Bye Week: What to Watch

Texas TEAM SHOP
(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

With only three conference teams and one conference game on the schedule this Saturday, it’s a bit of a down weekend for the Big 12 Conference.

Granted, the Big 12’s highest ranked team, No. 4 Oklahoma, faces a tough test at West Virginia, but there’s not a whole lot to get excited about outside of Morgantown. So, that being said, I’m going to sprinkle this week’s “Bye Week: What to Watch” with another game that might pique the interest of Longhorn fans.

 

Oklahoma @ West Virginia

6:30 PM CST on FOX

If West Virginia continues the torrid passing game it’s shown the last three weeks, this could be a fantastic game. West Virginia gave Alabama all it could handle in week one, and the Mountaineers have since scored a combined 94 points in their wins over Towson and Maryland.

On the flip side, Oklahoma ranks eighth in overall defense and have only allowed a mere 11 points per game. However, the Sooners are also without their top rusher, Keith Ford, who sustained a small fracture in his right leg. But don’t feel too bad for the Sooners, they are deep with running backs, and either Samaje Perine or Alex Ross can easily pick up the slack.

Prediction: Oklahoma 31, West Virginia 28

 

 

Central Michigan @ Kansas

2:30 PM CST Local

A game where members of the Big 12 collectively hold their breaths and hope they don’t tally another loss to a mid-major school.

Kansas’ loss to basketball rival Duke by 38 points last week showed the bottom of the Big 12 to be worse than the bottom of the ACC. Not a huge deal, but when teams are vying for a spot in this year’s playoffs, playing in the stronger conference is a big plus.

Central Michigan comes in as one of the better MAC teams, and have already defeated a former BCS conference team in Purdue.

The Jayhwaks have their hands full.

Prediction: Kansas 21, Central Michigan 20

 

Florida @ Alabama

2:30 PM CST on CBS

Former Longhorn Defensive Coordinator, and former heir-apparent to Mack Brown, Will Muschamp, takes on former Longhorn coaching target Nick Saban.

The Gators struggled against lowly Kentucky in their second game of the season, and many in Gainesville are ready to rid themselves of Muschamp in favor of another coach to dislike. That makes this an emotional game for Muschamp and his players, who undoubtedly feel like a big win in Tuscaloosa could save his job for the foreseeable future.

Alabama, on the other hand, have looked solid in their first three performances, rushing for over 270 yards per game, and shouldn’t have a problem against a team that had a problem against Kentucky.

Prediction: Alabama 38, Florida 14

Brian Kendall

Part-time journalist turned full-time blogger, Brian is an online staff writer at Horns Illustrated and serves as senior staff writer for digital marketing agency Speak Social. Brian currently resides in Austin and you can read his blog at the following address: briankendall.wordpress.com

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