One of the two key battles in Week 13 that will affect the Big 12 Championship Game kicks off first thing Friday. No. 13 Iowa State, coming off a resounding 45-0 win over Kansas State, turns right around to travel to Austin, Texas, and play No. 17 Texas. It's a key game for both sides as the Cyclones and Longhorns are still looking to bounce back from early season losses.
Though Texas has won its last three games, it still finds itself 1.5 games back from the Cyclones in the conference standings. Easily, this is the toughest remaining game for the Longhorns, so there's a boom-or-bust feel to the outcome. A loss would greatly diminish the Longhorns' chances of making it to Arlington. As such, it could reignite the chatter surrounding Tom Herman's future.
On the other side, the Cyclones find themselves in the driver's seat. Two games are all that separate this team from a chance to win its first Big 12 title. At the very least, it would be the program's first Big 12 Championship Game appearance. There's a lot on the line and even though Iowa State is ranked slightly higher coming into the game, it finds itself as a slight underdog.
The Longhorns have dominated this series historically with a 14-3 record. However, the Cyclones got the win in 2019 at home 23-21 for their first win since 2015. Will history continue to repeat itself or will Iowa State inch closer to a spot in the Big 12 title game? Let's take a closer look at the matchup on Friday before making some expert picks both straight up and against the spread.
Texas: Every week is an adventure with this team, so it's imperative the Horns play their best game of the year. There are signs that's possible. The running game, which was ineffective for the first half of the year, has started to gel a bit with Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson. There's still not a true No. 1 back -- Robinson, Johnson and Keaontay Ingram all have just over 50 carries -- but each has taken their turn having the hot hand. It feels like Robinson is about to have a breakout game after racking up 100 yards against West Virginia. He's a player to watch.
Iowa State: Quarterback Brock Purdy had his best passing game of the season against Kansas State, but the Cyclones' bread and butter is a heavy dose of running back Breece Hall and good defense. Hall is having an All-American season and could get some late Heisman push. The defense is the best in the Big 12 against the run and is second in points per drive allowed behind West Virginia. Unless the passing game has an unexpectedly big game, Iowa State will try to wear down Texas.
Date: Friday, Nov. 27 | Time: Noon ET
Location: DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium -- Austin, Texas
TV: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Texas vs. Iowa State prediction, picks
Every week is a clean slate, especially in 2020. Still, it's hard not to notice what the Cyclones did to K-State, however limited the Wildcats may be at the moment. Even though Iowa State is a slight underdog, it feels like it's the better team at the moment. But neither team should have any problems bringing its own juice for a game with tons of meaning for both sides. If Texas can force Iowa State out of its comfort zone and to play from behind, it can win this. But knocking Iowa State off its center has been difficult. Pick: Iowa State +1.5
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 13? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned over $3,600 in profit over the past four-plus seasons -- and find out.