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Can A&M Win a Big Game? - Big 12 Predictions

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 21, 2006


Mike Goodson and Texas A&M can make the Big 12 race extremely interesting if they can pull off the upset over Texas. The rivalry is just the start of a big Friday with LSU facing Arkansas and Oregon at Oregon State later on.


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
Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12

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How'd we do so far? 56-18 straight up, 28-39-1 ATS 

Big 12 Game of the Week

Texas A&M (8-3) at Texas (9-2)  12 PM EST ABC Friday November 24th
Why to Watch: With one stunning Kansas State upset over Texas a few weeks ago, the Big 12 South went from being a forgone conclusion to a battle with the Longhorns needing to beat arch-rival Texas A&M or else see Oklahoma possibly slip into the Big 12 Championship game. The Aggies have lost six straight in the series and haven't won in Austin since 1994. On a two-game losing streak after dropping games at home to Oklahoma and Nebraska by a total of two points, A&M is looking to close out the year on a major high note and get its second win of note outside of the tough battle over Missouri. For Texas, a win means a rematch with Nebraska for the Big 12 title despite winning the first game 22-20 in Lincoln. National title hopes are long gone, but the Fiesta Bowl is still there for the taking with two more wins. This is one of college football's best rivalries and a tradition now on the day after Thanksgiving. It should be a blast.
Why Texas A&M Might Win: How did Kansas State beat the Longhorns? Outside of knocking Colt McCoy out of the game early, it took advantage of every opportunity and Josh Freeman threw at will on the porous Texas secondary. Aaron Ross might be the nation's best defensive back, but the Longhorns are getting torched by anyone who can throw the forward pass. UT will have to focus first and foremost on stopping the solid Aggie ground game meaning Stephen McGee should have several openings to get the deep ball working. If Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor can throw for 300 yards on the Longhorns, so can the Aggies.
Why Texas Might Win: The next time Texas A&M, when coached by Dennis Franchione, wins a close, tough game against a big boy. it'll be a first. A&M clearly proved this year that it can play with anyone, but when it comes to crunch time, other teams make the gut-check plays to get the win. A&M can't do that. McCoy is back at the helm and should have time to go to the fridge, have some leftovers, take a nap, and then complete his throw against an Aggie defense that doesn't generate any consistent pressure. Even though the Big 12 has become more pass happy, it's still impressive that Texas is No. 1 in the nation in run defense. The defensive front is terrific.
Who to Watch: McGee got on the national map last year becoming the guy who almost beat Texas by running the option for 108 yards and two touchdowns in the tough 40-29 loss. While he's still running well with 540 yards on the year, he's mainly been throwing with 11 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. With Texas daring McGee to win the game through the air, he'll have to calmly and quickly make the right reads to keep the chains moving and has to take advantage of every favorable matchup. At this point in the year, the offense is his.
What Will Happen: McCoy will have the type of performance that'll get Longhorn fans fuming over what likely would've happened had he been healthy for the entire Kansas State game.
CFN Prediction
: Texas 34 ... Texas A&M 20 ...  Line: Texas -13
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Deck the Halls) ... 4

Colorado (2-9) at Nebraska (8-3)  3:30 PM EST ABC Friday November 24th
Why to Watch: Will Nebraska tune up or tune out? What had started to become a serious rivalry has lost a little significance recently and means nothing this year outside of pride. The Huskers are playing either Texas or Oklahoma next week in the Big 12 title game, while Colorado's cataclysmic first year under head coach Dan Hawkins is coming to merciful halt, but a win over the Huskers, even if they're not taking the game seriously, would be a huge step to close out the year with two straight wins after beating Iowa State two weeks ago.
Why Colorado Might Win: Nebraska's head is likely already in Kansas City. There's truly nothing to play for outside of getting a win on Senior Day, so the coaching staff is certain to keep the playbook vanilla to not show next week's foe anything new. Even if Nebraska plays full bore for sixty minutes, the Colorado defense, if properly inspired, is good enough to keep this from being a blowout with a strong front seven that should be able to plug up the Husker ground game.
Why Nebraska Might Win:  Will Nebraska get good Bernard Jackson or bad Bernard Jackson? If the Colorado quarterback is efficient, the Buff offense is effective and efficient. If he sails his throws and is forced into mistakes, it'll be over early. The active Nebraska defensive front should be able to generate consistent pressure to keep Jackson moving, while the linebackers will keep the runs to a minimum. Field position should be an issue for the Buffs hurt by an awful return game; Nebraska's punting has been effective all year long.
Who to Watch: Let's just say the Lou Groza Award people goofed. Colorado's Mason Crosby was left off the list of finalists mainly because he missed eight field goal attempts this year. However, four of those misses came from beyond fifty yards and four were from over sixty. There's no question he has the biggest leg in college football and is a sure-fire bet to make a lot of money over the next several years at the next level. With the CU offensive still sputtering, he'll have to be the main offensive weapon against a solid, but not spectacular, Husker defense.
What Will Happen: Nebraska will want to close out the regular season with a bang, but it won't be able to fake the emotion. This is Colorado's bowl game, and it'll play like it just enough to keep things close.
CFN Prediction
: Nebraska 24 ... Colorado 20 ...  Line: Nebraska -15
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Deck the Halls) ... 2.5

