Week 10 – Oklahoma State at Kansas State

Posted Oct 31, 2012

Week 10 Fearless Predictions - Oklahoma State at Kansas State


Oklahoma State (5-2) at Kansas State (8-0) Nov. 3, 8:00, ABC

Here's The Deal: This could be it. Kansas State can't wrap up the Big 12 title with a win over Oklahoma State, but it can take a gigantic step to ending the fun with a two game lead over everyone but Oklahoma with three games to play. If the Sooners lose to Iowa State, then it might take the Wildcats gagging away losses to TCU, Baylor and Texas to not take the conference championship, but there are bigger things on their minds.

No. 2 in the BCS standings, Kansas State is going to have to fight, claw, and hope for a boatload of luck to hold off Oregon, who's No. 2 in both the human polls, to stay in the coveted spot. But for now, all they can do is keep on winning and focus on coming up with a few more key victories to stay in the chase. Even if they miss on the big prize, everything is set up perfect to at least get to the Fiesta Bowl.

Oklahoma State knows what it's like to be 2012 Kansas State. In a position to play for it all last year, the Cowboys lost a heartbreaker to Iowa State to ruin the national championship dream, and now it's time to turn the tables. Now only can OSU screw up the Wildcats, it can actually take the Big 12 lead. There are still games ahead against West Virginia, Texas Tech and Oklahoma to fight through, but this year, Kansas State is the dragon that needs to be slayed, and OSU has the team to do it.

The Cowboys are No. 1 in the nation in total offense, lead the Big 12 in rushing, and are doing just enough of the little things right to put together another strong season, even though it's supposed to be a rebuilding campaign.

For Kansas State it's yet another test and another shot to prove to the world that it really and truly is a team worthy of being in the BCS title discussion. West Virginia was supposed to be when the fun stopped, and the Wildcats rolled to a 55-14 win. Texas Tech was supposed to have the right mix, and KSU ripped off a huge second half to win 55-24. Will a big win over Oklahoma State finally be enough? Probably not, but people are starting to finally convert.

Why Oklahoma State Might Win: Kansas State wins with a brilliant formula that relies on holding on to the ball and not making mistakes, but Oklahoma State does a lot of the key things right, too. Kansas State likes to own the special teams, but OSU is second in the nation in punting and has a weapon in kicker Quinn Sharp. The Cowboys don't give up sacks, with an offensive line that does a great job for the running game and keeps the quarterbacks from getting clocked. They're phenomenal on third downs, not awful when it comes to penalties, and do a nice job of getting into the backfield.

If the offense can keep the chains moving with its balanced attack, and if Collin Klein and the KSU attack stay on the sidelines for long stretches, OSU should have the right mix to disrupt the groove. Kansas State is a terrific front-runner team, but the Cowboys have the ability to put up points early and take Klein out of his comfort zone.

Why Kansas State Might Win: Yeah, Oklahoma State does a lot of things right, but it doesn't do everything well enough to beat the Wildcats if they're air tight. Turnover margin is a big, big deal for Kansas State, leading the Big 12 and ranking fifth in the nation. The Cowboys don't turn the ball over that much, but they don't take the ball away enough with just nine forced turnovers on the year. They've been a lot better with five in the last two weeks, but Collin Klein isn't TCU's Trevone Boykin in terms of ball security.

It might sound crazy considering Oklahoma State is known for its offensive firepower and putting up yards and points in bunches isn't a problem, but it's flying under the radar a big that Kansas State is exploding offensively. The Wildcats have now hung 50 points or more on the board in five of the eight wins, and while there's a big number posted against Missouri State and one against Kansas, they also jacked up West Virginia, Texas Tech and Miami. Once the ball gets rolling, it's impossible to slow down and stop the Kansas State offense that gets into a groove. OSU gave up over 300 yards passing this year, and those just so happened to be the two losses to Arizona and Texas. But Kansas State can't throw, right? Not exactly, as OSU found out last season.

What To Watch Out For: The two teams played one of the best games of the 2011 college football season. Oklahoma State went nuts, but Klein came into his own with his first truly big all-around performance, throwing for 231 yards and a score while tearing off a career-high 144 yards and three touchdowns in the 52-45 loss. Notre Dame's Manti Te'o is building up steam for the Heisman chase, and Ohio State's Braxton Miller is around, but it's Klein's to lose. With the spotlight on, he's not flinching with just two interceptions on the season and none in the last five games, while throwing five scoring passes in his last two games and running for 11 in his last four.

What Will Happen: Can Wes Lunt hold up under the pressure? The Cowboy freshman quarterback did a nice job against TCU, and Joseph Randle and the running game have the potential to throw the Wildcats off-track, but Klein is playing too well right now. OSU will make it a fight, but the KSU machine will keep on rolling. On the down side, the style points aren't going to be there.

CFN Prediction: Kansas State 38 … Oklahoma State 31
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Kansas State -9.5 O/U: 66
Must Watch Rating (5 – The Man With The Iron Fists, 1 – Election coverage until Tuesday morning): 4.5