2010 Big 12 Fearless Picks - Nov 13 TT-OU
Texas Tech QB Taylor Potts
Texas Tech QB Taylor Potts
Posted Nov 11, 2010

Fearless Predictions for every Big 12 game, Nov. 13, Part 2

2010 Big 12 Fearless Predictions

Week 11 ... Nov. 13, Part 2

Big 12
Colorado | Iowa St | Kansas | Kansas State | Missouri | Nebraska
South Baylor | Oklahoma | Oklahoma State | Texas | Texas A&M | Texas Tech

- Nov. 13 (Oklahoma State-Texas)

Kansas (3-6) at Nebraska (8-1) Nov. 13, 7:00

Here's The Deal … Both teams played improbable games last week for a variety of reasons. Kansas came up with 35 points in the fourth quarter as Colorado choked, lost, and fired its head coach. Was it the catalyst to turn things around for a woeful Jayhawk team that managed just 40 points over the previous four games? If not, it was a heck of the way to end the season with Oklahoma State and a trip to Missouri to close things out after this week's date in Lincoln. The offense hadn't done much all year, and the defense has been miserable, but this has been a team that comes up with interesting performances out of nowhere, okay, two, beating Georgia Tech early this year, but now KU has to use the Buff win as a catalyst. Meanwhile, the Huskers overcame a bad game and a great outing from Iowa State to survive in overtime, and now they're two games away from playing for the Big 12 title. With a trip to Texas A&M up next and the Colorado game on Thanksgiving weekend, there's still time to win the North with a gag this weekend, but it'll take a special type of meltdown for Nebraska to lose. The Huskers had won 36 in a row in the series from 1969 up until 2004, and they're back on track winning the matchup the last two seasons.
Why Kansas Might Win: How did Iowa State come so close to pulling off the monster upset last week? It helped that Taylor Martinez was out, but KU can't rely on that. The offense was able to keep the chains moving connecting on several key third down plays, while the offense got just enough out of the running game to balance out, at least a little bit, the passing of Austen Arnaud. KU's offense has to stay on the field, and while Nebraska can hit the home run at any time, and time of possession won't really matter, moving the chains is a must. The KU defense might be a disaster, but it managed to keep the Georgia Tech ground game to a semi-manageable 291 yards and two touchdowns with a great-gang tackling effort from Steven Johnson and the linebackers. KU kept Yellow Jacket QB Josh Nesbitt to 33 rushing yards, and it'll have to take away Martinez first.
Why Nebraska Might Win: The Georgia Tech game was a complete and utter aberration. The Jayhawk run defense has been awful thanks to a defensive line that doesn't generate any pressure whatsoever and allows way too many yards in chunks. Colorado's Rodney Stewart ran for 175 yards and three touchdowns last week, Iowa State's Alexander Robinson ran for 117 yards, and Texas A&M's Cyrus Gray ran for 117 over the last three weeks. The KU back seven is decent at swarming around the ball down the field, but they also aren't athletic enough to avoid getting gashes when Martinez and Roy Helu fly through the holes and openings. Pencil in Nebraska for at least 300 rushing yards, and give the Nebraska defense at least four takeaways. To win, KU will have to win the turnover margin by ten miles, but it has only come up with eight takeaways on the year. Only Cincinnati has forced fewer turnovers.
What To Watch Out For: Martinez missed the Iowa State game with an ankle injury, but he's expected to go. For Kansas, the comeback against Colorado was helped by the sharp game from Quinn Mecham, who completed 23-of-28 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns and two picks, and he ran for 20 yards as he made every throw needed when the chances were there. Also coming up with a breakout performance was James Sims, who ran for 123 yards and four touchdowns with a dominant fourth quarter. The tough JUCO transfer has run for scores in three games this year with on against Georgia Tech, two against New Mexico State, and four last weeks. KU is 3-0 when he has rushed for a touchdown and 0-6 when he doesn't.
What Will Happen: At least last week was fun. The joy of the Colorado game will disappear on Nebraska's opening drive of the game as Martinez and Helu each run for over 100 yards in the easy win.
CFN Prediction: Nebraska 52 … Kansas 13 … Line: Kansas -35
Must See Rating: The Best That Never Was: The Marcus Dupree Story – 5 … Conan -1 … 2
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Texas Tech (5-4) at Oklahoma (7-2) Nov. 13, 3:30, ABC

