Prediction time: This week's college football picks

October, 23, 2009
10/23/09
5:58
AM CT

Last week was a tough one. Most of us had Texas beating Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry, but I did not see Texas Tech handling Nebraska or Baylor losing. And thanks to all the Tech fans who made sure I knew I got that one wrong. Magic1995fan went 5-3 and that was the best anyone did. Let's see if we can do better this week.

TCU at BYU: In the effort of full disclosure, I am a TCU alum. No, I don't allow that to factor into my picks each week. This is by far TCU's toughest test of the season. Utah is good, but the Frogs get the Utes at home later this season. There's a reason ESPN's College GameDay is at this game. In researching these teams for our preview on ESPNDallas.com, I see two evenly-matched teams. A slight edge goes to BYU because it is a home game. But I also think TCU's loss to Utah that ruined its BCS hopes last season is still motivating this team. It all adds up to a fantastic game. I've gone back-and-forth on this game all week, but I'll take the Horned Frogs in a close one. I think there may be more points scored than some may think. Prediction: TCU 27, BYU 24

Oklahoma State at Baylor: Despite the loss of Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State has managed to stay on target and continue to win games. This has trap game written all over it, but I don't think Baylor has enough to stay with the Cowboys for four quarters. Oklahoma State must avoid thinking ahead to its home game against Texas on Halloween night. They'll forget long enough to get past Baylor. Prediction: Oklahoma State 35, Baylor 17

Oklahoma at Kansas: The good news for Sooner fans, and I know it's difficult to find some of that these days, is that Landry Jones is gaining valuable experience. Jones starts Saturday with Bradford out (again), and he goes against a Kansas defense that has struggled. I still think the Sooners have too much talent to just let this season completely fall apart. My bet is Jones has a big game. Prediction: Oklahoma 38, Kansas 21

Texas at Missouri: Just like Oklahoma State, Texas will have to work to make sure it keeps its focus. After last year's late-season loss to Texas Tech, I don't think that will be a problem. Colt McCoy may not be putting up numbers that impress Hiesman voters, but he wins games. He'll do it again Saturday, along with a big play from the Texas' special teams unit. Prediction: Texas 31, Missouri 21

Texas A&M at Texas Tech: The Red Raiders, expecting a record crowd, are playing well. At this point, it doesn't even matter who the quarterback is in this offense. Unless Texas Tech gets turnover crazy, this one shouldn't be close. Prediction: Tech 45, A&M 24

SMU at Houston: The Cougars are playing well and have not let the upset loss to UTEP wreck their solid season. SMU is better than the 3-3 record indicates, but the Mustangs have had trouble finishing games. SMU is feisty and can put up enough points to hang with Houston, but Cougars QB Case Keenum has too many weapons. Prediction: Houston 38, SMU 28

North Texas at Troy: UNT quarterback Riley Dodge (high ankle sprain) is questionable for the game. The Mean Green have let late turnovers and penalties hurt them this season, losing every game since defeating Ball State to start the season. RB Lance Dunber had 238 yards in a loss last week. But UNT needs a nearly perfect game to beat Troy on the road. Prediction: Troy 45, UNT 21

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