Week five of the college football season is upon us and things are starting to get a little crazy. Iowa State isn’t the contender it figured to be and the Cyclones are off to a bad start in Big 12 play after a road loss at Baylor. Oklahoma and Iowa State figured to be the two teams that would meet in the Big 12 Championship Game, but that second spot is now seemingly up for grabs.
We have a ranked showdown in the Big 12 this week as No. 19 Oklahoma State hosts No. 21 Baylor. Neither team was ranked last week but moved into the top-25 after beating teams that were previously ranked. No. 6 Oklahoma travels to the Little Apple to take on a Kansas State team it hasn’t beat since 2018. There are plenty of storylines in the Big 12 and around the country, so let’s get to the picks.
No. 21 Baylor @ No. 19 Oklahoma State
Baylor opened conference play with a 31-29 win over then No. 14 Iowa State. The Cyclones tumbled all the way out of the top-25 while the Bears moved up to the No. 21 spot. Gerry Bohanon completed 14 of his 19 passes for 159 yards and two scores against Iowa State. Tyquan Thornton and Ben Sims caught the touchdown passes and R.J. Sneed led the receivers with four receptions for 57 yards. The ground attack was stifled for the first time this season as Abram Smith gained just 47 yards on 10 carries and Trestan Ebner gained just 31 yards on eight carries. Bohanon added 36 yards on 10 carries and the only rushing touchdown for Baylor against Iowa State.
This was a great win for Baylor, but can the Bears sustain this type of success? I didn’t get to watch the game, but the stats are perplexing. Iowa State out-gained Baylor 479-282 and each team turned the ball over once. Baylor had more penalty yardage (100) than Iowa State (25) and ISU dominated time-of-possession 36 minutes to 24 minutes.
It doesn’t get easier for Baylor this week, playing a ranked opponent on the road this time. Oklahoma State has had its fair share of struggles this season as well, especially on the offensive side of the ball. OSU beat Kansas State 31-20 last week after scoring zero points in the 2nd half for the second straight week.
Spencer Sanders completed 22 of his 33 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns- his best output of the season by far. Jaylen Warren carried the ball 27 times for 123 yards- his second straight performance with 100+ yards. Sanders scored the only rushing touchdown of the game. Tay Martin returned with a bang- catching nine passes for 100 yards and a score. Malcolm Rodriguez recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown and Kolby Harvell- Peel snagged an interception as well.
I think Oklahoma State’s home field advantage and defense will power the Cowboys to a win this weekend. The offense will take another step forward with Martin back from injury. I am picking Oklahoma State 34-24. Ian is also taking the Cowboys 34-24 and Ingalls has the Pokes over Baylor 42-28. Robert has Baylor leaving Stillwater with a win.
Texas @ TCU
Texas received the most votes of any team not ranked in the AP top-25 last week and a win at TCU should vault the Longhorns into the top-25. This game will kick off at 11 on Saturday morning on ABC.
Since replacing Hudson Card at quarterback in Arkansas, the Texas offense has been rolling. Casey Thompson has started the last two games for the Horns. Texas beat Rice 58-0 and Texas Tech 70-35 in the two games with Thompson at the helm. All of a sudden, Texas looks like a contender in the Big 12. Most importantly, the Horns made the quarterback transition seamlessly and without losing a game in Big 12 play. It also helps that the loss to Arkansas is looking better and better by the week as the Hogs look for real this year.
TCU lost the 100th edition of the Iron Skillet Game to SMU last weekend in Fort Worth. This might be rock bottom in the Max Duggan era. SMU is a good football team, but it hurts to lose a rivalry game at home to an opponent from the American Athletic Conference.
TCU’s defense should hold up better than the Texas Tech defense did against the Longhorns last weekend. That being said, I don’t think the TCU offense will be able to keep up with the Texas offense. I have the Longhorns over the Horned Frogs 45-28. Most of the staff has Texas leaving Fort Worth with a win- but Ingalls has TCU avoiding a second straight home loss.
