It’s week six of college football, and I’m still picking winners with the reactionary flair this Wildcat coaching staffs brings to deciding which quarterback should be in the game on each play. We’re fully immersed in conference play this week (finally!) and get another installment of Thursday night football with Iowa State playing its second Thursday in a row (which I totally nailed when I called on Iowa State to upset Tulsa). The Cyclones will be taking on Texas, K-State and Oklahoma State meet in a must-win for both teams, and the most head-scratching team in the Big 12 this year heads to Waco to give Baylor its first test of the year (maybe). On to the picks!
Texas (-7.5) at Iowa State
Both Texas and Iowa State looked better last week than each has at any other point in the season. However, Iowa State looking good is still a low ceiling, and I can’t see more than three conference wins out of the Cyclones. Texas looking good has a ceiling of reclaiming a spot in the Top 25 – although the Longhorns have a long way to go before that happens. Key to the game may be that Texas hasn’t been good stopping the run this year, Iowa State ran the ball successfully for the first time against Tulsa. Plus Texas is on a short week. The Longhorns cover the spread, but barely. Prediction: Texas 28, Iowa State 20 (over)
TCU at #11 Oklahoma (-10.5)
Going into the season, this looked like this weekend’s premier matchup in the Big 12, and one of the best in the nation. Then Casey Pachall went down and TCU once again looks unready to compete with the big boys of the Big 12. Oklahoma is looking much better than I predicted. There’s no way the Horned Frogs keep this one to single digits in Norman, and unless they find offense quickly, it could get ugly. Prediction: Oklahoma 32, TCU 15 (over)
West Virginia at #17 Baylor (-28)
Trap game? Meet the definition. Maryland absolutely creamed West Virginia two weeks ago, but that was fueled in part by six turnovers. The Mountaineers still handled business against Oklahoma State last week, and it wasn’t because the Cowboys were looking ahead to K-State. Baylor has an average margin of victory of 62 points this year. Yes, margin. That’ll come down in conference play, the question is how much of a dent is West Virginia really capable of making? No couches are harmed in Morgantown tonight. Prediction: Baylor 42, West Virginia 15 (under)
K-State at #21 Oklahoma State (-14)
When you look at this OSU schedule so far, there’s nothing that impressive. The 21-3 victory over Mississippi State was nice. It was good. But nothing impressive. Still, this a loaded crop of wide receivers and a defense that deserves more credit than it gets. I don’t believe the statement J.W. Walsh can’t throw downfield, and K-State should get more credit than it will when it pulls the pretty upset. Prediction: K-State 29, Oklahoma State 25 (upset)
And now, for this week’s easy pick’em. It’s that simple choice that just can’t whiff, and you can take that to the bank (just try to overlook that I picked Oklahoma State here last week, K-State here two weeks ago, TCU over Texas Tech three weeks ago, and, well, you get the idea).
#20 Texas Tech (-17) at Kansas
Texas Tech continues its march to be the surprise team of the conference, and took more heat than it should have following a 33-7 win over Texas State. KU is actually ranked 20th overall in scoring defense nationally, allowing 15.7 points per game. Two problems: The offense 105th with 19.3 points scored per game, and the Jayhawks faced their first opponent actually capable of scoring points on Saturday. It’s unreal K-State and KU are picked to be beat by similar scores. Charlie Weis still has miles to go with this team, and he don’t walk too fast – it could take awhile. Prediction: Texas Tech 34, Kansas 10 (over easy, like my eggs)