The Royal Sampler: Predictions, links and a reminder not to burn couches

Baylor at West Virginia: Nothing great about Baylor’s resume so far. The Bears have a better-than-advertised victory over Louisiana-Monroe and a worse-than-advertised victory over Sam Houston State. But Nick Florence is looking good at quarterback, and the offense is moving. They should be able to compete with the Mountaineers and maybe cover the 11-point spread. But this is West Virginia’s first Big 12 game. Morgantown is going to be rocking, even though the school is trying to discourage couch burning. West Virginia will win.

Texas at Oklahoma State: Texas is probably ranked (12th) higher than it should be, even though the Longhorns have looked great so far against suspect competition. Oklahoma is probably ranked a little lower (receiving votes) than it should be, even though the Cowboys looked awful losing to Arizona, which looked awful losing to Oregon. So this could be a good game. But I’m going with the Longhorns. There’s no telling who Oklahoma State will play at quarterback, and Texas is ready to make a statement.

TCU at SMU: The Mustangs are the last team that managed to beat the Horned Frogs, upsetting TCU on the road last year. But TCU has won 11 straight games since and SMU is worse this year. I don’t see this game being close. TCU should win easily.

Texas Tech at Iowa State: What a surprisingly good game this could be. A battle of unbeatens. A battle of statistically strong defenses. A battle for a spot in the top 25. The Red Raiders vs. the Cyclones is all that, and possibly more. It should be a close one. Texas Tech looks like the better team, but it has played three cupcakes. Iowa State gets the benefit of playing at home, and the benefit of destroying Texas Tech the last two times they met. But I think the Red Raiders fight back and beat the Cyclones tomorrow. They have more offensive firepower than Iowa State, and that could be the difference.


With Baylor coming to town for West Virginia’s first Big 12 football game, school officials are reminding fans not to burn couches. Good advice.

– K-State tight end Travis Tannahill is always on the hunt … For touchdowns and ducks.

– The Big 12 might be signing up for another BCS-style bowl game against the highest-ranked champion of the smaller conferences. Not sure exactly how it would work, though. The Big 12 already has an agreement to send its champion (presuming its in the top 4) to the new playoff and another team to the new Champions Bowl (against the SEC). If the Big 12′s top two teams go there, that means the third-place team would play the Big East or Mountain West champ in this other bowl. Doesn’t seem like much a ratings draw.

– Texas is about to face its second-toughest road trip. The toughest? At Kansas State, writes Cedric Golden of the Austin American-Statesman.

– Kansas has extended Bill Self’s contract.