Will OU and UT Leave the Big 12 On Top? – Week 10 Preview

The Last Bedlam, SEC division races, Pac-12 Quarterback Showdown.

This is the Big 12’s week to shine. The top 6 teams in the conference all play each other, and 5 of the 6 only have 1 conference loss so far. Who is going to the Big 12 title game is likely going to be decided this weekend. OU and UT both play losable games this week. It would be total chaos in the conference (and at those schools) if one or both were to take the L. 

Elsewhere, there are some games with division implications in the SEC. The B1G has a very quiet weekend ahead. The Pac-12 has a massive QB battle in Primetime. And the ACC is… basically not in this article. 

That said…

What Will I Be Watching? 

The Badgers are on the road and I’m not going. That means I’ll be parked in front of a pair of televisions for most of Saturday watching college football. Well, one game on the TV, and one on a laptop. Whatever works. I’ll go through the TV windows talking about the game I expect to be on my screens, and list a couple of alternatives that might be decent games. 

  • Odds listed refer to spreads taken from FanDuel at the time of writing

11:00 AM CST: Badgers and are they “back”?

I will always watch my Badgers, even if I know it’s not the best game on. This is why 2 screens are necessary; the best game of the day is possibly at noon Eastern and in the Big 12. These are strange times. 


Wisconsin at Indiana (+9.5) 

Check out my preview for this game in this week’s Wisco Wednesday. The cliff notes:

  • Locke is good
  • Indiana is bad
  • I’m not worried
  • For the love of god, stop the run Wisconsin


23 Kansas State at 7 Texas (-4.5) 

I am excited for this one. If Wisconsin has a big lead early, I’ll make this the primary game at halftime. Texas and Kansas State both have only 1 conference loss. Kansas State’s playoff hopes are dead, but they control their own destiny in the Big 12 conference race. 

Kansas State started the year rough, losing to Missouri and Oklahoma State. Here’s the thing though, today those losses don’t look so bad anymore. And the last 3 weeks Kansas State has kicked it into high gear, winning their last 3 by a margin of 120-24. 

They have done the impossible: Made a 2 QB System work. It doesn’t just work, it excels. 

Will Howard is the primary passer, but he can run.
And Avery Johnson is the primary runner, but he can pass.

Against TCU Howard had 16 pass attempts and 4 carries. Johnson has 10 pass attempts and 16 carries. That’s a 20/26 split of starting QB snaps. Kansas State won 41-3, and it worked. 

Texas is… Texas. They will be the objectively more talented team on the field Saturday. That’s despite QB Quinn Ewers being out. Maalik Murphy is starting in his place (Arch isn’t ready yet, simmer down). This is the type of game the OSU, LSU, Alabama, and Georgias of the world win. Unfortunately for Texas, this is the type of game they’ve consistently lost over the last 10 years. Texas is dealing with injuries, and K-State is red hot. 

If Texas is “back”. Then they win this game like they’re supposed to. If not, then they probably won’t make it to the Big 12 title game for their final season in the league. That would be incredibly disappointing in Austin.

Honorable Mention:

15 Notre Dame at Clemson (+3)

Neither of these teams is in the playoff hunt or a conference title hunt, but it should be a good game. Clemson should be worried, if they lose they fall to 4-5. That would put their 18 year bowl streak at risk. 

2:30 PM CST: A Rivaly’s Swan Song and Some B1G West Football

An in-state, rivalry matchup that goes back so far it was played 3 times before the state even existed. And some Big Ten West action on the side because I’m sick like that. 


9 Oklahoma at 22 Oklahoma State (-4.5) 

The last Bedlam. The death of a rivalry. Oklahoma fans laugh at the term rivalry for this matchup. The all-time record is 91-19-7; Sooners are way on top. Even when Oklahoma is bad, they still find a way to beat the Cowboys. And when I say the “Last” Bedlam, I do mean last. At least for a very long time. Oklahoma’s leaving for the SEC has made the administrations at both of these universities very bitter. They have made it quite clear: as long as the current people in charge continue to run things, this game will not be played again. Mike Gundy, longtime head coach of OK-State, has also said this: as long as he’s there, they won’t play Oklahoma. 

I understand that Oklahoma “always” wins this game. But history has to be thrown out when it’s the last Bedlam AND it’s in Stillwater. I expect high emotions, I expect fights, I expect fans to be ejected, I expect “SEC” chants. I expect this game to be awesome.

Oklahoma State, like Kansas State, has figured something out in the last 4 weeks. They can run the ball. RB Ollie Gordon is the leading rusher of FBS the last 2 weeks with 553 yards on 54 carries. Yes, you read that right, he averaged 276 yards per game over the last 2 games. Oklahoma State will run the ball. 

Oklahoma started the year dominant. They were top 5 in most offensive metrics and beat Texas in the Red River Shootout. The last 2 weeks though, something is off. They escaped UCF, winning by 2; then just lost outright to Kansas. I know it was at Kansas, but it was pretty clear on TV that there were almost more Oklahoma fans at the stadium than Jayhawks. Oklahoma needs to turn it around if they want to keep up with a surging OK-State team.

