T-1. tylervr11 (25-1)
T-1. coachmelissa (25-1)
T-1. Marshall Weber (25-1)
4. Hawkeyed Frog (24-2)
5. Jamie Plunkett (22-4)
Only three games this week, but two should be great.
No. 20 Kansas State vs. No. 5 Auburn (Thursday)
Kansas State 24, Auburn 21 - UPSET ALERT!!! K-State knocks off the defending runners up, in a game that shows that the SEC isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Nick Marshall doesn't get to go all Nick Marshall on Bill Snyder's defense, and the K-State o is justtttttt good enough. Auburn's kick to tie it at the horn is just a bit outside, and the Wildcat fans rush the field.
Kansas State 38, Auburn 35 - A homer pick? Maybe. I don't see anyone's picks until Jamie puts them up. A consensus either way, or even a divided opinion wouldn't surprise. Yes, Kansas State played Iowa State close to the chest. Yes, Auburn's in the SEC West. Those are the two 1000-yd arguments everyone's making.
But a Thursday night game in Manhattan, it's not crazy to bet on Snyderball. We know Auburn can score points, but they also haven't seen a defense like Snyder's. Or really a good defense at all. If Jake Waters is able to slow the game down and keep the ball away from the Tigers as much as possible, the Wildcats have a very good chance of winning. Not to mention, they have Tyler Lockett. Big 12 fans know how a big playmaker like Lockett can be. The country should find this out tonight.
If Auburn loses, it doesn't get any easier for the defending SEC Champs. They have the obvious SEC West foes; LSU, Mississippi State, LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, and the Iron Bowl rematch. Not to mention Georgia and South Carolina, who've proven to be the top hitters in the East. A Kansas State upset won't change/hurt the overwhelming positive SEC parity narrative, but it would make a supportive case for the Big 12 one.
Auburn 42, Kansas State 34 - I do not believe that either team has proven a lot this season so far. I think this game will be a shootout and KSU's defense will not be able to hold Auburn in the second half. It will be close game because it will be played at Bill Synder Stadium.
Kansas vs. Central Michigan
Central Michigan 34, Kansas 17 - This is less about what I know about Central Michigan and more about what I know about Kansas. The slide continues for the Jayhawks, and the seat gets hotter for ol' Charlie.
Kansas 31 vs. Central Michigan 20 - I really wanted to believe in Weis. At least they get a win here.
Central Michigan 31, Kansas 28 - This game is close, because Kansas. Ultimately, no one cares.
Kansas 24, Central Michigan 21 - This is a tougher game to predict than I thought. It's hard not the pick any Big 12 team in this home matchup, but Kansas never makes things easy. I believe it will be a close game and a turnover may be the difference.
West Virginia vs. No. 4 Oklahoma
Oklahoma 38, West Virginia 24 - OU's first big test of the season, and the first true measuring stick for a much improved WVU squad. Though the 'Eers fight hard, the Sooners are really that good. If it were in Morgantown, I might be inclined to lean upset, but I think Trevor Knight and co hold court in Norman. Also, the WVU defense just isn't very good and the OU offense is very very good.
Oklahoma 31, West Virginia 28 - For the record, I originally had this going into OT. Oklahoma hasn't seen a environment like this since, well, probably the last time they went to Morgantown in 2012--where they barely survived a 50-49 win. Even in Norman last year, the Mountaineers still tested the Sooners in the 16-7 loss. Like TCU, West Virginia is almost guaranteed to give the Sooners a good game. Still, Oklahoma's defense is more refined and they get out of Morgantown with a narrow victory. Also, for the first time this season, the Sooners won't cover the spread.
Oklahoma 35, West Virginia 24 - They played Alabama well, but the Crimson Tide aren't the best team the Mountaineers will face this season. Oklahoma gets out to an early lead and hangs on the rest of the way.