Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Nov. 29, Part 2
Nebraska QB Joe Ganz
Nebraska QB Joe Ganz
Posted Nov 26, 2008

Previews and Predictions for the Week 14 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 | Oct. 25 | Nov. 1 | Nov. 8 | Nov. 15
Nov. 22

How are the picks so far? SU: 76-13 ... ATS: 39-41

- Big 12 Predictions, Nov. 29, Part 1

Friday, November 28
Colorado (5-6) at Nebraska (7-4), 3:30 EST ABC
Why to watch: There used to be a time when this game made the college football world stand still as the Big 12 North, Big 12, and national title races were affected in some way. Nebraska, technically, will finish second in the North no matter what, and while that might not exactly be what Husker fans are dreaming about, after the Bill Callahan era, it’s a fantastic first step back on the road to being a superpower again. On a nice run of four wins in the last five games, with the loss coming to Oklahoma things are quickly starting to change under Bo Pelini. Colorado is a different story, struggling to find its way in the Big 12 world under head coach Dan Hawkins. It needs this win just to get bowl eligible. Getting to six wins has been a fight in yet another awful year for the once-proud program with six losses in the last eight games. Four of the five wins on the year have been by seven points or less.
Why Colorado might win: The Buffs have been playing a bit better. With Cody Hawkins taking back the reins of the offense, there’s a little more consistency, even if the points aren’t coming in bunches. Colorado’s defense has been solid, especially against the run, while the pass defense leads the league. Unfortunately, that’s the equivalent of being the least talented Jonas brother in this year’s Big 12, but the secondary hasn’t been a negative.
Why Nebraska might win: Colorado is trying, it really is, but it just doesn’t score. The offense doesn’t do much, it doesn’t have anything to hang its hat on, and there aren’t scoring explosions to worry about. The Buffs scored 28 against poor Iowa State, and hasn’t cracked the 17 point barrier against anyone else since the 39-21 loss to Florida State. Meanwhile, the Nebraska attack is rolling, scoring 101 points in its last two games. The Husker attack is averaging over 140 yards per game more than Colorado’s, and the 56 points scored against Kansas State last week is just six fewer than the Buffs have scores in their last four games.
Who to watch: Nebraska QB Joe Ganz has come up with a nice year, completing close to 70% of his passes for 3,103 yards with 21 touchdowns and ten interceptions while running for five scores. Of course, this year, that doesn’t get you jack squat in terms of attention when it comes to Big 12 quarterbacks. Last year, he threw for 484 and four touchdowns in the loss to Colorado, but he also threw three interceptions. Meanwhile, Cody Hawkins had one of his better games of 2007 completing 17-of-29 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns, with a rushing score, with no mistakes. Hawkins has to be perfect to beat Nebraska, while Ganz has to be merely adequate.
What will happen: Don’t expect the 65-51 shootout of last year. Colorado simply doesn’t have the offense to keep up with the Huskers, but Nebraska’s attack isn’t going to blow up on a solid Buff D that’s doing what it can to pick up the slack for an awful O.
CFN Prediction: Nebraska 34 … Colorado 17 ... Line: Nebraska -16.5
Must See Rating: (5 Football while eating Thanksgiving food – 1 Home movies after dinner) … 3
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Saturday, November 29

