Posted by Tom Fornelli
IOWA STATE WILL WIN IF: It plays the game of its season. Though don't think that it's not possible, even if it does sound totally crazy. There are a few factors at play here. First of all, this is the last game on Oklahoma State's schedule before Bedlam, and it wouldn't be the first time a football team got caught looking ahead. Second of all, Iowa State was off last weekend, so it has had an extra week to prepare. The question is will that extra week be enough for the Iowa State defense to figure out how to stop the juggernaut that is the Oklahoma State offense. Well, this Cyclones defense isn't terrible. It's only allowing 392.2 yards per game at home this season, but it's also allowed 28 points per game in those contests. It also hasn't faced an offense of this caliber, so Paul Rhoads' team is going to have its hands full.
OKLAHOMA STATE WILL WIN IF: It gets its mind off of Oklahoma and a national championship and focuses on the task at hand. On paper this Cowboys team is simply better than Iowa State and can overmatch it. Pushing things further in Oklahoma State's favor is the turnover battle. We all know that Oklahoma State has forced more turnovers (34) than any team in the country. Well, do you know which team in the Big 12 has turned the ball over the most? Yep, Iowa State, which has 23 turnovers, or 2.56 turnovers per game. If that continues on Saturday in Ames then Oklahoma State shouldn't have much trouble with the Cyclones.
X-FACTOR: Jared Barnett. Since the freshman quarterback took the starting job from Steele Jantz, he's played reasonably well. He hasn't done a lot of damage with his arm, as he's completing only 49% of his passes and has 1 touchdown pass in three games. What Barnett has done well, however, is use his legs. In his three starts Barnett has averaged 94.33 yards rushing per game. The toughest time the Oklahoma State defense had this season was a few weeks ago against Kansas State and Collin Klein -- a quarterback who is much more dangerous on the ground than through the air. If Barnett and the Cyclones can take a page from Kansas State's book in that contest, it may make this game a lot more interesting than anyone expects it to be.