Stormin' Around the Big XII & Week 4 Open Thread

US PRESSWIRE

Four Big XII teams are off this week but we'll examine the rest of the slate that's highlighted by Kansas State traveling to Austin to face a reeling Longhorn squad.

Only one Top 25 match up this weekend which is between Stanford and Arizona State.  This weekend has such a dearth of exciting match ups on paper that Gameday is currently in Fargo, ND visiting the home of North Dakota State University.  Nevertheless it's still football season, and fall is beginning to show up, so settle in, grab the remote, grab a beer, and join us in our weekly open thread.

Your Week 4 College Football Listings

12 p.m. ET Florida A&M at 4 Ohio State Big Ten Network
12 p.m. ET FIU at 7 Louisville WHAS, ESPN Regional
12 p.m. ET Wake Forest at Army CBSSN
12 p.m. ET Toledo at Central Michigan ESPN Regional, ESPN3.com
12 p.m. ET North Carolina at Georgia Tech ESPN
12 p.m. ET Louisiana Tech at Kansas FS1
12 p.m. ET Vanderbilt at Massachusetts ESPN News
12 p.m. ET San Jose State at Minnesota ESPN 2
12 p.m. ET Marshall at Virginia Tech ESPNU
12 p.m. ET Middle Tennessee at FAU CSS, CSN-HOU, BAY
12:01 p.m. ET Western Michigan at Iowa Big Ten Network
12:21 p.m. ET North Texas at 9 Georgia SEC Network, MSG
12:30 p.m. ET Pittsburgh at Duke ACC Network
12:30 p.m. ET Tulane at Syracuse RSN, MSG+, FSN-S, FSN-DET
1 p.m. ET Ball State at Eastern Michigan ESPN3.com
2 p.m. ET Jacksonville State at Georgia State ESPN3.com
2 p.m. ET Austin Peay at Ohio ESPN3.com
3 p.m. ET Idaho State at 17 Washington Pac-12 Network
3 p.m. ET Panhandle State at Montana Max Media
3 p.m. ET Houston vs Rice FSN-FL, MW, MASN2, MSG+
3 p.m. ET Northwestern State at UAB UABSports.com
3 p.m. ET Stony Brook at Villanova CSN
3:30 p.m. ET Maine at 18 Northwestern Big Ten Network
3:30 p.m. ET Tennessee at 19 Florida CBS
3:30 p.m. ET Michigan State at 22 Notre Dame NBC
3:30 p.m. ET Purdue at 24 Wisconsin ABC/ESPN 2
3:30 p.m. ET Murray State at Bowling Green ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET West Virginia vs Maryland ESPNU
3:30 p.m. ET South Dakota State at Nebraska Big Ten Network
3:30 p.m. ET Kent State at Penn State Big Ten Network
3:30 p.m. ET Arkansas at Rutgers ESPN
3:30 p.m. ET Utah State at USC ABC/ESPN 2
3:30 p.m. ET VMI at Virginia ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET Delaware State at North Dakota State ND NBC, ESPN3.com
4 p.m. ET ULM at 20 Baylor FS1
4 p.m. ET Cincinnati at Miami (Ohio) ESPN3.com
4:30 p.m. ET Arkansas State at Memphis ESPN3.com
6 p.m. ET Bethune-Cookman at 8 Florida State ESPN3.com
6 p.m. ET Louisiana-Lafayette at Akron ESPN3.com
6 p.m. ET Lafayette at Penn LSN, ESPN3.com
6 p.m. ET Lehigh at Princeton NBCSN
7 p.m. ET 23 Arizona State at 5 Stanford FOX
7 p.m. ET Colorado State at 1 Alabama ESPN 2
7 p.m. ET Savannah State at 16 Miami ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET SMU at 10 Texas A&M ESPNU
7 p.m. ET Texas State at 25 Texas Tech FSN-FL, MSG+, SportSouth
7 p.m. ET Eastern Illinois at Northern Illinois ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET Morgan State at Western Kentucky ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET Montana State at Stephen F. Austin Max Media
7 p.m. ET Rhode Island at William & Mary CSN
7:30 p.m. ET Troy at Mississippi State FSN-S, SunSports
7:30 p.m. ET Oregon State at San Diego State CBSSN
7:45 p.m. ET Auburn at 6 LSU ABC/ESPN
8 p.m. ET 15 Michigan at Connecticut ABC
8 p.m. ET Missouri at Indiana Big Ten Network
8 p.m. ET Kansas State at Texas ABC/ESPN
8 p.m. ET UTSA at UTEP FOX College Sports
8:05 p.m. ET Hawaii at Nevada Oceanic PPV
9 p.m. ET Western Illinois at UNLV KWWN
10:15 p.m. ET Wyoming at Air Force ESPNU
10:15 p.m. ET Utah at BYU ESPN 2
10:30 p.m. ET New Mexico St at 13 UCLA Pac-12 Network
10:30 p.m. ET Idaho at Washington State Pac-12 Network