Baylor (4-7) at Texas Tech (10-1), 3:30 EST  
Why to watch: Texas Tech saw its national title dreams die with a 65-21 loss to Oklahoma last week … or did it? If Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma, all the Red Raiders have to do is beat Baylor and they’re playing Missouri for the Big 12 title. Win that, and then the national championship discussion gets very, very interesting. First things first, Tech has to get its mojo back against a Baylor team coming off one of its best wins in the last several years blasting Texas A&M 41-21. A bowl dream died with a four-game losing streak before the win over the Aggies, but a win over Texas Tech would set the tone for 2009 and would make Baylor one of the “it” programs to watch out for. Of course, Texas wouldn’t mind a Bear win, because that would mean the Longhorns would go to the Big 12 Championship if they beat Texas A&M.
Why Baylor might win: Will Texas Tech’s heads be down after the Oklahoma loss? Everyone can talk all about coming out strong on Senior Day and ending the regular season with a bang, while hoping for the best, but Tech will play before Oklahoma and Oklahoma State square off and it might be less than razor sharp. Baylor doesn’t have Oklahoma’s talent, but it has an ultra-efficient passing game that doesn’t make mistakes and compliments a good running game well.  
Why Texas Tech might win: Every Big 12 secondary is getting torched this year, but Baylor hasn’t been close to stopping the better teams. The game against Missouri was close only because the Tigers took their foot off the gas, but Chase Daniel still threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns. Colt McCoy threw for 300 yards and five scores, and Sam Bradford went for 372 and two touchdowns. Graham Harrell is a mortal lock to hit the 400-yard mark.
Who to watch: It’s the final game for Harrell in Lubbock, and it’s been an amazing run. The senior completed 70% of his career passes for 15,120 yards and 128 touchdowns with just 31 interceptions. He has thrown for 300 yards or more in 31 of his last 37 games, has gone over 400 yards 20 times, over 500 yards three times, and 600 yards once. He’s hoping for three more games to add to his totals, and he should be on against Baylor. In two career games against the Bears, he has completed 72-of-98 passes for 916 yards and seven touchdowns with an interception.
What will happen: Texas Tech will get back on track and put itself in the position to stay in the Big 12 title discussion. Baylor isn’t that bad, but remember, its four wins came against Northwestern State, Washington State, Iowa State and Texas A&M.
CFN Prediction: Texas Tech 52 … Baylor 20 ... Line: Texas Tech -20
Must See Rating: (5 Football while eating Thanksgiving food – 1 Home movies after dinner) … 3
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Kansas (6-5) vs. Missouri (9-2), 12:30 EST  
Why to watch: Last year these two played one of the most important games of the season, and it was certainly the most important game in the history of the two programs, as an unbeaten Missouri held off an unbeaten Kansas to take over the No. 1 spot in America on the was to the Big 12 title game. Of course, KU got the last laugh with a date in the Orange Bowl while Mizzou got the honor of picking over a dead Arkansas team in the Cotton Bowl. This year, it’s an exhibition game. Kansas is going bowling, even if it’s 6-6, and it’s probably going to get the league’s sixth best bowl slot, considering two Big 12 teams will be in the BCS. For the Tigers, this game means almost nothing. They’re an almost certain lock to go to the Gator Bowl, or else back to the Cotton, no matter what happens this week, unless they can pull off an upset and beat Oklahoma … or Texas Tech … or Texas … in the Big 12 title game. Mizzou has had the North wrapped up for a a few weeks, and now it’s time to sharpen up for a chance to earn the spot in the BCS it should’ve had last year.
Why Kansas might win: Beyond the Missouri-will-be-looking-ahead factor, KU has the type of bombs away offense that should be able the light up the suspect Tiger secondary. Everyone’s passing stats are getting fat in the Big 12, and Missouri is helping the cause. Last week the Tigers gave up 326 passing yards to a desperate Iowa State team, while Texas was able to throw for 388 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, you have to get to Chase Daniel to slow down the Tiger offense, and KU has just enough of a pass rush to be able to generate consistent pressure.     
Why Missouri might win: The Kansas offense sort of has to start bombing because of an apparent leg injury suffered by top back Jake Sharp against Texas a few weeks ago. He has been out of practice this week and will be limited at best if he’s able to suit up. Missouri’s secondary might be having a bit of a rough year, but the pass rush can’t be to blame. The Tigers have been terrific at getting into the backfield all season long, while on the other side of the ball, the O line has been a rock in pass protection. In other words, the Tigers lines alone should be able to control the game.
Who to watch: Missouri fans like to wax nostalgic about what a great quarterback Corby Jones was. Brad Smith set the all-time NCAA D-I record for rushing yards by a quarterback (until it was broken last week by West Virginia’s Pat White), and he put Missouri football on the map. Chase Daniel took the program to another level. This will be the final regular season game in the great career of the 2007 Heisman finalist, and while he might not make it to New York this year, unless he goes ballistic on the Big 12 South representative in the title game, he has had another great year throwing for 3,592 yards and 30 touchdowns. All he has done over the last three seasons, and a sliver of his freshman year, is complete 69% of his passes for 11,772 yards and 92 touchdowns with just 34 interceptions, while rushing for 826 yards and 10 touchdowns. Along the way he took the Tigers to two Big 12 title games and a No. 1 spot in the rankings. It’ll also be the final regular season game for Chase Coffman, who has missed the last two games with a toe injury. The star tight end leads the Tigers in receptions and has 230 career grabs for 2,491yards and 27 scores.
What will happen: Missouri might not need to win this game, but it’s not going to look past a rivalry game in what should be a charged up atmosphere in Kansas City. It’ll be a shootout with Missouri flexing a bit more muscle when it needs to.
CFN Prediction: Missouri 44 … Kansas 27 ... Line: Missouri -14
Must See Rating: (5 Football while eating Thanksgiving food – 1 Home movies after dinner) … 3.5
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- Big 12 Predictions, Nov. 29, Part 1