Last week: 2-2
TCU @ Texas
A month ago this looked like an easy victory for the TCU Horned Frogs. But, Texas is 4-1 over their last 5 games, and has a turnover margin of +3 this month. It’s senior night in Austin, and there’s no doubt Charlie Strong will have his guys ready to rock. But, Texas’ 3 straight wins were against a downtrodden Texas Tech, a West Virginia team that isn’t nearly the same team on the road as it is at home, and Oklahoma State, who was playing their worst football of the season before switching to freshman QB Mason Rudolph last week.
TCU is still on the outside looking in on the CFB Playoff. Gary Patterson needs his team to hand it to Texas to show off to the committee. If they don’t they’ll need help from the top 4 (i.e. someone losing), because their final game of the season is against Iowa State, which carries no weight with the committee. While the Texas defense has continued to impress, tied for the best scoring D in the Conference, they’ve struggled with QB’s who can get out of the pocket (Taysom Hill, Trevor Knight, Sam Richardson, Jake Waters).
Texas is better, but their schedule has eased up recently. If this line was set a month ago, TCU would’ve been favored by over two touchdowns…. Give me the Horned Frogs.
The Pick: TCU -6.5
Granted, there are not many reasons to love Iowa State in this game. They’re winless in Big 12 play, have a slew of injuries, and the defense, typically a Paul Rhoads staple, is atrocious. But, it is senior day for a large class, 16, including E.J. Bibbs, Jarvis West, Tom Farniok, Cory Morrissey, and others. These guys would love nothing more than to go out with a win. On top of that, Paul Rhoads may be coaching for his future in Ames. A victory possibly buys him another year.
All in all, this pick more shows my lack of faith in an inconsistent WVU team on the road, than strong support for ISU.
The pick: Iowa State +12.5
#7 Baylor vs. Texas Tech
Baylor is still sitting at #7 in the CFB Playoff Rankings. They need two impressive wins, starting with a thrashing of Texas Tech this weekend. The Red Raiders bring in the worst rush defense in the Conference (261 yards/game) to Waco, and it should set up enormous days for Shock Linwood and Devin Chafin. Bryce Petty, Art Briles, and the offense knows they must put on a show to impress the committee, especially considering they missed that opportunity last week against Oklahoma State.
Kliff Kingsbury claims that, with his team unable to reach .500, this is their “bowl game”. I don’t think it matters. At times, it seems this team has quit on their staff, and they’ve show little to no resiliency all season.
TCU infamously dumped 82 points on Tech. You better believe the Baylor offense has that number in the back of their minds…. it will get ugly Saturday.
The pick: Baylor -27
Kansas @ Kansas State
Despite a win against West Virginia last Thursday night, K-State only racked up 1 single rushing yard in the game. Bill Snyder sounded like a coach who lost the game, rather than one that won it. He was disappointed in the running game, and the penalties, and un-Snyder-like 10 for over 100 yards. Look for K-State to try and get the run game rolling against KU who gave up an NCAA record 427 yards to Samaje Perine last weekend.
All that being said, Kansas’ secondary, led by corners JaCorey Shepard and Dexter McDonald, should be able to keep Tyler Lockett somewhat in check. The Jayhawks have 21 seniors who will suit up for their final game, as they end a tumultuous 4 year run in Lawrence. Kansas State is still in the Big 12 title hunt, but style points don’t matter, because they aren’t in the CFB Playoff picture. A win in a win… head coaches Bill Snyder and Clint Bowen seem to have a lot of mutual respect for each other and I wouldn’t expect Snyder to run up a score here. As for Bowen, it’s his last game to prove to his AD Sheahon Zenger that he is the man for the job, long term, in Lawrence.
The pick: Kansas +28