Week 12 – Kansas State at Baylor

Posted Nov 15, 2012

Week 12 Fearless Prediction – Kansas State at Baylor

Kansas State (10-0) at Baylor (4-5) Nov. 17, 8:00, ESPN

Here's The Deal: Okay, Kansas State, now it's time to see what you can do with all the pressure of being the nation's No. 1 team squarely on your shoulders. Now there's no excuse, no impediment, and no issues – beat Baylor, beat Texas, play for the national championship. Can the most unflappable of teams handle the pressure? Is this going to be the week when the Wildcats finally have to deal with a little bit of adversity? KSU might not be a thrill ride like Oregon, and it might not have the national backing of Notre Dame, and it might not be anywhere near as talented as Alabama, Georgia or a slew of SEC teams, but it has been brutally effective winning six of the last seven games by double digits and wearing defenses down to a grind.

Is Baylor enough of an X factor to throw a curveball into the BCS title chase? The Bears haven't been any good, with the lone win in Big 12 play coming against Kansas at home, but the offense is full of explosion and pop, and if everything breaks the right way, it's not crazy to think Nick Florence – the nation's leader in total offense – can't get hot and make this very, very interesting.

Why Kansas State Might Win: Yeah, Baylor has a terrific offense, but it didn't work last week against the strong Oklahoma defense and the defense continues to be a disaster. The Bears are dead last in the nation allowing 520 yards per game with no pass rush, no activity from the defensive front, and little production against anyone able to run the ball. The Bears don't turn the ball over and they don't make a slew of bad mistakes, but KSU might simply be able to be KSU and get out with a win – run the ball, don't screw up, run the ball some more, control the clock, prepare for Texas. Against a mediocre team like Baylor, it could be just that simple.

Why Baylor Might Win: Bombs away. The Bears have nothing to lose against a No. 1 team that's supposed to win in a walk, and while they need to win two of the final three games of the season to get to a bowl, this is a week where they can let it all loose. Star defensive back Ty Zimmerman is dinged up with a leg problem, and while the overall defense has been strong, the last thing the team needs against a team with BU's passing game is to not be 100%. Teams have been able to throw on the Wildcats with Oklahoma State rolling for 417 yards and Texas Tech throwing for 331 within the last three weeks. There's a chance the Bears can bomb their way to a win.

What To Watch Out For: Kansas State can't afford to lose too many key parts of the puzzle. Collin Klein is obviously the MVP and the key to the season, but it would be a really, really big hit if Tyler Lockett is hurt. Trying to get through an ankle injury, the superstar kickoff returner and leading receiver isn't a sure thing to be the Tyler Lockett who has been such a key part of the puzzle. On the other side, Baylor's Terrance Williams continues to lead the nation in receiving with 1,431 yards and ten touchdowns on 77 catches. He has held under 100 yards for the first time in Big 12 play by Oklahoma, coming up with 91 on six grabs, and now he has to make amends for that and his one catch for nine yards in last year's game.

What Will Happen: Baylor's offense is going to make this interesting, with Florida and the passing game hitting on a few haymakers to get everyone buzzing, but the defense is going to get the team beat. Klein will have to work a full four quarters, but he and the offense will have control late to keep the dream alive.

CFN Prediction: Kansas State 40 ��� Baylor 27
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Baylor -11.5 O/U: 74
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 3.5