Here's a valuable preview & free College Football pick for TCU vs. West Virginia.The next three weeks will decide things in the Big 12, and the first of three huge games pits West Virginia and TCU.
The inaugural College Football Playoff selection committee has released its inaugural top 25 rankings, and to nobody's surprise, it did nothing to quell any controversy. In fact, it actually managed to fan the flames despite the hype.
Also to no one's surprise was seeing the Big 12 shut out of the top 4 in the first rankings. That could very well change between now and December 7 since the conference still has three attractive 1-loss teams to consider, assuming one or more can win out. So my advice is let the next few weeks play out before letting your panties wad up.
One of those three teams is TCU, seventh in the selection committee's rankings, and the Horned Frogs face a tough roadie this Saturday at the West Virginia Mountaineers. Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM (ET) with ABC and ESPN2 sharing the broadcast. The Frogs have moved to 5½ point favorites on SBR's live College Football odds with 74 the total.
Texas Christian and WVU only met once before becoming conference foes a couple of years back, and that was at the 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston where the Mountaineers posted a 31-14 victory. Since then, they've traded close road wins against one another, the Horned Frogs winning 39-38 as 4 point underdogs in Morgantown two years ago and West Virginia returning the favor with a 30-27 upset in Ft. Worth last season as 12 point 'dogs.
Both games as Big 12 opponents went past the totals; TCU is 5-2 O/U on the campaign while West Virginia games have run 3-4.
Boykin & Frogs Off Record-Setting Performance
How big do those final 11 minutes of the game with Baylor look now? There's no question that TCU would be a top 4 team right now if not for the Bears' mad rally a little less than three weeks ago in Waco.
There's also no question about the ability of Trevone Boykin and the Horned Frogs offense after they demolished Texas Tech last Saturday by an 82-27 count. Boykin threw a school record 7 TD passes in leading Texas Christian's to its most points ever, and the explosion left the Frogs with the top-scoring mark in the land (50.4 ppg)
The only dark lining to that silver cloud is Boykin may not have his favorite target for this Saturday. Josh Doctson injured his foot in the win and is questionable for the WVU game. Backup QB Matt Joeckel (leg) was also hurt and is out indefinitely.
WVU Puts 4-Game Win Streak On The Line
The Mountaineers are the proverbial fly in the ointment as far as Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby is concerned. Should West Virginia win out, it's likely the conference would not send a team to the playoff unless Baylor does the same and gets a lot of help along the way.
I had the college football odds all wrong last week when the Mountaineers traveled to Stillwater to meet Oklahoma State. West Virginia proved its upset of Baylor the previous Saturday was no fluke with a 34-10 win vs. the Cowboys as small underdogs, breaking open a tight battle in the fourth quarter with the game's final 17 points.
West Virginia managed to gain more than 200 yards on the ground without top running back Rushel Shell in uniform. The sophomore sat out with a bum ankle suffered in the Baylor game, but is expected to play against TCU.
The weatherman has a rather ugly forecast for Milan Puskar Stadium, starting with a mix of rain and snow. Temps may not climb out of the 30s Saturday afternoon, and there's a 10-15 NW breeze also in the offing.
Texas Christian has beaten all seven spreads thrown its way so far, and been a smart bet on the 'over' at 5-2. I'm not so sure this time, though. Maybe it's the weather forecast, maybe it's the absence of Doctson, maybe I'm just a wienie, but my free Big 12 College Football pick will be on the low side of the total in this one.
Free College Football Pick: TCU-West Virginia Under at BookMaker
Willie Bee's College Football handicapping record for the season: 42-27-1 (+12.30)