We're only two days from another helping of Big 12 football, but I'm making my way to Stillwater this weekend to get my first in-person look at both Texas and Oklahoma State.
It should be a fun weekend, for sure, and good to get back in Stillwater, where it seems like I've sort of camped out the past couple seasons. The spoils of outstanding home schedules, I suppose. No worries in Morgantown, though, folks. Our Ivan Maisel is headed to West Virginia's game vs. Baylor, so we'll have plenty of Big 12 flavor across ESPN.com this weekend.
Let's get to this week's picks!
Last week: 3-2 (.600)
Overall: 25-5 (.833)
No. 7 Kansas State, Kansas and No. 16 Oklahoma are all off this week.
No. 9 West Virginia 45, No. 25 Baylor 34: Baylor's looked pretty questionable in the first half this season, and the same applies in a hyped Morgantown atmosphere. The problem: These Mountaineers are tough and won't let the Bears get back into it. Shawne Alston is back on the field and has WVU's offense back to its usual self. Could we see 200 snaps in this game? It's possible, but the lion's share go to the new guys, who kick off Big 12 play in spectacular style with an exhibition of two of the league's best offenses.
No. 15 TCU 27, SMU 10: The Iron Skillet is headed back to Fort Worth. TCU has to deal with a night crowd at SMU, but Casey Pachall is able to pace the Frogs, whose running game continues to look a little punchless. The red zone turnovers aren't a problem anymore, but Garrett Gilbert is getting better in SMU's offense and moves the chains enough to make this close early. TCU pulls away late.
Texas Tech 41, Iowa State 28: This is just a painful pick. I've already been burned once by doubting Paul Rhoads, but I underestimated the craptitude that is Iowa's offense. Steele Jantz is better and gives the Red Raiders a good test, but even with the weak early schedule, I'm starting to believe a little bit in this Red Raiders team. I'm not buying this defense yet, but the offense will be back to its usual self as long as it stays healthy. For now, that's the case. Too much depth. Too much speed. Tommy Tuberville's best offensive line yet gives ISU's front four all kinds of problems.
No. 12 Texas 37, Oklahoma State 27: This is my pick of the week. Come back later today for a more in-depth look at this game, but Texas' running game will do horrible, horrible things to Oklahoma State's defensive line.