The Big 12 Conference moves into Week 12 with TCU still unbeaten and trying to nail down a spot in the College Football Playoff, plus the three immediate pursuers of the Horned Frogs trying to secure a spot opposite TCU in the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 3, in Arlington, Texas.
TCU Horned Frogs at Baylor Bears
Odds: TCU -2.5
This is the new centerpiece game in the Big 12 race and in the larger College Football Playoff picture. TCU is unbeaten and, with its win last week at Texas, locked down one of the two spots in the Big 12 Championship Game. TCU continues to defy the experts who felt the Frogs would have lost by now. The Frogs also defied the college football odds, which had installed Texas as a 7-point favorite over TCU last week. TCU won outright to keep its playoff dreams alive.
TCU now moves to Waco, Texas, to face the Baylor Bears. This has been a nasty local rivalry in the Big 12. It’s a rivalry which previously existed for decades in the Southwest Conference. These schools do not like each other, and Baylor would love nothing more than to ruin TCU’s playoff dreams. TCU’s offense did not play especially well against Texas, which creates the distinct possibility that the Frogs could fall into a trap against Baylor. However, TCU’s defense was magnificent against Texas, showing that it can win games this season, not just the TCU offense. While the offense gets the publicity, the defense is underrated and has been making timely plays in the second halves of games all season long.
Baylor lost to Kansas State last week, which has left the Bears in trouble for the conference race. Baylor has to win this game and then take care of Texas next week to have any shot at the other spot against TCU in the Big 12 Championship Game. The Bears are going to play this game with maximum passion, but TCU has had the answers for its opponents this season, and that probably won’t change here.
Pick: TCU -2.5
Kansas State Wildcats at West Virginia Mountaineers
Odds: Kansas State -7.5
The Kansas State Wildcats now have the inside track to the Big 12 Championship Game after beating Baylor last week. Kansas State got a huge assist from TCU’s win over Texas, because Texas has the head-to-head tiebreaker over Kansas State. Because Texas lost to TCU, Kansas State is ahead of Texas by one game in the Big 12 standings. It’s very simple for the Wildcats: If they win out, they will play TCU in the Big 12 title game. If KSU loses, then Texas and Baylor – who meet next week on Thanksgiving weekend – will still have a shot at the other Big 12 title game berth.
West Virginia is weak and injured. Garrett Greene has replaced J.T. Daniels as the Mountaineers’ starting quarterback. He led the Mountaineers to a win over Oklahoma in a poorly-played game. West Virginia is still, in the estimation of most experts, the weakest team in the Big 12 Conference. Kansas State has been a good road team this year, and it should be able to stay on track for a conference championship game berth.
Pick: Kansas State -7.5
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Oklahoma Sooners
Odds: Oklahoma -7.5
This is Bedlam, the Oklahoma rivalry game. It’s usually a crazy game with a lot of unpredictable plot twists. Oklahoma enters this game needing to win to finally become eligible for a bowl. This is something Oklahoma doesn’t usually face this late in a season but Brent Venables first year has been trying – to say the least.
Oklahoma can probably win outright, but Oklahoma State is tough enough to cover the point spread. Take them with the points here.