This week in the predictions thread we were down to two- longest serving FoW member HawkeyedFrog and FoW head man FungoFrog so we're head to head in our predictions this week. Let's check the scoreboard.
Kansas Jayhawks 13, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 10
"It's better to be lucky than good" is an old saying, and I'm sure Charlie Weis could hardly care less about how fortunate the Jayhawks were to get out of this one with a win. Kansas snapped its twenty two game losing streak against FBS level competition in dramatic fashion, kicking a field goal as the clock expired to upset Louisiana Tech and claim a bit of momentum heading into Big 12 play against Tech next week. Good news for Frog fans: There are apparently competent officials out there somewhere in the Big 12, as Bulldog quarterback Ryan Higgins was initially ruled out at the 2 yard line before it was determined he had lost control of the ball, resulting in a touchback. Sure would be nice if more things resulted in touchbacks (I'm through being bitter now, promise). Jake Heaps was improved from last week, but still doesn't seem to be on the same page as his receivers as he threw an absolutely dreadful pick to set up the Bulldogs only touchdown and pitched another one late in the game as well. Still, Kansas ran the ball passably well and had about 400 yards of total offense, so the potential appears to be there if they can just get out of their own way, and the defense is solid enough, generating consistent pressure on Higgins.
Next week: #25 Texas Tech (4-0, 1-0)
Fungo/Hawkeyed Showdown: HawkeyedFrog picked Kansas, Fungo picked Tech.
Maryland Terrapins 37, West Virginia Mountaineers 0
I saw the loss coming- The Terps have been playing great, while West Virginia has been inconsistent on offense and somewhat improved on defense, but the scheme issues are still there. What I did not see coming was the beatdown the Terps inflicted on West Virginia, or mountaineer offense being shut down entirely. New quarterback Ford Childress completed just 50% of his passes for a miserable 2.8 yards an attempt while throwing two picks, while the running game had two explosive plays of 30 yards or more, but beyond that found absolutely nothing all day to average 3 yards per carry with the two long runs removed. This led to Maryland constantly gaining field position advantage despite not being great on offense themsleves, leading to scads of field goals and a 30-0 halftime lead (with a pick 6 by Childress tacked on as well). This was the first time West Virginia has been shut out since 2001- back when Miami was winning national championships and Rich Rodriguez was the beloved first year Mountaineer head coach- and is sure to open up some questions about HC Dana Holgorsen if things don't improve soon. Despite the Orange Bowl romp over Clemson I'm not sure Holgorsen is the top flight head coach the Mountaineers need to have consistent success in the Big 12, we'll see how he goes coaching his own recruiting classes the next few years, but his seat may be hotter than he expects if the Mountaineers only remaining rival romps over them like this.
Next week: #11 Oklahoma State (3-0, 0-0)
Fungo/HawkeyedShowdown: HawkeyedFrog picked Maryland, Fungo picked West Virginia.
Baylor Bears 70, Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 7
Once again I could pretty well copy and paste the Baylor writeup from last week- Baylor played a bad team and looked very good in all phases of the game. Is Baylor actually the Big 12's best team? I don't think so, but I have no idea- Buffalo struggled to a three point win over FCS Stony Brook for its first only win of the season, Louisiana-Monroe snuck past a bad Wake Forest team for its FBS win and Wofford is an FCS team, so how good is Baylor? It's a question we'll still have to wait to find out about, as the Bears have their second bye next week to make the Big 12 schedule as grind-tacular as possible. In that regard TCU is hardly better off, due to the last week of the season bye the Frogs got stuck with, but it's more frustrating in this case because I want to see what Baylor can do against a good team.
Next week: Bye
Fungo/Hawkeyed Showdown: Did anyone in the world pick Monroe? If so, what kind of drugs was he on? Fungo and Hawkeye both picked Baylor by tons.
Texas Tech Red Raiders 33, Texas State Bobcats 7
Quarterback controversy time! For the second week in a row Baker Mayfield didn't look great leading Tech, but replacement Davis Webb wasn't really any better, depending on what stats you value more. Mayfield had a much better completion percentage of 70% but had a pick with no tds, Webb had a better yards per attempt on 44% completion but balanced two touchdowns with two picks. These miscues led to the Raiders having just a six point lead early in the third quarter before Webb rallied the troops, so Tech still has a ways to go to be a Big 12 championship contender- fortunately now that they're past TCU Tech's Big 12 season starts in the kiddie pool area with Kansas, Iowa State and West Virginia to ease their quarterbacks into conference play. Even more fortunately, Tech's defense looked impressive once again, keeping the option loving Bobcats to just 107 yards rushing on 2.9 ypc.
Next week: @ Kansas (2-1, 0-0)
Fungo/Hawkeyed Showdown: Both picked Tech by about 20, another push.
Texas Longhorns 31, Kansas State Wildcats 21
The Texas Longhorns remain fragile, but fortunately for their season Kansas State was never able to put enough pressure on the Longhorns to push them to the breaking point. In the preview portion of the picks I mentioned that Texas would have trouble if they didn't have success at the outset, but they did, scoring the first 17 points. Danger reared up in an Ole Miss-ish fashion late, as right before the half the Wildcats cut the lead to 10 on a quarterback run (Longhorn krypotonite), and the Longhorns were likely feeling a bit shaken heading into the half. Kansas State opened the second half with the ball and quickly moved into Longhorn territory before putting the ball on the ground in the first of three self inflicted gunshots to the foot. Texas scored and the Longhorns were able to escape unshattered the rest of the way, as though K-State closed the gap they fumbled twice more on key fourth quarter drives to keep the Longhorns from feeling too much pressure. On the K-state side, Hubert looked good passing and running, but received little help from his fellow wildcats and put the ball on the ground in the clutch, while the defense was okay but didn't force the turnovers needed to force a Texas implosion. For another week, Mack's talk about the non-conference dramas not mattering if he wins the Big 12 championship can survive- maybe even two weeks, as Iowa State is up next before the Red River Shootout.
Next week: Texas- @ Iowa State, Kansas State- Bye
Fungo/Hawkeyed Showdown: Both picked Kansas State, but Fungo had it being a tight game while Hawkeye had K-State walking over the Horns by multiple scores. Oops.