College Football Picks: Oklahoma St. Will Avoid Trap at Iowa State

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, November 12, 2015 1:00 AM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 1:00 AM UTC

Forgive unbeaten Oklahoma State if it looks past a terrible Iowa State team on Saturday in Ames as the Cowboys have huge games with Baylor and Oklahoma following. OSU is -14 on Pinnacle's college football odds with a total of 63 points.

Pokes May Need Help For Playoff
Oklahoma State (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) could win out and still not make the College Football Playoff. The Cowboys are No. 5 in both polls this week but were eighth in the second CFP rankings -- the lowest of any Power 5 unbeaten team. That is a jump of six spots from last week but still behind one-loss teams Alabama (No. 2), Notre Dame (No. 4) and Stanford (No. 7).

One thing working in OSU's favor is those two tough games against No. 6 Baylor and No. 12 Oklahoma following Saturday's matchup. Plus Notre Dame and Stanford still play each other. But if No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Ohio State and the Irish all win out, it's tough to see the Pokes getting into the top four.

The Cowboys certainly have one of the most impressive wins of any team this season as they crushed previously unbeaten and No. 5 TCU 49-29 last week in Stillwater, ending the Frogs' national title hopes and the Heisman chances of QB Trevone Boykin. Mason Rudolph passed for 352 yards and five touchdowns (J.W. Walsh, the other QB the team uses in a dual system, had only three attempts), and James Washington caught five passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns for the Cowboys. It was Washington's third straight game with at least 100 yards.

It was the fifth time since 2008 that OSU beat a team ranked in the Top 10 of the AP  poll and it's only the third time in school history the team is 9-0. Oklahoma State's 11-game winning streak dating to last season is the second-longest in school history (13 from 1944-46).

On defense, OSU has one of the nation's best players in end Emmanuel Ogbah, who will be a very high NFL draft pick. The All-American and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year favorite leads the Big 12 with nine sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. Oklahoma State ranks third nationally in sacks, sixth nationally in tackles for loss and fourth nationally in turnovers gained. In the last three games, Oklahoma State holds a 9-1 turnover advantage over its opponents.

OSU is 6-3 against the spread on college football odds and 5-4 'over/under.

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Another Losing Season In Ames
Iowa State (3-6, 2-4) will miss a bowl game for a third straight season and Coach Paul Rhoads, who has already changed offensive coordinators this season, isn't expected back next year. The Cyclones did upset Texas on Halloween but lost at Oklahoma 52-16 last Saturday. The Sooners led 21-3 after one quarter and it was over. ISU was held to just 114 rushing yards on 38 carries. Joel Lanning went 26-for-51 for 260 yards and one touchdown in his second career start.  Allen Lazard had eight catches for 101 yards.

One bright spot this season for ISU is running back Mike Warren, who leads all freshman rushers nationally with 997 yards. He needs three yards to become the 13th Cyclone to break the 1,000-yard barrier. He will become the first Cyclone freshman and just the seventh Big 12 rookie to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.

ISU’s six losses this season are to teams with a combined 45-8 record and its schedule is rated as the toughest in the nation according to the Sagarin rankings. This is Iowa State's final home game so it's Senior Day. The Cyclones are 3-3 on Senior Day under Rhoads. They are 4-4-1 ATS on college football picks this season and 2-6-1 O/U.

Expect Rhoads to show his players film from 2011 when Iowa State hosted unbeaten and No. 2 Oklahoma State. The Cowboys lost 37-31 in double overtime. They would recover to win their first and only Big 12 championship but it cost them a spot in the BCS Championship Game.


Last Meeting
Oklahoma State, then ranked No. 21 in the AP poll, beat visiting Iowa State early last October 37-20. It was only 6-6 late in the second quarter after OSU tied it on a field goal in the final minute. ISU fumbled the kickoff and the Pokes recovered. On the final play of the first half, Desmond Roland was ruled stopped short of the goal  line on a 2-yard run as time expired. But it was reviewed and overturned to give OSU a 13-6 lead. Then the Cowboys returned the opening  kickoff of the second half 97 yards for a touchdown and that was largely that. Daxx Garman was the OSU QB then and threw for 271 yards, a TD and two picks. Roland rushed 19 times for 95 yards and two scores. Sam Richardson, who had started much of this season, was 17-for-39 for 200 yards with two scores for the Cyclones. E.J. Bibbs caught both scores. As for games in Ames, OSU is 12-12-1 all-time.

College Football Picks: Coach Mike Gundy will make sure his guys are focused for this game. Give the points -- hoping for 13.5 -- and go 'under' at Pinnacle. OSU is 5-1 ATS in its past six road games. Iowa State has failed to cover its past seven at home vs. teams with a winning road record. The Cowboys are 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The 'under' is 4-1 in the past five. The 'under' is 9-0 in ISU's past nine after a loss. 

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