All these perfect weeks are tempting to bloat my head, but we’re back to a full slate of Big 12 games this week, which means a higher degree of difficulty. Just gotta stay humble–humble pie–and take things one pick at a time.
I’ll be in the studio this week, so be sure to tune in to Big 12 Live on Saturday night at 11 CT. You can watch on Fox Sports Southwest, Midwest and other regional Fox affiliates. I’ll be on with Gary Reasons, Jon Berger and Ric Renner to break down this week’s games with highlights, interviews, insight and opinion.
If you’re curious, here are my four misses this year:
On to the picks!
Oklahoma 41, Iowa State 13: Trevor Knight says he’s 100 percent, but Oklahoma won’t need him to do very much to get a win. The Sooners are a near-impossible matchup for Iowa State’s front seven, which is giving up 4.91 yards a carry this year, ninth-most in the Big 12. Keith Ford is back and Samaje Perine is Samaje Perine. The Sooners may not have to throw 20 passes to win this game, even on the road.
TCU 44, West Virginia 37: This could be a classic. TCU and West Virginia are two evenly matched teams with good quarterback and receiver play that can overcome solid defense. These two teams have been the Big 12’s best in defending third downs, but TCU may get the edge by giving itself shorter third downs with its running game. The Frogs lead the Big 12 in yards per carry. That gives them an edge here late, when they ice the game with a couple first downs.
Baylor 98, Kansas 17: You think Baylor’s going to watch a conference rival score 82 and days later, watch the CFP put it at No. 13? The Bears already took the loss they hoped wasn’t coming with its lackluster nonconference schedule. It’s a safe bet that Briles and the Bears go scorched earth from here on out to get a little love from the committee. What’s that you say? The committee doesn’t factor in margin of victory? Call me when Condoleeza RiceBot and Tom OsBot earn spots on the committee. Margin of victory is a factor.
Texas 27, Texas Tech 23: Even when Texas went 5-7 back in 2010, it beat the Red Raiders in Lubbock. Tech is explosive enough offensively to be a thorn in the Longhorns’ side, but the Longhorns are athletic enough up front to rush four and drop seven into coverage and still pressure whoever ends up starting at QB for Texas Tech. Offensively, Texas can take advantage of the Red Raiders’ inability to stop the run, even though the Longhorns are thin on the offensive line. Texas Tech is outside the national top 100 in defensive yards per carry (4.95). The fewer passes Texas throws, the better. Longhorns should win an ugly one.
Kansas State 24, Oklahoma State 16: The Cowboys match up OK with K-State, but the offensive woes aren’t a coincidence. I suspect we’ll see Tyreek Hill get some more work in a traditional running back this week after 14 carries for 78 yards last week, both career highs. That should give OSU a boost, but like I wrote last week, the Wildcats are just too solid. The complete team gets a win.