As the weeks fly by in college football, we learn more about each team. Each week is more important than the next as we continue our way through the season. A new Saturday means new storylines and here are my top storylines for every week nine matchup in the Big 12.
Texas at #16 Baylor
The Swing Game
On paper this may not be the most interesting game but there are plenty of things to take away from this one. For Baylor, they still are right in the mix for the Big 12 title race and a win here would keep those hopes alive. But if they fall to their in-state rival then they would have a tough road ahead to try and make it to Jerry World. As for Texas, their Big 12 dreams are already done but this will be a must win game for them if they plan to get to eight wins. This game will determine if Texas goes 8-4 or 7-5 this season and for Steve Sarkisian’s sake, he better hope it’s 8-4.
#22 Iowa State at West Virginia
The High Stakes Riot Bowl
Much like the Texas/Baylor game, this may not seem like an important game, but it is for both teams. After West Virginia beat TCU last weekend, they kept their slim bowl hopes alive and if they want to go bowling this season than this game is a must win at home. As for Iowa State, they need this to not only keep Brocktober going but stay on the path to get to a Big 12 title game. Iowa State already slipped up against Baylor and they cannot afford to lose another game before they meet Oklahoma in November.
Texas Tech at #4 Oklahoma
The Throwback Game
Remember years ago when nobody played defense in the Big 12? We had tons of high scoring games that resembled college basketball scores at times. Well, this may be the game for you if you are into that sort of thing. Texas Tech fired Matt Wells on Monday and now with Sonny Cumbie in charge, why not air it out and get creative? Texas Tech has nothing to lose so I fully expect them to open the playbook a little more with Sonny in charge.
If Texas Tech decides to throw the ball 60 times that could mean trouble for this Oklahoma defense who has been taking steps backwards over the last few weeks. The Sooners struggled to stop the Kansas offense and while Texas Tech is not an offensive juggernaut like in years past, they are better than the Jayhawks. The good news for Oklahoma is that Texas Tech can’t play defense. Tech is seventh in the conference when it comes to stopping the run and ninth in third down defense allowing opponents to convert 43.1% of their third down attempts.
TCU at Kansas State
Who Wants to Go Bowling?
While most of the games this weekend in the Big 12 have title implications this one is all about bowl season. Kansas State won a big game against Texas Tech last weekend to keep their bowl dreams afloat and they are in the same position once again on Saturday. Chris Kileman has been under some pressure this season but snapping an eight-game conference losing streak was important against Texas Tech. Beating TCU this weekend at home would be another step in the right direction because next weekend they get Kansas which should be the game to get them to six wins.
Unfortunately for TCU, it may already be too little too late for a bowl game even if they win on Saturday. But if they lose to Kansas State, they won’t even need to worry because they will have no shot of making a bowl. In fact, they could be staring straight in the face of a 4-8 season and even more questions should be asked about Gary Patterson at TCU.
Kansas at #15 Oklahoma State
The Bounce Back Game
This game is much more important for Oklahoma State than it is for Kansas. The Cowboys lost their first game of the season last weekend against Iowa State, so it is important that they get back on the right track. Oklahoma State still has plenty to play for this season despite the one loss due to the fact that they are still in the hunt for their first Big 12 title game appearance. As for Kansas, it will be interesting to see if they bring that same fight that had against Oklahoma on the road.