Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Oct. 25, Part 2
Kansas State QB Josh Freeman
Kansas State QB Josh Freeman
Posted Oct 23, 2008

Previews and Predictions for the Week 9 Big 12, 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 Aug. 30 | Sept. 6 | Sept. 13 | Sept. 20
- Sept. 27 |
Oct. 4 | Oct. 11 | Oct. 18

- Big 12 Predictions, Oct.25, Part 1

How are the picks so far? SU: 54-10 ... ATS: 28-27

 Saturday, October 25

Oklahoma (6-1) at Kansas State (4-3), 12:30 EST
Why to watch: This has all the makings of one of those out-of-the-blue trap games that trips up Oklahoma once in a while. Last year, it was an early date at Colorado that provided the shocker. This year, any loss the rest of the way, including the Texas Tech and Oklahoma State games to finish up, would be a bit of a surprise for a team that’s generally thought of as the second best team in the country right now, even if it’s ranked fourth in the BCS rankings. Basically, OU is in a position to pounce once Penn State or Alabama falls, assuming one or both falls, and the hope is for Texas to collapse soon. While the Sooners are 1.5 games behind the Longhorns in the standings, they can still get into the Big 12 title game if there’s a three-way tie and if they’re the highest ranked of the three. But first things first; taking care of a streaky Kansas State is job one. The Wildcats have an offense that’s able to keep up the pace with just about anyone, but the defense hasn’t shown up so far. The worst in the Big 12, allowing 429 yards per game, the defense got a reprieve last week against the woeful Colorado offense, but the Wildcat offense couldn’t come through in the 14-13 loss. The only way this is close is if Josh Freeman gets hot early on and KSU can keep up in a firefight.
Why Oklahoma might win: 454 yards and six touchdowns. That’s what Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell was able to do against a Kansas State secondary that hasn’t been close against any passing game with a pulse. OU should be able to go ground if it wants to against a Kansas State defensive front that’s getting shoved all over the place. Louisville tore off 303 rushing yards, UL Lafayette’s attack ran for 335, and last week, Colorado went for 249. Meanwhile Texas A&M threw for 419 yards and two scores. In other words, the nation’s No. 3 offense should be able to do whatever it wants to.
Why Kansas State might win: The Oklahoma secondary has decided to take the rest of the season off. It was fine at times this year, and it has only allowed five touchdown passes, but Colt McCoy was able to roll for an efficient 277 yards and Todd Reesing bombed away for 357 yards last week. The OU linebacking corps has become a bit of a problem after the loss of Ryan Reynolds, and the secondary has had to pick up the slack on shorter to midrange passes. That has left the corners more susceptible to the deep play. Freeman should be able to bomb away.
Who to watch: With top receiver Manuel Johnson going down with an ugly arm injury last week, Oklahoma got a huge day from Juaquin Iglesias. The senior stepped up with a 12-catch, 191-yard day, and now he’ll be Sam Bradford’s number one target from the start. Also ready to play a bigger role is tight end Jermaine Gresham, an elite receiver with big-time NFL upside. He has shown inconsistent hands, but he has played well over the last two weeks with 10 catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns. 
What will happen: Oklahoma will have to take a few big punches, but a big third quarter run of points will end the drama. Freeman will start to make mistakes when pressed, and the Sooner O will pounce.
CFN Prediction: Oklahoma 41 … Kansas State 27 … Line:  Oklahoma -19
Must See Rating: (5 SNL with Palin – 1 Jose Canseco: Last Shot) … 3.5
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Colorado (4-3) at Missouri (5-2), 6:30 EST
Why to watch: Missouri has to pull up out of its nosedive in a big hurry. Despite losing to Oklahoma State and Texas over the last two weeks, those games were against the South. The Tigers still control their own Big 12 title destiny, and if they play up to their talent, they shouldn’t have a problem over the next month against as light a Big 12 schedule as they come with Baylor, Kansas State and Iowa State before the showdown against Kansas. But first, the team has to turn the switch back on and get by a punchless Colorado team that’s desperate for some sign that the program is about to become a player again. This is a good Buff team, but it picked a horrendous year to have the Big 12’s worst offense coupled with a decent, but not great, defense. Last week’s 14-13 win over Kansas State saved the season and the bowl dreams, but a win over Missouri would do wonders for the Dan Hawkins era. The Buffs still have to face Oklahoma State, but they have winnable dates against Texas A&M, Iowa State and Nebraska to finish up.
