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Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Nov. 3, Part 2

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 1, 2007


Previews and Predictions for the Week 10 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. 6Oct. 13 | Oct. 20Oct. 27 | Nov. 10 | Nov. 17Nov. 24Dec. 1

How are the picks so far? SU: 54-13 ... ATS: 30-27

Big 12 Week 10 Predictions, Part 1

Big 12 Saturday, November 3rd

Texas Tech (6-3) at Baylor (3-6)  3:00 PM
Why to watch
: 0-11. You have to to back to 1995 and the old days of the Southwest Conference to find the last Baylor win over Texas Tech, and if the Red Raiders have any dreams of getting back into the race for the better Big 12 bowls, they have to make it 12 in a row. Even at 2-3 in Big 12 play, there's still time to make some noise with Texas and Oklahoma to close things out, and there's still time for the year to go in the tank. The offense has to get on track again, and the defense has to come up with more meaningful stops. On the other side is Baylor, a Texas Tech wannabe with the way it tries to wing the ball around. On a five game losing streak, a home win is a must with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State still to deal with.
Why Texas Tech might win: Baylor isn't just losing, it's getting bombed. The Bears have been outscored 217 to 55, or an average of 43 to 15. The Bears haven't come up with any consistency on offense, mainly because the quarterbacks can't stop giving the ball away, leading the nation with 31 giveaways and 22 interceptions. It's not like the Red Raider offense needs easy chances, but the defense should be able to provide them. It might be just this simple: Baylor doesn't have the offense to outscore Tech.
Why Baylor might win: Texas Tech has been doing its part to screw up, too. Graham Harrell has thrown eight interceptions in the last two weeks and has had problems when under steady pressure. The Baylor defense might stink, but it does a great job of getting into the backfield. While the D might sell out to get to the quarterback, it's done so at the expense of the secondary. That's a chance BU is going to have to take. Get to Harrell, slow down the Tech offense, hope the offense suddenly catches fire. Baylor is averaging fewer than 20 points per game, but it has the passing game to wing it around with anyone averaging 287 yards per game.
Who to watch: Last week, the Baylor coaching staff said that Michael Machen would be the starter for the foreseeable future. That was until he completed five of 14 passes for 02 yards with two interceptions against Kansas State.  It's back to Bake Szymanski, a junior who is the best passing option, and has three 400-yard passing games this year to his credit, but has been suffering the after-effects from a concussion. Cleared to play, he gives the Bears the best shot of keeping up in a shootout. Meanwhile, Graham Harrell is looking to get back on track after throwing four interceptions in each of the last two games with just four touchdown passes. He threw just three picks in the first seven games, and now is out of the Heisman race he was in the thick of just a few weeks ago. He ripped up Baylor for 483 yards and four touchdowns last year and needs to be just as good to make Texas Tech, Texas Tech again.
What will happen: Texas Tech will get back on track with a 500+ yard passing day with several big drives early on to put the game away. Baylor will get in its yards, but won't come up with nearly enough points to keep up the pace.
CFN Prediction: Texas Tech 45 ... Baylor 21 ... Line: Texas Tech -21
Must See Rating: (5
Heidi Klum on Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - 1 Heidi Klum on Oprah) ... 2

