Last week was another solid one going 3-1, moving the record to 28-16-2 on the season… another Big 12 game on a Thursday night, so here we go!
#6 Baylor @ Kansas State
The College Football Playoff rankings came out … and once again, Baylor is getting no respect. In fairness, they don’t deserve much based on their schedule to date, and now they start a freshman, Jarrett Stidham, under center. But, I’ve got to believe this is another chance for Art Briles to put a chip on his team’s shoulder. While Briles has often put in back ups to try to avoid total blow outs, he’s not afraid to win by 25-40 points. I wouldn’t be stunned if he used this Thursday night nationally televised game as a chance make a statement.
Do you trust the freshman QB on the road? I do. I believe in the Baylor system, and Stidham is surrounded by a ton of experience and talent. Where Baylor is most vulnerable is in their secondary. But, the problem is, Kansas State’s passing game is nonexistent.
I’m rolling with the Bears in a route.
The Pick: Baylor -17
Texas Tech @ West Virginia
Both of these teams have lost to the same squads in recent weeks, ironically the top 4 teams in the Big 12: Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Neither team is as bad as they’ve appeared in the past month. So, which team breaks out?
Pat Mahomes and the Tech offense gets to have a field day with the WVU secondary that has struggled mightily since losing safety Karl Joseph, and with KJ Dillon and Terrel Chestnut are playing banged up. Tech put up 480 yards of offense against Oklahoma State and over 500 against Baylor and Iowa State.
But, as good as the Tech offense has been, the defense has been just as bad, although, I believe much of that can be credited to the teams they’ve played in recent weeks. Still, Tech is giving up over 40 points per game. It won’t be easy for Tech to pull off the win in Morgantown, but with their offense, they should cover the number.
The Pick: Texas Tech +8.5
Texas vs. Kansas
So, Texas, who was just shut out by Iowa State, is favored by nearly 30 points. Possible? Sure, when you get set to play Kansas. Texas has zero passing game, but between Jerrod Heard and Tyrone Swoopes, the Longhorns can run the ball quite well. That’s good news for UT, because the Jayhawks have allowed over 240 rushing yards per game over the last 4.
Frankly, UT didn’t take Iowa State seriously and there were reports that Charlie Strong tore into his coaching staff after the game. This has the makings of a game where the Longhorns bounce back in a big way following a horrible loss (think OU win post-TCU defeat). Kansas is playing for the 7th week in a row and has faced some of the Big 12’s top offense in recent weeks. They only have 67 scholarship players (instead of 85), and now hit the road as a worn down, beaten team.
I’ll roll with the angry Longhorns at home, where they are averaging over 30 points per game, against a tired KU team.
The Pick: Texas -28
Iowa State @ #15 Oklahoma
The Sooners have been on a roll, granted against pretty bad defenses in K-State, Texas Tech, and Kansas. Meantime, Iowa State played their best game of the season, shutting out Texas at home, and giving the team a much needed lift after firing offensive coordinator Mark Mangino and benching QB Sam Richardson.
Since Joel Lanning came in at QB midway through the Baylor game, Iowa State has looked like a much more confident team. Lanning has done a solid job, and RB Mike Warren, making his return back to the Sooner State (Lawton, OK native), would love to have a big day against one of the home teams that likely had no interest in recruiting him.
Also, the Sooners have a massive game looming against Baylor. Any chance Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley keep the playbook vanilla ahead of next week? Or, could the players be caught looking ahead? Iowa State has everything on the line (by their standards) and tries to keep that momentum going. Just give me the cover.
Iowa State +26
#8 TCU @ #14 Oklahoma State
Both teams are a bit of an enigma as they’ve sometimes struggled against mediocre competition and neither has yet to play a ranked opponent.
One of the biggest strengths of the Cowboys is their pass rush led by Emmanuel Ogbah, but with Trevone Boykin at QB, he should be able to avoid a lot of the potential pressure. Also of note, Ogbah’s counterpart on the line, Jimmy Bean, is a question mark for Saturday. Plus, lost in last week’s win over Texas Tech somewhat masked a horrible day for the Cowboys defense.
Meantime, TCU’s D is starting to slowly improve and get healthier from earlier in the season. Also, the Horned Frogs have had a longer layoff, since they played last Thursday night. Last year it was a 42-9 TCU win. It won’t be that lopsided, but I like the Horned Frogs in convincing fashion.
The Pick: TCU -4.5