Last week: 3-9
A scrumptious slate of Week 4 action, including conference openers for the Sooners and Cowboys lies ahead. It feels like I’m due for a good week, and I’m banking on it, quite literally.
I’ll be heading through the Flint Hills as my travels with UCO football take me to the metropolis of Emporia, Kansas on Saturday afternoon. That means I’ll be in a state with legal sports gambling, and that means that for the first time this season I’ll be putting my own hard earned cash on the line. Let’s get serious.
(All games Saturday)
No. 16 Oklahoma (-14.5) at Cincinnati, 11 a.m.: It’s hard to cover three weeks in a row, and the Sooners have. Cincy is coming off a terrible home loss. This is one of the biggest games in the 108 year history of Nippert Stadium, and it seems like a really good spot for Vegas to make money back on the Sooners. Pick: Cincinnati +14.5 — Sooners win, but don’t cover 31-21.
SMU at TCU (-6.5), 11 a.m.: I think we’ve learned more good things about SMU than we have from TCU. I’m not so sure that there’s a huge talent-wise, and rivalry games are usually tight. Pick: SMU +6.5
BYU at Kansas (-8.5), 2:30 p.m.: I don’t have a really good read on this game, but Kansas usually runs the ball pretty well at home. That could help them wear down a BYU team making a second straight big road trip after beating Arkansas last week. Pick: Kansas -8.5
Texas Tech (-6.5) at West Virginia, 2:30 p.m.: A good Backyard Bowl win for Neal Brown’s Mountaineers last week, but Texas Tech is much more talented than Pittsburgh. For as much as West Virginia put into that rivalry game, I have to think they will suffer Saturday. Pick: Texas Tech -6.5
Oklahoma State at Iowa State (-3.5), 3 p.m.: Last week was arguably the most embarrassing loss of the Mike Gundy era in Stillwater. I thought I had incorrectly predicted that all three quarterbacks would play well, but according to Gundy, they all played great. Hands are right above the panic button in Stillwater. I think they will stay there for another week. Pick: Oklahoma State +3.5 — Cowboys win 15-14.
Sam Houston State at Houston (-12.5), 6 p.m.: Houston looks to be the worst team in the Big 12, and this week it faces a Sam Houston State defense that has allowed only 27 points in losses combined BYU and Air Force. Unfortunately for SHSU, it only managed to score THREE points in those two losses. The Bearkats are due. Upset alert. Pick: Sam Houston State +12.5
No. 3 Texas (-14.5) at Baylor, 6:30 p.m.: Huge game for Baylor, hosting Texas for the last time in probably a long time. Texas finally got out of first gear in the fourth quarter against Wyoming, but Waco is a tough place to go win a big game, especially to win by more than two touchdowns. Pick: Baylor +14.5
UCF at Kansas State (-5.5), 7 p.m.: The Wildcats came out of their loss at Missouri with a load of injuries, and UCF has the conference’s second best road win, handling their business on the smurf turf in Boise. The Knights have been pretty solid defensively. Pick: UCF +5.5
Tulsa at Northern Illinois (-3.5), 11 a.m.: The Huskies have been bad offensively after a Week 1 upset at Boston College, especially on the ground. In losses to Southern Illinois and Nebraska, NIU has only gained a yard and a half per rush. Tulsa has been pretty good against the run, especially considering the last two opponents. Pick: Tulsa +3.5
No. 19 Colorado at No. 10 Oregon (-21), 2:30 p.m.: Can you imagine the amount of Coach Prime that we’ll be bombarded with if the Buffaloes win this one? I just need a break for a few weeks. Pick: Oregon -21
No. 15 Ole Miss at No. 13 Alabama (-7), 2:30 p.m.: The last three times Ole Miss has gone to Bryant-Denny Stadium, they’ve given up 42, 59 and 66 points. I don’t think Alabama figures out everything, but they do get a little closer to right. Pick: Alabama -7
No. 6 Ohio State (-3.5) at No. 9 Notre Dame, 6 p.m.: Sam Hartman has grabbed most of the headlines for Notre Dame, but Audric Estime and the Irish run game haven’t gotten enough credit. I love a home underdog with a good run game. Pick: Notre Dame +3.5