Missouri (7-1) at Colorado (5-4)  6:30 PM
Why to watch
: Last year at this time, Missouri was cruising along at 7-1 and in a perfect position to win the Big 12 North. Down went star pass rusher Brian Smith, the Tigers lost at home to Oklahoma, and went on to lose four of the final five games of the year. Now Missouri is 7-1 again, it lost one of its best defensive players, Cornelius "Pig" Brown to a torn Achilles tendon, and has to hope that the overall timing is just a coincidence. Colorado is in the midst of a big bounceback season going 3-2 in Big 12 play with wins over Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Beating Missouri wouldn't just make Colorado bowl eligible, and signal a nice turnaround after last year's disaster, but it would also put it in a great position to finish no worse than second in the North. Kansas would need to lose three times, and the Buffs would have to win out, but just getting a win over a BCS contender like Mizzou would be big going into winnable dates with Iowa State and Nebraska to close the year
Why Missouri might win: The Colorado defense is playing extremely well, but it's pass rush is hit or miss, and it won't generate enough pressure to throw off Chase Daniel. The Tiger quarterback is one of the nation's most efficient passers, and unlike Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, who had problems late against Buffs, and Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, who was dropped three times and pressured on several other big plays, he can run. Daniel will be on the move to make plays outside the pocket and also take off running, sort of like Kansas QB Todd Reesing was able to do two weeks ago.
Why Colorado might win: Missouri's pass defense is giving up 278 yards per game, mostly because teams have to play catch-up, but without Brown, the already suspect secondary all of a sudden has a major hole. Colorado's passing game hasn't always been sharp, but for the most part, Cody Hawkins has come through when needed. CU would like to run the ball first and foremost, but Mizzou's defensive front is too stout to expect regular production. Hawkins has been able to throw for 200 yards or more seven times this season, and while he has thrown 14 interceptions, he only has two games with more picks than touchdowns. CU lost both (Florida State and Kansas State). CU is 5-1 when Hawkins throws two touchdown passes.
Who to watch: This is a game about Colorado's two defensive stars. Senior CB Terrence Wheatley has been one of the best in the nation all season long, and he cemented a spot on the First Team All-Big 12 team with a three-pick day in the win over Texas Tech, to go along with four tackles. He has to be the second player looks out for on every play, with the first being LB Jordon Dizon, who has made a whopping 110 tackles, 76 of them solo, on the year. This week he'll be spying on Daniel to make sure he doesn't take off, while getting to handle the star Mizzou tight ends coming across the middle. He's almost certain to make double-digit stops, but most importantly this week, he has to break up some passes.
What will happen: Colorado is starting to become nasty again, with the type of swagger and skill it had during the heyday fo the Gary Barnett era. Unfortunately for the Buffs, Missouri really is that good. CU won't be able to keep up with the Tiger offensive balance.
CFN Prediction: Missouri 38 ... Colorado 23 ... Line: Missouri -4
Must See Rating: (5
Heidi Klum on Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - 1 Heidi Klum on Oprah) ... 3.5

Texas A&M (6-3) at Oklahoma (7-1)  8:00 PM ABC
Why to watch
: A 35-7 loss to Texas Tech ... didn't matter. A 19-11 loss to Kansas last week ... didn't happen. Among all the off-the-field issues facing Dennis Franchione and Texas A&M, on the field, the program's fortunes could go from bleak, with a new coaching regime all but certain start up next year, to 180-degree different with three straight wins. All the Aggies need to do is win their final three games, and get an Oklahoma State loss, and they'll be the Big 12 South Champions. Sounds easy, right? All they have to do is beat Oklahoma on the road, Missouri in Columbia, and get past Texas. Fine, so A&M might quickly turn into Nebraska South with that schedule, but in a season when things haven't gone quite right, it's all still right there for the taking. Last year, Oklahoma made its biggest statement on the way to the Big 12 title when Bob Stoops, holding on to a 17-16 lead, chose to go for a fourth and one in his own territory to try to end the game. OU got it, and now it's on a four-game winning streak over the Aggies and have won seven of the last eight. A&M hasn't won in Norman since 1997, and with the Sooner averaging 56.25 points per game at home this year, breaking the streak isn't going to be a breeze.
Why Texas A&M might win: No one has lined up and played smashmouth with the OU defense. The Sooners have the nation's number three run defense, but it faced Missouri without Tony Temple, gave up 110 yards to Colorado's Hugh Charles, and faced a Texas team that isn't exactly consistent in the running game this year. This needs to be a game for A&M to line up with Jorvorskie Lane in the backfield and get physical from snap one. It'll be tempting to try to beat the Sooner corners deep, but if the Aggies go with their fastball, they should have some success as the game goes on.
Why Oklahoma might win: Get ready to put Sam Bradford back in the Heisman chase after this game. A&M doesn't have much of a pass rush, Oklahoma's pass protection has been terrific, and the OU receivers should rip apart a secondary that's struggled against everyone. It hasn't been just Texas Tech and Nebraska who've fattened up on the Aggie defensive backs, Miami put up 275 yards and Fresno State went for 260. Malcolm Kelly and Juaquin Iglesias should have few problems coming up with big days.
Who to watch: Oklahoma sophomore Auston English has emerged as one of the Big 12's best young pass rushers with a league leading eight so far. A former high school running back, he's a tackle-strong player against the run with 31 stops so far, but his real worth has been as a steady pass rusher with a sack in four of the last five games and 12 tackles for loss on the year.
What will happen: For all intents and purposes, the Dennis Franchione will come to an unofficial end after Oklahoma puts up a monster number on the board. The Sooners are way too strong at home and will do whatever they want offensively.
CFN Prediction: Oklahoma 45 ... Texas A&M 20 ... Line: Oklahoma -20.5
Must See Rating: (5
Heidi Klum on Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - 1 Heidi Klum on Oprah) ... 3.5

Big 12 Week 10 Predictions, Part 1