Total whiff on my part on the Red River Rivalry game last week. Oklahoma is back.
Big thank you to Mizzou, who threw a last minute pick six to cost me a winning weekend. Those are always fun.
This week’s slate is thin in the Big 12, and the Golden Hurricane get the week off as well, but two big national games take center stage in Seattle and South Bend.
West Virginia (-2.5) at Houston, 6 p.m. Thursday: The Mountaineers have been one of the surprise teams in college football, putting themselves squarely in the top half of the Big 12 standings. Most people think that Houston is the worst team in the conference. Everything tells me that I should pick West Virginia in this game. Pick: Houston +2.5
Iowa State at Cincinnati (-4.5), 11 a.m. Saturday: Did anyone happen to catch the pants that the Cyclones wore in their game last week against TCU? Atrocious. That said, Matt Campbell has done a really good job this year with a team that most think is near the bottom of the Big 12 in talent. The Cyclones are at Cincinnati, then get a bye, then at Baylor. It would not be out of the question to see Iowa State at 4-1 in conference going into November. Pick: Iowa State +2.5
No. 23 Kansas (-3.5) at Oklahoma State, 2:30 p.m. Saturday: Call me crazy, but the win against Kansas State felt like the beginning of something for the Cowboys. The three-game stretch upcoming is gettable before heading into Bedlam. A Kansas team without starting quarterback Jalon Daniels is up first, followed by a trip to Morgantown and Cincinnati at home. Maybe I’m a prisoner of the moment. Maybe Mike Gundy’s postgame dancing hypnotized me. The wrong team is favored in this game. Pick: Oklahoma State +3.5 — Cowboys win it 28-24.
BYU at TCU (-5.5), 2:30 p.m. Saturday: Big, big, big day for capital letters as brevity as the Cougars and Horned Frogs meet up in a renewal of a big Mountain West Conference rivalry from 2005-10. In the six years they were in the MWC together, they finished 1-2 in the conference three times, TCU finished ranked five times (three times No. 7 or higher) and BYU finished ranked four times. The Frogs have faltered in the last two weeks, and losing Chandler Morris in last week’s loss to Iowa State certainly doesn’t help their trajectory. Pick: BYU +5.5
Kansas State at Texas Tech (-1.5), 6 p.m. Saturday: Amidst the disappointing opening loss to Wyoming and another injury to quarterback Tyler Shough, Texas Tech running back Tahj Brooks is quietly off to one hell of a start. With 688 yards through six games, he ranks fifth nationally and is coming off of his best performance of the season against Baylor. Kansas State has been pretty solid against the run, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the Wildcats after Friday night in Stillwater. Pick: Texas Tech -1.5
No. 8 Oregon at No. 7 Washington (-2.5): Two of the best quarterbacks thus far in college football do battle in Husky Stadium when Bo Nix’s Ducks play Michael Penix’s Huskies (say that five times fast). Maybe it’s PTSD from his days at Auburn, but I still have trouble trusting Bo Nix in big games. Pick: Washington -2.5
No. 10 USC at No. 21 Notre Dame (-2.5), 6:30 p.m. Saturday: I correctly predicted last week that Notre Dame would struggle in game 3 of their ridiculous four-game stretch that culminates this week in South Bend. The PTSD from Bo Nix at Auburn pales in comparison to the PTSD from Alex Grinch’s defenses in Norman. At least Bo Nix has improved the past few years. Pick: Notre Dame -2.5
No. 25 Miami at No. 12 North Carolina (-3.5), 6:30 p.m. Saturday: Mario Cristobal went full Kevin Steele at Baylor. You never go full Kevin Steele at Baylor. Hard to imagine the Canes rebound from that debacle. How can you ever trust the decision-makers again if you’re Miami. Big day for Drake Maye incoming. Pick: North Carolina -3.5