The last Saturday in October is upon us, the first official BCS rankings were released later in the week and that means the race for conference championships and bowl bids is in full swing. TheSportsNotebook’s college football coverage is breaking down the week with a separate post for each conference. Let’s take a look at Big 12 Week 9…
Texas Tech-Oklahoma (3:30 PM ET, Fox)
Texas-TCU (7:30 PM ET, Fox Sports 1)
Baylor-Kansas (7 PM ET, ESPNU)
West Virginia-Kansas State (3:45 PM ET, Fox Sports 1)
Oklahoma State-Iowa State
Texas Tech is undefeated at 10th in the BCS standings, but still untested against the Big 12’s best. Oklahoma has only one conference loss, but can’t afford to give up anymore. That adds up to making the Red Raiders-Sooners battle arguably the best game in the entire country on Saturday, as we start to find out just how for real Kliff Kingsbury’s team is.
Baylor is also undefeated, ranked 7th in the BCS and is giving (-35) at Kansas. If the Bears want to cover that spread, they will. That’s how bad the Jayhawks are, and it’s time to stop with the myth that Charlie Weis is meant to do anything other than be a good offensive coordinator. Another team struggling badly this year is Iowa State, who shouldn’t be much of a challenge for an Oklahoma State team that is very much in the mix for a conference championship.
TCU is a three-point favorite at Texas, which has me wondering what I’m missing. The Horned Frogs may get quarterback Casey Pachall back, but he hasn’t played all season, TCU hasn’t looked good, and Texas looks like they might be finally coming together. I’m not suggesting that TCU can’t win this game in Fort Worth, but putting these two teams on even footing (with TCU then getting the customary three-point home-team advantage) seems a bit unrealistic. The Longhorns are undefeated in conference play, including a thrashing of Oklahoma and TCU is still without standout defensive end Devonte Fields, gone for the year.