No. 6 Oklahoma @ Kansas State
Another week and another disappointing win for Oklahoma has the Sooners on thin ice with voters. Oklahoma survived a scare from West Virginia at home 16-13 and dropped to No. 6 in the AP Poll as a result.
Oklahoma fans called for Spencer Rattler to be replaced by freshman phenom Caleb Williams throughout the West Virginia game- something Oklahoma State fans are familiar with. For whatever reason, Rattler just hasn’t been able to get much going this season, and the OU offense has suffered as a result.
Skylar Thompson could be back at quarterback for Kansas State this weekend. Thompson would be a big upgrade from the other quarterbacks Kansas State has used this season. Kansas State will need Thompson to play if it has a chance to beat OU, especially after Deuce Vaughn was bottled up in the backfield by OSU’s defense last week.
This Oklahoma team has a lot of talent but has struggled to produce much offense. The Sooners scored just 23 points against Nebraska and 16 points against West Virginia the last two games. I think OU beats Kansas State 27-17 on the road, but I am not comfortable to pick the Sooners to score more than 30 points right now. Ian picked Kansas State to beat OU, but the rest of the staff is rolling with the Sooners. Kick off is at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon on FOX.
Texas Tech @ West Virginia
Texas Tech and West Virginia are both off to 0-1 starts and need a win this weekend to get it turned around. Those losses came in very different fashions as Texas Tech was boat raced by Texas 70-35 and West Virginia lost to Oklahoma at the buzzer 16-13.
Texas Tech hasn’t been able to build on a season opening win against Houston. West Virginia is 2-2 with losses to OU and Maryland and a win over Virginia Tech. West Virginia’s offense will need to improve against Texas Tech after scoring just one touchdown- a Garrett Greene touchdown run- and gaining just 247 total yards against OU.
On the flip side, the Texas Tech defense allowed Texas to rack up 639 yards and 70 points last week. My guess is these two teams meet in the middle as West Virginia scores more than one touchdown and Texas Tech allows less than nine touchdowns. I have West Virginia over Texas Tech 35-21. Most of the staff is going with West Virginia, but Robert has Texas Tech getting back on track with a win in Morgantown. Kick off is set for 2:30 on Saturday afternoon on ESPN2.
Kansas @ Iowa State
Iowa State tumbled all the way out of the top-25 last week with a loss to Baylor on the road. The Cyclones are 0-1 in conference play but have a great chance to get back on track this weekend against Kansas. The Jayhawks are just 1-3 this season and lost to Duke 52-33 last week. That came after a 45-7 loss to the same Baylor team that just beat Iowa State.
Iowa State should come out ready to take out some frustrations from this season. Breece Hall and Brock Purdy have struggled at times and should both be looking forward to putting up some big numbers against Kansas this weekend. I have Iowa State unloading on Kansas with a 49-17 victory. The rest of the staff has Iowa State as well. Kick off is set for 6:00 on Saturday night on FS1.
Games Around the Nation
This is a great weekend for college football around the nation. The College Gameday crew is in Athens, Georgia, for a showdown between No. 8 Arkansas and No. 2 Georgia. Arkansas has wins over Texas and Texas A&M, but faces its toughest competition yet. No. 7 Cincinnati travels to Notre Dame to take on the No. 9 Fighting Irish. The Bearcats will be looking to show the nation they are legitimate CFP contenders.
No. 12 Ole Miss takes on No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week. The scoreboard in Bryant- Denny Stadium will be under duress with these two high-powered offenses set to showdown. No. 22 Auburn takes on LSU in a matchup of two 3-1 teams from the SEC. Auburn hasn’t named a starting quarterback for the game after Bo Nix’s poor performance last week. Arizona State faces No. 20 UCLA at 9:30 on FS1 for those of you who subscribe to the #Pac12AfterDark. Both teams are 3-1 so far this season. Here are some of our staff picks for the top games around the nation.