Josh Klingler: Plus one, minus one? And this week's picks.
As I'm typing TCU is the official target of Big 12 expansion. A solid football addition and a major proactive move for the Big 12 Conference. (I was just testing myself to see if 'proactive' and 'Big 12' could ever be in the same sentence.. pause … the world hasn't stopped)
The move is of course relative. Is adding TCU better than losing A&M (or Nebraska or Colorado)? No. But it's also better than standing pat as Missouri continues to weigh it's options for bolting the league.
I'm surely not voting for Missouri to leave the Big 12, nor would I fault them for leaving. Selfishly for Kansas City I want Mizzou to stay put. Losing the KU-MU rivalry on the field and between the fans 365 days a year would be sad and a lot less fun. If the two teams are in different conferences there just won't be the reciprocal 'caring' we get right now. Do any of you know Colorado or Nebraska's record these days? Nope. It will be out of sight, out of mind for each respective fan base about the other. Sure you'll be rooting for each other to still lose, you'll just be paying a lot less attention to it.
On to this week's games.
Missouri at #20/21 Kansas State. 230Pm on ABC & Tiger coverage on 980am and 98.1fm KMBZ.
I've lost back to back weeks picking against Kansas State so I'm guessing Wildcat fans would prefer I keep picking against the Cats, who have become quite the closer in their last two games. Back to back solid wins have put K-State into the rankings for the first time in four years, only to be the underdog Saturday in Manhattan against a 2-2 Missouri squad.
I don't know how you could bet against the Wildcats right now? They're coming off of a game where they beat Robert Griffin III and his video game like play riding a solid run game and very timely defense which is featuring, especially at the linebacker position, guys that are running exclusively downhill. But they have given up better than 400 yards in each of the last two games despite the key defensive stands late in both games.
Mizzou features the 11th ranked offense in the NCAA and the 5th ranked rushing attack which should provide more than a test for the nation's 16th ranked total D in K-State.
Will the Tigers be surly after back to back losses to ranked teams on the road? Will the bye week have helped? Or can K-State continue it's late game magic?
I'll take MU to get the road win (keeping Cats fans happy on my pick) 28-24.
Kansas at #5/6 Oklahoma State. 230Pm on 610 Sports Radio.
A nightmare type game for a KU defense that continues to be pushed around. The Jayhawks looked like they were very very tired along the defensive line last week against Texas Tech, as the Red Raiders put together a huge 3rd quarter to overcome a 20-0 deficit. It's no secret that Oklahoma State likes to attack attack attack. This could be another very long night for the Jayhawks D. Mike Gundy also doesn't seem to be the type to call off the dogs. This one could hurt.
The Jayhawks only hope are turnovers, and probably really turnovers returned for scores. Yes that's with 's' on the end, they'll probably need multiples to stay in this one. The Jayhawks remain good enough on offense to score some, but not good enough to be in a shootout with the Pokes.
OSU 56 KU 21
Season record: 10-2