Marshall is still the leader this week, and I'm still the caboose. Here are the picks for Week 9.
No. 11 Kansas State vs. Texas
Kansas State 30, Texas 17 - Tyrone Swoopes seems to be pulling things together, but he doesn't have it together enough to beat a team of Kansas State's calibur. It also seems like the defense took a step backwards last week against Iowa State, and that doesn't bode well for the Horns.
Kansas State 48, Texas 31 - Texas' offensive improvement isn't quite an illusion, and their defense is generally good enough to make a game like this interesting, but don't believe it. Kansas State owns Texas, it was true under Snyder the first time, true under Ron Prince(!!) and is true under Snyder again. Strong may eventually find a way to reverse course, but not this year, especially in Manhattan.
Kansas State 34, Texas 24 - Texas has looked like one of the most improved teams in the conference over the last few weeks, and Tyrone Swoopes taking command of the offense just as the defense rounds in to form is a scary thought for the rest of the Big 12 teams on their schedule. BUT, let's also remember, their lone conference wins are against Kansas and Iowa State (by three, at home), so the Horns need to put the playoff talk back to bed. That said, they will keep it close on a K State team that should be the favorite for the title, but remains under the radar, even after their big win in Norman. Snyder magic won't run out this week, and the Cats pull away late.
Oklahoma State vs. No. 22 West Virginia
West Virginia 31, Oklahoma State 20 - Oklahoma State hosts West Virginia, in what could be a letdown game for the Mountaineers. Kevin White is too good to let that happen though, and the 'Eers roll.
West Virginia 35, Oklahoma State 27 - I don't think Oklahoma State is as bad of a team as the score indicated last week. Daxx Garman has been out of synch the best couple of weeks, but he should bounce back at home this Saturday. That being said, the Mountaineers have a little too much gunpowder right now--that mainly being attributed to the other Kevin White and Clint Trickett. The Pokes make it fun, but West Virginia pulls away.
West Virginia 41, Oklahoma State 27 - There is bound to be a let down for the Eers after they completely destroyed Morgantown after taking down the Bears, and WVU is a much different team on the road (not unlike Baylor). But man, OSU looked BAD against TCU last week, and I don't see any way they beat a good team the rest of the way. WVU struggles, but hangs on, and sets up the showdown with TCU a week later.
No. 10 TCU vs. Texas Tech
TCU 48, Texas Tech 17 - Tech's defense is abysmal, and Davis Webb can't be trusted. TCU isn't looking ahead to West Virginia, because they want to get their first win against Tech since joining the Big 12. It happens with ease this week.
TCU 52, Texas Tech 17 - Getting a little revenge from the very weird games the last couple of years, the Frogs finally get the win, and smother Tech. In just about every way possible, Gary Patterson is the anti-Kingsbury, but now he's got former Tech alum (and destroyer of Aaron Rodgers), Sonny Cumbie, on his side. Boykin also shines again, putting himself into a position where if he does beat West Virginia and Kansas State back-to-back, he'll be in legitimate Heisman contention.
TCU 56, Texas Tech 17 - Not quite the 70+ points that some of our fans will be hoping for, but I see this as a fairly thorough victory for the Frogs that will contain a healthy dose of Joker time. Texas Tech struggles to contain the run, and when they do they're vulnerable to the deep ball- which is pretty much TCU's raison d'etre this season. Two more touchdowns for Doctson and a 60+ yarder to Listenbee as well, the Frogs feel quite comfortable about this one at halftime.
TCU 49, Texas Tech 27 - The Trinity River will run full with Red Raider tears, as two years of controversial finishes, questionable flags, and typical Tech trolling is finally put to bed. I trust this team at home, and though there is a lot of bad blood between these two teams, the Frogs are just a much better team. Davis Webb has been effective, but can be a turnover machine, and the TCU D has certainly been known to cause a few of those. On the offensive side, the Tech defense is 116th in the country in points allowed, and TCU is 5th in scoring, so Boykin and co will have the opportunity to dominate.