Texas is back. Well, at least they are in Big 12 play.
The Longhorns (2-1) play host to red hot Texas Tech (3-0) as the start of conference games begins. Matt Wells and the Red Raiders offense have elected to go to a more balanced approach this season, actually relying less on QB Tyler Shough to pass for over 500 yards a game.
Of course, it's still Tech. They're going to pass the football and be successful at it. It's why Shough currently leads the conference in passing yards and is tied for second in passing touchdowns.
The Horns are Red Raiders kickoff at 11:00 a.m. CT Saturday afternoon, leaving fans of college football ample time to take in the midday and night games across the country. In the Big 12, No. 14 Iowa State could be in trouble in Waco against undefeated Baylor. The same could be said for No. 25 Kansas State as they head to Stillwater to face a complex Oklahoma State team.
Nationally, there are several top 25 matchups all fans can enjoy. No. 12 Notre Dame will head north to Soldier Field to take on No. 18 Wisconsin. No. 7 Texas A&M heads over to Arlington to face No. 16 Arkansas in the Southwest Classic.
As for Pac 12 after dark, can No. 3 Oregon remain a proven contender with a win over Arizona?
With that in mind, LonghornsCountry.com's staff made gave their picks for the weekend's games. Check them out below:
Big 12 Games:
Texas Tech at Texas - 11:00 a.m.
SMU at TCU - 11:00 a.m.
Matt Galatzan - Managing Editor/Publisher: TCU has been pretty impressive this season, and might be the best team in the Big 12 at the moment. SMU is fun and can score, but I have TCU here. Matt's Pick: TCU
Cole Thompson - Columnist: The Iron Skillet should actually be a high scoring affair. SMU's Tanner Mordecai leads the country in touchdowns with 16, but TCU's Max Duggan has fared better against quality talent. Give me TCU with the home advantage. It should be enough to put the Horned Frogs in the Top 25. Cole's Pick: TCU
Matthew Postins - Staff Writer: It's the 'Iron Skillet' game and SMU has one of the best offenses in the country. I think TCU will find a way to slow the Mustangs down and improve to 3-0. TCU in a close one. Matthew's Pick: TCU
No. 14 Iowa State at Baylor - 2:30 p.m.
Galatzan: Baylor is a nice story at 3-0. Iowa State is just better, however. It might be close for a while, but the Cyclones win out. Matt's Pick: Iowa State
Thompson: Baylor's defense actually has been stellar the past two weeks. Then again, allowing just 14 points to Texas Southern and Kansas might not be an ideal scene to test where the Bears stand. This is the week where Breece Hall makes his case for Big 12 Player of the Year. The Cyclones inch closer to the top 10 with a win in Waco. Cole's Pick: Iowa State
Postins: I think the Iowa State offense starts to get right this week. Baylor is going to have trouble running on that talented Iowa State defense. The Cyclones win this one. Matthew's Pick: Iowa State
Kansas at Duke - 3:00 p.m.
Galatzan: Kansas is bad, and it's hard to win there because people don't care about the football program. If Lance Leipold can turn the into something decent, he will get hired by a big boy program. On Saturday, however, Duke wins big. Matt's Pick: Duke
Thompson: I love Lance Leipold and I do think he will work in Lawrence. Rome wasn't built in a day, and the defense should struggle against ACC-leading rusher Mataeo Durant in Durham. Duke wins. Cole's Pick: Duke
Postins: Kansas deserves nice things in football. It just won't be this work. That Jayhawk defense won't have an answer for Duke RB Mataeo Durant. Matthew's Pick: Duke
No. 25 Kansas State at Oklahoma State - 6:30 p.m.
