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October 5, 2013
Of course you all know by now that SoonerScoop.com has you covered for any and all aspects of Oklahoma football however that's not to say that Sooner fans aren't simply college football fans who enjoy talking about the top match-ups from coast to coast. As such each week in 'Picked Over' SoonerScoop.com writers Eddie Radosevich and Josh McCuistion will offer you their take on games across the Big 12 along with a few of the top match-ups from coast to coast in college football. So take a look as one staffer offers random musings, while another brings real numbers to the table.
Season to Date:
Eddie Radosevich: On paper next week's match up with Clemson is certainly more important for Florida State. It certainly is much more fun to talk about. But before setting our sights on what could be next week's game of the week the Seminoles must first get by an upstart Maryland squad. Heading to Tallahassee after a 'bye' week you can be sure that Randy Edsall will have his club ready to play. It's too easy to label this game as a 'trap game'. I for one feel like Florida State learned their lesson a week ago in a scrappy 48-34 victory over Boston College. If that's the case it could get ugly in Tallahassee but not ugly enough for me to give 17 points to a decent football team. Take Maryland plus the points.
Josh McCuistion: Eddie - due to the weather - got our games to me late, so I'm flying through these picks! We'll go with the Noles here, I just don't think Maryland has shown me anything to make me think they are ready for this kind of jump.
ER: A lot of attention will be placed on games within the Southeastern Conference over the weekend but my main focus will be on this Pac-12 late night affair. Last week Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan looked the best he has all season throwing for 286 yards and three touchdowns versus Washington State. Keep in mind Stanford was upset in Seattle a season ago and that should be on the minds of a Stanford team that really looks to establish itself as a competitor for national championship candidacy alongside Oregon. I'm usually a sucker for Steve Sarkisian led squads but I just can't pull the trigger here. Take Stanford and the points.
JM: I don't think anyone fails to recognize my mancrush for the way things are done in Stanford, just absolutely love the Cardinal and their physical brand of football. I'm also a fan of Sarkisian but I just think the Cardinal will have revenge on their mind and there is no doubt they are a tough beat at 'the Farm'.
ER: There will be no breath of fresh air Notre Dame's defense this weekend when they make their first trip to AT&T Cowboy Stadium in Arlington (Texas). With not much pressure being forced by the Irish defense on opposing quarterbacks in 2013 it could play into the hands of an Arizona State offense that currently ranks No. 7 in passing. Not to mention the fact the Sun Devils just got done hanging 62 on Southern Cal. Last week it was the bevy of Oklahoma skill position players. This week it will be the Sun Devil's Marion Grice who surprisingly is averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. A good showing this weekend and he will start getting more attention. Take Arizona State minus the points.
JM: After a few tough weeks, I'm getting back on the right track, the Sun Devils are going to be my big choice. JOSH'S LOCK OF THE WEEK
ER: If there's going to be a Big Ten team that is going to knock off Ohio State this season Saturday night on the north side of Chicago could very well be the time and place. Pat Fitzgerald has built himself a very nice program, of which, certainly doesn't get enough credit. However, like most of the teams in the Big Ten it's been the Buckeyes that have been thorns in Fitzgerald's side posting a 0-3 mark and having been outscored 157-27. Last season Ohio State won all four of their games on the road but by only an average of 5.8 points. Even with that in mind I'm going to have to see someone actually do it before putting my neck out on the line as much as I like the Northwestern program. Ohio State extends their 17-game winning streak and covers the spread.
JM: I'm going to have to choose the Buckeyes here, I like Northwestern and think more of few coaches than Fitzgerald but I just can't see this one working out for the Wildcats with such a massive shortcoming in personnel. .
ER: Certainly you never want to walk away from a match up with the Jayhawks with a check in the loss column. Kliff Kingsbury's club hopes to do just that when they head to Lawrence for what I find a rather interesting match up. Although still in the cellar of the Big 12 conference standings Charlie Weiss has seen improvement in his second year. The Jayhawks defense enter Saturday with the No. 4 scoring defense in the conference. While untested it is a step in the right direction for Kansas who couldn't possibly fall any farther. How about this oddity via the Kansas City Star, only one Texas Tech quarterback has started a game vs. Kansas and lost. You guessed it. Mr. Kingsbury in 2001. I like Tech to win the game but would roll the money on the underdog. Kansas plus the points.
JM: Texas Tech will double this line, Kansas is improved but an improvement over a trash fire (dumpster fire, now overplayed) isn't enough of an improvement.
ER: Last week I all but said it was joke to possibly think Oklahoma State would walk out Morgantown with anything but a double-digit victory. That's why they play the game. I suppose. There will be major questions to come out of Stillwater if the Cowboys put up another offensive effort like they did a week ago. Think more Bob Simmons than Mike Gundy. Luckily, Kansas State stumbles into town this weekend. Which is entirely odd to type and very uncharacteristic of a Bill Snyder lead squad. With fire coming at him from all angles this will be the most important game of both offensive coordinator Mike Yurcic play calling career as well as starting quarterback J.W. Walsh. I have a hunch the Cowboys take care of the football and get back on the right track. Take the home team minus the points.
JM: Still don't know how Oklahoma State found a way to lose that game last week. They'll get it rectified against perhaps the worst offense in the Big 12?well if not for the Kansas blue.
ER: Baylor owns the longest active conference winning streak at seven games. This weekend when Dana Holgorson brings his West Virginia Mountaineers to Waco that streak will be on the line while the Bears will also be looking to exercise frustrations with conference openers. With losses in five of their last six conference openers Baylor sits in good position this year to right the wrongs of the past. Leading the nation in four major offensive categories it is going to take a lot to keep up with Briles high power offensive attack. While I don't see West Virginia being able to do that I do feel like the four touchdown spread is too many points. Take the visitors- cautiously- with the points.
JM: I want to pick West Virginia, I do - I'm a buyer in that defense but I think an injured Clint Trickett is going to be a big problem and Baylor's offense will find a way to put up the points they'll need to as the Bears are aware that no one is buying in right now. Take the Bears and lay the points.
ER: When the schedules were released over the summer by the Big 12 conference offices a good number of folks circled this match up on their calendars. While Oklahoma has lived up to its half of the billing picking up its first victory over Notre Dame since 1956 last weekend. The same couldn't be said for the Horned Frogs. Dropping it's season opener in Arllington versus LSU and later a game in Lubbock to kickoff their conference season it's been one odd game after another for Gary Patterson's squad. I'll say this with a warning. Oklahoma better not look past the Horned Frogs. But then again why would they? It's only a mid-level conference foe on the schedule. This, in a way, is almost as big of a test as the one they passed only a week ago. I like where Oklahoma sits mentally and I expect them to establish a run game early. Take Oklahoma with the points. EDDIE'S LOCK OF THE WEEK
JM: For the second straight week Eddie locks up the Sooners? Homer. But if he hadn't, I think I might of, I just don't like this matchup for TCU at all though that line suddenly falling has to throw up a few red flags.