Hyped as a star replacement for the great Vince Young, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy looked the part in his first season. Then McCoy suffered a sophomore slump. All of his statistics dropped and his interceptions soared. He threw 18 picks against 22 touchdowns. Well, McCoy's back and better than ever, both as a passer and runner. He abused the overmatched defenses in his first three games, averaging 10.3 yards per attempt and throwing 11 touchdowns and just one interception.
McCoy, who faces Arkansas on Saturday, no longer is working in the shadow of star Big 12 quarterbacks Chase Daniel, Todd Reesing, Sam Bradford and Graham Harrell. Selecting first-team and second-team quarterbacks in the Big 12 this year will be an interesting exercise.
This week's football picks:
Nebraska 31, Virginia Tech 17: New Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini already has improved Nebraska's defense. Pelini hasn't brought back the black shirts because he says the players haven't earned them yet, but the Huskers do have nine sacks already. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech has a passing attack from another century, averaging 99 passing yards per game.
Texas A&M 23, Army 7: Mike Sherman's Aggies have an opportunity to build confidence against an Army team that has averaged 90.3 yards passing and 6.7 points per game.
Oklahoma State 31, Troy 24: Since joining the ranks of Division I-A in 2001, Troy has upset MIssissippi State, Missouri and Oklahoma State. A player from Troy has been selected in the first round of the NFL draft twice in the past four years (Demarcus Ware in 2005, Leotis McKelvin in 2008). Never an easy out, Troy is coming off a 28-10 loss to Ohio State and has a late-season matchup against LSU. Still, with so much speed on offense and a chance to crack into the Top 25 as extra motivation, don't look for Oklahoma State to lose this one. The Cowboys average 334 rushing yards a game.
North Carolina State 31, South Florida 30: Other than for half of the last-second victory against Kansas, South Florida hasn't looked great this season, particularly on the road. Shaky road victories against Central Florida and Florida International don't bode well for South Florida's chances on the road against a North Carolina State team coming off of a victory against ranked East Carolina.
Notre Dame 28, Purdue 27: The Boilermakers have only three names in the pro football Hall of Fame, but they are three pretty good ones: Len Dawson, Bob Griese, Hank Stram. This one's a pick 'em, more an indication that Notre Dame has come back to the pack than anything else.
UConn 34, Louisville 31: Coming off a victory over Kansas State that felt like it was by more than a nine-point margin, Louisville is favored here. With a road upset that would preserve its undefeated record, UConn could crack the top 25.
Congratulations to David Funke of Manhattan, who was the Week 4 winner in the Kream Keegan contest. Funke correctly predicted all six winners and was the closest to KU's rushing total on Saturday (KU had 161 rushing yards; he guessed 156 rushing yards). Will you be this week's winner? Sign up using the entry form below.
(The contest is currently closed. Good luck to all who entered.)