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Kansas State vs. Texas Pick with Analysis

11/19/11

The Big 12 has been very strong this year. The conference winner will be either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State, but the battle for third place is on. Kansas State and Texas are two prime contenders. They will do gridiron battle on Saturday with the Longhorns playing the role of host. As we write this on Tuesday afternoon, Texas is anywhere from a -8.5 point favorite on up to -10 at one or two books. So shop for the best line!

Texas is a young team with a ton of talent. Unfortunately part of having a young team is inconsistency and mistakes. They mustered only 5 points last week. That is a stark contrast from the 52 and 43 points they put up in the previous 2 games.

Freshman RB Malcolm Brown is a huge part of the Long Horns offense. He is going to be a Heisman candidate before he leaves college. The gifted player has rushed 131 times for 635 yards and 5 TDs this year. Not super impressive on paper, but if you saw the kid you would know what we mean. He ran all over Oklahoma State two weeks ago, getting 135 yards on 19 carries and reaching the end zone twice.

Dual threat QB Collin Klein for Kansas State is the best player on the field, period. He was last seen carving up Texas A&M for 103 yards and 5 TDs with his legs and 281 yards through the sky. He presents a very unique challenge for Texas HC Mack Brown. On the year he has 1,504 passing yards and 10 TDs. His rushing stats are 1,009 yards and 24 TDs. Stopping him will mean winning or losing for Texas.

Kansas State can't seem to get any respect from the nations oddsmakers and bettors. Once again a sizable underdog to an elite program, despite only one blemish on their record. (we don't count the Okla St loss as a blemish) That blemish, by the way, is a loss to Oklahoma, 58-17. Oklahoma also beat Texas by a similar score, 55-17. In fact, against common opponents, Kansas State is 3-2 and Texas is 2-3. Kansas State outscored those common opponents 37-36 while Texas outscored them 28-26. Texas's numbers are also aided by a shutout against Kansas.

Yards per point numbers favor Kansas State who is 3 points better offensively with one of the best ypp numbers in the nation offensively, 10.7. Texas 1 point better defensively with a 14.9, average.

Our score prediction model comes in on the side of the Longhorns, predicted a 39-26 win for Texas.

Kansas State has answered the bell over and over again this year. They won at Miami. Knocked of Texas Tech and Missouri. Came from behind against #3 Oklahoma State to take a late 37-36 lead only to lose a 52-45 shootout and once again did not quit last week, winning in 4 OT's over Texas A&M.

We're a bit worried about the toll that quadruple OT may have taken on the Wildcats. Also aware that Texas has a big revenge motive working in it's favor as Kansas State has had their number, beating them 3 straight. Texas and Mack Brown never shy about revenge and if given the chance to extend a margin, they will. But it's very hard to go against a team with the character of Kansas State. They don't quit and they can put points on the board with the best of them. Also note Kansas State 9th in the nation in turnover margin.

The early action is all on Kansas State and we hate to be on a side that the large majority is on, but at anything more than +10 points we have to take a shot with the Wildcats. Kansas State +10 or more.

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