WILLIAMS: A stat that blew my mind and weekly Big 12 picks

So the first three weeks of the season didn’t go exactly like we all had built up in our heads all summer long…

I feel you.

But this is still, without question, the best time in history to be a fan of Iowa State Football. 

After every game, Iowa State sends out notes and stats to the media. Much of the time it is stuff that fans really don’t care about (but a geek like me looks forward to this part of every game day). However, at about 2:30 a.m. (Sunday) Iowa time following Iowa State’s recent 48-3 thumping of UNLV, a nugget in the media notes caught my eye. 

“Iowa State won its 14th game as a ranked team since 2017. ISU won only 13 games as a ranked team from 1892-2016.”

Let that sink in … 

That’s insane! 

It’s funny how high expectations change everything. 

Five years ago, any of us would have killed (figuratively of course) for Iowa State football to be in this position. Yet after losing to Iowa, a handful of us jumped off the deep end. 

I was disappointed too. It still feels like Iowa State missed out on a massive opportunity to really catapult this program to another level. 

But still, that statistic cannot be debated. Assuming he stays the course and Iowa State football continues winning, Matt Campbell is likely going to go down as the most important figure in the history of Cyclone athletics. 

Big 12 Picks

Texas Tech @ Texas (-8.5) — As much as I hate to admit it, I think that Texas is probably better than what most people believe right now. The Arkansas loss looks less damaging by the week and (now starter) Casey Thompson was probably the right call at quarterback all along. For what it’s worth, Tech is more formidable than most people believe too. This might be close for a half. Texas 35, Texas Tech 20. 

SMU at TCU (-9.5) — This is always one of my favorite non-con games to watch. I have friends in Dallas who boast about these schools’ hatred for one another. I wish they’d always play this bout on Friday night. TCU 42, SMU 35

Iowa State (-7) at Baylor — Because of the combination of Baylor’s butter soft schedule thus far and Iowa State’s annual slow start / steady climb heading into October, I like the Cyclones in this one. However, I have been warning fans for a month about the tricky “spot” Iowa State is in here. It is a critical contest for the Cyclones though, who get Kansas next week. A 4-1 start would be a nice consolation prize to losing to Iowa. Iowa State 27, Baylor 17.

Kansas at Duke (-16) — Zero chance I watch this game. Duke 35, Kansas 21

Kansas State at Oklahoma State (-6) — I have a lot of thoughts on this game … Oklahoma State is an unimpressive 3-0, but 3-0 nonetheless … I feel like most fans are still expecting the Cowboys to consistently put up 40-plus points per game when in fact, this program plays a lot more like Iowa State now than the Mike Gundy teams of old … Kansas State always demands respect as a road underdog, but I have serious questions about the sustainability of throwing the ball 10 times per game … Feels to me like the Cowboys ride high after a massive road win at Boise last week in another “hold your breath” game for Okie State fans. Oklahoma State 24, Kansas State 13

West Virginia at Oklahoma (-17) — Not that it means anything here, but West Virginia hasn’t covered against the Sooners since 2013. Thanks to Oklahoma’s sluggish start, I would’t bet on this game with Blum’s money. Oklahoma 41, West Virginia 17