Last week we got off to a hot 3-0 start, but finished the week 3-2. For the season, we keep trending in the right direction, sitting at 16-11-2. Here we go for Week 6:
Oklahoma vs. Texas
These are two teams headed in opposite directions. The Sooners are in the Top 10 of the AP Poll and appear to have the best chance to beat out Baylor or TCU for the Big 12 Title. Meantime, Texas is 1-4, off a 50-7 loss to TCU, and some are ridiculously calling for Charlie Strong’s job.
I don’t like to go too heavy on stats with these intense rivalry games. Plus, Texas is coming off their worst game in years, they have off field drama (Kris Boyd’s halftime retweet), so no one is giving them a chance. While OU has been really good, the defense has still been shaky, and the Sooners have only won the turnover battle once this season (last week vs. WVU). For Texas, they only have 5 turnovers on the season, which has been one of their few bright spots.
The entire world (well, 75% according to Sports Insight), is taking OU, it’s one of the great rivalries, and Bob Stoops and Charlie Strong are from similar coaching trees with plenty of respect for each other. I don’t see Stoops trying to embarrass Strong.
The Pick: Texas +16.5
Baylor @ Kansas
Yep, the line at 44.5 is real. Just amazing … and sad. Baylor is going to score at will. Kansas’ pass defense is bad, but their run defense is even worse, and Baylor is ranked second in the nation in rushing yards per game. Just look at last week, when Baylor scored touchdowns on seven of their first eight possessions against Tech.
The last two years Baylor has won this game by scores of 59-14 and 60-14. Surprisingly, those Kansas teams were actually better and had more depth than this one does. And for Baylor, this could be Art Briles’ best team yet. Briles isn’t one to purposely run up the score (he backed off significantly in the 2nd half last week vs. Tech), but even with his backups in, this is going to be ugly.
The pick: Baylor -44.5
Oklahoma State @ West Virginia
West Virginia came home after their loss to Oklahoma, and then lost All-America-caliber safety Karl Joseph to a season ending knee injury. WVU HC Dana Holgorsen reportedly said that his team was “walking around like they lost a family member”. Last week, WVU’s loss to OU was the first time this season we’ve seen the Mountaineers against above-average competition and there proved to be many warts. Meantime, I have been unimpressed with Oklahoma State, and while they’re 2-0 in Big 12 play, they could easily be 0-2.
Skyler Howard has been shaky at QB for the Mountaineers, so expect WVU to pound it on the ground. But, the OSU run defense is excellent, and should be able to slow down the Mountaineers. The WVU secondary was ripped by OU last week, and while OSU QB Mason Rudolph has been a bit up and down, I expect him to have a big day and follow up on last week’s 440+ yards against K-State.
The Pick: Oklahoma State +6.5
Texas Tech vs. Iowa State
Tech is back home off a grueling 3-game stretch against Arkansas, TCU and Baylor. They finally get a bit of a breather against Iowa State. The Cyclones looked good last week in a 28-point win over … Kansas. Every team will look good against Kansas. Don’t let that game fool you, Iowa State still isn’t very good. After this recent 3-game run, playing Iowa State will feel like checkers instead of chess to the Red Raiders.
Once again, the stats don’t tell the entire story at this point in the year, as Tech has ‘technically’ the worst defense in the Big 12. They aren’t good, but they sure as hell aren’t the worst. David Gibbs has made improvements with the unit over last season’s horrific showing. Tech’s key is to stop ISU freshman RB Mike Warren, who has rushed for over 100 yards in their last two games.
It’s important to note that this game has some reverse line movement. The spread opened at Tech -12, over 70% of the bets have come in on Tech, but the line has moved to -10. Clearly, a lot of sharp money is coming in on the Cyclones. I just don’t agree.
Tech is back in Lubbock, it’s homecoming, they need 3 more wins to make a bowl game, and must convince themselves and their fan base they are not a mirror image of last season’s 4-8 team. After the past 3 weeks, I expect to see Tech roll to a big victory.
The Pick: Texas Tech -10
TCU at Kansas State
I can’t quite figure this line out. TCU is one of the best teams in the country, while Kansas State was using their wide receiver at quarterback last week. In fariness, TCU has been a different team the past two season at home versus on the road. The Horned Frogs are 2-0 on the road this season, but have won those games by a combined 9 points.
Still, Kansas State allowed Oklahoma State, who had been shaking offensively up until last week, to throw for 440 yards. Now, enter TCU, one of the best passing offenses in the nation. Meantime, Joe Hubener is back at QB for KSU after passing the concussion protocol, but I’m not so sure that’s a good thing. WR Kody Cook looked better under center last week than any of the other options we’ve seen from the Wildcats this season.
The only thing that could slow down the TCU passing attack tomorrow is the weather… unfortunately expect sunny skies, temperatures near 80, and light winds. Boykin & Co. are already licking their chops.
The Pick: TCU -9
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