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2007 Big 12 Championship Fearless Prediction
Oklahoma RB Allen Patrick
Oklahoma RB Allen Patrick
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 28, 2007


The Big 12 title game is for more than just conference pride as Missouri looks to continue its improbable season by beating Allen Patrick and the Sooners. Check out the preview and prediction for the 2007 Big 12 Championship.

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. 6Oct. 13 | Oct. 20Oct. 27 | Nov. 3Nov. 10 | Nov. 17Nov. 24

How are the picks so far? SU: 69-19 ... ATS: 42-35-1

Oklahoma (10-2) vs. Missouri (11-1)

Dec. 1, 8:00 p.m. ET, ABC

For the second straight week, Missouri and the Big 12 will be on college football's center stage with some extremely interested parties all across the country glued to their TVs, especially in Columbus, Ohio.

Obviously this is an important game, and not just because a Missouri win would mean a spot in the national championship, and not just because it's the Big 12 title game. It could mean an official changing of the conference guard, or at least inclusion into the VIP lounge for Missouri, or it'll mean it's business as usual and that this entire season might be an aberration.

National Rankings
Oklahoma Missouri
Total Offense
17th  457.58 ypg 5th  507.33 ypg
Total Defense
18th  324.58 ypg 60th  380.75 ypg
Scoring Offense
3rd   43.83 ppg 6th  41.92 ppg
Scoring Defense
10th  18.25 ppg 39th  23.42 ppg
Run Offense
 28th  193.92 ypg 40th  170.5 ypg
Run Defense
7th  91.42 ypg 25th  114.92 ypg
Pass Offense
35th  263.67 ypg 5th  336.83 ypg
Pass Defense
70th  233.17 ypg 103rd  265.83 ypg
Turnover Margin
19th  0.67 11th  1.00
Oklahoma
No Texas W 79-10
Miami W 51-13
Utah State W 54-3
at Tulsa
W 62-21
at Colorado
L 27-24
vs. Texas W 28-21
Missouri W 41-31
at Iowa State
W 17-7
Texas A&M W 42-14
Baylor W 52-21
at Tex Tech
L 34-27
Oklahoma St W 49-17
Missouri
Illinois W 40-34
at Ole Miss W 38-25
West Mich W 52-24
Illinois St W 38-17
Nebraska W 41-6
at Okla L 41-31
Tex Tech W 41-10
Iowa State
W 42-28
at Col. W 55-10
Tex A&M W 40-26
at Kan St W 49-32
Kansas W 36-28
Position Ratings
relative to each other
O 5 highest
1 lowest
M
5 Quarterbacks 5
4 RBs 3.5
5 Receivers 5
5 O Line 4.5
4 D Line 4
4.5 Linebackers 3.5
4 Secondary 2.5
4.5 Spec Teams 4
5 Coaching 4

Unlike Kansas State, who fell completely off the face of the earth after winning the 2003 Big 12 Championship, Missouri appears to have a staying power with a relatively young team with most of the key parts coming back. Even so, this is the year. This is the team. Oklahoma isn't going to get any worse, Texas is only going to be better, and the rest of the Big 12 appears to be improving, so while the Tigers might be loaded going into 2008, the time is now to pounce on a once-in-a-lifetime shot to play for the national title.

For Oklahoma, it's another year and yet another trip to the Big 12 Championship, but despite being the favorite, this is the first time it doesn't enter the game as the biggest, baddest mothers around. While loaded with as much talent as anyone in America, problems on the road, including a loss at Texas Tech and a near-miss at Iowa State, have eliminated an aura of invincibility that only a big end to the season might bring back.

On a national scale, OU is still suffering from a bit of a big game perception problem. In a case of the one or two negatives being far more prominent than the hundreds of positives, this is still the program that had a team on its way becoming an all-timer in 2003 before getting ripped apart by Kansas State in the title game. This was the team that got the benefit of the doubt in 2004 only to get pantsed by USC in the Orange Bowl. This was the team that lost to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. A win this week wouldn't erase those memories, but beating the nation's top-ranked team, especially if it comes in impressive fashion, would mean that all is right in the OU world
.

Meanwhile, this is unchartered territory for Mizzou, a program that hadn't won more than eight games in a season since 1969. Traditionally a doormat for the Sooners, both in Big 8 and Big 12 play, the Tigers have lost 18 of the last 20 games in the series and fumbled away a 41-31 loss in Norman earlier this season. Just getting to the Big 12 title game for the first time would normally be enough to call this a successful season, but at this point, with the national title in the balance, a loss would be a bitter pill to swallow.

