Around the Region College Football Preview, Week 8: TCU battles for first place in the Big 12, while Texas Tech and Baylor try to get back on track

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Sam Hodde/AP/Shutterstock (13468037bh) Oklahoma State and TCU complete during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Fort Worth, Texas Oklahoma St TCU Football, Fort Worth, United States – 15 Oct 2022

Around the Region College Football Preview, Week 8: TCU battles for first place in the Big 12, while Texas Tech and Baylor try to get back on track

BAYLOR BEARS (3-3, 1-2 Big 12)

Last Week: Lost 43-40 at West Virginia

This Week: Saturday, 11:00 a.m. CT vs Kansas (5-2, 2-2 Big 12)

TV/Radio: ESPN2/SiriusXM 199

Baylor and Kansas have in common that they’ve seen the trajectory of their respective seasons change drastically with losses in each of the last two weeks. Baylor’s loss last Thursday night in Morgantown was especially heartbreaking, a 43-40 barn burner in which the Bears managed to keep pace despite losing starting quarterback Blake Shapen for most of the night. Shapen is expected back this week, which should provide a major boost against Kansas’ porous defense. Baylor has absolutely dominated the series with Kansas over the years, winning every matchup against the Jayhawks since 2007, with all but one win by 19 points or more. Things are unlikely to come as easily against this year’s Kansas squad, a team that surprised the nation with a 5-0 start behind electrifying offensive performances in the early going. Both teams were ranked just two weeks ago, but both clubs, especially Kansas, have hardly looked the same since. Their offense hasn’t skipped much of a beat since losing quarterback Jalon Daniels, but the defense was torched over the last two weeks for 45 points per game. The Bears certainly have a talent advantage heading into Saturday, but they can’t look past these Jayhawks and expect to handle them like years past. Baylor has plenty of room to improve on the defensive end after allowing 43 points to West Virginia, so step one will be a better effort on that side of the ball. 

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (3-3, 1-2 Big 12)

Last Week: Bye

This Week: Saturday, 2:00 p.m. CT vs West Virginia (3-3, 1-2 Big 12)

TV/Radio: FS1/SiriusXM 200

Texas Tech arrived at their bye week when it was sorely needed, an opportunity to take a deep breath after five straight weeks battling ranked opponents. The Red Raiders went a respectable 2-3 over that span and will look to apply the toughness they’ve displayed in this week’s matchup with the West Virginia Mountaineers. West Virginia enters with two days of extra rest themselves following last Thursday night’s 43-40 triumph over Baylor. The Mountaineers arrive in Lubbock with an offense scoring 39 points per game, headlined by a rushing attack that averages 191 yards per contest (35th-best in the nation). Where West Virginia has been exploited consistently is on the defensive side of the football, as they’re allowing 44.3 points per game in Big 12 matchups thus far. The Red Raiders offense ought to have a field day with an extra week to prepare, especially given that they’ve scored at least 28 points per game in all but the loss at NC State. Highly touted freshman quarterback Behren Morton has been practicing with the starters this week, but there’s been no confirmation yet regarding who will start under center for Texas Tech. Morton looked impressive in limited action at Oklahoma State and has been drawing comparisons to former Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes from offensive coordinator Zach Kittley. If he does get the start Saturday, he’ll do so against a Mountaineers defense that is ripe for the picking. 

#8 TCU HORNED FROGS (6-0, 3-0 Big 12)

Last Week: Won 43-40 vs #8 Oklahoma State (2OT)

This Week: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. CT vs #17 Kansas State (5-1, 3-0 Big 12)

TV/Radio: FS1/SiriusXM 83

Sonny Dykes’ first season in Fort Worth has been a resounding success at the halfway point, as the TCU Horned Frogs remain undefeated in both Big 12 play and overall. Imagining the Frogs competing in the College Football Playoff has begun feeling much less far-fetched, but they’ll welcome the Big 12’s only other undefeated team in conference play to Fort Worth on Saturday night in Kansas State. The Wildcats have rattled off three straight wins since being upset by Tulane, most recently topping Iowa State 10-9 in a defensive battle in Ames. Kansas State is led by a talented backfield of playmakers, namely Nebraska transfer Adrian Martinez at quarterback and the elusive 5’6” Deuce Vaughn at running back. They’re the only combination of quarterback and running back in the nation to have each run for more than 500 yards this season, putting a ton of pressure on a TCU run defense that is allowing a mediocre 135 yards per game. Martinez has yet to pass for more than 250 yards in a game, but hasn’t thrown a single interception this season. Martinez’s four passing touchdowns are dwarfed by TCU quarterback Max Duggan’s 16, but TCU will need to be sharp against a Wildcats defensive squad allowing only 16.7 points per game this season. The Horned Frogs’ advantage Saturday night comes in the form of their balance – TCU ranks third or better in the Big 12 in both rushing and passing offense thus far. If they can keep the K-State defense guessing and get out to a lead, the Wildcats will likely need to pivot to a passing-centric game plan that doesn’t fit what they do well. 


(All games to be played Saturday, unless specified otherwise)


Cincinnati at SMU, 11:00 a.m. CT

Rice at Louisiana Tech, 2:00 p.m. CT

North Texas at UTSA, 2:30 p.m. CT

Florida Atlantic at UTEP, 3:00 p.m. CT

Southern Miss at Texas State, 4:00 p.m. CT


Stephen F Austin at Southern Utah, 2:00 p.m. CT

Houston Christian at Texas A&M Commerce, 2:00 p.m. CT

Faulkner at Incarnate Word, 2:00 p.m. CT

Southwest Baptist at Tarleton State, 7:00 p.m. CT

Sam Houston at Utah Tech, 8:00 p.m. CT

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