Texas @ TCU
Saturday, October 2nd 11:00 AM CT, ABC
Texas (3-1, 1-0) seems to have gotten its season back on track after getting demolished by Arkansas a few weeks back. For one, Arkansas is a much better team than many expected. Another reason for Texas’s resurgence is they switched quarterbacks from Hudson Card to Casey Thompson. Casey Thompson has been electric, completing 77.8% of his passes for 565 yards, 8 touchdowns, and two interceptions. That’ll be a problem for TCU (2-1, 0-0), whose defense looked surprisingly bad against SMU in their 42-34 loss. Gary Patterson will certainly be working to improve that side of the ball, but for now I doubt they’ll be able to tighten that up in one week against what might be a new offensive juggernaut (just ask Texas Tech). Texas is only a five point favorite in this one at the time of writing, but I would expect them to win by closer to two scores.
#6 Oklahoma @ Kansas State
Saturday, October 2nd 2:30 PM CT, FOX
#6 Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0) may be undefeated, but not all is right in Norman. The offense has been having major issues consistently moving the ball, a problem never really experienced under coach Lincoln Riley. Fans were chanting for quarterback Spencer Rattler to be replaced. Oklahoma has enough defensive prowess to keep skating by, but they will not achieve their lofty preseason goals if the offense doesn’t turn things around. And they now have to travel to their perennial pebble-in-the-shoe, Kansas State (3-1, 0-1). The Wildcats got jumped on in their first half against Oklahoma State last week. To their credit, their defense came out much better in the second half and completely shut out the Cowboys. However, their offense couldn’t get the ball moving and the damage was already done. One potential positive for the Wildcats moving forward is that they switched quarterbacks in this game, benching Will Howard for Jaren Lewis. However, the improvement was marginal... Howard had a 13.3 QBR up until he was benched, whereas Lewis had only a 25.7 QBR. Defensively, the Wildcats have the ability to hold Oklahoma’s sputtering offense to another low scoring game. Offensively, I’m not sure they can get over the hump against a stout Sooner defense (much like West Virginia struggled to do). Oklahoma is a 10.5 point favorite. I’m unconvinced they will cover that spread given this could be another ugly, defensive game.
Texas Tech @ West Virginia
Saturday, October 2nd 2:30 PM CT, ESPN2
Oof, Texas Tech (3-1, 0-1), oof. The Red Raiders got boat raced like it was an early 2010s Big 12 game, as they lost 70-35 to Texas. Not only could their defense do nothing to stop the Longhorns, but their starting quarterback Tyler Shough is out until at least November with a broken collarbone. Henry Colombi, who played quite a bit last season, came in and performed admirably, scoring three touchdowns. However, when your defense lets up 70 points, that is little more than chump change. So does Tech have hope here against West Virginia (2-2, 0-1)? Maybe! The Mountaineers have been terribly inconsistent on offense this year, only mustering 13 points against Oklahoma in a game where their defense gave them opportunity after opportunity to win. The Mountaineers are favored by 7 against Tech. I like that spread, especially since this game is in Morgantown.
35-27 West Virginia
#21 Baylor @ #19 Oklahoma State
Saturday, October 2nd 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2
One week after a huge win, #21 Baylor (4-0, 2-0) turns around for another big time opportunity to prove themselves as they travel to #19 Oklahoma State (4-0, 1-0). Oklahoma State has mostly been squeaking by this season, getting close wins over Missouri State, Tulsa, and Boise State (the latter of which they probably should have lost if not for a terrible officiating error). However, the Cowboys finally won by more than a score when they defeated #25 Kansas State. Yet, there are still problems lurking for Oklahoma State. For one, they have had a number of injuries on both sides of the ball. Further, while the Cowboys looked great in the first half against Kansas State, they got shut out in the second half. That’s something that probably sounds familiar to Baylor fans, as the Bears offense lit up Iowa State in the first half and then pretty much stalled out in the second half. Through four games for both teams, Baylor has been scoring a lot more than the Cowboys (42.8 ppg compared to 25.8 ppg) and allowing slightly less points (15.8 ppg to 19.8 ppg). The yardage statistics look similar as well. Granted, Baylor has played a slightly easier slate, but the Bears proved themselves last weekend. If Gerry Bohannon and the offense can keep looking like they did in the first half, shake the turnover bug, and limit untimely penalties, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the Big 12. Yet, Stillwater is a difficult place to play and the Bears will have to overcome their own injury issue with Terrel Bernard likely out for this game. Still, with all that, Baylor is only a 4 point underdog on the road at the time of this writing. Oklahoma State definitely has flaws that run deeper than their record reveals and Aranda and staff will be ready to take advantage of that. Give me the Bears.
Kansas @ Iowa State
Saturday, October 2nd 6:00 PM CT, FS1
Iowa State (2-2, 0-1) is going to need to come together as a team and reset expectations after a heartbreaking loss to Baylor in Waco. Many thought Iowa State was a dark horse to win the Big 12 and head to the playoff. With two losses, playoff dreams seem all but dashed. Still, the Cyclones have a lot of season in front of them and could still make it special given all the talent they have returned. Defensively, Iowa State is one of the toughest in the Big 12. Offensively, they need to get their mojo back. What better team to do that against than Kansas (1-3, 0-1)? The Jayhawks hung with Duke last weekend, before their defense ultimately succumbed to the Blue Devils in a 52-33 loss. There were certainly some areas for optimism from KU, but I doubt they are able to build much off of that this weekend in Ames. Iowa State is a MASSIVE favorite, with the spread sitting at 34 points as of this writing. That feels like almost too much, even in what should be a heavily lopsided game.
45-13 Iowa State
FieldinOfDreams’ 2021 Prediction Record through Week 4: 28-6