If Oklahoma State wins, I’d call them a lock for the Big 12 title game. Their remaining schedule is just too easy. And if Oklahoma loses, they aren’t necessarily out of it. Having a head-to-head win over Texas will help a lot with any tiebreakers at the end of the season. Or maybe Oklahoma wins like it’s just business as usual, setting us up for OU-UT round 2 in the title game. We’ll just have to wait and see. 


Illinois at Minnesota (-1.5) 

Not a lot to say here. My team is in the Big Ten West, so I want to see how things will shake out in a Big Ten West matchup. I know this won’t be the most appealing football game, but it’s close to home and I’m familiar with both teams. 

I think Minnesota is going to win, but it will be so low scoring that it will be tight in the 4th quarter. If either team does pull away, I’ll flip channels to an honorable mention game. 

Honorable Mentions:

12 Missouri at 2 Georgia (-15.5)

Don’t look now, but the winner of this game is in 1st place in the SEC East. Missouri is quietly in the SEC title race; who saw that coming?

Iowa at Northwestern (+5.5)

The opening O/U for this game was 29.5, a new record low. It’s also being played in Wrigley Field. It should be my “secondary” game, but it’s on Peacock. I will not endorse games played on Peacock. 

6:30 PM CST: Top QBs and Another Battle for the West (SEC West)

Above I said the Big 12 might have the best game of the day. Fans of the following 4 teams are distraught about that comment because they think it’s obvious these are the best games of the day. We shall see come Saturday.


5 Washington at 20 USC (+3) 

Both of these teams have looked bad over the last 2 weeks. 

USC won 50-49 over Cal last week.
Washington won 42-33 over Stanford last week.

Despite recent struggles, both QBs for these teams are very much in the Heisman race. Caleb Williams is still going to be drafted 1st overall in April, and Penix Jr. is still my pick to win the Heisman. Washington is undefeated, and USC has only 1 conference loss. So both teams can still win the Pac-12 (Washington can win a natty).

I expect absolutely ridiculous offensive numbers in this game. It might be the most fun game of the weekend, even if it’s not the “best” game. (I cringe watching USC miss 2 tackles every play).


14 LSU at 8 Alabama (-3) 

A night game in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The atmosphere will be electric. The winner of this game is winning the SEC West… probably. 

There are some assumptions with that statement:

  • LSU won’t blow it to A&M in week 13
  • Alabama won’t blow it to Auburn in week 13
  • Ole Miss won’t beat Georgia (At Georgia)

So yeah, just assume those things and this is the division title matchup. Joking aside, this is 1 thing for sure. An elimination game. The loser is NOT going to the 4 team playoff. And that has to worry the fans more than anything else heading into this one. These teams expect to be in the mix every year.

On the field, what should you expect? I’d say some weird matchups. This will be fast. 

Alabama has a poor passing offense, but they throw deep balls well. I don’t get it either, but the numbers support that statement. LSU has a pitiful secondary; everyone can throw on them. LSU should have a good pass rush, but it’s mediocre. Alabama should have a great O-Line; instead, they have given up the 2nd most sacks in the Power 5. LSU has a Heisman caliber QB with a racecar for an offense, but Alabama has an old school tough as nail defense that no one can score on. 

The matchups are weird, I don’t know who will win, so this is probably going to be a great game. 

Honorable Mentions:

21 Kansas at Iowa State (-2.5)

Uhh. Iowa State has only 1 conference loss. Iowa State is favored. Is Iowa State really in the Big 12 title race in November? The Big 12 actually has a good triple header this Saturday.

Spread Picks*:

4-2 last week, and I feel pretty good about it. I got the upsets wrong (again), but I got everything else right. Plus I’m finally getting my favorite picks right again. I have 2 upsets this week again, and I skew towards the road team. I’m on the visitor in 5 of the 7 games below. 

Kansas State (+4.5) at Texas – Upset Pick 
Kansas State is the more physical team. Texas is not back.

Notre Dame (-3) at Clemson 
Clemson is 4-4. Clemson is bad. Notre Dame blows out bad teams.

Wisconsin (-9.5) at Indiana
Indiana has 1 FBS win over Akron… in Overtime. Wisconsin will be fine with or without Braelon.

Nebraska (-3) at Michigan State – Favorite Pick
Matt Rhule is building something in Lincoln. They have a team that continues to get better every week. 

Illinois at Minnesota (-1.5)
The Gophers have beaten Iowa and Nebraska, but they lost to Northwestern. I don’t get them, but I do get Illinois. Illinois is bad, and they’re on the road. That’s not a winning combination.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State (+5.5) – Upset Pick 
The last Bedlam goes the way of the Cowboys. It’s a storybook ending for the little guy in a long lopsided rivalry.

Washington (-3) at USC
Washington has struggled the last couple of weeks, but so has USC. Washington at least tries to play defense. I can’t say the same for the Trojans. 

How I’ve Done so far this Season:

Upset Picks must be +3 or greater to be “Upsets”

Favorite Picks: 6-4 (Another win in the favorite column)
Upset Picks: 3-8 (fade my upset picks)
Total Record ATS: 37-34-1 (4-2 last week – I’ll take it)

*These picks are to express my opinion on games from a point spread perspective. I am not advocating for you, the reader, to gamble on any of these games. Please bet responsibly.

Want more Walk On Fan? Check out my Wisco Wednesday from earlier this week. 

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This article was written by Cole Tollison and edited by Hayden Breene

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