Big 12 Week Two Fearless Predictions
Posted Sep 6, 2006

Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Previews and Analysis for Every Game ... Week Two

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

Big 12 Week Two Fearless Predictions, Part 2 | Week One

How'd we do so far? 11-1 straight up, 3-3 ATS

Big 12 Game of the Week

Ohio State (1-0) at Texas (1-0) 8 pm EST ABC Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: It might only be early September, but this might be for the national championship. This is the one the whole college football world has been waiting for ever since these two staged a classic in last year's 25-22 Texas victory that kickstarted the run to the national championship. After moving up in the Coaches' Poll to number two, Texas has put itself in a position to control its own destiny in the national title hunt with, realistically, only a shaky Oklahoma and trips to Nebraska and Texas Tech standing in the way of another championship game. Ohio State is seen as this year's version of the 2005 Longhorns with QB Troy Smith, who was platooned with Justin Zwick in last year's UT showdown, being asked to be another Vince Young. After a dominating 35-12 win over Northern Illinois to start the season, the Buckeyes are still the number one team in the country, but this is the game that needs to cement the spot. Can Mack Brown win a big game without Young? Can Ohio State show that all the defensive losses to the NFL didn't really matter? This should be nothing less than a classic.
Why Ohio State might win: Texas QB Colt McCoy looked terrific against North Texas completing 12 of 19 passes for 178 yards and three touchdowns. Ohio State isn't North Texas. It's one thing to be able to stand around all day and wait for the receivers to come open, but it's another to do it against a fire-breathing defense like OSU's. Everyone can say all they want about how McCoy faces one of the best defenses in the nation every day in practice, but it's just not the same. Texas won last year because of the steady play of Young when things got tight. If all else is dead even, the Buckeyes have a whopping advantage at quarterback. Ohio State knows Troy Smith can pull games out of the fire; Texas hopes McCoy can.
Why Texas might win: The forecast for Austin, Texas for this Saturday: High 98 with isolated thunderstorms. Especially early in the season when everyone's still getting in game shape, there's a huge difference between the heat of Columbus and the hard-to-breathe humidity that should be a factor on Saturday night. Texas will be used to it; Ohio State won't be. The Buckeye defensive back seven will be really good ... in time. As good as NIU RB Garrett Wolfe is, it has to be a concern that the Huskie back was able to tear off 171 rushing yards. The Texas offensive line is far better than NIU's, and Jamaal Charles leads a backfield that's more than good enough to come up with a huge night.
Who to watch: Ohio State can certainly run the ball, but the offense hums at its best when the deep passing game is working. Things got a lot easier for Smith, Ted Ginn and Anthony Gonzalez as Texas will be without starting CB Tarell Brown after the senior was arrested on misdemeanor drug and weapon charges. It's supposed to be Brown's job to handle a much-improved Ginn, and now it might be up to sophomore Ryan Palmer or junior Brandon Foster to handle the work. ... Job one for UT defensive coordinator Gene Chizik will be to stop No. 7. Ginn was always known for being a great do-it-all athlete, and now he has improved his route running and receiver skills to an All-America level. He caught four passes fro 123 yards and two touchdowns against NIU, took two kickoffs for 25 yards, and two punt returns for 44.
What will happen: This is about as dead even as it can get. McCoy is better than many might think, and he'll show just enough poise to make the one or two key throws needed to keep the offense moving. It'll be a physical, hard-hitting game with the two offensive lines controlling the other's defensive front. Texas will get just enough from the running game to pull off the win and move up to number one.
CFN Prediction
Texas 23 ... Ohio State 20 ... Line: Texas  -2
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 5 

Ole Miss (1-0) at Missouri (1-0)  12:30 pm EST  Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: While this won't get much in the way of national attention, this should be one of the more interesting games of the day with the pride of two power conferences on the line. The knock on Missouri under head coach Gary Pinkel has been the program's inability to get through the non-conference schedule unscathed. With New Mexico and Ohio ahead, Ole Miss is the most likely obstacle between the Tigers and a 4-0 start. Considering the way Colorado played in its opener, 5-0 is possible before dealing with Texas Tech. Ole Miss is coming off a good win over Memphis last Sunday. Beating Missouri would easily be the biggest victory in the young Ed Orgeron era and would serve notice that this really will be a dangerous team for the rest of the year.
Why Ole Miss might win: Brent Schaeffer and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Ole Miss went from having one of the nation's worst offenses to having a 1-2 punch good enough to beat most teams thanks to the transfer of Schaeffer from Tennessee and Green-Ellis from Indiana. The former Hoosier ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns against Memphis, while Schaeffer managed the game extremely well making the key plays when needed and keeping the Tiger defense on its heels with is mobility. Missouri still doesn't know quite how good it is after barely breaking a sweat against Murray State, but this Ole Miss team will be as physical as anyone MU will play all year.
Why Missouri might win: The Tigers have a huge advantage up front. The MU offensive line is among the best in the Big 12 with four returning starters from last year including a few All-Big 12 talents. Ole Miss has big problems on the defensive front four with injuries to top ends Chris Bowers and Paria Jerry forcing the coaching staff to scramble to find productive bodies to fill in all along the line. If the Memphis offensive line could shove around the Rebels, the Missouri starting five should have a field day.
Who to watch: Missouri could be the big sleeper in the Big 12 title hunt if QB Chase Daniel keeps improving. He had his way with the Murray State secondary throwing for 320 yards and five touchdowns, and he has to be just as effective this week if the Rebel defensive line really is as troubled as Orgeron is saying it is. Memphis QB Martin Hankins was able to complete 21 of 27 passes on the Ole Miss secondary; Daniel has to be licking his chops.
What will happen: These are two decent teams that should play a hard-hitting, entertaining game. Mizzouri will win on the lines, so Missouri will win on the scoreboard.
CFN Prediction
: Missouri 31 ... Ole Miss 17
... Line: Missouri -8
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ...

