#18 Oklahoma @ TCU
Saturday, October 1st 11:00 AM CT, ABC
#18 Oklahoma (3-1, 0-1) is reeling a bit after getting beat basically from start to finish in their Big 12 opener against Kansas State. The Sooners got a heavy dose of reality after an easy first three games, with the Wildcats exposing issues with both OU’s offense and defense. TCU (3-0, 0-0) secured a win over rival SMU that was never really in doubt, but kept getting a bit closer than the Horned Frogs were probably comfortable with. This is a big game for both teams: another loss here by OU and you begin to wonder if the wheels are going to start coming off. A win by TCU and they’re sitting at 4-0 with a huge conference win. At the time of the writing of this article, the spread is 4.5 in favor of Oklahoma. But I like TCU in this one, especially at home.
Texas Tech @ #25 Kansas State
Saturday, October 1st 11:00 AM CT, ESPN+
Texas Tech (3-1, 1-0) scored a massive win last weekend as they beat the Longhorns in overtime. Now they need to focus up as they travel to Manhattan to take on another team that notched a huge win over one of the traitor schools. #25 Kansas State (3-1, 1-0) just flat out beat Oklahoma wire to wire, in Norman no less. I was really impressed with the Wildcats’ bounce back after a very ugly loss to Tulane. The issue I see for Kansas State (and my ability to pick them going forward) is the inconsistency of quarterback Adrian Martinez. From what we’ve seen at Nebraska and now at Kansas State, Martinez has some really spectacular games buried in the middle of some very average ones. So it’s hard to predict when he’ll have breakout games like he did against OU and when he won’t. However, I like the Wildcats to build some momentum off of their win and handle Texas Tech.
34-24 Kansas State
#9 Oklahoma State @ #16 Baylor
Saturday, October 1st 2:30 PM CT, FOX
#16 Baylor (3-1, 1-0) proved a lot to me last Saturday when they went into Ames and pretty comfortably beat Iowa State. For one, quarterback Blake Shapen looked much more in command of the offense than he did in his last game against BYU. A big part of that was his receivers getting open and making some spectacular plays for him (how about that Hal Presley catch??). So that gives me a lot more confidence in picking Baylor going forward. On the other side, #9 Oklahoma State (3-0, 0-0) is coming off of a bye week. Which, of course, you have to wonder what kind of advantage that gives them (however, I still think we’re early enough in the season that having an actual game to evaluate and improve off of is more valuable). The problem I see for the Cowboys is they have played a cupcake schedule up until now. They were in a bit closer than you’d like game against Central Michigan, notched a 17 point game against Arizona State (who subsequently lost to Eastern Michigan and fired their coach), and then beat up on Arkansas Pine-Bluff. Baylor will certainly be the toughest team OSU has yet faced, on the road no less. There’s revenge on the Cowboy’s minds as they look to get payback for coming up inches short to Baylor in the Big 12 championship last season, but I think the Cowboy’s defense has taken enough of a step back with the loss of defensive coordinator Jim Knowles that Baylor will defend its home turf well. Baylor is a one point favorite as I write this article.
Iowa State @ Kansas
Saturday, October 1st 2:30 PM CT, ESPN2
So believe it or not, Iowa State (3-1, 0-1) versus Kansas (4-0, 1-0) might actually end up being a pretty pivotal game in Big 12 conference play?? Kansas just notched another big win, defeating then undefeated Duke fairly comfortably, 35-27. The Jayhawks sit just two wins away from bowl eligibility, something that has been unthinkable for more than a decade. A home win against Iowa State would go a long way toward that goal, and maybe even grander aspirations. The Cyclones, on the other hand, need this win badly to bounce back from a deflating loss to Baylor. Another loss here and Iowa State is looking at a potentially long and difficult Big 12 season. Even though Kansas looks MUCH improved this year, I think the Cyclones are much further along as a program than the Jayhawks. Reality is going to catch up to KU sooner or later, and I think this might be the game where it does.
38-24 Iowa State
West Virginia @ Texas
Saturday, October 1st 6:30 PM CT, FS1
West Virginia (2-2, 0-1) was in desperate need of a win this week and luckily got that victory in the form of a blowout, 33-10 road rivalry victory over Virginia Tech. They now travel to Austin to take on Texas (2-2, 0-1) who is also looking to right the ship after an overtime loss to Texas Tech. Both of these teams are looking for their first conference win. Falling to 0-2 in conference play is an extremely difficult hole to dig out of. This game will likely come down to a quarterback dual between UT’s Hudson Card and WVU’s JT Daniels. And while both teams are clearly flawed, I think Texas has a stronger supporting cast for Card. I’ll take Texas, especially with this being a home game.
FieldinOfDreams’ 2022 Pick ‘Em Record through Week 4: 25-9