Friday Smack-Talk: Hating Boone Pickens U

Brett Deering

Gary Patterson has noted that it’s hard to hate an unknown team. And to TCU, Oklahoma State is about as unknown as it gets. Since 1950 the teams have played only six times, four of those in a four-game series in the early 1990s. Both teams (and schools) have seriously altered their identities since then (OSU has even renamed itself, preferring "Boone Pickens University" these days, or "BPU" for short), making reference to those games utterly meaningless.

Which means we have no history of hate to draw on for this week’s smack-talk post. What a shame—cookie-cutter hate is so... unsatisfying. (There is BPU's loss to Texas in September, which looks increasingly bad as the year progesses...) So for smack talk this week, let’s just note these CFB’s prognosticators’ reactions to the line on this game—BPU is about a touchdown favorite over TCU.

ESPN’s Big12 blogger, David Ubben:

The biggest reason for this one: Oklahoma State's quarterback issues. The Cowboys offense revolves around the position, and this week, there's all kinds of uncertainty. TCU has a defense that could take advantage. J.W. Walsh is likely out for the season, and Wes Lunt's knee is still healing. Will Lunt be ready, and if he is, will he show any signs of rust? Either way, Lunt threw three interceptions the last time he played a full game, and TCU's defense will be even tougher. Only one of those picks was truly Lunt's fault, but Arizona has just four more interceptions the rest of its season. TCU's 14 interceptions are tied for third-most nationally and there might be a few on the table this week, too. Can Lunt adjust to game speed as a true freshman after missing more than a month?

CBSsports.com’s Tom Fornelli:

took TCU to upset Texas Tech last week, and I'm taking the Horned Frogs again for much the same reasons this week in Stillwater. Sure, TCU lost to Texas Tech, but it was a triple-overtime affair that could have gone either way. This week the Frogs hit the road, so it won't be easy, but this is an Oklahoma State team that just lost its starting quarterback, J.W. Walsh. Which means it'll either be true freshman Wes Lunt making the start – who didn't look amazing before going down with an injury in the Cowboys' – or junior Clint Chelf, who has thrown just 38 passes in the last three seasons. So with the inexperience at quarterback in an offense that is rather dependent on its quarterback – no knock on running back Joseph Randle, who is awesome, but OSU is a passing team – the Cowboys are ripe for an upset, especially with a trip to Kansas State up next.

BettorsWorld.com:

"In his only real challenge of the season, the freshman Lunt tossed for 436 yards and four TDs against Arizona in the second week. He also had three costly interceptions which was a main reason they ended up losing. The QB spot will be a heavily talked about subject entering this game with TCU. No matter who is at the helm, running back Joseph Randle will need to put in a top performance, much like he did last week against Iowa State when he tallied 151 yards and two TDs. Through just six games, Randle already has 128 carries for 765 yards and eight touchdowns. The Horned Frogs have actually been pretty solid against the run as well which isn't good for the Cowboys... The numbers point towards these two teams being relatively equal in strength. Our model predicts an upset straight up win by TCU by 3 and that's the way we are going to go here.

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