We look at the three huge Big 12 games and three top ranked teams that are trying to avoid letdown road matchups in Week 9 of the college football season.
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(10)Kansas State 35, Texas 31
Another big early game tilt in the Big 12 for Kansas State, and I expect another close victory. The Wildcats are double digit favorites, but the Longhorn offense is back. Obviously, the defense will be a little tougher than facing Iowa State at home, but everything is trending in the right direction. Texas’ defense will rebound, but they won’t have enough to stop KSU quarterback Jake Waters.
(22)West Virginia 38, Oklahoma State 27
We’re at the tipping point for the Cowboys. Was last week’s blowout at TCU the real Okie State, or was that a one-game aberration? We are just about in November, and I STILL don’t really know who the real Okie State is, but based on the schedule I don’t think the future looks bright — but Vegas is giving them a one-point advantage at home. I could be wrong, but Clint Trickett and the Mountaineer offense is passing for over 360 yards per game and they’re taking on a 115th ranked pass defense. Even on the road, I’ll take WVU.
(10)TCU 48, Texas Tech 28
I’ve been dogging Texas Tech all year (and deservedly so), but the offense finally has a running attack that will aid their defense because the offense can stay out on the field longer. It’s critical for the Red Raiders to keep improving their running game, but I don’t think the defense will ultimately be able to handle Trevone Boykin and running back B.J. Catalon.
Oct 18, 2014; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) throws the ball in pregame against the Washington Huskies at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
(6)Oregon 33, California 20
Just like the BCS national championship, there’s a huge benefit to losing early. Remember how everyone thought Oregon was done when they lost? Insert a Lee Corso “not so fast, my friend!” Sitting at six, they’re ready to pounce back into the CFP. They just have to avoid this letdown game on the road before facing a tough two game stretch against Stanford and at Utah.
(1)Mississippi State 42, Kentucky 10
I don’t know what’s more surprising; the Wildcats’ being on CBS and it not being their basketball team, or the team is just one win away from a bowl game. Of course, their schedule has been a joke so far. South Carolina is their best win, and they’ve lost to Florida and LSU by 38. For the second straight week, the usually great CBS matchup will be a complete dud.
(13)Ohio State 31, Penn State 16
Is Braxton Miller the for sure guy back at quarterback? J.T. Barrett has been fantastic lately for a rejuvinated Buckeyes squad that’s quietly been giving the Big Ten hope for another playoff contender alongside Michigan State. That could be a very huge game on November 8th to put a Big Ten team in position for the CFP, but first the Buckeyes will have to avoid a letdown game. Like the other top-ranked road teams like Oregon and Mississippi State, I don’t think there will be a problem.