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HCS Roundtable Week 11: Big 12 Game of the Week

NCAA Football: Baylor at Kansas State

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.

 

PETE MUNDO

No. 19 Kansas State at Baylor (-2.5)

TCU at Texas is a great game, but I’m going to Waco where Baylor hosts Kansas State, with the loser of this one being able to officially call their season a disappointment, as they will be out of the Big 12 title race. Baylor was expected to be able to defend their Big 12 Championship and would be out, while K-State will have gone from top of the standings to losers of three of four games and out of the hunt in a year Chris Klieman has his best team he’s ever had in Manhattan. There is a ton on the line for both of these teams and the narrative for the winner vs. the loser will be dramatically different. 

BRYAN CLINTON

No. 4 TCU at No. 18 Texas (-7.5)

This week’s site of ESPN’s College Gameday, the matchup between the TCU Horned Frogs and Texas Longhorns has huge Big 12 title implications. With a win, TCU will clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship game with two weeks left. With a loss, TCU can beat Baylor next week to clinch, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Texas running back Bijan Robinson has asserted himself as one of if not the top running backs in the country. Over the last few games, Robinson has been dominant and hopes to continue that trend on Saturday. On the flip side of things, TCU running back Kendre Miller is tied with Robinson for the Big 12 lead in rushing touchdowns (12) and ranks third in the conference with 6.4 yards per carry. The team that asserts dominance on the ground will win this game and Robinson and Miller will serve as the main battering rams in that battle. If you can only catch one game tomorrow evening, make sure it’s the one that’s happening in Austin.

 

MATTHEW POSTINS

No. 19 Kansas State at Baylor (-2.5)

Well, I mean everyone is going to pick TCU at Texas right? It’s a massive game both in the Big 12 and in the nation. But I’ll take Kansas State at Baylor, if for no other reason than the winner is going to be able to remain in the Big 12 Championship Game hunt. And, if it’s Baylor, the Bears will have some control over their destiny, since they face Texas in the season finale, plus TCU next week. There’s a possibility, however remote, that Baylor could share the regular-season title with TCU AND be the home team at the Big 12 title game. But, none of that happens if the Bears lose on Saturday. Kansas State needs more help, but if the Wildcats lose, they’re out. 

DEREK DUKE

No. 19 Kansas State at Baylor (-2.5)

The TCU/Texas game will be a good one but no game in the Big 12 is more important than this Kansas State/Baylor matchup. Both teams have two losses in conference play and there is a lot at stake here. The winner will keep their Big 12 title hopes alive while the loser can kiss their chances goodbye. Kansas State is a good football team and Baylor is startling to look like a title contender over the last few games. It’s going to be a blackout in McLane Stadium, and I know that place will be rocking. 

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