Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Week 6
Posted Sep 28, 2006

Preview and predictions for the week six 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 1 |
Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5

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

Week 6 Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Part 2 | Get Tickets for These Games

Big 12 Game of the Week

Texas (4-1) at Oklahoma (3-1)  3:30 PM EST ABC Saturday October 7th
Why to Watch: Both teams have a loss, out of the top five, and out of the national title discussion, at least for the moment. So why is this the most interesting Red River Rivalry in years? For one, it signals an establishment of power. If Texas wins, that'll be two wins in a row after a recent history of OU dominance. Considering the one loss was to Ohio State, the nation's number one team, the case could be made that Texas might be the second best team in America and could be back in the BCS Championship chase. If the Sooners win, especially impressively, they'll be back in the title talk with many out there, for right or wrong, still believing they won the Oregon game. A win could also mean that last year was a one-time aberration and might put the pressure on UT head coach Mack Brown ... can he win the big one without Vince? As always, this is one of the must-watch games of the year.
Why Texas Might Win: The Oklahoma defense has been a fantastic disappointment. Lost in the Oregon hubbub was a total breakdown by the Sooner secondary allowing 343 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the run D hasn't been anything to write home about with the game against Middle Tennessee putting a statistical band-aid on the mile-wide leak. This game might be as simple as the Texas offensive line vs. the Oklahoma defensive line. If the Longhorn front five dominates, Texas will put up huge numbers and will set a pace the Sooners won't be able to match.
Why Oklahoma Might Win: Colt McCoy has to prove he can produce in a big game. He wasn't awful in the loss to Ohio State, but he didn't make any big plays and didn't generate anything deep. Can he do to OU what Dennis Dixon and Oregon did? Will the Texas coaching staff let him try? Notorious for playing it safe in this game, Texas will have to open it up a little bit to allow the running game to be at its most effective. Is McCoy up to the task? Also, don't forget the motivational factor with OU coming in with a chip on its shoulder. If there can be a repeat of the focus and fire shown two weeks ago against Middle Tennessee, Texas is in trouble.
Who to Watch: Adrian Peterson is even better than you think. Behind a patchwork offensive line, with Paul Thompson quarterbacking a work-in-progress passing game, and as the focus of all 11 defenders each and every week, Peterson is cranking out big game after big game. He wasn't right in last year's Texas game trying to play on an ankle that wasn't even close to being ready to go, but he was terrific in the 2004 game rushing for 225 yards in a 12-0 win. It's not like the coaching staff has been saving him with 27 unnecessary carries against Middle Tennessee, and now he'll run, run, and run some more. If he is going to be a serious threat in the Heisman race, he has to stop the Troy Smith momentum and come up with a brilliant performance.
What Will Happen: Oklahoma's confidence and swagger will last about two drives. Then Justin Blalock and the Texas offensive line will take over and control the game allowing the skill players more room to operate than they had against Ohio State. This will be the game that puts Texas back on the national title map.
CFN Prediction
: Texas 26 ... Oklahoma 17 ... Line: Texas -5.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Rachael Ray) ... 5

