Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Week 5
Posted Sep 22, 2006

Preview and predictions for the week five Big 12 games

Big 12
North Colorado | Iowa St | Kansas | Kansas State | Missouri | Nebraska
South Baylor | Oklahoma | Oklahoma State | Texas | Texas A&M | Texas Tech
Past Big 12 Predictions: Week One |
Week Two | Week Three | Week Four

How'd we do so far? 32-4 straight up, 11-17-2 ATS 

Week Five Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Part 2 | Get Tickets for These Games

Big 12 Game of the Week

Texas Tech (2-1) at Texas A&M (4-0)  3:30 PM EST ABC Saturday September 30th
Why to Watch: Here we go with part one of the Big 12 South pecking order being determined. If you believe that Texas and Oklahoma are in one tier and Oklahoma State and Baylor are on the bottom tier, then this game will probably figure out the number three team in the mix when all is said and done. Don't tell that to these two teams, who truly believe they have a shot to win the Big 12 title if everything breaks the right way. For Texas A&M, this is the first real chance to play a decent team and is one of the only hurdles, Missouri being the other, to get over for a 9-0 start before dealing with Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas. Citadel, UL Lafayette, Army and Louisiana Tech aren't going to scare anyone, but those four games were what the team needed for a bit of a confidence boost after last year's disaster. Texas Tech is still a work in progress after struggling to beat UTEP and getting shut down cold by TCU before taking target practice against poor SE Louisiana. This is the start of a rough stretch playing three road games in four weeks with the one home date coming against Missouri. After this, it's Texas in Lubbock.
Why Texas Tech Might Win: Oh sure, Texas A&M's pass defense is ranked sixth in the nation allowing just 127.5 yards per game, but can it really be that much better than last year when it was the worst in the country? The Aggies haven't faced anyone who knows how to throw the forward pass, so this game might be a major jolt after the way the last four weeks started. While the A&M defensive front has been solid, it's not full of natural pass rushers. Don't expect a steady stream of hits on Red Raider QB Graham Harrell.
Why Texas A&M Might Win: The Tech run defense is still a bit of a mystery. It was fine against the mediocre ground games it faced so far, but it gave up 180 yards against TCU. The Aggie ground game has more weapons than it knows what to do with thanks to a loaded backfield full of talent and a quarterback in Stephen McGee who's just as capable of tearing off a 100-yard rushing day as he is throwing for 200 yards. If the Aggie front five can control the clock and keep the chains moving, the Red Raider offense can't do nearly as much damage. This isn't the explosive attack of old; it needs the ball as much as possible.
Who to Watch: McGee has been great so far leading the Aggies, and now he needs a big win to take his status to another level. Known mostly for an 108-yard rushing day in the loss to Texas last year, he has taken the starting job by the horns this season completing nearly 70% of his throws with six touchdown passes and no interceptions. He's not going to outpass Harrell, but he needs to be more efficient and has to make fewer mistakes. Harrell has been better than he's being given credit for. A lousy performance against TCU has overshadowed great games against SMU and UTEP, and a 20 of 29, 245-yard, four touchdown first half against SE Louisiana should make him as ready as he'll ever be.
What Will Happen: It should be interesting. A&M will have too much balance for the Red Raider defense, while the Aggie D will force just enough mistakes to come away with the big win.
CFN Prediction
: Texas A&M 31 ... Texas Tech 23 ... Line: Pick
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) ...

Colorado (0-4) at Missouri (4-0)  12:30 PM EST  Saturday September 30th
Why to Watch: While the two teams are going in totally different directions, the Big 12 opener is a chance for Missouri to truly prove that it belongs in the conference title discussion, while Colorado has a chance to turn things around in a big hurry. The Buffaloes have lost eight straight and are coming off a painful, last-minute loss at Georgia, and now it has a chance to put the past behind them and make a statement in their North title defense. Missouri has crushed and killed over the first four games, but it hasn't had to play anyone with a pulse. Colorado might be 0-4, but after the way it played in Athens, it's a strong 0-4.
Why Colorado Might Win: Defense. Colorado has been fantastic against the run so far highlighted by a brilliant day against Georgia holding its NFL caliber backfield to just 54 yards. Missouri has shown nice balance so far and will get its share of yards though the air, but it needs to establish the ground game early on to open things up. Georgia wasn't able to make Colorado respect the pass and it was in for a dog fight.
Why Missouri Might Win: Colorado's offense found a slight spark of life last week, but it's still 115th in the nation in scoring averaging a mere nine yards per game. Considering that Montana State, Colorado State, and Arizona State aren't exactly brick walls on D, the Buff problems look that much worse. Now CU faces a defense ranking number one in the nation allowing just 175 yards per game and is stopping opposing ground games cold. Ohio's Kalvin McRae managed just 25 yards, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis of Ole Miss ran for 69. This isn't going to be the day the CU offense finally gets on track.
Who to Watch: Colorado might have lost to Georgia, but it marked the first time all year that junior QB Bernard Jackson played like a D-I signal caller rushing for 85 yards and a touchdown and throwing for 140. Even though he's far from a finished product as a passer and didn't get much of anything going deep, he showed he can make a few plays when on the move. His main target so far has been freshman Riar Geer, who exploded against the Bulldogs for 71 yards on seven catches. He's big, has nice hands, and is tough enough to grow into more and more of an go-to guy on third downs.
What Will Happen: This will be the coming out party for Missouri. Everything will work on both sides of the ball in the first half on the way to a double-digit lead that Colorado will have no hope of bouncing back from.
CFN Prediction
: Missouri 26 ... Colorado 10 ... Line: Missouri -13.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) ... 3

Sam Houston State (2-1) at Texas (3-1)  7:00 PM EST  Saturday September 30th
Why to Watch: The Bearkats of SHSU are coming in on a roll after a strong 20-17 road win at Missouri State to up its record to 2-1. With an aggressive defense and strong passing game, they should be able to give Texas all it can handle ... for about two drives. Texas has gotten on a roll since the Ohio State loss beating up Rice and Iowa State by a combined score of 89 to 21. A week before the showdown with Oklahoma, this will be another game to fine-tune the offense and get QB Colt McCoy a bit more game experience.
Why Sam Houston State Might Win: Obviously SHSU has no chance to win, but it'll have a few shots to move the ball thanks to Brett Hicks and the passing game threw for 244 yards against SMU and 294 and four touchdowns on Arkansas - Monticello. This is a bombs-away attack that won't be afraid to push the ball deep, so look for a couple of deep balls in the second half.
Why Texas Might Win: If SMU could beat Sam Houston State 45-14, then Texas should be able to trot out the third team and win with ease. The Bearkats can't run the ball and isn't nearly strong enough in pass protection to allow for the longer passing plays to develop. If the Longhorns bring the heat, SHSU has no way to stop them.
Who to Watch: In UT's three wins, McCoy connected on 74% of his passes with seven touchdowns and only one interception. He was able to carve up Iowa State without a problem and get eight different players involved in the passing game. Limas Sweed reemerged as the main main catching seven passes for 106 yards and a touchdown against the Cyclones, but it was young star-in-the-making Jermichael Finley who's generating the buzz. With all the tools to be a superstar either as a fast tight end or a big wide receiver, the redshirt freshman is starting to get involved in the attack with four catches for 56 yards and a score over the last two weeks. This is the type of game to use as a chance to make even more plays and start to develop even more of a rapport with McCoy.
What Will Happen: Texas can send half the team to Dallas and still win by 40. 
CFN Prediction
: Texas 48 ... Sam Houston State 0 ... Line: No Line
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) ... 1

Week Five Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Part 2 | Get Tickets for These Games