- Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer
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This weekend, I'll be in Austin, Texas, as the Longhorns attempt to stave off utter calamity against Ole Miss.
Can they do it?
The Big 12 blog's inaugural guest picker -- James in Houston -- thinks no.
By the way, here was James' guest picker submission:
Jake Trotter, I should be a guest picker against you for Big 12 predictions. Why? I'll tell you why. My college football knowledge rivals the intelligence of Albert Einstein. I have been referred to as the Norm Chow of my generation. And most importantly, I was a shutdown defensive specialist on my fraternity's B-team intramural squad. I have the pedigree. I have the knowledge. Now all I need is you to man up and challenge me.
Challenged accepted, James.
If you want to be next week's guest picker, contact me, and tell me why. As always, creativity counts.
Now, to the picks for Week 3:
Last week: 7-1 (.778)
Overall: 14-3 (.778)
Texas Tech 30, TCU 28: Through two games, TCU has been a bit underwhelming and will now be without starting QB Casey Pachall (arm) indefinitely. Baker Mayfield and the Red Raiders, meanwhile, have been the surprise of the league. This will be the Kliff Kingsbury era's first real test, especially with Devonte Fields and the TCU defensive front holding a sizeable advantage over the Tech offensive line. But I'm a Mayfield believer, and I believe by the end of the night he has the Frogs wishing they had offered him that scholarship.
James: Tech rolls with the punches and puts up a fight, but TCU defense shuts down a Tech comeback late in the game. TCU 31-28.
West Virginia 38, Georgia State 6: The Mountaineers have shown encouraging improvement defensively, but where has the passing attack gone? With the quarterback change, it finally makes an appearance on the arm of Clint Trickett, who takes over the starting job, at least for now.
James: A strong game for the defense gives the West Virginia offense some wiggle room to build confidence. West Virginia 41-14.
Oklahoma 40, Tulsa 13: If Blake Bell doesn't play well, the Sooners will have a real dilemma at quarterback going into the Notre Dame game. Their choices would be a quarterback coming off a poor performance (Bell), a gimpy one coming off a poor performance (Trevor Knight) or one who has never played and coming off a broken foot (Kendal Thompson). Tulsa, however, stinks this season, and Bell gains confidence in himself and from his teammates heading to South Bend, Ind.
James: There has been a lot of talk surrounding the QB controversy in Norman, Okla., but I'm not worried. OU 45-3.
Iowa State 23, Iowa 21: With a clutch fourth quarter, Sam Richardson offers more proof he's not just the next flash-in-the-pan Iowa State quarterback, while Luke Knott has a big day in his first career start at linebacker as the Cyclones edge out Iowa with a late field goal to capture their third straight win in the series.
James: Home field helps in rivalry games, and the Cyclones come out on top. Iowa State 14-10.
Kansas State 44, Massachusetts 9: Maybe that opener against North Dakota State was, in fact, a fluke. The Wildcats looked much better last weekend and keep it going with Daniel Sams getting more run as the change-of-pace quarterback.
James: Snyder and Kansas State come better prepared for this "gimme" game and take care of business. K-State 38-6.
Rice 35, Kansas 31: There's no doubt the Jayhawks will be better this season, especially on the offensive side of the ball, with Jake Heaps, Tony Pierson, James Sims and Justin McCay. But the program still has a ways to go elsewhere, which Rice and its dynamic offense corroborates in a shootout.
James: The Rice players are too smart, and KU is still rebuilding. Rice 21-17.
Oklahoma State 70, Lamar 3: It's been a long week in Stillwater, Okla., with the rolling out of Sports Illustrated's five-part series on alleged improprieties within the program. But the series has also had a unifying effect within the OSU community, with dozens upon dozens of former players coming out in support of the school. That side effect manifests on the field as the Cowboys annihilate Lamar.
James: Oklahoma State comes into this game angry (for obvious reasons). OSU 55-10.
Ole Miss 33, Texas 27: The Longhorns have played well traditionally when their backs have been against the wall like this. It's just hard to see it happening here. Nobody knows what's going on with the defense, Daje Johnson (ankle) is out and now Texas might be without injured quarterback David Ash, too, due to a head injury. The Rebels are young, talented, hungry and smell blood in the water. Afterward, Mack Brown looks for someone else to fire -- but who else is left?
James: The City of Austin is in disbelief after the Rebels and their super-freshmen dominate both sides of the ball. Ole Miss 38-14.