Man–in Stillwater this past week the quarterback controversy, swirled, tilted, and then ultimately died on the news of J.W. Walsh’s injured foot. Daxx is now the man, at least for now.
In terms of picks, last week I went a smooth 8-0. Which, as David Ubben points out in his picks for this week, is probably not gonna happen this week, in which several different Big 12 teams take on quality opponents from other Power 5 conferences (with the exception of Baylor of course). While UTSA–Oklahoma State’s week three opponent–doesn’t come from the Power 5, they’re a tougher matchup than one might think from a university with a metropolitan area in its name. The Roadrunners, whose team didn’t even exist four years ago, took a quality Arizona team down to the wire last week, and are coached by Larry Coker, who damn nearly won two BCS championships in a row at Miami.
To the picks!
Last week: 8-0 (1.000)
Overall: 15-1 (.937)
Buffalo 6, No. 8 Baylor 77. The only question about this game is whether or not Baylor can actually stop itself from scoring 80+. I don’t think they will, but it’s a distinct possibility, no matter whether or not Bryce Petty is actually back for this game. The question I keep asking: will Baylor ever schedule a decent non-conference opponent? Only time will tell.
Maryland 7, West Virginia 56. Still trying to wrap my head around Maryland as a Big 10 team. Then again, I often feel the same way about WVU. In any case, Maryland whipped WVU last year in an embarrassing fashion, 37-0. They turned around and followed that game with a 63-0 loss to FSU the following week. Which may not say a lot about Maryland, considering how good FSU was last year, but does say something about how bad the Mountaineers were. Times have changed, however. I predict some sweet, sweet revenge for the Fighting Holgorsens on Saturday.
Kansas 14, Duke 17. If only this were a basketball game! Kansas squeaked by SEMO last week (though the game wasn’t quite as close as its 34-28 finish would seem to suggest), and I don’t seem them quite passing the muster. Seriously though, I’m willing to bet money that fans of both schools would rather this were a basketball game.
Texas Tech 28, Arkansas 30. Tough pick, here. Arkansas, which went 0-8 in SEC play last year, is still a relative unknown. On the other hand, Tech, who closed out 2014 by losing its last five regular season games, has looked incredibly unimpressive in shoddy victories against lackluster Central Arkansas and UTEP.
Iowa State 17, Iowa 14. Iowa State came back from the grave to nearly knock off K-State last week, and I think they build on that here against their in-state rivals. Iowa owns a 40-21 edge all-time in this series but lose on their home turf in this one.
TCU 31, Minnesota 21. Is this the year TCU finally competes in the Big 12? I think we’ll know a lot more by how they come out against the Gophers, who field a quality team.
No. 4 Oklahoma 48, Tennessee 13. Last week, I thought that Tulsa might give OU a bit of a surprise, compete for a quarter or two. Boy was I wrong. Word is that the Volunteers are taking the right steps under Butch Jones. They may be on their way back to respectability, but I think they meet a buzzsaw in Norman.
Texas 21, No. 12 UCLA 26. UCLA, an early pick to compete for the PAC-12 title, has struggled with inferior opponents on consecutive weekends, winning 28-20 at Virginia and barely passing muster at home against Memphis. In short, if there were ever a top-fifteen team that looked upsettable, UCLA is it. And any other year, with any other Texas team, that’s probably what I would predict: an upset. The Horns, though, took a royal shit-housing last week from BYU, and things ain’t looking so hot in Austin for Charlie Strong and co. If they can score, though, they’ve got a chance.
Oklahoma State 44, UTSA 31. Walsh is out, probably for the year. It’s Daxx Garman’s time to shine, playing in his second game (and first start) since 2009, his junior year of high school. UTSA, as I said above, isn’t your average C-USA opponent. I’m glad this one’s in Stillwater, and I’m sure Mike Gundy is, too.
K-State is off for the week.
PS: David Ubben claims, apparently, to have gone 9-0 in his picks last week. Maybe he lost count of how many teams are still in the conference–I wouldn’t blame him.