It’s the first Saturday in October and there is a change in the weather. Good or bad, cold or wet – it’s a change.
Last week, Matt was nearly perfect (12-1) while I stayed respectable (10-3) but not up to that level.
Overall the season’s picks look like this: Joey 37-12; Matt 36-13
TCU (2-2) at No. 11 Oklahoma (4-0)
The Sooners and Horned Frogs each stepped out of the Big 12 to pick up a win last week. With both at 1-0 in Big 12 play, it’s a game that will get national primetime coverage on FOX. OU leads the all-time series 8-4 and won late in the season last year, 24-17, but actually have a losing record against TCU in Norman. Oklahoma is coming off a big win at Notre Dame in which the defense forced three interceptions and set up the Sooners’ offense in great shape to take a halftime lead it would not relinquish.
Joey’s Pick: OU 38-16
Matt’s Pick: OU 35-10
Kansas State (2-2) at No. 21 Oklahoma State (3-1)
Both teams are coming off a tough loss in the last game played and for each the first conference contest. OSU is likely still feeling the pain of the lack of much offense in the loss at West Virginia. KSU has had a week off to think about the loss in Austin to a weak Texas squad. The Wildcats won in 2012, but the Pokes eaked out the win in 2011 and an earthquake followed that shook Boone Pickens Stadium. The coaches will likely be at the center of attention in a meeting of the last two Big 12 champions.
Joey’s Pick: OSU 27-24
Matt’s Pick: OSU 38-21
Rice (2-2) at Tulsa (1-3)
This series is close at 10-7-1, but the Golden Hurricane has won the last six, but the last scheduled meeting with Tulsa moving to the AAC. Even at 1-3, this will be the first Conference USA game for TU, so the opportunity to repeat as C-USA West champs is still ripe for the taking. With more than 2,000 rushing yards in his career, Trey Watts is closing in on 1,000 receiving yards as well (984). Bigger offensive production will be important on Saturday, but the defense will need to keep the Owls at their usual performance and not give away anything big.
Joey’s Pick: TU 27-24
Matt’s Pick: Rice 28-20
No. 6 Missouri Western (4-0) at Central (0-4)
It hasn’t been an easy road for the Bronchos and it won’t get any easier on Saturday. The undefeated Griffons come to Wantland Stadium, where the Bronchos have lost five straight. MWSU has a 3-0 advantage in the all-time series and won last season in St. Joseph, Mo. The Griffons won the MIAA last year and are the preseason favorites to repeat. Joshua Birmingham and Marquez Clark continue to rack up big numbers for UCO. Can the defense shut down MWSU enough to make those offensive numbers stand?
Joey’s Pick: MWSU 49-24
Matt’s Pick: NWSU 34-21
Southern Nazarene (0-4) at East Central (1-3)
Homecoming in Ada brings the first Oklahoma intrastate matchup in the GAC this season. The Tigers host the Crimson Storm on a day they will honor their national championship team from 1993. ECU owns the series lead of the new conference rivals that has been played on twice before; the Tigers won both, including last year at Norris Field, 31-15. East Central is 10-10 when getting to the red zone this year (tops in D-II). If an offense can get going for either side, the momentum could carry as both teams have given up many points this season (ECU – 39.8 ppg; SNU 60.8 ppg)
Joey’s Pick: ECU 41-21
Matt’s Pick:ECU 21-14
No. 3 Northwest Missouri State at Northeastern State
It’s tough to draw a team for Homecoming that you’ve never beaten. (NWMSU leads all-time series 3-0.) But add to that the opponent is the third ranked team in the country and that makes for quite a challenge to please the alumni coming to town. The first six opponents on the RiverHawks’ schedule are now a combined 23-1. Langston Jones continues to lead his team in tackles with 53. And Terrance Dixon, now thrust into the starting role at tailback, had 132 yards rushing last week and is the team leader in receptions with 10.
Joey’s Pick: NWMSU 56-17
Matt’s Pick: NWMSU 48-17
No. 8 Henderson State (4-0) at Northwestern (0-4)
Kevin Rodgers plays for Henderson State. Kevin Rodgers has phenomenal receivers. Kevin Rodgers does not play for Northwestern. It will be a long day for Northwestern.
Joey’s Pick: HSU 59-13
Matt’s Pick: HSU 38-14
Oklahoma Panhandle (1-4) at Wayland Baptist (0-4)
The CSFL portion of the schedule begins with WBU this weekend. Caleb Holbrook is starting this week and throwing for more than 145 ypg. Chris McClendon and Justin Fogle are starting to get the running game going. The Aggies are wrapping up a three-game road swing on the schedule. But they will have to make adjustments making up for the loss of both starting guards (Domonique Wyatt and Cameron Hickey) to injuries last week.
Joey’s Pick: OPSU 30-10
Matt’s Pick: OPSU 35-21
Texas A&M-Commerce (2-2) at Southeastern (1-3)
It’s another Homecoming game on the docket this week as SOSU ventures out of the GAC schedule to take on a former Lone Star Conference rival. The physical proximity allows for a rivalry feel for this game anyway in a tight series (SOSU leads 10-8-1) with just 72 miles and the Red River between the two. The Savage Storm won 31-6 to open the season last year. Anthony Foster comes in with a four-game streak of at least 100 yards receiving. But Southeastern will need to hang on to the ball to give its offense a chance put up points.
Joey’s Pick: SOSU 45-35
Matt’s Pick: SOSU 28-10
Ouachita Baptist (3-0) at Southwestern (3-1)
This game is one of the biggest in the region this weekend with the winner is a solid position tied with or in a solid second behind Henderson State in the GAC. And each team still has HSU on the schedule. Dustin Stenta has been consistent this season and has gotten help from his receivers more this season. Tight end Ryan Corbin has a great game last week with nine catches for 152 yards and two rushing TDs. Teverick Boyd had seven receptions for 111 yards and a score. OBU leads this all-time series, 6-3.
Joey’s Pick: SWOSU 35-24
Matt’s Pick: OBU 38-10
Southwestern Assemblies of God (1-2) at Oklahoma Baptist (0-4)
The Bison have a particularly tough part of the schedule behind them and face their first CSFL opponent this weekend. SAGU didn’t get to take the field due to lightning last week. The Lions quarterback Reid Golson is passing for 122.7 ypg and is the team’s leading rusher also, at 91.3 ypg. The Bison QB Cale Grauer has tossed six touchdowns and has connected with 10 different receivers in four games, averaging 155.8 ypg. OBU also boasts the CSFL Special Teams POW in Austin Manger, who connected for a 22-yard FG last week.
Joey’s Pick: OBU 28-21
Matt’s Pick: SAGU 21-17