarterbacks to carry the offense. Whether starter Zach Smith or Charlie Brewer is in the game, they’ll probably have to create some plays on their own. That won’t be easy against Texas’ defense.
Texas 24, Baylor 13
#11 Oklahoma State (-7.5) at No. 22 West Virginia
With Oklahoma State and West Virginia featuring two of the best offenses in the country, the team that wins this game could be the one that scores last.
The Mountaineers are usually suspect on the road, but they’re tremendous at home as they’ve gone 3-0 this year.
But Oklahoma State has been a superb road team, pulling off wins over South Alabama, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech and Texas. With Bedlam coming up next weekend, the Cowboys won’t suffer a letdown in an intimidating environment in Morgantown.
Oklahoma State 45, West Virginia 35
Texas Tech (+19) at #10 Oklahoma
It’s hard to believe the Red Raiders were ranked just two weeks ago before consecutive losses to West Virginia and Iowa State.
While the Mountaineers rallied to beat Texas Tech in Morgantown, the Red Raiders looked sluggish against a hot Iowa State squad in a 31-13 loss in Lubbock.
Oklahoma needed everything it had to beat Kansas State, 42-35, in Manhattan last weekend. Beating a reeling Red Raider squad in Norman shouldn’t be nearly as difficult.
Oklahoma 49, Texas Tech 28
#4 TCU (-6.5) at #25 Iowa State
Who would have thought this would be the Big 12’s game of the week in late October?
Both the Horned Frogs and Cyclones have been pleasant surprises. Riding a tremendous defense and the improved quarterback play of Kenny Hill, the unbeaten Horned Frogs are the Big 12’s best candidate for a College Football Playoff berth.
Nobody has done a better coaching job than Matt Campbell, who has led the Cyclones to three straight wins.
The Cyclones began their streak by shocking Oklahoma in Norman three weeks ago, but it will come to an end in a riveting matchup with the Horned Frogs.
TCU 27, Iowa State 20
#2 Penn State (+6) at #6 Ohio State
Since their loss to Oklahoma in Columbus, the Buckeyes have rolled over everybody in their path as they’ve averaged 53.3 points in their last five wins.
But Ohio State hasn’t played anybody nearly as good as Penn State following the loss to the Sooners.
Penn State has romped to a 7-0 record, but has played just one ranked team all season when it pounded then-No. 19 Michigan, 42-13, last week.
The Wolverines were clearly pretenders. The Buckeyes are for real.
Ohio State 31, Penn State 21
Last week: 3-2 overall, 3-2 against the line
Season: 25-10 overall, 20-14-1 against the line