Zane Douglas, sports editor (4-2)
Iowa State 17, Baylor 10
This game will be closer than the records indicate.
Baylor has a solid defense, and while Iowa State's defense will have a pretty easy time getting to the quarterback, I'm not sure Iowa State's receivers and offensive line can give junior quarterback Brock Purdy a clean game.
Sophomore running back Breece Hall will have his way with the Bears like he has with any other team, but the offense will still have some trouble in the aerial attack.
Look for Baylor's defense to show up and make this game pretty close.
Matt Belinson, assistant sports editor (3-3)
Iowa State 27, Baylor 21
Everything looks easy for a team when they play Kansas, and Iowa State kept that trend alive last Saturday in a 52-22 beatdown of the Jayhawks.
Baylor may hold a 1-3 record in Big 12 play, but no matter the season, the Bears always put up a close fight with the Cyclones.
Last year when the Bears were the top-dog in the Big 12, Iowa State was on the verge of a blowout until a last ditch effort in the 4th quarter to make the final score seem close. But this year's Bears aren't that team.
I think Baylor's defense, particularly its pass rush, will present challenges for the Cyclones' shuffling offensive line, but in the end, I think Iowa State's defense will be the one to put it over the top.
Surprise, surprise, Iowa State's defense will be the key factor in a win again.
I expect a four sack performance from the defense and possibly a turnover or two against a Baylor offense that lacks veteran playmakers and overall skill.
Stephen McDaniel, assistant sports editor (4-2)
Iowa State 31, Baylor 17
Look, the 2019 Big 12 Championship contender Baylor team and the 2020 Baylor team are two different teams. Are the Bears still talented? Yes. But do I still see them as a Big 12 contender? No.
So far this season, Baylor has struggled against teams that are in the middle of the pack to some top-half Big 12 teams. Its lone win this season was against a still winless Kansas team.
Games have been close, and there’s a lot to talk about with the game last year, but what I’m focusing on is the lack of Breece Hall from 2019.
Forget Big 12 — Hall is one of the nation’s best running backs, and Hall himself has said he thinks he's the best back in college football. This will be the first time Baylor gets to meet Hall, and I just don’t see Baylor stopping one of the best backs in the country.
This game won’t be a cake walk for Iowa State, but I see the Cyclones leaving Jack Trice Stadium with the win.
Zach Martin, columnist (3-2)
Iowa State 35, Baylor 14
Did you miss me?
No, I didn't skip last week's pick because of anything COVID-19 related. I would've still made a selection from my bed.
Rather, I was covering the high school state cross country meet in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and a high school football game. Those stories were far better than any column I would've written on Iowa State's beatdown of Kansas.
I'm back and ready to make a pick in a game that shouldn't be close. So I'll keep my section pretty brief.
Is Breece Hall playing? Is it a night game at Jack Trice Stadium? Are the Cyclones wearing the all-black uniforms, also known as the cleanest uniforms in Division I?
Since all those are a proverbial yes, then the 17th-ranked team in the nation should cruise into the third and final bye week.
Gabby Lucas, managing editor
Baylor 30, Iowa State 10
I know absolutely nothing about football, but I do know a thing or two about bears.
If the Baylor Bears are anything like their namesake, then frankly, we're screwed. Bears are some of the most ruthless animals out there, and while I don't really know what kind of bears the Baylor Bears claim to be, I know any bear could easily outrun a cyclone.
Cyclones are devastating when they do happen, but think about how many tornado warnings you've sat through versus how many actual tornadoes you've seen. They're usually just a glorified thunderstorm with a little extra wind, and odds are you probably aren't afraid of them. Everyone should be afraid of bears.
One of the only ways to get yourself out of a grizzly bear attack is to straight-up just play dead — which is not only difficult to do convincingly, but also kind of degrading. Instead of attempting to fight back or flee, a person's best bet to survival is to just cower in fear — and I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound good for our team or school's image.
Don't even get me started on facing a black bear, because your best option of surviving one of their attacks is to make as much noise as possible to scare it away. Imagine having to intimidate a bear? No thank you.
I could go on, but bottom line, I don't think any of us would stand a chance against some bears — even our football team. Sorry, guys.