Galatzan: Kansas State has been my biggest surprise of the Big 12 so far this season. I think they keep it going on Saturday. Wildcats win with a late TD. Matt's Pick: Kansas State
Thompson: With Skylar Thompson's season done, it's hard to trust Will Howard again. Deuce Vaughn should be able to pound up the Cowboys' defense and hit enough corners to control the time of possession. Oklahoma State still doesn't have a healthy roster, and Spencer Sanders has struggled against both Tusla and Boise State. It's close, but give me the Wildcats. Cole's Pick: Kansas State
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Postins: The most evenly matched game in the Big 12 this week. Oklahoma State does well against ranked teams at home, but they're really banged up. Kansas State steals one in Stillwater. Matthew's Pick: Kansas State
West Virginia at No. 4 Oklahoma - 6:30 p.m.
Galatzan: Oklahoma has struggled so far this season, against less competition, but has remained unscathed. I think that trend ends this weekend. Matt's Pick: West Virginia
Thompson: If there ever was a week for an upset, this would be it. The Mountaineers' defense allowed then-No.15 Virginia Tech to score 14 points in the second half and nearly complete the comeback. The good news? Oklahoma is destined to lose at least one game this season, but will this be the one? Spencer Rattler struggles, but he leaves Norman with a win. Cole's Pick: Oklahoma
Postins: West Virginia is getting OU at the right time, given the Sooners' lack of sharpness on offense. Still, WVU has to play a near-perfect game to win in Norman and that seems unlikely. I'll take OU. Matthew's Pick: Oklahoma
No. 12 Notre Dame vs. No. 18 Wisconsin at Soldier Field - 11:00 a.m.
Galatzan: A neutral site matchup is a shame here because both of these places are such cool venues. From what I have seen of these teams so far this season, Wisconsin looks like the better team, but not by much. Still, I think it's enough. Matt's Pick: Wisconsin
Thompson: Both teams are a tad overrated, but there's a reason Jack Coan is no longer in Madison. His name? Graham Mertz. The Badgers' QB. proves why he was the right choice by beating the Irish at Soldier Field. Cole's Pick: Wisconsin
Postins: Both of these teams have experienced offensive woes this season, so it could be a really sloppy game. Give me Notre Dame. Matthew's Pick: Notre Dame
No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 16 Arkansas at AT&T Stadium - 2:30 p.m.
Galatzan: Oh boy this will be an interesting one. The Aggies offense has been dreadful this season and has only looked serviceable against lesser competition like New Mexico and Kent State. Still, there were bad things in those games as well. The offensive line is a big problem and I think Arkansas takes advantage. Matt's Pick: Arkansas
Thompson: Texas A&M's defense is allowing opponents to average 5.7 points per game. They rank top 10 in pass defense, yards per game, and total defense. Arkansas always plays this game close, but the Aggies improve to 4-0 and make October 9 a must-see game once more. Cole's Pick: Texas A&M
Postins: Texas A&M. The Razorbacks aren't nearly as good as everyone suddenly thinks they are. Matthew's Pick: Texas A&M
No. 9 Clemson at North Carolina State - 2:30 p.m.
Galatzan: Clemson's transition without Trevor Lawrence hasn't gone as smoothly as most of us though, but they find a way to win here. Matt's Pick: Clemson
Thompson: Tony Elliott is about to go from being the hottest coordinator on the head coaching market to fighting to keep his job as Clemson's offensive coordinator. By a field goal and the success of Zonovan Knight, the Wolfpack get the upset at home. Cole's Pick: North Carolina State
Postins: Clemson. The Tigers will figure it out on the road. Matthew's Pick: Clemson
No. 24 UCLA at Stanford - 5:00 p.m.
Galatzan: UCLA looked rough last week against Fresno, and Stanford already has a win over USC earlier this season. I think Stanford sweeps LA. Matt's Pick: Stanford
Thompson: Chip Kelly needs to prove that Fresno State is a legitimate Group of 5 darling and they still are a top team in the Pac-12. UCLA has the conference's worst pass defense, but the Cardinal can't throw anyway. Give me the Bruins in a close one. Cole's Pick: UCLA
Postins: Stanford. Their home stadium is a harder place to play than you might think, and Fresno State exposed some issues with UCLA that will take time to fix. Matthew's Pick: Stanford
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