#12 Oklahoma State @ #25 Texas
Saturday, October 16th 11:00 AM CT, FOX
As far as the Big 12 title race goes, this is a huge matchup between #12 Oklahoma State (5-0, 2-0) and #25 Texas (4-2, 2-1). A loss by Texas here saddles them with two conference losses, a very deep hole to dig out of if they want to make it to the Big 12 championship. An Oklahoma State win sets the Cowboys up with a strong lead in the conference race. Basically, a loss here by Oklahoma State is not season crushing but definitely hurts. A loss by Texas and you’re very quickly looking at yet another lost season for the Longhorns. The question then will be how the Longhorns respond after an absolutely devastating loss to Oklahoma over the weekend. UT looked world class in the early parts of that game, only to collapse down the stretch and squander a 21 point lead. Add on the fact that Oklahoma State should be well rested after a bye week, and I am leaning pretty heavily toward the Cowboys. Their defense is the real deal, the question will continue to be if and when the offense comes to play. Texas is somewhat surprisingly a 5.5 point favorite as of the writing of this article. I like the Cowboys to win outright.
27-24 Oklahoma State
#19 BYU @ Baylor
Saturday, October 16th 2:30 PM CT, ESPN
This ought to be a fun matchup as Baylor (5-1) hosts future Big 12 conference foe #19 BYU (5-1) on homecoming. Baylor got itself right back on track offensively against West Virginia last weekend, absolutely picking the Mountaineer defense apart through the air. Quarterback Gerry Bohanon threw for 336 yards and 4 touchdowns, while Tyquan Thornton had 8 receptions for 187 yards and two touchdowns. The Cougars will be looking to rebound after their first loss of the season. That came in disappointing fashion to Boise State, who held BYU to 17 points thanks in part to four turnovers. There have been some quarterback issues for the Cougars, who had been missing Jaren Hall until their most recent loss. In his stead, Baylor Romney (what a name) had started two games, but was pulled in favor of Jacob Conover at the half of their game against Utah State. Expect Hall to start against the Bears, but it’s always possible we see another face if the game starts going south for BYU. Baylor is favored by 5 points but given the way the offense seemed to improve last weekend, I like them by closer to 10+ points.
Texas Tech @ Kansas
Saturday, October 16th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN+
Texas Tech (4-2, 1-2) is probably the team I have been on the biggest rollercoaster with this season in terms of figuring out if they are good, bad, or ugly. After their 52-31 loss to TCU last weekend, I think they are somewhere between bad and ugly. However, they are sitting two wins away from a bowl game: an achievement that would be a minor miracle given how poorly they have played in some of their conference games. If you want to hit that magic 6 win mark, this game against Kansas (1-4, 0-2) is a must: and it is one game the Red Raiders should have little trouble winning. Kansas’s most recent outing was a 59-7 loss to Iowa State before a bye weekend. The Jayhawks have not had a final score within 17 points of an opponent since their season opening win against FCS South Dakota. Tech is favored by 16.5 points, which feels about right.
51-34 Texas Tech
TCU @ #4 Oklahoma
Saturday, October 16th 6:30 PM CT, ABC
#4 Oklahoma (6-0, 3-0) might have found the offensive spark they needed by benching Spencer Rattler in favor of Caleb Williams in their comeback win over Texas. Williams, a freshman quarterback, threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns in the time he played. We’ll get a better idea of what Williams can consistently do as the Sooners host TCU (3-2, 1-1). One of the most mind boggling stats from TCU’s 52-31 win over Texas Tech is its run/pass play distribution. The Horned Frogs only attempted to throw the ball 10 times, with quarterback Max Duggan completing 8 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. That stat is absurdly low for a game where TCU scored 52. Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs rushed for almost 400 yards and 5 touchdowns. So clearly, TCU feels most comfortable running the ball. Rush defense is where the Sooners have excelled, holding teams to an average of 91 rushing yards per game. So this is a game of strength on strength, and I think Oklahoma will probably have more variety in their own offense now that they seem to have found a more competent quarterback. Oklahoma is favored by 11.5 points which feels slightly high. I have the Sooners winning by one score.
Iowa State @ Kansas State
Saturday, October 16th 6:30 PM CT, ESPN2
Don’t let this game slip you by: Iowa State (3-2, 1-1) and Kansas State (3-2, 0-2) figures to be a really good game that will likely determine the season trajectory for these two teams. Kansas State is 0-2 in conference play but those two losses have come from the top two teams in the Big 12 so far this season: Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. If the Wildcats want to make a run back into relevance, that needs to start with a home win over Iowa State. For Iowa State, they opened conference play with a disappointing loss to Baylor before rebounding with a dominant win over Kansas. Both teams should be well rested, as they are both coming off of bye weeks. For Kansas State, the question will be how quarterback Skylar Thompson continues to look after once again battling back from injury. He looked quite good against Oklahoma, throwing for 320 yards and 3 touchdowns. Similarly for Iowa State, quarterback Brock Purdy and the Cyclones offense needs to prove they are ready to be more consistent than they have been so far this season. Both of these teams have some work to do if they want to make it to the conference championship game, but don’t count them out quite yet. Iowa State is favored by 6.5 points. Give me the Cyclones by a touchdown.
31-24 Iowa State
FieldinOfDreams’ 2021 Prediction Record through Week 6: 32-10