College Football Pick
The season that no one saw coming, continues. Kansas State wasn't great offensively last week at TCU, but they didn't need to be as their defense played one of their best games of the season holding the Horned Frogs to 10 points. That win moved the Wildcats to No. 1 in the BCS with a 10-0 record. Baylor didn't expect much coming into this season either and they aren't getting much. The Bears are actually scoring a bunch, but their defense is also allowing just as much. Baylor is 1-5 in Big 12 play and 4-5 overall. If nothing else, Baylor has proved they can hang around in games. They lost by eight points last week at Oklahoma, six points at Texas and seven at West Virginia.
If Baylor wants to stay close in this game, QB Nick Florence will need to take care of the ball and have to complete more passes than he did last week (36.4 percent). He has thrown 11 interceptions on the year, but doesn't have one in his last two games. Wide receiver Terrance Williams will be the main focus of Kansas State's defense. He is second in the nation with 1,431 yards. Oklahoma stopped Williams last week for six catches and 91 yards, his worst numbers of the year. Baylor will need some kind of running game to keep the Wildcats honest. Lache Seastrunk has become hot in recent weeks and is becoming a game changer for the Bears. After notching 103 yards against Kansas, Seastrunk had 91 yards and three TDs against the Sooners. They'll need that running game against K State.
The Wildcats have not had trouble with high-powered passing offenses yet this season, most notably holding West Virginia to 14 points. On the offensive end, everyone knows what Collin Klein can do. The Heisman favorite is most lethal on the ground where he has 19 rushing TDs to go with 748 yards. Even so, Klein has been solid through the air this year with 2,020 passing yards and 12 TDs. He went six straight games without throwing an interception until he threw one at TCU last week. Running back John Hubert only has 20 carries for 61 yards in his last two games, but he'll still continue to see the ball considering he does have 12 TDs this season.
Kansas State is 3-0-1 in their last four road games and Baylor is 4-1 ATS in their last five home games vs. a team with a winning record. The Wildcats are 6-2 ATS in their past eight meetings. The under is surprisingly 6-0 in K State's last six road games, but as expected the over is also 23-5-1 in Baylor's last 29 games overall.
Kansas State just keeps getting in done both straight up and against the number. We always make a point to stress that one of the most difficult things for any college football team to do is run the table and even when they do, they rarely do it without a scare or two along the way. So far, that hasn't happened with Kansas State. They not only win, they win comfortably. You can't say they haven't played anyone either. They have played 4 teams ranked in the top 25. Two of those were top 10 and one of them was Oklahoma.
Hey, they could slip up against Baylor and throw in a dud. Baylor could play their best game of the season and put an end to Kansas States title hopes. But if you play this game that way, you're simply guessing, because the number suggest yet another Kansas State comfortable win.
These two teams have played 5 common opponents. Kansas State is 5-0 against those opponents and outscored them by an average of 37-16. Baylor is 1-4 against those common opponents with their lone win coming against Kansas. They were outscored by an average of 36-42.
Our score prediction model says Kansas State by 30 points here. Our model has been pretty accurate when predicting such large margins this year. We cashed last week using Kansas State against TCU. It's hard to pass on this game even though our gut tells us a dud is coming at some point from this team. This is being written on Monday. As of this writing, we are not using this as a Key Release, but it's still early. We may, or may not use this game. Either way, there's only one way to look. Kansas State -11.5