Big 12 predictions: Week 5
I've had good luck on toss-ups this season, and that means a second perfect set of picks in three weeks. This week's set is a bit simpler.
I'll be heading out to catch TCU and SMU on Saturday morning, but 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. We'll be breaking down the week in Big 12 football live with highlights, interviews, insight and opinion. It's a lot of fun.
Let's get to this week's picks:
Last week: 3-0 (1.000)
Overall: 28-2 (.933)
Oklahoma State 34, Texas Tech 17: OSU doesn't have the physical running game it would love to have. That would come in handy any time, but especially this week against a Red Raiders team that gave up 438 rushing yards to Arkansas in its last game. OSU does have a speedy, talented defense that has already seen a better offense than Tech's. The Pokes are tough to beat in Boone Pickens Stadium and show why once again. New faces Daxx Garman and Tyreek Hill play well.
Kansas State 37, UTEP 14: The Wildcats were as sloppy as we've seen them in a long time against Auburn. You won't see that two weeks in a row. Jack Cantele redeems himself with three field goals and Tyler Lockett hauls in a touchdown pass. Most importantly, K-State wins the turnover battle.
TCU 41, SMU 0: TCU leads the Big 12 in defensive yards per play, at 3.04. Baylor already shut out the Mustangs, whose only touchdown came on a last-second hail mary against North Texas. SMU's only hope to reach the end zone against the Frogs is a defensive bust. Don't count on it. This is a rivalry game, which leaves open the possibility of wackiness, but TCU is improved and SMU is the nation's worst FBS team. The Iron Skillet is staying in Fort Worth.
Texas 34, Kansas 10: The Jayhawks haven't faced a front four like Texas will bring to Lawrence. Even without Tank Jackson, Malcom Brown and Cedric Reed will have Montell Cozart scrambling away from the pocket most of the day. Texas has the talent on the outsides to keep KU from moving the ball consistently with the quick passing game that was effective against Central Michigan. KU's defense has been respectable more often than not, but Texas wins the battle up front and controls possession.
Baylor 51, Iowa State 17: Baylor embarrassed the Cyclones 71-7 a year ago in one of the most complete beatdowns I've ever seen in Big 12 play. This won't be as bad, but Baylor has too much depth and talent at the skill positions for it to be close. Iowa State doesn't have the offensive firepower. Only Texas averages fewer yards per play, and Baylor leads the Big 12 in the stat by almost a full yard per play.