Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Oct. 6, Part 2
Posted Oct 2, 2007

Previews and Predictions for the Week 5 Big 12 Games, Part 2

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 1

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

Big 12 Saturday, Oct. 6

Nebraska (4-1) at Missouri (4-0)  9:15 PM ESPN
Why to Watch: What was originally considered a showdown for the North title, has now lost a little of its luster, but it's still a great matchup that'll go a long way to determining the final Big 12 pecking order. Missouri finally gets a chance to show the world it's for real, or at least, it's not that bad, while Nebraska can turn around its quickly nosediving reputation. The Huskers have only lost one game and that was to USC, no shame there, but the last two weeks have been a struggle against Ball State and Iowa State. Meanwhile, the Tigers beat Illinois in the opening weekend, didn't get any love for easily beating Ole Miss in Oxford, and then throttled Western Michigan and Illinois State. This is a respect game, but it's more about survival. The Big 12 North has suddenly become nasty, and there's no margin for error for these two, with Mizzou going to Oklahoma next week, and Nebraska still having to go on the road to face Texas, Kansas and Colorado. Missouri has beaten the Huskers the last two times in Columbia, but before that, 1973 was the last time over the Big Red.
Why Nebraska Might Win:
Marlon Lucky. Missouri has been decent at times against the run, but it was ripped apart by Mississippi's BenJarvus Green-Ellis for 226 yards. Mostly the Tiger secondary has been the issue, especially in the second half when teams start chucking it around in comeback mode, but the Huskers can come out and start blasting away with Lucky on the ground, take the the Mizzou crowd out of the game, and keep the Tiger attack off the field. Lucky started out the season with a sensational opener against Nevada, tearing off 233 yards and three touchdowns, and has rushed for over 100 yards in the last two games. If he gets rolling early and keeps things close, the Tigers might get tighter and tighter, having to deal with their first tough test this year.
Why Missouri Might Win: Something's missing from the Nebraska defense: production. It's looked fine at times, and a blowout loss to USC is hardly the proper indication of how good a D is, but the Huskers have struggled mightily against the run, getting pushed off the ball way too easily, with too many runners getting to the second level without a problem. Missouri has a balanced attack that does a little of everything well, but it all stems from QB Chase Daniel. He'll get plenty of time against the anemic Husker pass rush, he'll pick apart the defensive back seven with ten-yard passes, and Tony Temple will find plenty of open running lanes as the game goes on. In other words, the offense should hum on all cylinders.
Who to Watch: This needs to be the national showcase game for Daniel. An unknown by most fans, and non-existent in the Heisman chase, he's currently fifth in the nation in total offense as the ringleader for the high-octane attack. He's been fine over the last few weeks, but he threw two interceptions against both Western Michigan and Illinois State, and needs to keep the turnovers to a minimum, if not be perfectly clean. Missouri has the better team, is at home, and should win without a problem. But if it starts screwing around, and if Daniel isn't on, the Huskers will pull it off.
What Will Happen: America, welcome to Missouri. Nebraska will have its moments, and Missouri's defense will give up just enough points to keep this interesting, but the Tiger machine will get rolling for good early in the second half on the way to a stunning victory. 
CFN Prediction: Missouri 41 ... Nebraska 27 ... Line: Missouri -7
Must See Rating: (5 Paris on Letterman - 1 Singing Bee) ... 4