Why Colorado might win: The only real chance is if Missouri pulls a Wisconsin. The difference being that Missouri still has a shot to win the conference title, so it has something to play for, but it can’t help but let down a little bit after painful losses to Oklahoma State and Texas. There’s no way the Tigers can’t look at this game as a letdown and a possible win just by showing up. Colorado has a decent secondary that’s been holding up well despite the lack of a steady pass rush. This is an active back seven that’s good at not giving up too many big plays.
Why Missouri might win: Colorado doesn’t have any offense. The Buffs are last in the Big 12 in total offense, last in scoring, and last in passing offense. Mizzou averages close to 205 yards per game more than the Buffs. Basically, the firepower isn’t there if the Tigers can go on an early run. The only way Colorado should be able to keep up is by forcing turnovers, and the Tigers don’t give up too many unless they brain-cramp. On the other side, Missouri is great at getting into the backfield, and Cody Hawkins hasn’t shown he can handle a steady pass rush. That’s why …
Who to watch: … Tyler Hansen is seeing more time. The true freshman adds more flash to the offense than Hawkins, running for 86 yards last week against Kansas State while completing 7-of-14 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Colorado will be rotating its quarterbacks and will need to keep the Tiger defense on its heels, and the offense on the sidelines.
What will happen: Missouri will score on the first two drives to effectively end the fun before it gets started. Colorado’s offense will sputter once again.
CFN Prediction: Missouri 45 … Colorado 14 … Line:  Missouri -21
Must See Rating: (5 SNL with Palin – 1 Jose Canseco: Last Shot) … 3
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Texas A&M (2-5) at Iowa State (2-5), 7:00 EST
Why to watch: The Big 12 is having a party, and Texas A&M and Iowa State didn’t get their invites. The two cellar dwellers of the two divisions are the only two Big 12 teams without a conference win. Obviously, that will change after this weekend, and while there will still be bowl hopes for the winner, even if they’re dim ones, the loser will be all but out of the hunt for a post-season game. A&M has lost three straight, but it found an offense in the defeats with Jerrod Johnson taking over the attack and bombing away in shootouts against Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Texas Tech. Oklahoma and Texas is still on the slate, so there will be more shootouts ahead to gear up for. Iowa State could only wish its offense could get rolling in a shootout. The defense has been consistent, giving up 34, 35, 38 and 35 points per game over the last our, all losses, while the offense has gotten consistently worse. There’s only one home game after this week, but it comes against Missouri. Iowa State needs a win and it needs a win now.
Why Texas A&M might win: The Cyclone offense isn’t equipped to keep up if A&M’s offense starts to roll like it did over the last few weeks. Austen Arnaud is a bright, rising playmaker leading the Cyclone offense, but there isn’t much of a passing game to rely on. The offense has put up just 17 points over the last two weeks against Baylor and Nebraska; not exactly Oklahoma and Texas when it comes to defense. The Iowa State secondary is struggling; Johnson should be able to bomb away.
Why Iowa State might win: Johnson should get knocked around a bit. Head coach Gene Chizik is good at bringing the pressure from several spots while Texas A&M’s offensive line is giving up three sacks a game and several more pressures. If the Cyclones can finally get their running game going, they have a good stable of backs, the floodgates should open up. A&M’s defensive front has been pushed around by power running game, option attacks, and everything in between. Iowa State should be able to keep the A&M offense off the field with long drives.
Who to watch: Someone has to be on the other end of the Jerrod Johnson passes. Redshirt freshman Ryan Tannehill made a few catches early on, coming up with 16 grabs over the first five games with two touchdowns against Oklahoma State, and then he blew up against Kansas State, once Johnson got comfortable, catching 12 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown. He followed it up with a nice five-catch, 104-yard, one score game against Texas Tech. He’s a good deep threat who finds ways to get open, and he’ll be more and more involved over the second half of the year.
What will happen: Iowa State is still a young team, but eventually, it’ll have to start showing some offensive consistency. It’ll come this week, but it won’t matter as the A&M offense will throw its way out of a few jams on the way to an entertaining win.
CFN Prediction: Texas A&M 34 … Iowa State 24 … Line: Iowa State -3
Must See Rating: (5 SNL with Palin – 1 Jose Canseco: Last Shot) … 2
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- Big 12 Predictions, Oct.25, Part 1