Reverse Barometer: College Football Weekend
A quick look at Saturday’s college football games, Reverse Barometer style. If you’re into betting ballgames, simply reverse everything I say below and you should be in good shape. Or will you?
Texas at Oklahoma State (-3)
Home field is huge; some say its worth at least three points in Vegas. And when it’s played in that band box in Stillwater, well, let’s just say it might be worth a few more. Before we start anointing Texas as the next coming, let’s see them make consecutive stops on defense first. The Horns have found their groove on offense but that’s only half of the battle. Oklahoma State takes advantage of Texas’ deficiencies and pulls away late, winning 38-30.
Oklahoma at TCU (+3.5)
This game looked a lot better on September 1 than October 1, at least on paper. The Sooners have lost two games in September for the first time in a while, and TCU hasn’t set the world on fire like they did over the last couple of years. What does all that mean? Well, we’re distracted by a couple of losses. The fact is, both have a good shot to still win the Big 12, and that starts on Saturday in Ft. Worth. This one comes down to quarterback play, and it’s honestly anyone’s ballgame. Kenny Hill has to get off to a quicker start than he has in games and if he does, TCU will have a chance. Baker Mayfield will, and I don’t think Hill can match him. Sooners get out to a lead and hold on, 24-21.
Baylor at Iowa State (+16.5)
This one doesn’t look like much of a game. Iowa State has been blown out by Iowa and TCU on their way to a 1-3 start. Baylor is 4-0 and the conference’s best (only?) chance at getting in the playoff. The Bears get off to a quick start, as Seth Russell lights up a pedestrian Cyclone defense and the running game gets to work. Iowa State’s only chance? Look to 6-foot-5 receiver Allen Lazard, as Baylor has not faced such a physical specimen yet. Baylor gets off to a slow start but they wear down ISU over the span of the game, winning 41-16.
Texas A&M at South Carolina (+18)
Goodness, what the heck happened to South Carolina? Did the Head Ball Coach take all the talent with him when he retired last year? This team is 2-2 and just lost to Kentucky. Meanwhile, the Aggies have stormed out to another stellar record in September, going 4-0. We’ve seen this before, but we haven’t seen this kind of Aggie defense in a while, at least not since the 90s. This could be a perfect trap game for A&M, sandwiched between a physical slugfest vs. Arkansas and a possible top-10 matchup at Kyle Field next week vs. Tennessee. But the key is Trevor Knight, a fifth-year senior who simply won’t let this team look ahead. Aggies win big in a laugher, 51-17.
Louisville at Clemson (+2)
The game of the day in many ways. Namely, this is a playoff game of sorts. I believe the winner of this game will be one of the four teams in the College Football Playoff. Lamar Jackson will win the Heisman Trophy, and this game will be another stepping stone in that process. The kid is a touchdown machine, and he’ll have four more come Saturday. This Louisville defense is also rather salty, though you won’t hear much about them. But Clemson will. The Cardinals earn a statement win, 30-26.