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The Royal Sampler: Weekend predictions, 2003 Big 12 title highlights and links

On the plane about to head south for a quick business trip #focused #EMAW

— Curry Sexton (@csexton_14) September 21, 2012

The Kansas State football team is on its way to Oklahoma for Saturday’s game. It is the Wildcats’ first road game of the season. Curry Sexton is probably taking the approach most fans want him to.

PREDICTIONSBaylor at UL-Monroe: The Warhawks have been on quite a run so far, winning at Arkansas and taking Auburn to overtime. But I like the Bears here, even on the road. They have too much offense and win in a close one.

Kansas at Northern Illinois: The Jayhawks are double-digit underdogs to Northern Illinois, and most seem to be picking NIU. But remember, this is the same team that lost to Turner Gill a year ago. I’m going with Kansas by the slimmest of margins. I say it wins by a single point.

Virginia at TCU: TCU coach Gary Patterson put out a video this week telling “breakfast is on me” for every student who shows up to this morning kickoff. That doesn’t have anything to do with what happens on the field, but it’s pretty neat. Frogs win easily.

West Virginia at Maryland: I ranked this as the worst Big 12 game of the week in my conference report on Monday. That might seem strange considering Maryland is from a major conference, but the Terps are not very good and enter the game as a huge underdog. Geno Smith will do whatever he wants.

Missouri at South Carolina: The Tigers lost their first game of the SEC era. They will lose their first road game, too.

Clemson at Florida State: This could end up being the game of the week. I’m going with Florida State, because of the home field, but it could go either way.

Kansas State at Oklahoma: The Sooners haven’t looked unbeatable so far, and it wouldn’t be that big of an upset for the Wildcats to beat Oklahoma. But their margin for error is slim. They will need to jump out to an early lead, play strong defense and score 30-plus points. It could happen. The home team pummeled K-State 58-17 a year ago, though, and the quarterback who threw for 505 yards and five touchdowns in that game (Landry Jones) is back. So are three K-State defensive backs who couldn’t do much to slow him down. And there’s also Blake Bell and Damien Williams to worry about on the ground. K-State’s defense will need to play better than it did a year ago and last week to beat Oklahoma. My prediction: Oklahoma 41, Kansas State 24 (more…)