As we gear up for Week Seven of the college football season, several Big 12 teams are getting into the thick of conference play, including one of the best rivalries in the sport. Also, we’re getting a better idea of who the contenders and the pretenders are in the conference. So here are the top five storylines I’m watching in the Big 12 Conference heading into Week Seven.
1. Who is the bigger dumpster fire? Oklahoma State or Kansas State?
Both of these teams are not going to come close to meeting their fan base’s expectations this season. But which one falls even further this weekend? Oklahoma State has issues on O-Line, QB (although that is debatable), and defense, while Kansas state is a mess at quarterback, wide receiver and defense. The loser of this game will find itself near the bottom of the Big 12 standings by season’s end, and the winner will feel better about at least remaining competitive the rest of the season.
2. Does Texas keep its momentum going?
Tom Herman has an incredible ability to play up, or down, to his competition. After three Top 25 wins in the past month, do the Longhorns let up against Baylor and take their foot off the pedal? For the Longhorns to go from really good to great, these are the games they need to win with ease. Texas appears to have too much explosiveness on both lines that Baylor just won’t be able to handle, but for Baylor, this is their Super Bowl to date this season.
3. Is Baylor the worst 4-2 team in America?
I’ve been saying that this week and I do think it’s possible. They’ve beaten Abilene Christian, UTSA, Kansas and Kansas State. Woof. But the offense has weapons with Charlie Brewer and an impressive stable of skill position players that can give any defense in the country trouble. However the offensive line is shaky and will get its toughest test to date this weekend against Texas. Also, defensively, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned as to whether or not they can win the battle along the line of scrimmage. Texas’ offensive line has improved itself every week this season, and Baylor is still looking for answers in its front seven.
3. Purdy Performance: Part 2?
Does Brock Purdy have an encore in him? After coming into the game for Zeb Noland last week, Purdy lit up the Oklahoma State Cowboys and might have helped temporarily save the Iowa State Cyclones’ season after totaling over 400 yards and accounting for five touchdowns. But his second test is much tougher against the No. 6 ranked Mountaineers. However, if Purdy can pull off the upset, the legend will begin and the names Kyle Kempt and Zeb Noland might never be heard from again in Ames.
4. Is West Virginia for real?
I think the answer is yes, I really do. Heck, I’m the one who predicted before the season that West Virginia would be 7-0 heading into its bye week. Unfortunately, that’s not possible due to the cancellation of the N.C. State game, but 6-0 certainly is. However without that game against the Wolfpack, it’s still been difficult to assess what exactly these Mountaineers are. The offense is as explosive as expected, the defense has great speed and is clearly improved upon last season, but they haven’t been able to put it together for four quarters yet. That hasn’t mattered against the competition they’ve faced thus far, but it will matter Saturday in Ames at Jack Trice Stadium. It’ll be the best test to date for WVU.
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