Here's The Deal … After getting blown away by Texas Tech 41-13 last year, and after a sloppy performance in last week's loss to Texas Tech, this might be the type of game when the Sooners play like they're supposed to and blow up an inferior opponent. But can they wake up in time to take the South? With Texas deciding to take the season off, the field has been wide open with the division there for the taking, but OU can't find any consistency and now needs to win out and get a little bit of help to play for the title. Considering what a mediocre team this is away from home, it has to take advantage of the final home game of the year before going to Baylor and Oklahoma State to close up, but with wins in the final three games, and a loss from A&M, it'll be back to the Big 12 title game again after a year off. For Texas Tech, a win over the Sooners would be another huge step in the right direction after coming up with a desperately needed victory over Missouri. With Weber State on tap next week, getting the sixth win for bowl eligibility won't be a problem, but this is the final Big 12 game of the year before closing out with the FCSer and Houston. The Tommy Tuberville era can make a big statement with a great November.
Why Texas Tech Might Win: Oklahoma is just as prone to be sloppy and inconsistent as it is to be the sharp, explosive version that blow away Florida State. The Red Raiders might have the Big 12's worst defense, but it came through with a terrific effort, especially in the secondary, last week against Missouri, while the running game was surprisingly physical. Basically, Tech went away from type, but it can still throw the ball with anyone and has a strong enough run defense to keep DeMarco Murray and the OU ground game under wraps. The pass rush has been good enough all year long to provide steady and constant pressure, and while Landry Jones doesn't panic, he needs time to let the downfield routes work. Jones will have to get the ball out of his hands in a hurry.
Why Oklahoma Might Win: Tech's win over Missouri was an aberration. Missouri's tremendous passing attack simply didn't work, cranking out just 95 yards, but that was a week after Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill bombed away for a school-record 449 yards and four touchdowns. Before the Tiger win, Tech allowed 336 yards or more in its previous four games, and with a banged up secondary that will be missing starting corner D.J. Johnson to a hamstring problem, Landry Jones should have no problem coming up with a big game. OU isn't going to help out the Red Raiders with any mistakes, giving the ball away just nine times this year, and just four teams have lost fewer fumbles.
What To Watch Out For: In last year's loss, OU WR Ryan Broyles caught seven passes for 117 yards and a touchdown as one of the only silver linings in an otherwise dismal game. That performance kicked off a run of seven straight 100-yard games before being held to 36 yards by Texas, but he bounced back to crank out another three 100yard games including a 208-yard, three touchdown game against Colorado. Last week's 8-catch, 59-yard performance against A&M was a major disappointment, and now he should be ready to get back on track. The nation's leading receiver is in a battle with Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon to win the Biletnikoff Award, and while he might not be as dynamic, he's rock-steady.
What Will Happen: It's Oklahoma back at home after a loss. The Sooners will gear up the attack in a big performance, and the defense will keep the Red Raider offense from keeping up the pace with several big stops in the backfield. Tech will end up playing both Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield, and while the yardage stats will be there, the points won't follow.
CFN Prediction: Oklahoma 34 … Texas Tech 17 … Line: Oklahoma -15
Must See Rating: The Best That Never Was: The Marcus Dupree Story – 5 … Conan -1 … 3
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Texas A&M (6-3) at Baylor (7-3) Nov. 13, 7:00, FSN

Here's The Deal … Last week the question was whether or not Baylor was worthy of being in the Big 12 title hunt. A 55-28 blowout loss to Oklahoma State later, and the answer was a resounding no. However, this is still a very good, very dangerous team that's good enough to make more noise in the race and isn't eliminated yet. If the Bears can beat Texas A&M and Oklahoma in the next two weeks, and with a little help from some Oklahoma State losses, they can still end up going to the Big 12 title game. For now, beating A&M and solidifying a good bowl position is most important, and at the very least, winning out still keep hope for a ten-win season alive. The Aggies are in the same position, as they don't control their own destiny after impressive home wins over Texas Tech and Oklahoma, but they're in the hunt if they can win out against Baylor, Nebraska, and Texas. The offense has perked up since the insertion of Ryan Tannehill as the starting quarterback, and now A&M went from floundering and fighting just to stay alive, to being a major player. Baylor has come up with a few wins over the Aggies the last six years, but this is among the league's most one-sided series with A&M going 21-2-1 since 1985.
Why Texas A&M Might Win: The run defense has been terrific. Granted, it's because everyone is throwing at will, but the defensive front has been terrific so far giving up a Big 12-leading 92 yards per game. Baylor can throw well, with Robert Griffin coming up with a special season, but the offense is at its best when Jay Finley is running without a problem and carrying the offense, while Griffin does his thing on key plays and third downs. On the defensive side, the Baylor secondary isn't anything special, and was exposed by the Oklahoma State passing attack last week. The Bears have faced three ultra-efficient, ultra-effective passing teams so far, TCU, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State, and lost all three games. A&M is ninth in the nation in passing offense with the receivers to break the game open at any time.
Why Baylor Might Win: The offensive line has been terrific. The Aggie defense feeds off the pass rush and the play in the backfield, but Baylor's offensive front, combined with the warp-speed of Griffin, has been able to keep the sacks to a minimum. On the other side, the A&M offensive line gives up sacks in bunches, and while it hasn't proven to be too costly over the last few weeks, the chances will be there for BU to get to Tannehill on a regular basis to help out the questionable secondary. A&M has yet to face a team with a mobile quarterback, much less one who can move like Griffin. Used to dealing with relative statues like Ryan Mallett, Landry Jones, and Taylor Potts, it's going to be a whole different ballgame facing Griffin.
What To Watch Out For: While the emergence of Tannehill has garnered all the headlines, the play of Cyrus Gray has been almost as big. With Christine Michael out for the year with a broken leg, the 5-10, 196-pound was a star recruit of 2008 and is now showing why with three straight 100-yard games with four touchdowns including a season-high 122-yard, one score game against Oklahoma last week. His came up with 107 yards last year against the Bears, and he'll get fed early on this week to see if he can pop any big runs like the Oklahoma State runners were able to last week.
What Will Happen: This could be the weekend's most entertaining game. Both offenses will rip the opposing defense to a pulp with each passing game rolling for over 250 yards and with the two teams combining for at least 900 yards. As strong as Baylor might be, the defense isn't nearly as good as A&M's, and that will be the difference on two key drives late in the game. Eventually, the Aggie defensive front will beat the Baylor offensive line to turn the tide of the game.
CFN Prediction: Texas A&M 40 … Baylor 34 … Line: Texas A&M -2
Must See Rating: The Best That Never Was: The Marcus Dupree Story – 5 … Conan -1 … 4
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- Nov. 6 (Baylor-Oklahoma State)