Big 12 Week 5 Preview - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Big 12 Week 5 Preview


There are just four games on the Big 12 schedule in week five, but teams like No.25 Baylor and Oklahoma State will have the chance to shake up the conference, just like No.7 Kansas State did last weekend.


The Wildcats will get the week off after their upset of Oklahoma (2-1), who fell to 16th in the polls. The Sooners will also have a bye. Kansas (1-3) will be the only other team not playing this weekend, and some time off will probably do the Jayhawks some good. After another loss, this time to Northern Illinois, they obviously have a long way to go yet, and their next game will be against Kansas State (4-0).


The rest of the teams will be in action, but No.15 TCU (3-0) has the only nonconference game of the week. The Horned Frogs will host SMU (1-2) Saturday night in the Battle for the Iron Skillet. TCU leads the series 44-40-7, but SMU is coming off of an overtime win last year.


The Mustangs will need to find a way to contain Casey Pachall if they want to have any chance at pulling the upset, but that's been tough to do so far this season. Pachall leads the country in quarterback rating after three starts. Each of TCU's wins has been by at least two touchdowns so far, and if he can continue to pass the ball with the efficiency he has in his first three games, that streak will likely continue.


The rest of the games will be within the league, and all of them will be conference openers for the teams involved.


Of those three contests, the matchup between Texas Tech (3-0) and Iowa State (3-0) will probably get the least amount of attention, but it will be big for one of these teams to get off to a 1-0 start in conference play. Thus far, the Cyclones have had the more impressive wins, beating Tulsa at home and Iowa on the road. The Red Raiders may have played the weakest non-conference schedule in the Big 12, and that's saying a lot.


Both of these teams have fielded pretty stout defenses, with Iowa State going two straight games without giving up a touchdown, and the Red Raider defense has looked much better than the version they fielded in the second half of last season. If one of those defenses falters this weekend, that team could find itself in an early hole in the conference standings.


Either Oklahoma State (2-1) or No.12 Texas (3-0) will be in the same position after this weekend. Each team is coming off of a bye, and now the Longhorns will be travelling to Stillwater, where they've won six straight.


It was supposed to be the Texas defense that led the team this season, but David Ash and the offense put up 66 points against Mississippi, and suddenly looks to present another threat to the Cowboys coming into this matchup. Oklahoma State has proven that it has trouble defending the pass, giving up 59 points to Arizona. If the defense does that again, it's hard to imagine the Texas defense letting the Cowboys keep up.


The only other game will feature No.25 Baylor (3-0) and No.9 West Virginia (3-0). The Bears entered the polls this week after a win at ULM Friday night, while the Mountaineers actually dropped a spot after a closer-than-expected win against Maryland. Now, for the first time, there is just the slightest bit of uncertainty surrounding the Mountaineers. A strong showing in their conference debut would all but erase that, though.


Baylor will probably have trouble stopping Geno Smith and the WVU passing attack, but the Bears have an offense that may be able to keep up, or at least come close. They may need a turnover or two to pull the upset, and West Virginia has been outstanding in ball protection so far, but the Mountaineers will want to be careful in this game.


If they're not, the Bears could join the group of teams that will sit at 1-0 in Big 12 play, and could play a part in once again shaking up our perception of the Big 12 in this young season.

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