Some games are just better than others. It’s a simple rule in the life of a college football fan and one that doesn’t take long to figure out. Most nonconference games anymore are ho-hum, with FBS opponents taking on FCS opponents and beating their brains in by 42 points every other week.
Once conference play starts, things seem to get a little better, other than when your team plays the cellar dweller of the conference (you know who you are).
However, on every magical Saturday, there are a handful of games that are truly spectacles in their own right; games that you absolutely cannot miss out on, so you set your DVR (or your VCR I suppose) so that you can catch all the action if you must choose one over the other.
Those are the games we wake up for on Saturday.
Here are this week’s Heartland College Sports’ Staff Big 12 Games of the Week.
For a second straight week, I am going to go with what I perceive to be the “elimination game” in the Big 12. That would be the Baylor at Texas Tech match up. The winner of this game will find themselves still in the hunt for making the Big 12 Title game, while the loser is basically out of the picture heading into the final month of the season. Both teams are coming off really solid victories, so there is reason for optimism on both sidelines. Plus, you get Patrick Mahomes in the mix this weekend, as he will have his number retired into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame this weekend. What’s not to like?
There’s not much arguing the fact that Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State is the most meaningful game of the week in the Big 12, but I will certainly be keeping up with what is going on in Ames. Oklahoma and Iowa State come into this game after a much-needed bye week. Oklahoma (4-3, 1-3) and Iowa State (3-4, 0-4) both need to win this game if they hope to keep a trip to a bowl game in sight. Whichever team drops this game will have at least a share of 10th place in the league and a long climb to bowl eligibility after that. Can Dillon Gabriel and Oklahoma turn things around in Ames? Or will it be Hunter Dekkers and the Cyclones that get a boost and an all-important conference win? I guess we will have to wait and see.
I mean this is really simple. These two teams have one loss in league play. Those losses are to TCU. The winner of this game shares second place with, well, no one. The Cowboys and the Wildcats have one loss each. The winner stays in second place. The loser drops to third place. Plus the winner gets an all-important tie-breaker, in case they lose another game. And this is the Big 12. That’s a definite possibility.
When I think about some of the underrated rivalries in the Big 12, this one is special. It seems like it is always a close battle and more often times than not, it comes right down to the wire. Both programs have been good over the years, and they have another huge matchup on Saturday. Each team has a loss in conference play and another loss could potentially knock someone out of the conference title picture. TCU remains as the only undefeated team left in the Big 12, but in this conference, you can throw the records out the window because it is so deep. The winner of this game will continue to push on while the loser could be stuck with the rest of the pack chasing the top team. This one is going to be a fun one and I can’t wait to watch it.