If we’re in the trust tree right now, I have a confession to make. I am getting irrationally excited about the Iowa State Cyclones. Let me join the party of fans feeling excited. The more I think about it, I’m getting serious 2018 vibes from this team. In 2018, the Cyclones started 0-2 with a loss in the CyHawk game. They lost to Oklahoma. The turned the reigns over to a freshman QB against Oklahoma State to give the team a spark, especially in the month of October. The QB’s first name even lead to a great slogan.
The 2023 Cyclones started 1-2 with a loss in the CyHawk game. They lost to Oklahoma. They “turned the reigns over” to a freshman QB against Oklahoma State by letting him cook after starting the year super conservative on offense. This team has a spark now that it’s the month of October. Our freshman QB even has a name that leads to a great slogan for this month. The parallels are unmatched. The 2018 team even had legitimate Big 12 championship hopes heading into a November game against Texas. There is a path for 2023 to play out the same way. Let me reiterate, I’m being irrational. This could all come crashing down next Saturday in Waco. But what if it doesn’t?
Know what else is going great? Gambling! The column is 11-3 the last 2 weeks. I’m going to keep betting on gut instinct, and if my gut is picking winners right now, that’s a great sign.
UCF (3-3) at #6 Oklahoma (6-0)
Kickoff: 11:00am | TV: ABC | The Line: Oklahoma -17.5
If this game was in Orlando, this would be a good spot to take UCF. However, I think with Oklahoma back at home, it takes away the letdown factor from the Red River game. Dillon Gabriel covers against his former school.
Pick: Oklahoma -17.5
Baylor (2-4) at Cincinnati (2-4)
Kickoff: 11:00am | TV: ESPN+ | The Line: Cincinnati -3.5
Weren’t we just in this spot a week ago? Baylor is having a rough season, but Cincinnati is just not to be trusted as a favorite against anyone right now.
Pick: Baylor +3.5
Oklahoma State (4-2) at West Virginia (4-2)
Kickoff: 2:30pm | TV: ESPN | The Line: West Virginia -3.5
Talk about 2 teams coming off completely different weeks. Oklahoma State won a thriller and West Virginia lost on a Hail Mary. Coming home should make the difference for West Virginia. Oklahoma State might not be as bad as we all thought, but I’m not sure they are this good either.
Pick: West Virginia -3.5
#8 Texas (5-1) at Houston (3-3)
Kickoff: 3:00pm | TV: FOX | The Line: Texas -23.5
Nice one last week Dana. Not happening again. Texas and Oklahoma are clearly the 2 best teams in this conference, and the newbies look like the worst 4. No way I’m taking Houston in this spot.
Pick: Texas -23.5
Texas Tech (3-4) at BYU (4-2)
Kickoff: 6:00pm | TV: FS1 | The Line: Texas Tech -3
BYU got humbled a bit last week, but I still think they are the new school best equipped for early success in this league. Tech is clearly not what everyone thought they would be in the preseason. I honestly don’t even know who’s playing QB for them. Provo will get up for this one, so back the home team as a short underdog.
Pick: BYU +3
TCU (4-3) at Kansas State (4-2)
Kickoff: 6:00pm | TV: ESPN2 | The Line: Kansas State -6.5
Like I said last week, this new QB for TCU can play a little bit and getting all the reps in practice helps. What also helps is not playing Iowa State’s secondary. I know people are excited about this new guy for K-State but he’s not covering a touchdown in his first start. Not yet.
Pick: TCU +6.5
LOCK OF THE WEEK SO GOOD IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL ACCORDING TO THE IOWA GAMING COMMISSION
Iowa -3.5 vs Minnesota
Call it a happiness hedge but the people are getting Mad About Iowa. I’m mad that this is happening. But the defense is going to score a touchdown and Minnesota won’t break 10 points. At least take advantage of it and profit.
NFL LOCK OF THE WEEK
Steelers +3 at Rams
It’s Mike Tomlin off a bye, as an underdog, in a game that will be played in front of 60% Steeler fans. That works for me.
PROP OF THE WEEK FOR CINCINNATI FANS
Will Nippert Stadium be over 50% full during the 4th quarter against Baylor?
Season record: 33-31-2 (-1.1 units)