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Predicting Week Four

Rice will be looking to upset Baylor in a SWC revival this weekend

What a week! Week three of college football ended up being quite the entertainer. From exciting out of state games (#2 Alabama falling to Ole Miss at home) to a slate of crazy in-state games (UT missing an extra point to lose to Cal with one minute left in regulation) there was a steady stream of must-watch football happening.

The prediction column did fairly well last week, as I picked Tech to upset Arkansas on the road by a score of 35-28. Of course, the Red Raiders did in fact pull off the upset by a score of 35-24. I even picked the Longhorns to beat the spread against Cal but never in my wildest dreams did I envision how that would end. Let’s just say it led to some colorful messages from some of my buddies who are Texas grads.

Perhaps the most interesting game was the Battle for the Iron Skillet. While the final score favored TCU 56-37, the game was up in the air until the very end. SMU has now taken #3 TCU to the wire and #4 Baylor to a 28-21 halftime score. There’s plenty of excitement in the land of Mustangs and it’s easy to see why. I said this team would be bowling at season’s end but now I think it’s possible that SMU only loses two more the rest of the season (if they stay healthy) for an 8-4 finish. What a turnaround that would be!

This week we will be including lines for each game at the start of the week (if they’re available). All rankings are from the AP Poll.

September 26, 2015

Rice (+33) @ #5 Baylor, 2:00 PM

Baylor is always getting knocked for poor scheduling. Well, after their first two games the Bears shouldn’t look past anyone. SMU has proven itself to be a tougher opponent than most imagined and Lamar (Baylor’s week two opponent) just knocked off the nation’s #5 FCS team, Sam Houston State. Remember, SHSU only lost to Texas Tech by 14 in Lubbock. After Rice put up a strong showing against UT in Austin, the Bears should be on full alert – Baylor wins 59-31.

UNT (+26.5) @ Iowa, 2:30 PM, ESPNU

UNT has fallen to 0-2 and the sledding doesn’t get any easier this week. The Mean Green face an Iowa team that is now 3-0 after their kicker hit a 57-yard field goal to win as time expired last week. This one won’t come down to a field goal – Iowa wins 38-10.

#24 Oklahoma State (-5) @ UT, 2:30 PM, ESPN

We’ve all been waiting for it – the start of Big 12 play. Oklahoma State put an absolute beat down on UTSA last weekend, winning by 55. The Longhorns have looked stronger every week and were just one play away from going to OT against a team many expected to handle the ‘Horns easily. The game is in Austin but the Cowboys are too strong this season – Oklahoma State wins 45-35.

#3 TCU (-9.5) @ Texas Tech, 3:45 PM, ESPN

This earns “Game of the Week” honors without question. After taking care of business against Arkansas, the Red Raiders are feeling as good as they have in the Kingsbury era. Meanwhile, minus an obliteration of SFA, TCU has looked anything but dominate in their other two matchups. The “strong” Minnesota opponent has gone on to beat Colorado State 23-20 and Kent State 10-7. That’s right, Kent State held Minnesota to less points than TCU. Lubbock is notorious for crazy things happening. If this was a night game Tech might even be favored – Texas Tech wins 49-45.

Will Lubbock have reason to celebrate after #3 TCU comes to town?

#14 Texas A&M (-3.5) versus Arkansas, AT&T Stadium, 6:00 PM, ESPN

Hard times have fallen upon the Razorback clan. A preseason dark horse to take the SEC West crown, they may not win a conference game this year (best bet is Mississippi State but Dak Prescott is no give me). A SWC rematch, this game has been entertaining, especially the Aggies’ overtime win last year. Can Bielema right the ship? Not this week – Texas A&M wins 42-28.

James Madison @ SMU, 6:00 PM, ESPN 3

James Madison is no slouch. They’re currently 3-0 and have allowed their opponents to score only 52 points while scoring 153 themselves. SMU uses this game to build experience and confidence before facing ECU – SMU wins 49-31.

Colorado State (-9.5) @ UTSA, 6:00 PM, CBSSN

After back-to-back loses against Big 12 opponents, Larry Coker’s hardest job is going to be making sure the Roadrunners don’t get down on themselves. The season has a long way to go and there is talent on this UTSA roster. While Colorado State is 1-2, their two loses have come by a combined six points to Minnesota and Colorado. If the Roadrunners could get a victory here it would do wonders for morale. Back in the confines of the Alamodome, things should look better. UTSA doesn’t like it outside anyways – UTSA wins 28-24.

Incarnate Word @ UTEP, 7:00 PM

UTEP takes care of business. Short and sweet – UTEP wins 42-24.

Texas State (+16.5) @ Houston, 7:00 PM, ESPN3

Texas State fought the good fight last weekend, losing to Southern Miss by six. Houston had a week off to rest up (not sure they needed it) and are looking to stay perfect in the Tom Herman era. While this game may not be too interesting, Houston has Tulsa and SMU coming up back-to-back. The Cougars will be undefeated heading into week five – Houston wins 45-31.

My Year-to-Date Record

23-4

My All-Time Record

23-4

Texas v. Non-Texas Opponent Record (Year-to-Date)

9-8

*Division I FBS Texas teams

(These are solely the opinions of Ryan Sprayberry and do not represent the thoughts or beliefs of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame)

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