Another whirlwind weekend of college football is behind us. It’s hard to believe, but we’re down to our final month of college football. It seems as though the season just began. While many team’s hopes have been dashed, there is still plenty to fight for – from conferences crowns to bowl games.
Last weekend provided plenty of excitement. On a national stage we got Miami’s controversial final play touchdown, while on the state-level we had the shock of UT’s loss to the excitement of UNT picking up their first win (unfortunately, at the demise of another Texas school). Texas Tech fell short in our Game of the Week, but the game did produce the highest scoring total of any game this season (ah, the Big 12 we all know and love).
This week, we turn our attention to a battle of unbeaten as the Horned Frogs make a trip to Stillwater to face Oklahoma State. In what promises to be an exciting game, conference title and playoff implications abound. As the Cowboys’ defense was completely exposed last weekend in their first game against a decent offense, TCU continues to build and develop – the Frogs appear to be putting everything together at the right time.
Baylor plays a nationally televised Thursday night game and, regardless of the outcome, it will be a national headline. The Bears are breaking in true freshman quarterback Jarrett Stidham in his first game as a starter. While I still firmly believe the Bears are Big 12 title contenders and high on the list to make the College Football Playoff, we’ll see exactly how true that is on Thursday. Even with the loss of Russell, the Bears must know they can’t lose any game if they want to make it to the Playoff.
This will be the first week in over a month that every Texas FBS team is playing. Over three days, 11 games and 12 Texas teams we have the good fortune of watching six nationally ranked teams (four from the Lone Star State).
With all of that said, my record last week was 7-3 while Texas FBS programs went 3-6 in games against teams from outside the state. As always, make your own picks to beat my record and win a free Texas Sports Hall of Fame package! You can make picks by Tweeting at us, messaging us on Facebook or emailing me directly at [email protected]
Thursday, November 5
#2 Baylor (-17.5) @ Kansas State, 6:30 PM, Fox Sports 1
A nationally televised Thursday night game will give all of us our first look at Jarrett Stidham. In case you missed it, last week I gave my thoughts on Baylor with Stidham under center. I could be wrong, but I don't think the Bears will miss a beat. Normally, heading to Manhattan to face Billy Snyder would be a nightmare for any team breaking in a true freshman quarterback, but, largely due to injury, the Wildcats haven’t been much of a factor this season. Will Stidham thrive or perish? We’ll have a pretty good idea at the end of this one – Baylor wins 70-23.
Friday, November 6
#23 Temple (-14) @ SMU, 7:00 PM, ESPN2
SMU put up a better fight against Tulsa last week than I anticipated, but ultimately the Ponies fell. This week, SMU will have to face one of the AAC’s best in Temple. With the Owls coming off an emotional game against Notre Dame, will Temple be looking to take out their frustration or will they come out flat and open themselves to an upset? Unfortunately for SMU and the Lone Star State, I can’t see any scenario where this doesn’t turn into a rout – Temple wins 42-24.
Rice (-7) @ UTEP, 7:00 PM, CBSSN
Rice is still hunting bowl eligibility and for that goal to come to fruition, the Owls must win this game. Technically, a bowl is still a possibility for UTEP, but if I’m being honest, I just don’t see it in the cards. Even with UTEP playing better football at home, look for Rice to rebound after a disappointing showing against Louisiana Tech – Rice wins 35-27.
Saturday, November 7
Texas Tech (+8) @ West Virginia, 11:00 AM
It looks as though my belief in Texas Tech has finally been defeated. After holding a three score lead multiple times against Oklahoma State, the Red Raiders couldn’t get it done. West Virginia is definitely on the decline, but Tech is clearly the underdog in this one. I just don’t think West Virginia will be able to score enough to win this one, even against the atrocious Red Raider defense – Tech wins 42-38.
#5 TCU (-5) @ #12 Oklahoma State, 2:30 PM, Fox
Without question the best game featuring a Texas FBS team this week. Whatever happens, one of the Big 12’s remaining three unbeaten teams will earn their first loss and the race for the conference crown will become clearer. The supposedly strong Cowboy defense was completely exposed by Texas Tech last week and now Boykin and the Frog offense look to break them completely. A week ago, I would have picked OSU in a runaway, but there’s no question TCU is putting it together and peaking at the right time. There is a chance TCU is looking too far ahead, but if OSU couldn’t stop Tech, they won’t be stopping the Horned Frogs – TCU wins 45-35.
