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Friday, October 16, 2009
Prediction time: This week's college football picks

We had a shocking development last week: I went 7-0. Correctly picking SMU to pull off the upset over East Carolina was the difference. We've got plenty of games this week, including a handful right here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Please make your selections in the comment section:

Oklahoma vs. Texas (Cotton Bowl, Dallas): Don't let Oklahoma's record trick you into think this is going to be some kind of stomping by the Longhorns. I don't think so. Sam Bradford looked perfectly fine last week, and the Sooners will be desperate after two losses early in the season. As for the Longhorns, they haven't really been tested other than Texas Tech. But Oklahoma is still dealing with injuries, and Texas' defense will do enough to get this win. It'll be closer than the score indicates. Prediction: Texas 28, Oklahoma 21

Texas Tech at Nebraska: Maybe it doesn't matter who's at quarterback for the Red Raiders. Coach Mike Leach has said it will be a gametime decision on Taylor Potts (concussion) or Steven Sheffield. Either way, this shapes up to be a very good game. For Nebraska, it's a great chance to show that the program continues to improve. And if you haven't seen Nebraska's outstanding defensive tackle Ndamukung Suh, set your DVR. He's fun to watch. Prediction: Nebraska: 35, Texas Tech 31

Missouri at Oklahoma State: The Cowboys won on the road at Texas A&M last week despite all the distractions. Dez Bryant is still waiting on word from the NCAA about his application for reinstatement. But a night game at home against Missouri should help the Cowboys' focus. I'll be curious to see how Missouri responds after blowing a 12-0 lead after three quarters. Prediction: Oklahoma State 34, Missouri 24

Texas A&M at Kansas State: This is the start of a stretch where A&M plays four of its next five on the road. The Aggies lost a close one to Oklahoma State last week. But my bet is they rebound here. Kansas State is struggling, and the Aggies need this win (and a few others) to get to a bowl game. That's plenty of motivation here. Prediction: Texas A&M 24, Kansas State 13

Baylor at Iowa State: We'll see which quarterback (Blake Szymanski or Nick Florence) gets the start for Baylor. But the Bears face a tough foursome after Saturday -- Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Missouri and Texas -- so this is one they really need. The Bears are three-point underdogs, but I'm going to take Baylor in the upset. Even in losing to Oklahoma, Baylor did enough things right to feel good about themselves heading into this game. Prediction: Baylor 17, Iowa State 14

Navy at SMU: The Mustangs will actually have real Mustangs on the field as part of the gameday scene. And both teams will play for the Frank Gansz trophy, honoring the special teams coach that had ties to both schools. But Navy's triple-option is very difficult to defend (ask Rice, which gave up 471 yards), and the Midshipmen just have too much. Prediction: Navy 38, SMU 24

Florida Atlantic at North Texas: The Mean Green are an improved team, but they are learning how to win and finish games. Turnovers and penalties were costly in blowing a 10-point lead to Louisiana-Lafayette last week. Look for North Texas to bounce back. Penalties and turnovers are correctable mistakes. You can bet coach Todd Dodge and his staff spent time on that this week. Prediction: North Texas 31, Florida Atlantic 28

Colorado State at TCU: For those worried about the Horned Frogs looking ahead to next week's game at BYU, a quick refresher: TCU barely escaped against Colorado State last year. Few coaches are better at using that kind of result as motivation than Gary Patterson. And while TCU hasn't blown too many teams out, they'll be ready for the Rams. Prediction: TCU 35, Colorado State 14