#17 TCU @ #19 Kansas
Saturday, October 8th 11:00 AM CT, FS1
Raise your hand if you predicted this game being the College Gameday showcase of the week in the preseason. If any of you have your hand up, put it down because you’re a dirty liar. #19 Kansas (5-0, 2-0) sits tied for first place in the Big 12 standings (even with rival Kansas State) and has the potential to already reach bowl eligibility with a win in this one. That is an ABSURD turn around for a team that has been the Big 12’s bottom feeder for over a decade. Kudos to new Kansas head coach Lance Leipold and electric Jayhawks quarterback, Jalon Daniels. However, Kansas can’t expect to get some of the same luck they did in their win against the Cyclones last week as they face #17 TCU (4-0, 1-0). The Horned Frogs proved they’re for real this season as they absolutely dismantled Oklahoma last weekend. After losing the starting job in TCU’s first game, quarterback Max Duggan has really been making the best of his time back as the starting quarterback after an injury to Chandler Morris. Against OU, Duggan put up 302 yards and 3 touchdowns, completing 23-33 passes with zero turnovers. If he plays like that in Lawrence, it’s going to be difficult envisioning a Jayhawk win. However, Kansas proved something big this past weekend: they aren’t just built on explosive offense, but can also win games with their defense, as they held Iowa State to 11 points. This is such an incredibly interesting game, but I do think that for all the strides Kansas has made, some cracks will show up sooner or later. This might be that game, as Gameday and another sold out crowd will continue to build pressure on the Jayhawks. TCU is favored by five points.
Texas vs. Oklahoma
Saturday, October 8th 11:00 AM CT, ABC
Honestly, there’s something extremely poetic in the fact that the Red River Showdown is getting outshined by a game between TCU and Kansas. That, in part, shows the difficulties Texas (3-2, 1-1) and Oklahoma (3-2, 0-2) are facing right now as programs. However, I also think there is a potentially huge opportunity here for the Big 12: As the Big 12 is currently negotiating new TV figures with ESPN, this is a great opportunity to prove that people care about the conference outside of Texas and Oklahoma. Because if a game between Kansas and TCU can end up competing with ratings for Red River, that certainly shows strength for the conference going forward. But in terms of this SEC game that I was tempted to leave OUT of my preview, I think Texas has a clear edge. Oklahoma looked shellshocked against TCU and is very likely going to be without their starting quarterback, Dillon Gabriel. While Texas has not had what anyone would call a successful season so far, they did bounce back nicely against West Virginia, winning 38-20 (granted, WVU pretty clearly looks like the worst team in the conference this year).
Texas Tech @ #7 Oklahoma State
Saturday, October 8th 2:30 PM CT, FS1
#7 Oklahoma State (4-0, 1-0) essentially put itself in the driver’s seat for a Big 12 title game berth with their win at Baylor over the weekend. They now have to prove they have consistency, as they host Texas Tech (3-2, 1-1). The Red Raiders followed up their big win against Texas with a hard fought loss to Kansas State. Obviously, there is the potential for letdown here for the Cowboys, but I would be more wary of that scenario if this game wasn’t in Stillwater, a notoriously difficult place to play. Oklahoma State is favored by 10 points over Texas Tech, which feels about right for this game.
38-27 Oklahoma State
#20 Kansas State @ Iowa State
Saturday, October 8th 6:30 PM CT, ESPNU
#20 Kansas State (4-1, 2-0) has built up a ton of momentum in the weeks following their head-scratching loss to Tulane. Since that loss, KState has pulled together wins at Oklahoma and against Texas Tech, thanks in large part to steady quarterback play from Adrian Martinez. They now sit tied at the top of the conference with rival Kansas. For KState’s hopes of being a Big 12 title contender, they’ll need to win games like this Farmageddon matchup in Ames. Iowa State (3-2, 0-2) was on the receiving end of some ATROCIOUS college-kicker antics. Cyclones kicker Jace Gilbert bounced TWO field goal attempts off the uprights in the game, and missed a 37-yarder that would have likely sent this game to overtime. However, kicking woes aside, Iowa State’s inability to score more than eleven on Kansas is extremely concerning. The Cyclones’ offensive attack is just way too one dimensional, and good teams are able to key in on it. I like the Wildcats in this one.
24-20 Kansas State
FieldinOfDreams’ 2022 Pick ‘Em Record through Week 5: 28-11