UNT (+29.5) @ Louisiana Tech, 2:30 PM
UNT pulled off the upset and earned their first victory of the season. The offense is finally putting something together and the defense is earning just enough stops. What will the Mean Green get for their victory lap? Oh. . . Louisiana Tech. That’s unfortunate. Honestly, the goal for UNT here is to not get embarrassed, just ask Rice – LT wins 45-13.
Cincinnati (+8.5) @ #18 Houston, 2:30 PM, ESPN2
Houston has now picked up victories against the ACC and the SEC. The Cougars are playing must-watch football for the first time in years and they’re getting it done on both sides of the ball. Cincinnati has a solid team and will be the first decent team Houston has played in the AAC. The Cougars last four games all promise to present some sort of challenge. Fortunately, three of those games are played at home. Houston takes care of business in this one – Houston wins 41-27.
New Mexico State (+14) @ Texas State, 3:00 PM, ESPN3
New Mexico State's Terrill Hanks produced one of the weekend’s best plays. His interception snapped New Mexico State’s 17-game losing streak. This week the Aggies will be making the trip to San Marcos to face the Bobcats. Its amazing how these two teams are almost identical in total yards gained per game (418.0 NMST/418.4 TXST) and total yards allowed (560.8 NMST/552.6 TXST). Texas State will be the beginning of another Aggie losing streak starting this weekend – Texas State 38-35.
Old Dominon (+11.5) @ UTSA, 6:00 PM
The Roadrunners fell in a stunner to UNT last week. A totally unacceptable loss for UTSA. Now just 1-7 on the season, UTSA is hoping to have 2015 end in respectable fashion. I can’t imagine Coker has much more of leash to underperform at a school with so many resources. While I say UTSA wins this one, it’ll be ugly. Real ugly – UTSA wins 24-17.
Auburn (+7) @ #25 Texas A&M, 6:30 PM, SEC Network
For anyone that will be at this game, make sure to visit the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Kyle Field’s Hall of Champions before the game! Kyle will be hosting the latest edition of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Tour and we hope to see as many of you there as possible! As for football, the Aggies are still looking to shake off the last few weeks. A switch at quarterback reinvigorated the Texas A&M running game, as the Aggies put up 321 rushing yards against South Carolina last week. The big running day opened up more passing lanes, allowing Kyler Murray to throw for another 200 yards as Texas A&M gained 29 first downs. Auburn has slowly started to get things together, nearly upsetting Ole Miss last weekend. What looked like an easy win for Texas A&M a few weeks ago, looks like a dog fight today. Auburn will be looking to avenge last year’s loss, but Texas A&M takes care of business – TAMU wins 38-21.
Kansas (+29) @ University of Texas, 7:00 PM, Longhorn Network
They may have one of the most disappointing teams in the entire state, but the good news is UT still has there very own TV channel to pick up games like this one. Iowa State had almost upset the Longhorns on multiple occasions in the last few years and the Cyclones finally finished the job last weekend. After two impressive wins, UT managed just 204 yards of offense against ISU. Worse yet, the ‘Horns didn’t cross the 47-yard line until their final desperation drive. The good news is Texas will have no problem getting a moral boost this weekend, as they host Big 12-worst Kansas. The Jayhawks do like to run an up-tempo offense that UT has struggled with, but (kindly put) Kansas doesn’t have the athletes to even make this close – Texas wins 34-10.
Made in week six: “Greg Ward Jr. ends the season as a Heisman Finalist and makes the trip to New York . . .”
Made in week seven: “Houston will make it to the final week of the regular season undefeated and face Navy for the AAC West crown. Cougars win and play Temple in the AAC title game. . .”
Made in week eight: “Baylor wins their third straight Big 12 crown while going undefeated and making the National Championship game. . .”
Made in week ten: "Texas A&M loses their game against LSU, but wins their bowl game to finish the season 10-3. . ."
My Record This Season
My All-Time Record
Texas v. the Nation This Season
*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)