Reminder: the Reverse Barometer’s name is no joke. The Lions went 0-16 when we said they might “contend.” Our pick to win the BCS Championship in 2006 finished out of the top 25 (Tennessee). But, what the heck, we keep on making the picks. Wager accordingly.
Texas at No. 11 Kansas State: With all of the craziness going on in the conference, many forget that Kansas State is the lone unbeaten in Big 12 conference play. With three tough road games up ahead (at TCU, West Virginia, Baylor), a home game vs. the Horns is an important one for them to win. A victory would be the 500th in program history for KSU, with more than one-third (183) coming under Bill Snyder. Texas won the last meeting in Austin but KSU has won the last three in the Little Apple. They will again Saturday. KSU 34 Texas 21
Texas Tech at No. 10 TCU: TCU is playing better than any team in the conference and should be undefeated save a mind-blowing collapse in Waco. TCU has to stay focused, as Tech is 10th in the nation in passing yards with 330.4 per game. The Frogs only gave up an impressive 132 passing yards to Oklahoma State last week. TCU 41, Texas Tech 18
No. 22 West Virginia at Oklahoma State: The Mountaineers moved into the top 25 after a big win over Baylor last weekend, holding the Bears to a season-low 318 yards. On the other side of the spectrum was the Oak State Cowboys, who suffered their largest defeat since 2008 with a 42-9 loss at TCU. Will WVU keep rolling or will OSU bounce back? I’m going with the Cowboys at home. OSU 36, WVU 27
No. 3 Ole Miss at No. 24 LSU: I’ve seen this Ole Miss defense in person and it’s mighty impressive. Sure, LSU is playing better but this Rebels team is special. So special that I like them to win the SEC, which means I like em in this game too. The only thing that can hold back the Rebs is Bo Wallace. Don’t count on it. Ole Miss 30, LSU 17
No. 4 Alabama at Tennessee: When I look at this game, I can’t help but think about the return of Bama OC Lane Kiffin to Knoxville for the first time since he left in the middle of the night for USC after one season as Vols head coach. I’d love to hear some of the heckling going on. But there’s still a football game to be played, and the bad news for Tennessee is that they have had issues running the ball and stopping the run. Uh oh. Bama’s bread and butter is just that. Kiffin should have a fun return. Big Vol Daddy ain’t gunna be happy. Bama 40, UT 17
South Carolina at No. 5 Auburn: What looked like a good game on paper at the start of the season doesn’t look so hot now. South Carolina is a mere 4-3 after opening the season at No. 9. The Gamecocks have been consistently inconsistent. Auburn runs the ball well and will look to do that again. The bottom line is that Auburn simply executes better than South Carolina. Auburn 29, South Carolina 20
Redskins at Cowboys: Washington’s biggest issue this season has been turnovers. Their numbers on both sides of the ball are actually decent, but costly turnovers have helped them to a 2-5 record. Colt McCoy has been named the starter, though the Redskins have not ruled out Robert Griffin III to return from injury. The Cowboys will go right back to their winning formula of running the ball with DeMarco Murray. Dallas wins a game that is closer than the experts think. Cowboys 27, Redskins 23.