Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Oct. 6
Missouri WR William Franklin
Missouri WR William Franklin
Posted Oct 3, 2007

It's Show Me time for William Franklin and Missouri, and for several other teams in the Big 12, as Kansas battles Kansas State, Oklahoma State takes on Texas A&M, and oh yeah, Texas has a little tussle against Oklahoma, in one of the biggest weekends of the season. Check out the predictions, previews and more for all the 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

Big 12 Fearless Predictions Sept. 1Sept. 8 | Sept. 15Sept. 22 | Sept. 29 
Oct. 13 | Oct. 20Oct. 27 | Nov. 3Nov. 10 | Nov. 17Nov. 24Dec. 1

Big 12 Week Five Predictions, Part 2

How are the picks so far? SU: 34-10 ... ATS: 17-17

Big 12 Game of the Week

Oklahoma (4-1) vs. Texas (4-1)  3:30 PM ABC
Why to Watch: There are two ways to look at this. 1) It's a battle of disappointed teams that blew it last week against supposedly inferior opponents, or 2), this is a battle of two desperate teams looking to keep flickering national title hopes alive. Oklahoma collapsed late against Colorado last week, but this is still a BCS-strong team that might have simply been overrun by a bad string of momentum and a few big breakdowns in all phases. This is still a Sooner team that obliterated Miami. This is still a Sooner team that had led the nation in scoring. This is still a Sooner team must gear it back up, of all of a sudden, Texas will have a three-game winning streak in what had become a one-sided series the other way. Texas looked lousy over most of the first four games of the season, mainly getting by with timely defense and just enough offense. After a horrible performance in the 41-21 loss to Kansas State, everything can change with a win this week. If the Longhorns can pull it off, then things open up nicely with Iowa State and Baylor before hosting Nebraska. No matter what, OU will have to gear it back up next week against Missouri.
Why Oklahoma Might Win:
The Texas offense is in disarray. QB Colt McCoy is dinged up with a concussion suffered against Kansas State, he isn't getting enough time to throw, the running game has been pedestrian, even with a nice start to the year from Jamaal Charles, and the receiving corps has been mediocre. It's possible OU could get on an early run and end this before the first quarter is over, while Texas will still have to battle hard if it gets up big early. The Texas secondary, overall, is playing better than it did last year, but it hasn't faced anyone who can throw it more than ten yards down the field. OU leads the nation in pass efficiency, and if the line can give Sam Bradford time, the Sooner receivers should be able to pick apart the Longhorn corners.
Why Texas Might Win: The Texas defense can't be to blame for the rough early start. No, the linebackers haven't quite played up to snuff, and there weren't any big stops against Kansas State, but last week's loss is on the offense and special teams. The run defense has done a better job than it's being given credit for, considering teams like TCU, Arkansas State, and UCF can only move the ball on the ground. The game plan is simple. Stop the OU running game, hope the defensive front can at least hurry Bradford, try to win the field position battle, and take advantage of every opportunity.
Who to Watch: With all the stars and all the NFL talent on display, the spotlight is on two punters. Texas couldn't stop Kansas State's Jordy Nelson last week, and is netting a mere 28 yards per kick. The coverage teams have to be better, but sophomore Trevor Garland, who did a nice job against TCU and UCF, has keep OU pinned deep. Texas isn't likely to go on too many long drives against any top defenses. OU punter Michael Cohen could turn out to be the star of the show if the Longhorns are starting several drives inside their 30.
What Will Happen: McCoy will get batted around, John Chiles will see a little bit of work, and Texas will struggle to get points on the board. OU won't blow up like it did against Miami, but it'll pull away in the second half after a mistake-filled first half.
CFN Prediction: Oklahoma 34 ... Texas 20 ... Line: Oklahoma -11 
Must See Rating: (5 Paris on Letterman - 1 Singing Bee) ... 4.5

