After West Virginia pounded Baylor two weeks ago in Morgantown, it seemed quite likely that the Bears were finished playing Top 25 teams on the road.
It marked their third straight Big 12 road game against a ranked team following losses to Oklahoma and Texas.
But Iowa State jumped into the national rankings this week at No. 23. Playing the Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium is never easy, but it will be especially difficult this weekend against Matt Campbell’s surging squad.
Baylor (+14.5) at No. 23 Iowa State
The Bears will be riding some momentum after their last-second 35-31 win over Oklahoma State last weekend at McLane Stadium.
Now they’ll face the Big 12’s hottest team up north in 30-degree weather.
Iowa State has won four straight games behind freshman quarterback Brock Purdy and a defense that leads the Big 12 in fewest yards and points allowed.
While Baylor shouldn’t repeat its 58-14 debacle in Morgantown, it would take a near-perfect game to win in Ames.
Iowa State 42, Baylor 21
No. 15 Texas (-1.5) at Texas Tech
This isn’t the best time for the Longhorns to tread out to Lubbock. Not after a disheartening 42-41 home loss to No. 7 West Virginia when quarterback Will Grier threw a touchdown pass and then ran for a two-point conversion with 16 seconds remaining to pull out the win.
The Red Raiders suffered a tough 51-46 home loss to No. 6 Oklahoma last weekend, and they don’t want to make it two in a row in Lubbock.
Texas Tech 38, Texas 35
Kansas (+10.5) at Kansas State
There’s not much appealing about this Sunflower State matchup with Kansas’ David Beaty coaching his final games at Kansas and Kansas State’s Bill Snyder struggling through an unusually bad season.
With both teams bringing up the bottom of the Big 12, the only thing they’re playing for is the state title.
Unbeaten Garden State, the No. 2 nationally-ranked junior college team, might give them both a battle.
Kansas State 28, Kansas 14
TCU (+11.5) at No. 7 West Virginia
At the beginning of the season, this looked like one of the Big 12’s premier late-season matchups.
While the Mountaineers have upheld their end of the bargain with a 7-1 record, injury-plagued TCU is 4-5 and desperate for bowl eligibility after a 14-13 win over Kansas State last week.
The Mountaineers feature a dynamic offense led by quarterback Will Grier, while offensively-challenged TCU is still looking for a quarterback who will give them a spark.
West Virginia 45, TCU 17
Oklahoma State (+20.5) at No. 6 Oklahoma
Following their loss to Texas, the Sooners have reeled off three straight wins and have their eyes fixed on a season-ending game at West Virginia.
Oklahoma State has been one of the most enigmatic teams in the Big 12, losing two conference home games but beating Texas.
The Cowboys will likely score a few touchdowns against a porous Oklahoma defense, but they can’t stop Kyler Murray and company who have delivered three straight 50-point games.
Oklahoma 49, Oklahoma St. 35
Last week: 3-2 overall, 3-2 against the line
Season: 27-18 overall, 21-24 against the line