The general feeling among the Tigers is that they had them. They had the Sooners beaten on October 13th when Chase Daniel threw for 361 yards and the offense outgained OU 418 yards to 384, but lost on because of four turnovers, including a late fumble returned for a touchdown.. That and three Chris Brown touchdown runs gave the Sooners the win, but Mizzou is ultra-confident that it can win the rematch because it knows what it's doing now, isn't intimated by the big game, and has top running back Tony Temple, who was out against OU the first time around with an ankle injury.

Fifth in the nation in total offense and sixth in scoring, Missouri is the only team in America that has scored 30 points or more in every game this season while going over 40 eight times. This is a fully-functioning juggernaut of an offense that's every bit worthy of being ranked No. 1.

However, for many, there's still the "show me" factor.

It's hard to find anyone who really believes this is the best team in America considering the best wins came over Illinois in the season opener before it really turned the corner and became a fringe BCS team, and against a Kansas team that didn't beat anyone. Beating Oklahoma would change any and all negative perceptions.

So here we go. It's the established superstar vs. the newcomer to the party. It's either the Fiesta for the Sooners or the BCS Championship for the Tigers. Considering how high both teams are ranked and what's at stake, it's the most important Big 12 game ever.

And it should live up to the hype.

Players to watch: All season long, Missouri junior QB Chase Daniel was putting up nice numbers as the conductor for the ultra-efficient Tiger offensive machine. Few outside the Big 12 saw him play or paid too much attention, but the buzz started to build and build and build. And then with the spotlight on, he put together his magnum opus; a 40-of-49, 361-yard, three touchdown performance in the win over Kansas to get into the Heisman picture. If he does that again and beats Oklahoma, he'll go from being the third wheel behind Tim Tebow and Darren McFadden to the the likely winner. If Missouri plays for the national championship, the argument will be made that Daniel was the most valuable player on the nation's best team, and that should be enough to complete the furious scramble for the prize.

Against Oklahoma the first time around, he completed 37 of 47 passes for 361 yards and a touchdown, but he turned it over three times and couldn't get the offense moving late to slow down the Sooner momentum. He had the same issues kick-starting the offense last week against KU when Todd Reesing and the boys had started heating up, and while he's efficient and accurate, and has decent mobility, it'll be all about getting the chains moving. He has to be razor-sharp from the first minute to 60 against a Sooner attack that can put up points on the board with breathtaking quickness.

As good as Daniel has been this season, and even though he might win the Heisman, he wasn't the Big 12's best passer. Oklahoma redshirt freshman Sam Bradford led the nation in passing efficiency completing 70% of his throws throws for 2,678 yards and a freshman record 32 touchdowns with a mere seven interceptions in one of the great first seasons for any college quarterback ever. The attack wasn't the same after he got knocked out of the Texas Tech game with a concussion, but all questions about his coconut were quickly answered against Oklahoma State with an 11-of-15, 150-yard, four touchdown performance. It's a bit too simplistic to suggest that as he goes, so goes OU, but his worst game of the year, and the only two pick performance, came in the loss to Colorado, and he missed almost the entire Texas Tech game. The Sooners were 10-0 against everyone else.

While the quarterbacks are the stars of the show, 5-9, 200-pound senior Tony Temple, the team's leading rusher who wasn't around for the first game against the Sooners, could be the difference maker. Without coming out and saying it, the Tigers appear to believe they would've won in Norman had Temple not been out with an ankle injury. Fumbles have been an issues throughout his career, but he's lightning quick, can cut on a dime, and is great at taking advantage of defenses that spend too much time worrying about Daniel and the short passing game. Don't expect to see him as a receiver; he's a runner.

Oklahoma will win if... the team plays with a swagger. Over the last few years, no team has been as moody as Oklahoma. When it's off, the energy level appears to dip to zero until it gets to desperation time, and this isn't a team traditionally great at pulling off comeback wins. However, when it's on, and it everything is working, this is an unstoppable juggernaut that can simply outtalent the Tigers. Missouri is great, really great, but it doesn't have the top-to-bottom skill OU has.