Colorado (3-2) at Baylor (3-2)  7:00 PM
Why to Watch: All of a sudden, everything has changed for Colorado after a dominant defensive performance in the 27-24 win over Oklahoma. With the toughest game on the schedule out of the way, now the Dan Hawkins era has officially taken off, and the Buffs are living, breathing players in the Big 12 race. However, they can't take this game lightly after suffering the indignity of being on a two-game losing streak to the Bears. Baylor has been able to rock against the lousy, and hasn't done a thing against the good, losing to TCU and Texas A&M by a combined score of 61 to 10. Things don't get much easier for BU over the next five games, and this might be the best chance at a win before the season finale against Oklahoma State.
Why Colorado Might Win:
All Baylor can do is throw, Colorado has one of the nation's best pass defenses, ball game. This is a huge hitting CU secondary, while the defensive front is coming off its best game of the year, getting into the OU backfield and pressuring QB Sam Bradford all game long. BU might be able to dink and dunk a little bit, but the timing should be off from the start, and after completing passes, the Buffs will blow up the receivers. Offensively, CU should be able to run the ball on a BU defense that couldn't stop the TCU ground game, and wasn't eve close against Texas A&M.
Why Baylor Might Win: It's not like the Colorado offense is going to throw 50 points on the board. The Buffs fed off the momentum of the fourth quarter against Oklahoma, but the overall passing game is still inconsistent and shaky, and the running game, while phenomenal against Miami University two weeks ago, has to prove it can control things on the road against a decent team. Baylor is decent at getting into the backfield, and while the D will get run over from time to time, it'll have a few tackles for loss.
Who to Watch: At the moment, there might not be a better linebacker in America than Colorado senior Jordon Dizon, who might be an undersized 225-pound defender, but he hits like a ton of bricks and doesn't miss a tackle. He leads the Big 12, and is third in the nation, with 64 stops, and he can also get into the backfield and make plays against the pass. His stats might not be impressive against BU, since the Bears don't run, but he'll make an impact on short to midrange passes.
What Will Happen: Colorado suffer a little bit of a letdown, but Baylor simply doesn't have the offensive talent to get by a tough Buff defense.  Don't expect many offensive fireworks.
CFN Prediction: Colorado 26 ... Baylor 17 ... Line: Colorado -8.5
Must See Rating: (5 Paris on Letterman - 1 Singing Bee) ... 2

Iowa State (1-4) at Texas Tech (4-1)  7:00 PM  
Why to Watch: This is as about as must win is to get to for Texas Tech, after losing its opening Big 12 game of the season two weeks ago to Oklahoma State 49-45. There can't be a slip up of any sort here, with the South big boys still ahead, and a road trip to Missouri to worry about. Coming off a 75-7 win over Northwestern State, everything is humming on offense, and now it's time for the defense to show it can play a little. Iowa State is looking for any sign of life, as the good feelings of the Iowa win have quickly faded after losses to Toledo and Nebraska. The Cyclones are competitive, but they simply haven't been very good. There isn't a breather in the bunch the rest of the way, so it's all about improving and getting better week by week for Gene Chizik's club, and it's all about trying to keep pace with the nation's highest octane offense.
Why Iowa State Might Win:
The defense is playing better than it's getting credit for. The offense is the issue, not the D, that's allowing a mere 179 passing yards per game and has only given up one 200-yard game, coming last week against Nebraska. Texas Tech is going to get its yards through the air no matter what, but this should be the first time all season long that the Red Raiders will actually have to work to steadily move the ball. Unlike the Oklahoma State game, Tech won't be able to rip off 600 yards, so can it throw for 350 yards against a decent defense and still win? Probably, because ...
Why Texas Tech Might Win: ... Iowa State doesn't have enough scoring pop to keep up any sort of a pace. If the Red Raiders can score on their first few drives, it'll be over. The Red Raider defense is just good enough prevent this from being the time when the Cyclones attack finally breaks out against a decent D. It did a great job of moving the ball against Toledo, but the Rockets can't play defense, and Iowa State still lost. Simply put, Iowa State can't outscore Tech.
Who to Watch: The only chance Iowa State has of keeping this close is if the running game is rumbling, since the passing game simply isn't working, but that could be a problem if top back J.J. Bass is out for the second straight week with a shoulder injury. At best, he'll be able to split time with Jason Scales, who ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns on Nebraska last week. Scales is a small, quick back who could break off a few big runs here and there, while Bass is a big, fast back able to carry the offense.
What Will Happen: The Texas Tech offense won't blow up like it has over the first several weeks, but it'll go on a midgame run of points that Iowa State won't be able to overcome. 
CFN Prediction: Texas Tech 38 ... Iowa State 17 ... Line: Texas Tech -24.5
Must See Rating: (5 Paris on Letterman - 1 Singing Bee) ... 2.5

Big 12 Week Five Predictions, Part 1