#6 Oklahoma vs. #11 Texas
Saturday, October 12th 11:00 AM CT, FOX
The Red River Rivalry once again rears its head this weekend in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl in a contest that will surely have wide-reaching implications whichever way it goes. This is an emotionally-charged rivalry game, which certainly means you can’t just take both teams’ records into account and make your pick. However, that method wouldn’t do much anyway since #11 Texas (4-1, 2-0) is just one game behind #6 Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0) in terms of overall record. And we certainly saw last year how a less talented Texas can steal a victory from the Sooners. However, that likely won’t be the case this year. In my opinion, Texas is highly overvalued especially on defense. They had to replace almost their entire defense from last year and it’s showing, even in victories. Expect Jalen Hurts and the Oklahoma offense to carve up that “DBU” secondary and propel Hurts even further into the Heisman conversation. Will Texas QB Sam Ehlinger also have a nice day? Yeah, probably enough to cover the current 10.5 point spread. But not nice enough to get the win.
Texas Tech @ #22 Baylor
Saturday, October 12th 3:00 PM CT, FS1
The BUTT Bowl is back and better than ever as #22 Baylor (5-0, 2-0) hosts Texas Tech (3-2, 1-1) in McLane Stadium for the first time ever (until this year, the game had been played annually at Cowboys Stadium since before McLane Stadium’s grand opening). There are plenty of big picture factors in motion for this game: Baylor and Tech’s all time record is tied at 38-1-38, Baylor got bowl eligibility in its win over Tech last year, while simultaneously knocking the Red Raiders out of postseason contention, and the Bears are undefeated and already playing for bowl eligibility (which, at this point, seems like somewhat of an afterthought compared to larger aspirations, even though it most definitely shouldn’t be). So what do the numbers say? Baylor has a significant statistical edge on the Red Raiders. SP+ gives Baylor an over two points better offense and a nearly 6 point defensive edge. So the spread at the time of writing this article—11 points in favor of Baylor—seems about right, although betting on Tech to cover isn’t the worst option.
Regardless, Baylor has a better offense behind Charlie Brewer (who has been medically cleared for this game) than the Red Raiders have with backup quarterback Jett Duffey, even though he admittedly looked impressive against Oklahoma State. However, Duffey should be in for a rude return to Earth against Baylor who statistically has an 8 point defensive edge on OSU. While Baylor’s offense ought to be able to get the ball moving in this game, it will likely be the defense that once again steps up big. And with the big homecoming crowd, Baylor gets a nice mutli-score victory.
Iowa State @ West Virginia
Saturday, October 12th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN
Baylor’s SP+ twin, Iowa State (3-2, 1-1) travels to Morgantown this weekend to take on West Virginia (3-2, 1-1). (No, but seriously, look at how identical Baylor and Iowa State are statistically right now). The Cyclones got a nice bouce-back beatdown last weekend, destroying TCU in Ames. They now face a confusing West Virginia team that is statistically far worse than the Horned Frogs. But it’s also a road game with a rowdy atmosphere that could be dangerous for the Cyclones. Still, if quarterback Brock Purdy can recreate even three-fourths of what he did last week against a strong TCU defense, WVU’s weaker defense won’t stand a chance. I’ve got Iowa State easily covering the current 10.5 point spread.
45-20 Iowa State