All good things must come to an end, and last week was the end of my run of winning bets. Thankfully I had a couple of happiness hedges in there with TCU giving Texas all they could handle and Iowa State’s dominant performance in Provo. We’re officially at that point where I start to feel sad and nostalgic for what has already gone by this season. We have 2 weeks left, 14 total Big 12 games, plus the conference championship, and bowls. Dear reader, I am feeling as much pressure as I’ve felt in a long time to finish the season strong. We’re so close to profitability. Bear with me and especially back the Cyclones.
But really quick, before we get to the picks, I wanted to reflect this week on what it means to have Texas coming to Ames one last time before leaving the Big 12, and I have some parting words I’d like to share with the Longhorns. If I may:
I wish you nothing but the worst in your future endeavors. You are the most entitled fanbase in all of college sports, with the most overinflated ego. You have not won anything since 2009. I was a sophomore in high school in 2009. I will turn 30 next year. This conference that you couldn’t sell out fast enough did everything you wanted to stay together, and you still have the nerve to complain about it being out to get you. We all know the real reason you’re leaving the Big 12. You got tired of losing to Iowa State, Kansas State, TCU, and Oklahoma State every year, and at least losing to Georgia and Alabama makes you feel better about yourselves. Enjoy your future of 11:00am kickoffs on the SEC Network with whatever Nick Saban cast off you’ve hired as your head coach by that point. Enjoy bragging about recruiting like the rest of the bottom feeders in that conference do. Spending the most money doesn’t make you good at recruiting. Enjoy chanting S-E-C while struggling to go 6-6 with a 2-6 conference record to sneak into the Independence Bowl. I hope you get everything you have coming to you.
Thank you. Now let’s make some picks.
#14 Oklahoma (8-2) at BYU (5-5)
Kickoff: 11:00am | TV: ESPN | The Line: Oklahoma -24.5
How about a 10am local kick? Oklahoma always, and I mean always sleepwalks through these. I know we all saw BYU’s backup QB last week but there’s no way they’ll be that bad 2 weeks in a row. Plus, it’s their only shot at the Sooners as a conference opponent.
Pick: BYU +24.5
Cincinnati (3-7) at West Virginia (6-4)
Kickoff: 1:30pm | TV: ESPN+ | The Line: West Virginia -6.5
This line is much smaller than I would have expected and has moved further in Cincy’s direction. My spidey sense is tingling. I think the Cincinnati people believe they can win this game.
Pick: Cincinnati +6.5
Baylor (3-7) at TCU (4-6)
Kickoff: 2:30pm | TV: ESPN+ | The Line: TCU -13.5
Shoutout the Bluebonnet Bowl. We’ve all made our jokes, and yes they all were justified. What a terrible name for a rivalry game. But hey, the Big 12 somehow decided this one needs protected so it has to be close.
Pick: Baylor +13.5
#23 Oklahoma State (7-3) at Houston (4-6)
Kickoff: 3:00pm | TV: ESPN2 | The Line: Oklahoma State -7
I’m going down with the ship. No way Okie State has a meltdown that bad again. The conference is even helping clear a path for them to make it to Dallas!
Pick: Oklahoma State -7
Central Florida (5-5) at Texas Tech (5-5)
Kickoff: 4:00pm | TV: FS2 | The Line: Texas Tech -2.5
John Rhys Plumlee is the difference here. UCF’s offense is completely different with him healthy. This is another game with a strangely small spread after Tech went on the road to beat a red hot Kansas team. Is this a letdown spot?
Pick: UCF +2.5
#21 Kansas State (7-3) at #25 Kansas (7-3)
Kickoff: 6:00pm | TV: FS1 | The Line: Kansas State -8
Stat time: Kansas State has won 14 straight games in this series by an average score of 41-15. None of the games in Lawrence during this streak have been decided by less than 8 points. The Kansas QB situation is way too uncertain and the recent history between the schools can only lead us one way.
Pick: Kansas State -8
#7 Texas (9-1) at Iowa State (6-4)
Kickoff: 7:00pm | TV: FOX | The Line: Texas -7.5
What more needs to be said. Jarrod Hufford put it best. HORNS DOWN!
I asked Iowa State OL Jarrod Hufford about Texas coming to Ames one final time before leaving for the SEC. Hufford gave a spicy answer, and then added some more heat when answering @TravisHines21 follow-up question. pic.twitter.com/W0gXaGVzPj— Mark Freund (@MarkFreundTV) November 14, 2023
Pick: Iowa State +7.5
LOCK OF THE WEEK SO GOOD IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL ACCORDING TO THE IOWA GAMING COMMISSION
Oregon State -2.5 vs Washington
This is what we’ve all been waiting for. Oregon State got left for dead by Washington/Oregon. It’s their last Pac 12 home game. Think they’ll be motivated to ruin Washington’s season? Think that crowd will be angry and motivated?
NFL LOCK OF THE WEEK
Cardinals +5 at Texans
Kyler Murray is back and there’s no way the CJ Stroud hype train can move this fast for this long. Bare minimum the Cards have cheap, backdoor TD potential.
PROP OF THE WEEK FOR OKLAHOMA STATE FANS
Odds for another tiebreaker rule change that gets the Cowboys to the conference championship game
Season record: 50-47-3 (-1.7 units)