September 3, 2022; Waco, TX, USA; Baylor Bears quarterback Blake Shapen (12) celebrates a touchdown against the Albany Great Danes during the second quarter at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron – USA TODAY Sports
Chris Williams, publisher – Iowa State 27, Baylor 20
Iowa State hasn’t lost a conference home game since the year 2019. On top of that, Iowa State was just better during the non-con than the defending champion Big 12 Bears. I’m not too confident. These teams are incredibly even and every power rating you can get your hands on indicates that. If Iowa State can slow Baylor’s rushing offense and not make too many stupid mistakes, the Cyclones will get their first 4-0 start since Y2K.
Jared Stansbury, Editor – Iowa State 24, Baylor 21
I’m not sure these two teams can feel any closer than they did before this one. Baylor has a bit of youth in the defensive secondary, which bodes well for Hunter Dekkers and Xavier Hutchinson. The Cyclones will have to stop the run and avoid giving up big plays defensively. This one will be exciting until the last moments.
Connor Ferguson, Personal Writer – Iowa State 24, Baylor 17
I had the luxury of putting my pick here last and noticed the higher point totals everyone went with. There’s reason to believe this will be a lower-scoring game – both teams are solid on the defensive side of football and I think the defensive units will challenge those offenses in a meaningful way on Saturday. What prevents me from going in this direction is the number of points scored in this series in recent seasons. Goofy stuff seems to happen in all of these matchups and Saturday may not differ from that. I will take Iowa State in a one score game, as long as they don’t do anything to fight.
Jay Jordan, Football Analyst – Iowa State 23, Baylor 21
Baylor’s running game poses a significant threat to ISU D. Baylor D will always be strong. It looks like a back-and-forth affair that will be close throughout. The line is right on this one. Picking the nice guys until they show they can’t hang around with anyone.
Jeff Woody, football analyst – Iowa State 30, Baylor 28
Last year, Iowa State was the best team on offense and defense. But Baylor yelled at the ISU on the special teams, with the kickoff return touchdown and a big punt return to set up the eventual game-winner making the difference. So far, the ISU has been resilient once they’ve done stupid stuff on special teams, but they seem to be doing that stupid stuff all too often still. Something weird is happening on special teams, but Iowa State is able to withstand it, Dekkers stays sharp, and the defense continues to force turnovers.