Big XII Predictions

Louisiana Tech @ Kansas - Saturday 9/21, 11:00 AM CDT - FS1

Line: KU -10.5

Kansas is looking for its first win against an FBS opponent since 2011 and there doesn't come a better match up than hosting Skip Holtz and Louisiana Tech.  Tech isn't the same after head coach Sonny Dykes and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin left for Cal and this this is not nearly as likely to be as dangerous for Kansas as it would have been last year.

The lone bright spot for Kansas last year, the running game, is suffering from new offensive line starters and Jake Heaps hasn't been as advertised throwing the football.  A few more games with lackluster performance and he's likely going to be Dayne Crist 2.0.

No matter in this one.  Skip Holtz sucks worse.

Kansas 24, Louisiana Tech 13

Maryland @ West Virginia (Baltimore, MD) - Saturday 9/21, 2:30 PM CDT - ESPNU

Line: Maryland -5

Another test for West Virginia as Maryland ha been solid early this season under second year head coach Randy Edsall.  Ford Childress remains at the helm for West Virginia and facing real FBS competition will show whether or not last week's offensive explosion against George State was a fluke.

Maryland's best competition so far this season has been against Connecticut and it will be interesting to see how their 10th overall offense matches up against a West Virginia defense that is even more athletic than last year and better coached.  Whichever offense gets going early will take this one and so far I like what I've seen out of West Virginia's defense.

West Virginia 27, Maryland 21

UL-Monroe @ Baylor - Saturday 9/21, 3:00 PM CDT - FS1

Line: Baylor -29.5

Last year's game was a Friday night classic on ESPN and Kolton Browning and most of ULM's offense returns.  But then enter Baylor who is averaging 70 points a game behind weapon after weapon and an experienced offensive line.  You want another shootout here but it just isn't happening.  Baylor looks better now than they did with RGIII in 2011.

Baylor 56, ULM 21

Texas State @ Texas Tech - Saturday 9/21, 6:00 PM CDT - FSN

Line: Texas Tech -27.5

Texas Tech just keeps doing it and it doesn't matter who the quarterback is.  After starter Baker Mayfield went down with an injury in the 4th quarter against TCU Davis Webb came in and led the Tech offense on two scoring drives.  At some point you think the offense will slow down, but it won't happen against a Texas State squad that ranks 107th in passing defense and that's after playing an awful Southern Mississippi squad.

Texas Tech 48, Texas State 14

Kansas State @ Texas - Saturday 9/21, 7:00 PM CDT - ABC

Line: Texas -5.5

Texas hasn't beaten Kansas State since 2003 and hasn't started 1-3 since 1956.  Much has been written about the terrible defensive performance against the run and if this were the Kansas State teams led by Collin Klein I'd put this down as a three touchdown victory by Kansas State.  However, Kansas State has struggled to run the ball with any consistency this year behind an experienced offensive line and a quality back like John Hubert.  The currently rank a pedestrian 67th nationally in rushing and the only sustained success they've had on the ground has involved quarterback Daniel Sams.

These problems also effect the defense.  Kansas State's monstrous time of possession the past two seasons has allowed a defense to stay fresh and attack opposing offenses, but with the struggles on the ground this season the defense has been on the field more.  That won't bode well with the return of David Ash to Texas' offense and the likely attempts to run the ball even more to keep their own defense off the field.

The quickest way to tell if Kansas State is serious about winning this game will be the involvement of Sams early.  If Bill Snyder commits to Sams' ability to make plays with his legs then Kansas State runs away with this game.  If not, Texas rebounds, and I think that's exactly what happens here.

Texas 34, Kansas State 28

Bonus Beer Pick of the Week

Just because Iowa State is off this weekend doesn't mean there isn't beer to be drank.  My choice for the nice beginning to fall is the Staghorn Octoberfest from Wisconsin based New Glarus Brewing Company.  It's hard to go wrong with anything from New Glarus and this beer is no exception.

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