The Tigers might have gone into a bit of a prevent defense against Kansas when they got picked apart in the second half, but they also had problems in the first half despite generating a strong pass rush. KU imploded every bit as much as MU made things happen. The Tigers likely won't generate the same pressure they did against the Jayhawks, and their mediocre secondary could get picked clean. In the first game, Mizzou generated just one sack and Bradford threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns. He should hit 300 yards this week.

Missouri will win if... Oklahoma realizes its not playing in Memorial Stadium. At home this year, Oklahoma went 7-0, including wins over Miami, Missouri, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State, by a combined score of 369 to 109 (52.7 to 15.6), while away from home, against Tulsa, Colorado, Texas, Iowa State and Texas Tech, the Sooners went a pedestrian 3-2, outscoring teams by a combined score of 158 to 110 (31.6 to 22). Meanwhile, Missouri has been strong away from home beating Illinois, an Ole Miss team that was tough at home against the SEC, Colorado and Kansas State to go along with the Kansas win and the tough loss to OU.

The Sooner secondary can be beaten by an effective passing attack. Daniel was fantastic in the first meeting, Texas Tech's Graham Harrell did whatever he wanted, and throughout the year, any quarterback talented enough to get the ball out of his hands in a hurry had some success. The Tiger run defense will give up a few yards to the Sooner ground attack, but it's not going to be run over consistently enough for Allen Patrick and Chris Brown to be able to control the game. This will be Daniel vs. Bradford. The one who makes the fewest mistakes will win.

What will happen: This should be a shootout of the highest order with several momentum swings and several ebbs and flows. Both quarterbacks will be terrific and both offenses will put on a great show, but in the end, Oklahoma's defense will be a wee bit better than Missouri's. The Tiger secondary will look great for a few series and then will be lit up by Bradford and his NFL receiving corps. Despite being the favorite, OU will relish the role of being the rankings underdog and will carry over the momentum from the Oklahoma State win. 

Line: Oklahoma -3 ... CFN Prediction: Oklahoma 42 ... Missouri 38
 

2007 Previous Game
Oct. 13
Oklahoma 41 ... Missouri 31
Chris Brown ran for three second half touchdowns and Curtis Lofton returned a fumble for a 12-yard touchdown as Oklahoma stormed from behind in the fourth quarter for the win. Missouri had all the momentum with a ten-yard Jeremy Maclin scoring run, his second touchdown of the day, and a four-yard Jimmy Jackson scoring run, for a 24-23 lead at the end of the third quarter, but OU went on a 12-play, 66-yard march with Brown running for a one-yard score to take the lead, and then came up with the nail in the coffin as Lofton came up with his big play. Brown added a 17-yard scoring run with 2:39 to play for insurance. Mizzou outgained OU 418 yards to 384, but only came up with 57 rushing yards and average 1.9 yards per carry.
Player of the game: Oklahoma LB Curtis Lofton made 18 tackles and took a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Stat Leaders: Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel, 37-47, 361 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Jeremy Maclin, 4-32, 2 TD. Receiving: Chase Coffman, 10-102
Oklahoma - Passing: Sam Bradford, 24-34, 266 yds, 2 TD
Rushing:
Chris Brown, 13-67, 3 TD. Receiving: Juaquin Iglesias, 7-77, 1 TD


2006 Big 12 Championship

Oklahoma 21 ... Nebraska 7

Oklahoma forced five Nebraska turnovers, including Marcus Walker forcing a Maurice Purify fumble on the second play from scrimmage, leading to a two-yard Allen Patrick touchdown run. A Malcolm Kelly 66-yard touchdown catch later in the first quarter put the game out of reach. Zac Taylor and Hunter Teafatiller connected on a 14-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, but the turnovers and the lack of a balanced offense proved to be too much to overcome. Kelly closed out the scoring with a three-yard touchdown catch late in the third. Neither team ran the ball well, and Nebraska gained OU 282 yards to 265 through the air, but the Sooners came through with the bigger plays.
Player of the game ... Oklahoma WR Malcolm Kelly caught ten passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Oklahoma - Passing: Paul Thompson, 19-34, 265 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Allen Patrick, 15-35, 1 TD  Receiving: Malcolm Kelly, 10-142, 2 TD
Nebraska - Passing: Zac Taylor, 23-50, 282 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing:
Brandon Jackson, 13-70  Receiving: Brandon Jackson, 5-28

  

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