Big 12 Week 14 Preview - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Big 12 Week 14 Preview

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MORGANTOWN -

It's the final week of the season, but the Big 12 Championship is still up for grabs for two teams.

 

The scenarios have gotten pretty simple. If #6 Kansas State (10-1, 7-1) can get a road win against #18 Texas (8-3, 5-3) this weekend, the Wildcats will win the title and earn the automatic BCS bid. If they should falter, and #11 Oklahoma (9-2, 7-1) can beat TCU (7-4, 4-4), the Sooners will be crowned.

 

Kansas State has won four consecutive meetings against Texas. This will be the team's first game since the upset loss to Baylor two weeks ago, so how the players respond to the season's first loss will decide whether or not they win the conference.

 

The Longhorns are coming off an upset loss, as well. After putting together a four-game winning streak, TCU upended Texas on Thanksgiving night. The Texas quarterbacks will have to be more productive against Kansas State than they were last week, or else the team will likely be looking at a second straight loss.

 

Oklahoma can guarantee a tie in the conference with a win over TCU, but an early-season loss to Kansas State means the Wildcats have the tiebreaker. As Texas found out last week, a win over the Horned Frogs is certainly not a sure thing, though.

 

While the TCU offense can't compete with the firepower of most teams in the conference, the team does boast one of the best defenses. It held West Virginia to under 40 with two overtime sessions, Kansas State to 23, and Texas to just 13.

 

Oklahoma came into the season hoping to play for a National Championship, but that possibility is gone. A win could put them in position for an at-large BCS selection. The team's two losses came against teams that are a combined 22-1. The last two games have been close, though. West Virginia almost pulled off a victory in Morgantown two weeks ago, and it took overtime for Oklahoma to put away Oklahoma State.

 

There could be a conference title at stake in this game, so the Sooners will have to avoid the upset against the Horned Frogs.

 

The other ranked Big 12 team, #23 Oklahoma State (7-4, 5-3), will head to Waco to take on Baylor (6-5, 3-5). The Bears suffered through a rough stretch of the season, but with two consecutive upsets, they've reached bowl eligibility. Now, they'll just hope to improve their standing in the conference with another upset.

 

The offense, led by Nick Florence, is among the best in the country. The team ranks fifth in scoring, with 44.4 points per game. The problem is the defense, which is ranked 119th, giving up 38.5 points. That's going to be a problem when they go up against Oklahoma State, which is the third in the country in scoring.

 

This should be a classic Big 12 shootout. The teams will get the chance to show that off in front of a national TV audience, as the game will be shown on FX at noon.

 

The only other game will be between West Virginia (6-5, 3-5) and Kansas (1-10, 0-8), which is still looking for its first win in conference play.

 

The good news for the Mountaineers is that, despite a defense that gives up a lot of points, they've played well against the run for most of the season. That should come into play against Kansas. The Jayhawks have a strong running game behind James Sims, but if they can't find room to run against WVU, they could be in trouble with a weak passing game.

 

Then, there's the whole issue of stopping West Virginia's offense. Kansas has had trouble stopping anyone's offense this season, so the explosive Mountaineers should provide a huge challenge.

 

A loss would give the Jayhawks their second consecutive winless season in Big 12 play.

 

The league has proven to be the deepest in the country this year. While no one will be playing for the National Championship, nine of the ten teams are bowl eligible with a week to go.

 

Whichever team, be it Kansas State or Oklahoma, comes away with the conference title will have earned their way there.

 

Each still has one more game to get through, though. How they do that will decide who represents the conference in the BCS.

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