Week 14 - Baylor at TCU

Posted Nov 27, 2013

Week 14 Fearless Prediction & Preview - Baylor at TCU

Baylor (9-1) at TCU (4-7) Nov. 30 3:30, ESPN2

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Baylor can't give up now. The national title probably wasn't on the table anyway – the Bears needed too much help to get to the BCS championship, but the Fiesta Bowl is still a possibility if Oklahoma can tag Oklahoma State in the Bedlam series. Is an at-large BCS bid a possibility? Probably not, but the Bears can make a big push by winning out with Texas next week.

There's still a lot of fun to be had for BU with a good bowl bid coming no matter what, but this is it for TCU in a tremendously disappointing year. The Horned Frogs were never quite right from the start with key injuries and mediocre offensive performance a problem, and then the wheels totally came off over the second half losing four of the last five games. Being competitive hasn't been a problem with four of the losses – Texas Tech, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Kansas State – that could've gone the other way, but it's still a losing season for a program that knows BCS-level success. To go cliché, this is TCU's bowl game.

Why Baylor Might Win: TCU just doesn't have the offense to keep up the pace. The ground game isn't able to control games, and the passing game doesn't have nearly enough pop or effectiveness down the field. While the defense has been solid, the offense doesn't put up points in bunches. The passing attack is inefficient and the running game isn't balancing things out. How much worse has the Horned Frog offense been than Baylor's? The Bear O is averaging almost twice as many yards per game as TCU's.

Why TCU Might Win: The Horned Frog defense is doing its part against the deep ball. It doesn't help that star defensive back Jason Verrett is hurting with a shoulder injury, and other key parts of the Horned Frog secondary puzzle are banged up, but the pass defense has held up relatively well with 18 picks to offset the 12 touchdowns allowed. The bigger question could be Baylor's head – is it going to be jacked up after the nationally televised embarrassment against Oklahoma State? This is a beaten up and battered team that might finally be feeling the effects of key personnel losses. TCU could play with a slightly bigger edge considering this is the last game of the year.

Who To Watch Out For: Is there any way possible Bryce Petty can get back into the Heisman chase? He can't win it, but if voters don't go for Jameis Winston, and if AJ McCarron and Johnny Manziel don't seem appealing, Petty's numbers are still going to be remarkable. As disastrous as the Oklahoma State game was, he still threw for 359 yards and two touchdowns with no picks, and on the year he still has just one interception to go along with his ten rushing touchdowns. If he rocks and rolls over his final two games, he could still end up in the top three on most ballots.

What Will Happen: Baylor will get back on the horse. The TCU defense will be just stingy enough to keep this from being a total and complete wipeout, but the Horned Frog offense won't be able to keep up the early pace. Baylor will make amends for last week.

Prediction: Baylor 41 … TCU 20
Line: Baylor -12.5 o/u: 63.5
Must See Rating: (5 American Hustle – 1 The Sound of Music Live!) … 3
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