It’s time for a little roundtable as the Heartland College Sports crew went around the horn and picked the best Big 12 game on the schedule in Week 8 of the 2021 college football season. There are four conference games to pick from this week, and while one game in particular may be the obvious choice, we have some variety in our picks for the best Big 12 game of the week. So with that being said, let’s dive into everyone’s picks for the upcoming week.
Pete Mundo: Texas Tech vs. Kansas State
I knew the staff would lean Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State, so I had to lead the way in another direction. If Kansas State loses to Tech, that will be nine Big 12 losses in a row for the Wildcats. That coming off of last week’s awkward moment from Chris Klieman when he asked the media to “be more positive”, may create more drama in Manhattan. Meantime, if Tech loses on Saturday, then they may end the season on a five-game losing streak and miss bowl eligibility after a 5-2 start. That would be brutal for Matt Wells and would make things very uncomfortable for him in Lubbock.
Derek Duke: Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State
Pete told me that he would give bonus points for not picking this game but since I don’t listen, I am going with the Oklahoma State/Iowa State game. There is simply too much at stake here not to pick this battle in Ames. Oklahoma State is undefeated at 6-0 and still control their own destiny to reach a Big 12 title game. Also, their playoff hopes are still alive and rightfully so when you are unbeaten at this point.
Iowa State may not have a chance at the CFB Playoff, but they still have plenty to play for even with a conference loss already. There is no doubt in my mind that Oklahoma State is a top two or three team in the Big 12 so if the Cyclones can knock them off, they will launch themselves right into the Big 12 title race conversation. While there still are plenty of big-time matchups left in the conference, this game right here could be the tiebreaker used at the end of the season to determine who goes to Jerry World on December 4th.
Matthew Postins: Texas Tech vs. Kansas State
So I’ve been told I can’t pick Oklahoma State and Iowa State. But that’s OK, because I think the Kansas State-Texas Tech game is more intriguing. In case you missed it, apparently the media needs to be more positive about K-State’s 0-3 start in Big 12 play. That came from head coach Chris Klieman. Sorry, dude, not our job to spin things for you. And if you’re having trouble getting your 18-to-22 year olds to be more ‘positive,’ that’s your problem. Texas Tech, meanwhile, is on the doorstep of bowl eligibility for the first time under Matt Wells. The Red Raiders just need one more win. But Tech is facing a team that has beaten them nine of the last 10 meetings. So, it should be a real interesting one in Lubbock.
Robert Graves: Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State
When the 8th ranked team in the nation is a touchdown underdog on the road to an unranked opponent, you know something is cooking. It’s October, and the cauldron is bubbling in Ames where the Cyclones are plotting all kinds of trouble for the Cowboys in the defensive slugfest of the Big 12 season. Can Oklahoma State plant a chip on its shoulder and avoid a letdown game after a come-from-behind win in Austin? Is Iowa State peaking at just the right time after ridding itself of the Manhattan monkey last Saturday? No two other Big 12 teams are more evenly matched than these, and the results on Saturday should be a treat for us all. I expect a fantastic, low-scoring, hard-hitting, gritty game. Bon appetit!