TCU running back Kendre Miller (33) celebrates after scoring the game winning touchdown during the second overtime period of an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)

Two Top 25, Big 12 Matchups

Week 8 marks the start of the final third of the college football season. A big shake-up within the Big 12 last week leaves two Top 25 matchups with heavy implications.

TCU remained hot, knocking off previously undefeated Oklahoma State and climbing in the poll. It will take on Kansas State with hopes of advancing to 7-0. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State looks to bounce back against a Texas team gaining momentum once again.

No. 8 TCU hosts No. 17 Kansas State

The Horned Frogs have their heads held high heading into Week 8 after last week’s victory against the Cowboys in double overtime. They climbed up to No. 8 in the new AP Top 25.

They look to keep the ball rolling as Kansas State heads into town. After a Week 3 loss to Tulane, the Wildcats have flipped a switch and racked up three straight victories.

It’ll likely come down to who gets the stops on Saturday, as the TCU offense has been near unstoppable all season. Led by Max Duggan, the offense has been averaging 45.8 points per game. That gives the Horned Frogs the third-highest-scoring offense in the country.

Not to mention, TCU has one of the most talented emerging wideouts in the country, Quentin Johnston.

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The Horned Frogs’ offense will have to outplay the Kansas State defense that has only given up 16.7 points per game.

On the other side, the Wildcats hope to take down the Horned Frogs behind quarterback Adrian Martinez. He’s thrown the ball well, with zero interceptions, but he’s better in the run game. Martinez has the second-most runs on the team with 546 rushing yards and leads the team with nine touchdowns on the ground.

Kansas State edged out a win scoring just 10 points in its last contest, but it’ll need more production if it hopes to be the first to knock off TCU.

No. 20 Texas travels to No. 11 Oklahoma State

Texas had its hopes ripped away after a close loss to Alabama early in the year. Another loss to Texas Tech was deflating, but three straight wins find the Longhorns back in the Top 25.

It weathered the storm with Hudson Card at the helm, but the return of Quinn Ewers has reignited Texas. Ewers has thrown for seven touchdowns and just one interception since his return.

Bijan Robinson has been another crucial aspect of the Texas offense, leading the team with 780 rush yards and 11 total touchdowns.

The other sideline will be fired up looking to avenge its loss last week and prove it is still a top team in the country. It’ll need all hands on deck, namely in the likes of Spencer Sanders.

Sanders found the endzone three times in the loss to TCU, but only once through the air. In fact, he hasn’t had multiple passing touchdowns since September. It’ll be important for the Cowboys to get the air game back on track in order to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time since 2019.

With the fourth-highest scoring offense in the country, Oklahoma State certainly has an advantage on the offensive side of the ball. However, it saw defensive struggles last week, giving up 43 points, that could hold this team back.

Top Two Big Picture

These four teams are likely the only teams in the Big 12 still with a chance at the College Football Playoff. TCU leads the pack as the lone undefeated team left in the conference, but there are still paths open for the others.

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After this week, there will be a clearer picture as to which team has a shot at the CFP, and who does not.

Regardless of this weekend, spots for the Big 12 championship are still wide open, and this weekend will certainly create quite the mix-up within the Top 25.

About Matt Quartararo

Matt is a third-year journalism major specializing in sports media and is also completing a sports management certificate. He also participates in sports broadcasting.

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