Rough week last week, for me and OSU. I went 2-6 on my picks, and Wes Lunt is down for the count. Walsh managed to successfully stave off the upset, but no one was too excited. Lunt still only has one incompletion at home, and that’s the busted (kneecap) play. Hopefully he heals soon, but I don’t expect him back for the Texas game. Most OSU fans know this is a rebuilding year, not a reloading year. No need to rush our future record-breaking quarterback into a game before he’s ready. Better to miss 2-3 weeks than 2-3 years.
I’m proud of the Big XII this week. We finally have some half-decent competition. Picks after the jump.
Baylor (-7.5) @ Louisiana-Monroe, 7 pm, ESPN
How about the schedule for Louisiana-Monroe this year? Home against Arkansas, on the road at Auburn, and home for Baylor, all in the first three weeks. The Warhawks took both SEC teams to overtime, beating Arkansas and losing to Auburn. So should Baylor be afraid? Tough to say. The Bears have given up 47 combined points to SMU and Sam Houston State. That doesn’t speak well to their defense. Friday night, on the road, packed house… smells pretty fishy to me.
Pick: ULM to cover, Baylor to win… in overtime
Maryland @ West Virginia (-27), 11 am, FX
West Virginia is still my Big XII favorite right now. Geno Smith is making a strong case for Heisman frontrunner right now. And this season, Maryland has beaten William and Mary College by a score of 7-6, and just lost to UConn at home by a field goal. Easy one here for the ‘Eers.
Pick: WVU to cover
Virginia @ TCU (-17.5), 11 am, ESPN
What to make of TCU? They dominated Grambling State last week, and then beat the worst Big XII team by two touchdowns. Could it have been the Savannah State hangover? Virginia is better than Kansas, so Casey Pachall and TCU will have to bring its A game. Luckily for them, they take care of business.
Pick: TCU to cover
Kansas @ Northern Illinois (-9.5), 2:30 pm, ESPN3
Speaking of Kansas, I have no idea what to think of them. I’m not sure anyone does. Losing to Rice at home, but holding TCU to 20 points? The rushing attack has looked decent, with Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox splitting carries almost equally. Both of them are averaging close to six yards a carry and have two touchdowns each. But then there is Dayne Crist.
The one-time Notre Dame quarterback has a 50.5% completion percentage, 205 yards per game average, and two touchdowns against four interceptions. Gotta believe that’s not what Charlie Weis had in mind, especially against the likes of South Dakota State and Rice. Northern Illinois is no laughing matter, either. They just won a shootout against Army, and they have a dual threat quarterback who has amassed almost 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns already.
Kansas might not win another game this season.
Pick: NIU to cover
Kansas State @ Oklahoma (-14), 6:50 pm, FOX
The crown jewel of the weekend in the Big XII. Bob Stoops has already <called out the home crowd>, and I’m sure they’ll play a big part. The Sooners haven’t looked too impressive so far, beating UTEP by a measly 17 points and giving up 13 to Florida A&M (you know, Florida A&M of the MEAC conference. Yes, the same conference as Savannah State.).
Kansas State has been up and down so far this year. It took them three full quarters before they finally put away Missouri State in the opener. Then they dominated The U at home. Then they struggled through the Mean Green of North Texas. Optimus Klein hits the road for the first time this year, and it’s not a friendly environment. As much as I hate to say it, I don’t like Bill Snyder’s odds this weekend.
Pick: Gooners to cover
Only five games this week, as Texas, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Texas Tech all have the weekend off. If this week craps out on me, I'm bringing in a drunk squirrel to make the picks next week. 13-10 on the young season. Feel free to tell me how wrong my picks are in the comments section below.