#11 Oklahoma State @ South Alabama
Friday, September 8th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN 2
Oklahoma State looked downright electric against Tulsa last Thursday. Once again, the Cowboys will be playing a weeknight game, kicking off Friday at South Alabama. South Alabama is coming off of a 47-27 loss to Ole Miss in week 1. I don’t expect this to be very close at all unless a Friday night road game really messes up Mason Rudolph and James Washington’s chemistry. Expect a blow out.
#19 Kansas State vs. Charlotte
Saturday, September 9th 11:00 AM CT, FSN
Kansas State just completed 55-19 beat down of Central Arkansas, while Charlotte is coming off of a 24-7 loss to Eastern Michigan. I’ll cut to the chase, Kansas State will have another blowout victory this week. There’s no way Snyder’s team let’s this be a close game.
Iowa State vs. Iowa
Saturday, September 9th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN2
This is a pivotal game for an Iowa State team that thinks it has what it takes to seriously compete in the Big 12 this year. In a 42-24 win over in-state FCS foe Northern Iowa, Iowa State’s secondary looked great with 3 interceptions (2 of which were pick sixes) and the offense found its rhythm behind the strong duo of quarterback Jacob Park and wide receiver Allen Lazard. In-state Big 10 rival Iowa now looms, coming off a 24-3 win over Wyoming. Iowa looks to be continuing its tradition of slow, boring, but very effective Big 10 brand football. Luckily, Iowa State gets this game at home. Iowa still has quite a few question marks, specifically at the receiver position and I think Iowa State’s strong secondary will take advantage of that weakness. I’m hopping on the Cyclones hype train for this week.
West Virginia vs. East Carolina
Saturday, September 9th 11:00 AM CT, FS2
West Virginia is looking to bounce back after a painful 31-24 loss to Virginia Tech. I fully expect the Mountaineers to do just that against East Carolina, who is coming off of a 34-14 loss to James Madison. West Virginia is the far better football team in this matchup, and unless the players are really hung up over the Virginia Tech loss, should show their skill differential Saturday.
#23 TCU @ Arkansas
Saturday, September 9th 2:30 PM CT, CBS
TCU jumped up into the top 25 this week and for good reason, they were one of the few Texas schools not to lay an egg this past weekend with a 63-0 destruction of Jackson State. They face SEC foe Arkansas, who blew out FAMU 49-7 to open their season. TCU is looking to get revenge for last year’s OT loss to Arkansas, but that will be tricky playing on the road against a strong Razorback squad. This game will come down to if Kenny Hill has made significant improvements since last season or not. Any turnovers from him could make or break this game. I think Arkansas will pull out another close victory.
Texas vs. San José State
Saturday, September 9th 2:30 PM CT, LHN
Texas is coming off of a loss to Maryland that was never close. We don’t know yet just how good Maryland is this year (they went 6-7 last year), but they looked very impressive against Texas. The question then is how good or bad Texas is this year. This game against SJSU could help clarify how good or bad Texas truly is. SJSU already has two games under its belt this season, with a loss to Charlie Strong’s South Florida and a blow out win against Cal Poly. I expect Texas to win this game, but a loss would immediately throw Tom Herman into the danger zone.
Kansas vs. Central Michigan
Saturday, September 9th 3:00 PM CT, FSN
Kansas is looking to bring itself up from the bottom of the Big 12 this season and made a good start towards that goal with a 38-16 win over Southeast Missouri State. Kansas will now face Central Michigan, who, if you recall, upset Oklahoma State in spectacular (and controversial) fashion last year. However, this isn’t the CMU team of last year. They’re coming off an extremely close 30-27 win against Rhode Island. I think KU will get this win and continue its march of improvement.
#5 Oklahoma @ #2 Ohio State
Saturday, September 9th 6:30 PM CT, ABC
The big game of the weekend, top 5 matchup between Oklahoma and Ohio State. Oklahoma is trying to get revenge for last year’s early season loss from Ohio State. After early losses last year, Oklahoma finished on a major hot streak, winning the Big 12. Will that groove carry over to this year? Anyone who watched the Ohio State game against Indiana knows there are some definite deficits in this year’s Buckeye squad. The secondary seems particularly susceptible to a quick passing game, which I think Baker Mayfield will be able to exploit. However, the game being at Ohio State might balance things out. Nevertheless, I’m predicting an Oklahoma win this weekend, unless Lincoln Riley has some major coaching hiccups.
Baylor vs. UTSA
Saturday, September 9th 7:00 PM CT, FSN
This game has been talked about a lot over the past week, mainly because everyone wants any excuse to look ahead from last week’s awful loss (myself included). I do think Baylor turns things around in this game and gets a win. The defense gets a few key secondary members back which should help shore up some of the atrocious pass coverage. Additionally, UTSA relies heavier on deep passing plays than Liberty did. Luckily, deep pass plays were something that Baylor did a good job of covering last week. The Baylor offense started humming as the game progressed once it established its chemistry. Evaluating UTSA is difficult because their first game against Houston was postponed, so they have yet to play a game this season. This could be good in that there might still be some rust and kinks to be worked out (much like Baylor needed last week). The bad is that UTSA has a lot of current film on Baylor and Baylor only has last year’s film on UTSA. Additionally, UTSA should be relatively fresh. Regardless, I think Baylor bounces back and gets the win with some improvements throughout this week and key players returning.