Last week: 1-3
Well, that went fast! The final week of the regular season is here … we will do picks for the Big 12 bowl games. Still debating whether or not to continue the picks for basketball season. Any feedback or preference either way would be appreciated. Email me at [email protected]
#3 TCU vs. Iowa State
Amon G. Carter Stadium will be buzzing on Saturday morning/afternoon as the TCU fans assume a respectable win puts them in the College Football Playoff. I would tend to agree, but there is really no way of knowing how this Committee will operate, and how they factor in the head-to-head, if Baylor pulls off the win against K-State. Either way, TCU is playing for everything, and Iowa State is playing for nothing … and that’s what makes it a bit scary.
Trevone Boykin and TCU will likely feast on a banged up defense ranked 102nd against the pass. But, Iowa State is also giving up a League worst 5.71 yards per carry. So, TCU’s offense has multiple options to attack a horrendous Iowa State defense.
But, if ISU QB Sam Richardson, who has doubled his passing numbers from last season under OC Mark Mangino, can get something going against TCU, the secondary is where TCU has been vulnerable, ranking 92nd in the nation vs. the pass.
Iowa State has lost 4 in a row against the spread, and I believe factors into this week’s 5 touchdown number just being too high. As Art Briles said following last week’s tight game against Tech, “I’d rather face a man with a nice house and a three kids, than a man living out of a car.” If that’s the case, Iowa State is living out of a 1971 Ford Pinto.
The Pick: Iowa State +35
#18 Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State
Both teams haven’t met expectations this season. Oklahoma State is playing for bowl eligibility for the 9th straight season, while Oklahoma is playing for a better bowl, and not having the embarrassment of losing to OSU, in what has already been a down season for the Sooners.
OU is starting freshman QB Cody Thomas again, meaning the run game will run the show. Samaje Perine & Co. go up against a run defense that isn’t horrible, but isn’t great, ranked 50th in the nation, allowing 150 YPG. OU will play a ball control, time of possession game, and try to wear down the Cowboys.
As for Oklahoma State, it looks like freshman Mason Rudolph will start again at QB. His numbers (52% comp, 281 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT) didn’t prove to be drastically better than his predecessor Daxx Garman (who’s been cleared to play), but considering his experience, and the opponent (Baylor), I came away impressed. Whether it’s Rudolph or Garman, OSU will use the deep ball, and that works to their advantage against a Sooner secondary that has ranked 114th in the nation.
I said on my podcast this week, following the Gundy presser, I would hammer the Sooners line. But, honestly, I didn’t think it would be this high. I expected a spread in the 12-14 range. But, the Nebraska and Florida jobs filled up, maybe Gundy realizes he’s stuck in Stillwater for at least another year, so why not give the fans something to be happy about.
The Pick: Oklahoma State +21
#6 Baylor vs. #9 Kansas State
Well, the biggest question mark in this game was the health of Baylor QB Bryce Petty. But, after suffering a “mild” concussion last week vs. Texas Tech, he is reportedly good to go. The key to stopping Petty is to slow down his running game, which K-State is capable of doing with the 19th ranked run defense in the country. When West Virginia held Baylor RB Shock Linwood to 3.3 YPC, Petty struggled when the offense became overly pass-oriented.
Meantime, K-State QB Jake Waters has thrown for nearly 700 yards his past two games, and now gets to face a Baylor pass defense, while improved, is the weak link, after giving up 609 passing yards last week to Tech, and ranked 100th nationally vs. the pass.
Also, the hoopla surrounding College GameDay, the way fans and media alike are talking as if Baylor has already beaten K-State, combined with Baylor hiring a PR firm for this week to pitch themselves as more worthy than TCU … is all just strange and scary considering they still have to beat a top-10 team. I’m not one to bet against a Bill Snyder underdog in this spot. I don’t often refer to betting trends … but K-State is 8-1 ATS in their last 9. They never seem to get the respect they deserve.
The Pick: K-State +7