2009 Big 12 Fearless Picks - Week 7

Posted Oct 14, 2009

Previews and Predictions for the Week 7 Big 12 Games

2009 Big 12 Fearless Predictions

Week 7 ... Oct. 17 Games

North Colorado | Iowa St | Kansas | Kansas State | Missouri | Nebraska
South Baylor | Oklahoma | Oklahoma State | Texas | Texas A&M | Texas Tech  
- 2009 CFN Big 12 Expert Picks & Roundup 

Big 12 Fearless Predictions
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- Week 7, Texas vs. Oklahoma 
- Week 7, Part 2 (Missouri at Oklahoma State, and More)

Texas Tech (4-2) at Nebraska (4-1), 3:30 EST, Saturday, October 17, ABC

Why to watch: If it weren't for that game down in Dallas, this would get a little more publicity. Nebraska came up with a 20-point fourth quarter to beat Missouri in Columbia last Thursday night, and now the spotlight will be on as the lead dog in the Big 12 North pack. With the lone loss coming at Virginia Tech on a miraculous late Hokie drive, there's now a chance for Nebraska to be among the elite of the elite again with a good run over the next month. Forget about the Iowa State and Baylor games to follow this week, those will be layups; if Nebraska can get by the Red Raiders, it'll be 7-1 with Oklahoma coming to town, and then it will really be game-on when it comes to the national attention. But getting by Texas Tech, after losing 37-31 last year, isn't a formality. The Red Raiders overcame a rough two game stretch, losing to Texas and Houston, with two wins including an impressive 66-14 pasting of Kansas State. Three of the next four games are at home, but Oklahoma, Kansas, and Oklahoma State are still on the schedule. A win over Nebraska would jump-start the season, and it would all but end any illusions that the North is comparable with the South.
Why Texas Tech might win: Defensive pressure. The Nebraska offensive line has been terrific in pass protection, but the one clunker game from QB Zac Lee came when Virginia Tech was bouncing him around. The Hokies didn't come up with any sacks, but they were regulars into the backfield and Lee finished with an ugly 11-of-30, 136-yard, two interception day. Tech's pass rush has been fantastic, cranking out 18 sacks so far, and if Lee is struggling, it might be hard to get the offense going if RB Roy Helu isn't feeling right. The star of the Nebraska offense is hurting with a shoulder injury and might struggle to handle a big workload.
Why Nebraska might win: The Nebraska pass defense has been scary-good. Take away the two Tyrod Taylor throws at the end of the Virginia Tech game, and the defense is giving up a fat load of jack squat. Missouri's Blaine Gabbert was flustered and lost in a 17-of-43, 134-yard, two interception day. The Husker secondary has given up just one touchdown on the year, and it came on the brilliant Taylor play to give the Hokies the win. Texas Tech's offensive line has hardly been a rock, and it's going to allow at least four sacks. The quarterback taking the beating will be …
Who to watch: … ??? Tech head coach Mike Leach isn't going to announce his starting quarterback until late. Taylor Potts was on fire and was the star of the show, but he suffered a bad concussion and was out against Kansas State last week. Former walk-on Steve Sheffield proved to be more than worthy as a fill-in ripping up Kansas State with 490 yards and seven touchdowns, and his backup, Seth Doege, completed 6-of-8 passes for 64 yards and a score. 12 different Red Raiders caught passes.
What will happen: Every once in a while the Texas Tech offense gets bogged down, doesn't have the timing or the rhythm, and doesn't work. This will be one of those times. Nebraska will outgain the Red Raiders through the air.
CFN Prediction: Nebraska 34 … Texas Tech 14 ... Line: Nebraska -6
Must See Rating: (Bored To Death 5 … My Monkey Baby 1) … 3.5
-Free Expert Football Predictions