Big 12 Saturday, Oct. 6

Kansas (4-0) at Kansas State (3-1)  12:00 PM
Why to Watch: Is this the biggest football game in the history of the two schools? If not, it could turn out to be, as Kansas State is flying high after beating Texas 41-21, while Kansas started off its season playing as well as anyone in America, coming into the game ranked first in the nation in scoring defense, fourth in scoring offense, third in total offense and third in total defense. We know about the Wildcats, with a tough defense and tremendous special teams, and we know they're good enough hang with the big boys. We still don't know anything about KU, with its biggest win coming over Central Michigan, but a win over the Wildcats might mean a monster jump in the rankings. Basically, everyone's waiting to see what the team can do against someone with a pulse. The Big 12 North is suddenly looking nasty, with five real contenders and Iowa State, so a loss will put a serious crimp in any title hopes, while a win will be bigger than it'll probably get credit for on a national scale.
Why Kansas Might Win:
Lost in the win over Texas, and in the near-miss against Auburn, was how the Kansas State offense simply didn't work. Oh sure, it looked great against San Jose State, and put up huge numbers against Missouri State, but the offense went nowhere against Texas and there wasn't any running game to speak of against Auburn. It took a trick pass play to score on the Tigers, and it took a whopping 58 pass attempts to get to 289 yards. The KU secondary is still untested, but the run defense has been a rock. If the Jayhawks can avoid the big turnover, can limit the big special teams play, and can get up early, they should be able to pull off the road win.
Why Kansas State Might Win: The Wildcats are finding ways to get it done. Whether it's a punt return here, a key sack there, or a timely defensive stop, they're finding ways to make things happen. The offense might not be humming, but the line has been great in pass protection, while the new 3-4 defense has been generating consistent pressure. For the first time all year long, the timing of the KU offense will be disrupted, and for the first time all year long, KU will have to face a little bit of adversity. Kansas State knows what it can do in tough games with the pressure on. Kansas doesn't.
Who to Watch: In a game like this, things can change in an instant with a big kick return, and these two teams have the best return games in America. Kansas leads the nation in kickoff returns, averaging 32.78 yards per try, led by Marcus Herford, who averages 33 yards per try. Kansas State got a kickoff return for a touchdown against Texas from James Johnson, while Leon Patton is the main man, averaging 26 yards per return. The real stars of the KSU show are the punt returners, leading the nation with a gaudy 27.2-yard average thanks to touchdowns from Deon Murphy and Jordy Nelson. Nelson has been on fire the last two weeks, catching 27 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns, while averaging 57 yards per punt return.
What Will Happen: Kansas won't give up the big turnovers needed for the KSU offense to feed off of. This will be a surprising defensive battle for about a half, and then KU's offensive balance will take over in the second half. The Wildcats will start to press, will turn it over a few times, and KU will pull away late.
CFN Prediction: Kansas 27 ... Kansas State 17 ... Line: Kansas State -3
Must See Rating: (5 Paris on Letterman - 1 Singing Bee) ... 4

Oklahoma State (3-2) at Texas A&M (4-1)  7:30 PM  
Why to Watch: All of a sudden, the Big 12 South looks very winnable. At least, more winnable than it did last week at this time, when Oklahoma was looking like a juggernaut and Texas was still unbeaten. With huge tests ahead for both teams, this might be an elimination game in the Big 12 title race, and at the very least, it'll be a vital win for one team, and the heat will be turned up a bit for the loser. No, Mike Gundy isn't on a hot seat at Oklahoma State, but after making the news for his tirade after the Texas Tech game, he could use all the wins he can get to put the focus back on the field. A&M's Dennis Franchione has to keep winning to save his job, but with four road trips ahead in the next five games, and the final six games against certain bowl teams, including road dates against Missouri and Nebraska from the North, this is as big a game as it gets. If you like running games, this is for you, with A&M ranking fifth in the nation on the ground and Oklahoma State eighth.
Why Oklahoma State Might Win:
Texas A&M can be run on. So far, everyone outside of UL Monroe has tried to beat the Aggies through the air, with decent success against a secondary that'll give up yards in chunks. If Oklahoma State can start with the ground game, keep hammering with it, and stay committed no matter what, the home runs will eventually be there for the taking. WR Adarius Bowman should see just enough single coverage to make a few big plays, while the ground game has the better potential for backbreaking runs, as opposed to A&M's more grinding style.
Why Texas A&M Might Win: OSU is just banged up enough to be a possible problem against the run. LB Chris Collins and DBs Andre Sexton and Martel Van Zant are all going to play, but they could wear down after getting hurt a few weeks ago against Texas Tech. Considering the two teams will try to win on the ground, turnovers could mean the difference, meaning A&M has a big advantage. OSU gives it away, and the Aggies take it away. Expect A&M to have a plus-two in turnover margin, and for the offense to capitalize on the mistakes.
Who to Watch: A&M has its blueprint on how to beat OSU from the tapes of Troy's stunning 41-23 win. The Trojans like to work on the ground game, but QB Omar Haugabook was able to make the passing game go by getting on the move and creating time and space for himself outside of the pocket. Aggie QB Stephen McGee can throw, and while the ideal option will be to pound the ball with Jorvorskie Lane and Mike Goodson, passing yards should be there for the taking. McGee threw for 200 yards last weekend for 237 against UL Monroe. If he goes over 200, A&M will likely win with ease.
What Will Happen: The two teams will combine for at least 500 rushing yards, but the A&M passing game will be a bit more effective on third downs, and OSU will get killed by two big turnovers.
CFN Prediction: Texas A&M 40 ... Oklahoma State 27 ... Line: Texas A&M -6
Must See Rating: (5 Paris on Letterman - 1 Singing Bee) ... 3

Big 12 Week Five Predictions, Part 2



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