Games to Watch: Week 8

The Oklahoma State Cowboys surge from the tunnel and take to the field before their game against the K-State Wildcats on Oct. 5, 2013 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

No. 4 Baylor vs. West Virginia, 11 a.m., FOX Sports 1

(Line: Baylor -8)

Baylor senior quarterback Bryce Petty was seemingly the unanimous pick for preseason offensive player of the year in the Big 12. However, West Virginia senior signal caller Clint Trickett looks like a likelier candidate for the award six games in.

Trickett ranks third nationally with 2,203 yards passing this season. His 12 touchdowns and 68.5 completion percentage comes as no surprise to this Mountaineers team, but for everyone outside of Morgantown, West Virginia it’s been a star-studded showing for a guy who spent time on the bench last year due to injury.

Behind the play of their quarterback, West Virginia has jumped out to a 4-2 start, with losses only to the then No. 2 and No. 4-ranked teams in college football. A comeback victory at home against Texas Tech last weekend has the Mountaineers trending upward at the right time.

Baylor, too, is coming off a come-from-behind stunner over TCU last weekend, in which the Bears used a fourth-quarter passing frenzy to spoil the Horned Frogs’ party in Waco.

This clash should be a fun one.

No. 15 Oklahoma State vs. No. 12 TCU, 3 p.m., FOX Sports 1

(Line: TCU -9)

Following the game above on FOX Sports 1, Oklahoma State and TCU will do battle in a matchup of two nationally-ranked teams.

TCU lost a heartbreaker over the weekend, while Oklahoma State won on the road, but neither team can feel too good about their respective results. The Horned Frogs blew a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter in their biggest game since joining the conference in 2012. Oklahoma State struggled on the road in Lawrence against a downtrodden Jayhawks side, pulling out a win late to beat Kansas 27-20.

Junior quarterbacks Daxx Garman for Oklahoma State and Trevone Boykin for TCU have both stepped up to lead their teams to success so far this season. With Saturday looking like an arial duel, it may come down to defense and turnovers to decide which team remains in the thick of the conference-title hunt.

Iowa State vs. Texas, 7 p.m., WatchESPN

(Line: Texas -12.5)

With all this talk about championships and playoff scenarios, it’s easy to forget that some teams are just simply looking for some wins. Such is the case for both Iowa State and Texas.

Iowa State snapped a two-game losing streak last weekend in an unusual out-of-conference game at home against Toledo. However, the win wasn’t exactly comfortable, as the Cyclones rode the coattails of junior quarterback Sam Richardson and his 351 passing yards to a 37-30 victory.

Texas fell behind to Oklahoma 31-13 early in the fourth quarter Saturday before scoring 13-unanswered points in a 31-26 loss. The Longhorns will have to hang their hats on that fact if they hope to rebound from a 2-4 start with a win at home against Iowa State in week eight.

Kansas vs. Texas Tech, 2:30 p.m.

(Line: Texas Tech -14)

You know things are bad when you let a solid road win slip from your hands late in the fourth quarter. You know things are really bad when you blow a chance to capture your second conference win in three years. But that’s the reality for Texas Tech and Kansas this season.

The Red Raiders should be 3-3, coming off a good road win in Morgantown over West Virginia. But alas, Mountaineers quarterback Clint Trickett had other ideas. Kansas should be in the same boat when it comes to record. The Jayhawks nearly took to their goalposts in celebration last weekend, but a 99-yard kickoff return with less than seven minutes to play put that plan on the back burner.

If you’re a fan of struggling football, this game is for you.

No. 21 Texas A&M; vs. No. 7 Alabama, 2:30 p.m., CBS

(Line: Alabama -12)

Just a few weeks ago, this matchup was figured to be a heavy-hitter battle of two top-10 teams. But three losses between the two teams in as many weeks has fans a little less enthusiastic for this one.

Texas A&M; enters Saturday on a two-game losing streak, albeit to the No. 1 and No. 3 teams in the country. Sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill hasn’t quite played to expectations thus far, but he’ll be needed if the Aggies have any chance at knocking off Alabama on the road in a stadium where the Roll Tide haven’t since 2012.