Kansas (6-5) at Missouri (7-4)  12 PM EST ABC Saturday November 25th
Why to Watch: Missouri gets back on the field a week after getting slightly hosed on a holding call that negated a go-ahead touchdown against Iowa State helping the Cyclones to escape with a 21-16 win. Losers of three straight, the bowls can't seem to be running away fast enough from the Tigers. A win likely means the Insight Bowl while a loss will probably mean the Texas Bowl or even the Poinsettia Bowl. For Kansas, it became bowl eligible winning three straight highlighted by a strong victory over Kansas State last week to get to six wins, but it needs to beat the Tigers to be assured of a post-season spot. The young team grew up over the course of the season helped by the running of Jon Cornish and an aggressive defense, and even after all the early issues, could finish, technically, second in the Big 12 North by coming out of Columbia with a win.
Why Kansas Might Win: Lost in the controversy of Missouri's loss to Iowa State was a simple, blinding fact: The Tigers shouldn't have been in the position to need a last second score in the first place. The Cyclones had the worst team in the Big 12 this year and Missouri should've been able to put it away without breathing hard. The Kansas defense blasted Kansas State's Josh Freeman last week with a tremendous pass rush forcing several turnovers. Considering Tiger QB Chase Daniel is trying to make too many plays on his own, he'll force some throws he shouldn't; KU has to capitalize. However ...
Why Missouri Might Win:  ... if the pass rush doesn't get to Daniel, it's going to be a long day. KU's secondary has struggled all season long giving up big play after big play, and this should be an easy chance for the Tiger passing game to get back on track. The Jayhawks don't have any answers for the tight end tandem of Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman underneath, but ..
Who to Watch: ... the Tigers will be missing their top deep threat, Will Franklin, after he tore up his shoulder against the Cyclones. That means Jared Perry will have to step into the outside spot and throw some semblance of a scare into the Jayhawk secondary to keep the safeties guessing. Coffman is dinged up with a knee injury, but he'll play. He has been consistent, as has Rucker, and now they have to be difference makers.
What Will Happen: Daniel will have his best game in a month while the Missouri defense, which has all but gone into the tank after losing star Brian Smith, will overcome another 100-yard day from KU's Jon Cornish by closing down the Jayhawk passing game.
CFN Prediction
: Missouri 28 ... Kansas 20 ...  Line: Missouri -7
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Deck the Halls) ... 3

Oklahoma (9-2) at Oklahoma State (6-5)  3:30 PM EST Saturday November 25th
Why to Watch: Oklahoma will know by late Friday afternoon whether or not the Bedlam series will be for a spot in the Big 12 title needing Texas A&M to upset Texas to get a shot to play its way into the championship game. Oklahoma State has been one of the Big 12's surprise teams this season with an exciting offense with several good young playmakers, but it might need a win to find its way into one of the Big 12's bowl slots. If Kansas beats Missouri, OSU might be the ninth choice out of eight options unless it pulls off the win. In any event, this has become a good rivalry game over the last several years and should be an explosive offensive shootout. An OSU win would be a huge stepping-stone for the young  team, while OU can maintain the status quo if it wins soundly.
Why Oklahoma Might Win: The Sooners should be able to dink and dunk the OSU defense to death. The OU offensive line has been solid in pass protection and should give Paul Thompson enough time to operate against the aggressive Cowboys defensive front, while the yards after catch numbers should be through the roof. OSU has made a bit of a national splash with its passing game, but it's the running attack that has to be effective to win. The Sooner linebackers should keep the Cowboys from running for more than 150 yards and will keep QB Bobby Reid from making too many plays on the move.
Why Oklahoma State Might Win: Even when Oklahoma was crushing and killing everything in its path, Oklahoma State was a thorn in its side when the showdown was played in Stillwater. Of the last four times the game was played at OSU, the Cowboys won in 1998, the 2000 Sooner national title team struggled in a 12-7 win, OSU won in 2002, and OU won by three in the 2004 season when it went to the Orange Bowl to play for the national championship. On the field, OU is having problems with turnovers losing 11 fumbles in the last four weeks along with two interceptions. The Sooner offense is getting by despite making a slew of mistakes. OSU has to take advantage of every opportunity.
Who to Watch: There were some rumblings from Adrian Peterson that he wanted to find his way back on the field for this game, but that was way too optimistic. Number two back, Allen Patrick, ran for 441 yards in three games before getting knocked out with an ankle injury. No big deal, there was Chris Brown to carry the offense. The freshman has been a pleasant surprise running for 84 yards and two touchdown against Texas Tech and 169 yards and a score against Baylor. Patrick might be back giving the Sooners a dangerous 1-2 punch that should carry the offense.
What Will Happen: The Sooner defense will take its share of punches, but will come up with the adjustments in the second half to overcome a hot Cowboy start. Slow and steady will win the race.
CFN Prediction
: Oklahoma 34 ... Oklahoma State 24 ...  Line: Oklahoma -6.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Deck the Halls) ... 3.5

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