Nicholls State
(1-0) at Nebraska (1-0)  1:30 pm EST Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: Nebraska gets in a light scrimmage before making the trip to USC for what could be the game that rockets the Husker program back into the elite of the elite status. Until then, Bill Callahan's boys will try to continue the offensive balance it showed off last week against Louisiana Tech on the way to 584 yards of total offense. Nicholls State tore through Southern Arkansas for an easy 35-0 win and will try to make this remotely interesting for more than a few drives.
Why Nicholls State might win: Turnovers. NSU forced five last week and was able to capitalize on most. Nebraska is almost certain to be less than 100% focused knowing it can sleepwalk through this game and win easily, and with the game in L.A. coming up. If NSU can come up with a few early breaks and generate points off them, it might not be a total slaughter.
Why Nebraska might win: The Colonels were able to shut down the Southern Arkansas offense, but Nebraska has way too many weapons for this not to be ugly. If the passing attack doesn't work, then Marlon Lucky and Cody Glenn should be able to run without a problem. The NSU offense isn't equipped to put up points in bunches.
Who to watch: Everything has to be in place for Nebraska before dealing with the Trojan offensive machine. The defense still has issues in the secondary and is susceptible to the deep ball, but the biggest changes will be made at linebacker after top backup Phillip Dillard was lost for the year with a knee injury. Lance Brandenburgh will be more in the rotation in the middle after moving over from the strongside, while Clayton Sievers will get more work behind Stewart Bradley.
What will happen: Nebraska can call its shot. Expect the backups to get plenty of meaningful work in the second half.
CFN Prediction
Nebraska 52 ... Nicholls State 0 ... Line: No Line
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ...

(1-0) at Oklahoma (1-0)  3:30 pm EST ABC Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: Will the real Oklahoma please stand up? For the second straight year, the Sooners struggled in a home opener with a non-BCS team escaping with a tougher-than-expected 24-17 win over UAB.  The victory exposed deep concerns about QB Paul Thompson’s effectiveness and raised doubts whether Adrian Peterson can physically carry the offense on his back for 12 games.  The defense was surprisingly soft against a post-Darrell Hackney Blazer team, but don’t expect that to be the norm in 2006.  For the first time since 2001, Washington opened the year with a win, but the celebration was short-lived.  The Huskies needed an escape of their own against San Jose State, and last year’s headaches with pass defense don’t look even close to being solved.  An upset in Norman would give Ty Willingham the signature win he’s desperately seeking in Year 2. 
Why Washington might win: The Husky offense was a pleasant surprise in the opener piling up 300 yards on the ground with almost half coming from Louis Rankin.  The Sooner D struggled to contain mobile Blazer backup QB Sam Hunt, who’s not nearly as dangerous in the open field as Washington’s Isaiah Stanback. 
Why Oklahoma might win: The Sooner defense has been called out by coaches and the media this week and should come out roaring.  If they can stop the Husky ground game and force Stanback to beat them through the air, he’ll misfire and turn the ball over.  Washington allowed San Jose State’s Adam Tafralis to go 28-of-35 for 323 yards and three touchdowns, which is exactly the type of secondary Thompson needs to face to get back on track. 
Who to watch
: Considering how the Huskies made San Jose State WR James Jones look like James Lofton last weekend, Oklahoma’s Malcolm Kelly is poised for a career day.  The 6-4 future star had just three grabs for 28 yards Saturday night, but he’ll torch the leaky U-Dub secondary this week. 
What will happen
: Oklahoma’s return to glory isn’t going to happen overnight, but to quiet critics, the Sooners needs a resounding win right now.  They’ll get it behind a fired up defense and, at least for one week, a more balanced offense.
 CFN Prediction: Oklahoma 41 ... Washington 16
... Line: Oklahoma -17
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 2 

