#3 Oklahoma vs. Kansas State
Saturday, September 26th 11:00 AM CT, FOX
Well these two teams certainly had polar opposite first games. Oklahoma (1-0) annihilated Missouri State in a 48-0 win. New starting quarterback Spencer Rattler looked as good as advertised, throwing 4 TD passes for the Sooners. However, there was never really any serious concern that OU would struggle against Missouri State. Kansas State (0-1), on the other hand, suffered a devastating, close loss to Arkansas State. That 35-31 loss showed some major issues with the Wildcats team this year. BUT, Arkansas State is a fairly decent Sunbelt team. That level of competition was certainly higher than Missouri State. Is that experience enough for the Wildcats to beat the Sooners? Almost certainly not, as 27.5 point underdogs. However, many will recall that Kansas State did beat the Sooners last year as major underdogs. Obviously, there are countless differences between last year and this year so I don’t expect lightning to strike twice, but it is something to consider.
Iowa State @ TCU
Saturday, September 26th 12:30 PM CT, FS1
Speaking of devastating losses to Sunbelt teams, let’s talk about Iowa State (0-1). Two things were extremely clear in Iowa State’s deflating loss to Louisiana in their first game: Brock Purdy and the Iowa State offense looked extremely lackluster and the Cyclones special teams unit is really bad, especially at kick coverage. The kickoff return and the punt return by Louisiana were really what sealed the deal. Iowa State now have to bounce back after a week off and take on TCU, who has yet to play a game. TCU got news that quarterback Max Duggan was cleared to play after receiving treatment for a heart condition. However, TCU is planning on sophomore Matthew Downing starting in this game. Max Duggan is expected to see playing time though. All that to say, does live experience in a loss help Iowa State get the edge over TCU? Will TCU’s continued lack of quarterback stability continue to haunt the Horned Frogs? I think so, and so does Vegas as Iowa State is a 2.5 point favorite. I just can’t imagine Purdy, who has been a good to great quarterback for Iowa State, looking as rusty and lackadaisical as he did two weeks ago. This season has proven that live action experience is a premium commodity. Iowa State has that, TCU does not.
24-20 Iowa State
#8 Texas @ Texas Tech
Saturday, September 26th 2:30 PM CT, FOX
Both of these teams are undefeated, but it really doesn’t feel that way for Texas Tech (1-0). The Red Raiders narrowly escaped defeat in their matchup against FCS Houston Baptist. HBU is not only an FCS squad, but a not so great one at that. That was a very concerning game for the Red Raiders, but you ultimately have to win your clunkers and they did that. However, there is more distraction for Texas Tech this week as their top rusher, SaRodorick Thompson, was charged with street racing. He is still expected to play Saturday (interesting choice). Texas (1-0) blewout UTEP in their opener, winning 59-3. Texas is favored by 18 points and that feels about right, mostly on the side of Texas Tech being highly questionable.
#15 Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia
Saturday, September 26th 2:30 PM CT, ABC
#15 Oklahoma State (1-0) is yet another example of a Big 12 team looking suspect in their opening game, edging out Tulsa 16-7. Granted, the Cowboys were immediately confronted with injury problems in this game, cycling through three quarterbacks. Still, that OSU offense looked pretty suspect, especially with such a dynamic rusher returning in Chuba Hubbard. The defense looked strong, though, so the Cowboys have that going for them. West Virginia dismantled Eastern Kentucky in their opener, winning 56-10. The Mountaineers have had an extra week to rest and prepare for the Cowboys. Is that enough to pull a top 25 upset? I actually think so. Oklahoma State is an 8.5 point favorite, but I think this is the best chance for an upset in this week’s slate of games.
24-21 West Virginia
Baylor vs. Kansas
Saturday, September 26th 6:30 PM CT, ESPNU
Obviously, I am writing this portion of the preview with the hope that Baylor is going to finally kick off their season this weekend. There is still some question on if Baylor will have the minimum number of players available for this game, but at last check AD Mack Rhoades and coach Dave Aranda seemed optimistic. Nevertheless, assuming this game does happen, Baylor should have a strong edge here. Kansas (0-1) didn’t just lose to Sunbelt Coastal Carolina. They were totally dominated right from the start, ending in a 38-23 loss. Not great. Granted, this is another instance of some game experience potentially outweighing no experience. That is compounded by Baylor’s offensive line likely not having the prep it would prefer because of COVID protocol. Still, this should be a game where talent differential alone will give the edge to Baylor. A word of caution though, the game might be a bit closer than the 17 point spread in favor of Baylor.