Kansas (5-0) at Colorado (1-4), 7:00 EST, Saturday, October 17

Why to watch: If Colorado is going to keep the Dan Hawkins era going, it needs something special to happen and it has to come in a big hurry. There's no shame in losing at West Virginia or at Texas, but when the team is 1-4 with a loss to Toledo on the résumé, there will be some angst among the fans. Beating Kansas would go a long way to turning things back around, and with Kansas State, Texas A&M, and Iowa State (along with Missouri) over the next month, there's a chance for the season, and the Hawkins tenure, to be salvaged. But it has to start now. Kansas is 5-0, but it's a shaky 5-0 need way too much effort to put away mediocre Southern Miss and Iowa State teams over the last two weeks. The offense is humming, but the defense is struggling. With Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Texas, and Missouri still to deal with, the Jayhawks can't afford a slip.
Why Kansas might win: The Colorado secondary has been awful. Even with a good pass rush to help the cause, the Buffs are getting beaten on too many big plays. While most teams have spent their time working the CU run defense, when the passing games have needed to move the ball through the air, there hasn't been much of a problem. Kansas is third in the nation in passing averaging 330 yards per game and has been ultra-efficient. If QB Todd Reesing gets time, he should be able to pick apart the CU defensive backfield.
Why Colorado might win: Colorado's secondary is bad; KU's is worse. The Jayhawks are giving up yards to everyone, and while many of them are coming in catch-up/keep-up mode, being last in the Big 12 in pass defense isn't a plus. Iowa State wasn't just able to throw well, it was able to run for 219 yards with QB Austen Arnaud throwing for 293 yards and running for 67. Colorado is looking for a spark, and while putting in QB Tyler Hansen isn't going to help the passing game, he's a far worse passing talent than Cody Hawkins, even though Hawkins has been miserable, he's a far, far better rushing option who could be able to gouge the Jayhawks with his mobility.
Who to watch: The KU 1-2 receiving tandem of Kerry Meier and Dezmon Briscoe has been unstoppable. Meier caught 16 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns against Iowa State last week, while Briscoe made 12 grabs for 186 yards and two scores. They're waging a battle to see who can be the greatest Jayhawk receiver of all-time. Meier is the more reliable midrange threat, while Briscoe leads the Big 12 and as third in the nation in yards.
What will happen: Kansas will be in for a fight. The Buffs are way overdue to play over its head, and with the way the Jayhawks struggled last week against Iowa State, it might not be a stretch for the Buffs to do just enough to pull off the upset … but they won't. Hansen will throw three interceptions and Reesing and the Jayhawk passing game will roll for well over 350 yards. KU won't pull away until late.
CFN Prediction: Kansas 34 … Colorado 27 ... Line: Kansas -9
Must See Rating: (Bored To Death 5 … My Monkey Baby 1) … 3
-Free Expert Football Predictions

Baylor (3-2) at Iowa State (3-3), 7:00 EST, Saturday, October 17

Why to watch: Baylor and Iowa State haven't been horrible by any stretch, but this will probably determine who gets the honor of being the No. 12 team in the Big 12. Iowa State lost two straight heartbreakers with Kansas State coming up with a one-point win and Kansas ripping apart the Cyclone secondary in a shootout, and there are several tough games coming up with road trips to Nebraska and Texas A&M up next. This has been an exciting first year under new head coach Paul Rhoads, and while the team has been better and will be in the hunt for a bowl game with a win, A&M and Colorado are very beatable, the hope is really for next year as the foundation is being set. Baylor got plowed by Oklahoma last week in a 33-7 loss, and while it's off to a nice 3-2 start, the loss of QB Robert Griffin might have put a ceiling on what the team can do. With a nasty schedule ahead, getting a win in Ames is a must to have any hope of going bowling.
Why Baylor might win: The defense, especially against the pass, has been surprisingly good. Sam Bradford and Oklahoma threw for 389 yards, but he only came up with one touchdown pass and completed just 27-of-49 passes. Wake Forest's Riley Skinner, who's ripping up everyone, threw for just 143 yards with two touchdown passes and three interceptions in a loss. The Baylor defense is going to have to carry the offense for a while, and it's going to have to force several Iowa State mistakes. The Cyclones have given the ball away 14 times in six games.
Why Iowa State might win: Baylor doesn't have any firepower. QB Blake Szymanski is expected to be back from a shoulder problem after coming off the bench for an ineffective Nick Florence, but it's not like the offense is going to start putting up points in bunches. It's not like Iowa State is some high-octane juggernaut, but the rushing attack leads the Big 12 and the offense has been steady, outside of the clunker of a loss to Iowa. Baylor's linebackers are fine, but the defensive front can be pounded on and will give up rushing yards. That's why it'll be important for …
Who to watch: … Austen Arnaud to get into an early groove and for Alexander Robinson's banged up shoulder and sore groin to not be a problem. Robinson, the team's leading rusher, has run for 100 yards or more in four of the six games and is coming off a tremendous 152-yard, two touchdown performance against Kansas. He's extremely quick, while Arnaud is great at taking off to keep the chains moving. He threw four interceptions against Iowa, but he hasn't thrown a pick in any of the other five games, to go along with eight touchdown passes in the non-Iowa games, and he has been a solid runner with 389 yards and six scores.
What will happen: This will be the afterthought game on the Big 12 schedule, but it could turn out to be among the most entertaining. It should be close late into the fourth quarter with Iowa State coming out on the right side thanks to two long scoring drives that will keep the Baylor offense on the sidelines.
CFN Prediction: Iowa State 27 … Baylor 23 ... Line: Iowa State -2
Must See Rating: (Bored To Death 5 … My Monkey Baby 1) … 2
-Free Expert Football Predictions 

- Week 7, Texas vs. Oklahoma 
- Week 7, Part 2 (Missouri at Oklahoma State, and More)