4. Texas Tech vs. Baylor 11/25 (AT&T Stadium)
Baylor is one of Tech's biggest rivals and it's always fun to tune in. The Baylor vs Texas Tech overall series record is 37-36-1 in favor of Baylor. Despite the close record, this rivalry has been one-sided the past few seasons. Baylor has won the last five games against Tech and with the exception of the 2014 game, they have all been blowouts.
Baylor's offense was ranked number one in total offense last year with 8,011 total yards from scrimmage. They were 3rd in rushing but 25th in passing. Their defense was not as great as their offense. Baylor was ranked 56th in the nation in total defense. Baylor started off the 2015 season hot with an 8-0 record before injuries to their QBs depleted their season. Baylor lost three of their next four games putting them at 9-3 on the season. They beat North Carolina 49-38 in the Russell Athletic Bowl to finish 10-3.
Baylor will be looking to replace key players they lost this offseason. They lost receivers Corey Coleman and Jay Lee, CB Xavien Howard, DT Andrew Billings, OT Spencer Drango, and DE Shawn Oakman just to name a few. However, Baylor will be returning several key offensive players including QBs Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham, RBs Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson, and receiver KD Cannon.
I can see this game being great because both teams' offenses were ranked in the top 5 last year. Factor in several returning offensive starters for both teams, and you've got a recipe for a great Big 12 Conference shootout. Last years' game started off with fireworks but Tech struggled on offense. They committed four turnovers, allowing Baylor to jump on them early. The Bears had all the momentum going forward and beat Tech soundly 63-35.
I believe Tech's defense will be better this coming season and if they can stop the high-powered Bears offense just a few times, this game could be close. If Tech wants to have a serious chance to beat Baylor, they have to learn to slow down the running game. Last year Baylor ran for 368 yards against Tech, which was a big reason Baylor easily won that game. However I give Texas Tech an edge at quarterback. In his first two games against Baylor, QB Patrick Mahomes has thrown for 598 and 415 yards. Both Baylor QBs threw for fewer yards in those games. In 2014 Bryce Petty and Russell threw for a total of 292 yards and in 2015 Russell threw for 286 yards.
The bottom line is: if Texas Tech's offense brings their A game and their defense can slow down Baylor's offense a little, this game could be close and very entertaining. It will be great way to finish of your Thanksgiving weekend.