Texas A&M (4-1) at Kansas (3-2)  12 PM EST Saturday October 7th
Why to Watch: Now we get to see just how mentally tough Texas A&M really is. A tough, experienced team gets over the heartbreak of last week's 31-27 last-minute loss to Texas Tech and comes up with a decent road win to get back on track, but the Aggies have been far from consistent under Dennis Franchione when times have gotten tough. KU is also coming off a tough defeat losing 39-32 to Nebraska in overtime, but that came after a great Jayhawk comeback that showed more about the team than any of the first four games. With Oklahoma State, Baylor and Colorado ahead ahead, it's possible for KU to be in the thick of the Big 12 race with a win over the Aggies. A&M has to deal with a suddenly nasty looking Missouri team next week.
Why Texas A&M Might Win: Kansas is lousy in turnover margin and hasn't stopped anyone from throwing all season long. With 15 giveaways so far and allowing 264 yards through the air, the Jayhawks have come up with a strange combination of problems that's gotten them into a whole bunch of trouble against some very average teams. The defensive front is doing a fine job of generating pressure, but there just isn't any production coming from the secondary on deep passes. Call this the break-but-don't-bend defense.
Why Kansas Might Win: The A&M defensive line is doing a fine job against the run, but it's not doing nearly enough to generate any pressure. The Kansas quarterbacks can get streaky and, like all quarterbacks, do better when they have time. Adam Barmann was able to engineer last week's comeback against Nebraska by bombing away once he got his throws off a little faster. The KU line isn't a rock in pass protection, and there are injury issues, but as long as it can give Barmann, or Kerry Meier, a few ticks, the A&M secondary could be burned for the second week in a row.
Who to Watch: Barmann was brilliant last week against the Huskers overcoming three interceptions and a fumble in the first half to throw for 405 yards and two touchdowns. Despite throwing for 685 yards in two weeks and coming up with wins over South Florida and Nebraska, Mark Mangino and the coaching staff plans on putting the senior right back on the bench once Meier is healthy. This could make for some interesting debates since Meier, clearly the more talented and more mobile of the two, was a turnover machine in the loss to Toledo and  struggled in the 21-19 win over lowly UL Monroe. If Meier is back from his arm problems and struggles, will Mangino put in Barmann? On the other side, A&M QB Stephen McGee suffered a concussion against Texas Tech and kept playing. He's playing this week, but a closer eye will be kept on him.
What Will Happen: A flaky as A&M has been over the last few years, it's been strong coming off a bad loss beating SMU 66-8 the game after the killer defeat to open the season at Clemson. In 2004, the Aggie bounced back from the bizarre home loss to Baylor and pushed a juggernaut Oklahoma team in a 42-35 loss. Expect this group of Aggies to come up with a strong performance on both sides of the ball with the running game proving to be too much for the KU D.
CFN Prediction
: Texas A&M 27 ... Kansas 17 ... Line: Kansas -1.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Rachael Ray) ...

Baylor (2-3) at Colorado (0-5)  3:30 PM EST Saturday October 7th
Why to Watch: Six weeks ago, if someone told you the Big 12's basement dweller would be coming into this game looking for any spark of confidence, you wouldn't be shocked. Obviously, you wouldn't have guessed that Colorado would be the one in desperate need of something positive to happen, while Baylor would come in undefeated in Big 12 play. O.K., so it's just one win, but coupled with 2005's season-ending win over Oklahoma State and the Bears had their first back-to-back conference wins since back in the old Southwest Conference days. A win in Boulder is a must for any possible bowl dreams after giving one away to Army in overtime two weeks ago. Colorado has lost nine straight, but it can quickly turn things around. With Missouri in the rear view mirror, and with the way the rest of the Big 12 is playing, it's not completely crazy to think the Buffs can start to make a little bit of noise, even with a road trip to Oklahoma coming up. 
Why Baylor Might Win:  This is a bad, bad matchup for Colorado. Baylor has no interest in running the ball with the most unbalanced offense in America. Dead last in rush, 13th in passing, the Bears are dinking and dunking their way into the new offense and getting sharper at it each week. The Buffs have been a rock against the run and have been torched by efficient passing games. It'll be a big upset if BU doesn't throw for 275 yards. However ...
Why Colorado Might Win:  ... there's still a big question mark about how well Baylor's offense can run for four quarters. It finally closed out a game well last week in the Kansas State win, but it couldn't find a way to get over the hump against Washington State and didn't do anything in the second half against TCU and struggled late against Army. The Buff defensive front is solid at getting into the backfield and should hurry Shawn Bell's throws.
Who to Watch:  So how is Bell handling the new attack? Is he improving? Interestingly enough, he had his worst game last week in the win over Kansas State, and played one of his better games in the loss to Army. He took a few more chances and opened it up a little bit more against the Wildcats rather than just doing what he did against Army and taking what the bend-but-don't-break defense gave him. The offense is all up to him, and he's going to have to handle the CU pressure.
What Will Happen: The nightmare continues. Baylor's defense isn't playing all that poorly, and CU's offense just isn't producing at all. Bell will have a field day against the Buff secondary.
CFN Prediction
: Baylor 20 ... Colorado 17 ... Line: Colorado -5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Rachael Ray) ...

Week 6 Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Part 2 | Get Tickets for These Games