By Shehan Jeyarajah
No. 12 Oklahoma (5-0) vs. Texas (3-2)
Since junior quarterback Blake Bell took over as starter, he has thrown for 797 yards, 70.4 percent accuracy and six touchdowns over three games. The Sooners are 3-0 in that span, including an impressive victory over No. 22 Notre Dame in South Bend. OU is sixth in the country in scoring defense and ninth in total yardage defense.
Texas could be in big trouble this weekend. The Longhorns escaped last weekend by the skin of their teeth after a controversial call to win against a mediocre Iowa State squad. Other than a 56-7 win against New Mexico State, Texas has been outscored 135-106 in the other four games.
Texas ranks 117 out of 123 FBS teams in rushing defense; Oklahoma is 17 in rushing offense. Texas is 83 in total defense; Oklahoma is 41 in total offense. This is not a good matchup for Texas. After this weekend’s game, Mack Brown’s seat could be that much warmer.
TCU (2-3) vs. Kansas (2-2)
After looking great in an opening week loss against No. 12 LSU, TCU has struggled mightily, including a 0-2 start in Big 12 conference play. After losing senior quarterback Casey Pachall to injury, TCU is 101st in passing yards, 97th in rushing yards and 113th in total offense. Their defense has been solid however, ranking 33rd in the country.
If there’s a perfect antidote for TCU to turn around the season, it might be Kansas. The Jayhawks have been awful this season, ranking 107th in total offense and 67th in total defense. The Jayhawks’ only wins this season were against FCS opponent South Dakota and a Louisiana Tech team that lost its entire offense. Kansas is a team that is favored to finish bottom three in the conference.
USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin has rated TCU’s schedule the hardest in the country thus far, so the Horned Frogs aren’t as bad as they’ve looked. They will prove that this weekend against Kansas.
No. 20 Texas Tech (5-0) vs. Iowa State (1-3)
After coming into the season with low expectations, Texas Tech has exploded out of the gates. The Red Raiders sit at 2-0 with wins against TCU and Kansas. True freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield has led Tech to ranking third in the nation in passing yards. The Tech defense has also held opponents to under two touchdowns a game, which ranks eighth in the country.
Iowa State is coming off of a tough loss against Texas after a questionable goal-line call in the fourth quarter, but they are a completely different team when going on the road. The Cyclones’ only win this season was over Tulsa. They have lost to Northern Iowa and Iowa.
Tech is a team that is looking to make some noise in the conference, and an easy win against Iowa State is a step towards that.