(0-1) at Colorado State (1-0) 5 pm EST Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: Neither team is exactly doing backflips over the way the first week of the season went. Colorado State obliterated Weber State 30-6, but it did so without star RB Kyle Bell, who tore up his knee just before the year began. Colorado felt a different sort of pain losing a 19-10 shocker to Montana State to start off the Dan Hawkins era with a resounding thud. The Buffs have lost five straight going back to last year getting outscored 168 to 42 over the slide. Almost all can be forgiven with a win over the Rams in what might be college football's nastiest under-the-radar rivalry. Colorado has won the last three after losing three in a row. The last six games have all been decided by a touchdown or less
Why Colorado might win: Can Colorado State run the ball without Bell? It was able to grind out 149 yards on Weber State, but Colorado's run defense should be able to keep the mediocre Ram backfield from doing much of anything. That means the game will probably be in the hands of QB Caleb Hanie, who has talent, but will throw picks. The Buffs have to force turnovers and take advantage of every one because ...
Why Colorado State might win: ... the Buff offense has miles to go before it's productive on a consistent basis. QB James Cox struggled when he got in late last year, and he was flat-out awful last week completing a mere eight of 22 passes for 110 yards. The Rams appear to have a different attitude on defense this year looking to be tougher and more aggressive against the run. Take away the Colorado running game, and you take away the offense.
Who to watch: Buffs fans are itching to see what mutli-talented backup quarterback Bernard Jackson can do. He appeared to be ready to come into the MSU game late, but a turnover prevented it from happening. If Cox starts out like he did against the Bobcats, the Jackson era might begin. ... For Colorado State, the loss of Bell meant several backs got turns at bat. UCLA transfer and former defensive player Nnamdi Ohaeri, Michael Myers and Michael Johnson were able to combine for 111 yards against Weber State and all have to get in the mix against the Buffs. It would be nice if one could get hot and be the main man, but that's not likely to happen.
What will happen: Colorado isn't that bad, is it? The Buff offense will struggle, but the defense will make up for the problems by forcing several mistakes. This will be when CU's All-America placekicker shows off just how good he is.
CFN Prediction
: Colorado 22 ... Colorado State 20
... Line: Colorado State -2
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 2.5 

(1-0) at Iowa State (1-0)  7 pm EST Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: If this is anything like last week's Iowa State three overtime win over Toledo, it could be the best game of the weekend. The Cyclones got off to a rocky start showing no pass defense and not enough offense until late needing a dropped two point conversion to seal the win. A week before the rivalry showdown with Iowa, ISU has to face the Mountain West's top wild card. UNLV got a big-time infusion of talent this off-season with several great players coming in from the JUCO ranks. After blowing up Idaho State 54-10, Mike Sanford and his spread offense should provide a huge test for a Cyclone team that needs this win with Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas Tech coming up in the next six weeks.
Why UNLV might win: Clint Cochran. The Toledo quarterback lit up the Cyclone secondary like a Christmas tree completing 39 of 49 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. If things haven't dramatically changed over the last week, UNLV's new star, QB Rocky Hinds, should go nuts. The former USC Trojan threw for 322 yards and a touchdown and ran for 42 yards and a score against Idaho State showing a great command of the offense and spreading the ball around well. If this gets into a shootout, UNLV has the weapons.
Why Iowa State might win: Can the Rebels get any pressure on Iowa State's Bret Meyer? The Cyclone quarterback was terrific against Toledo running for 70 yards and three touchdowns and throwing for 234 yards and two scores. He's a veteran leader who is deadly when he gets time and room to operate. UNLV got four sacks on Idaho State QB Matt Gutierrez, but the pass rush should be an issue against the better offensive lines. Meyer's mobility will give the Rebels fits.
Who to watch: The quarterbacks will take center stage, but they have to throw to someone. UNLV Ryan Wolfe set a school-record for a freshman with 160 yards and a touchdown on six catches last week, and he's not even close to being the team's most talented receiver. JUCO transfer Aaron Straiten only caught two passes for 15 yards against Idaho State, but he'll eventually blow up and put up huge numbers. Iowa State's top target, Todd Blythe, wasn't great for most of the night against Toledo, but he was great when he had to be catching two touchdown passes including what turned out to be the game-winner in overtime. Former USC Trojan and top Rebel corner Eric Wright will see plenty of time against the Cyclone junior.
What will happen: It'll be a shock if the two teams don't combine for over 600 passing yards. Even through UNLV's Erick Jackson is a dangerous runner, Iowa State's ground game with Stevie Hicks and Bret Meyer will be enough to pull out another wild Cyclone home game.
CFN Prediction
Iowa State 38 ... UNLV 28 ... Line: Iowa State -14
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 2.5 

Big 12 Week Two Fearless Predictions, Part 2