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The Big 12 Report: Week 8
Another week has passed and Texas continues to impress as the No. 2 team in the country and a legitimate BCS Bowl contender for USC, but meetings with Texas Tech and Texas A&M loom large on the schedule. The Longhorns get Tech at home this week in what should be a high-scoring game, and they put up 16 points in that game. If it gets under 80 points I’d be surprised and this is the first offense Texas has really faced and Tech comes in here undefeated with little respect as far as the odds makers go. It should be wild in Austin on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Oklahoma continues to struggle, but covered the number against Kansas, one of our Big 12 winning picks last week, as we’re 6-3 ATS on the season with Big 12 Plays. Here are my thoughts on some of the key games this week in this conference. Iowa State continues its downward spiral with 3 straight losses and the Nebraska-Missouri game looks to be crucial this Saturday for the North race, along with Colorado having Kansas at home this week. It gets interesting in the north, the southern division is all but decided after Saturday.
Baylor at Oklahoma (-14)
Aside from the Kansas St win in Norman, the Sooners have been less than great at home this season, and less than great overall, as this is a down year for OU as they struggle on offense with a freshman QB in Rhett Bomar. Baylor gave Nebraska everything they wanted, but Nebraska has a great defense this season and had already seen a spread offense the week before against Texas Tech, so they adjusted nicely, something I don’t think Oklahoma’s young and inexperienced secondary can do here totally to do , however, I don’t see Baylor winning here, but I do see them keeping them closer than 2 TDs with their offense. Offenses are even in points here and Baylor’s defense is allowing just 16 points. OU wins by 12.
Nebraska @ Missouri (-2.5) My featured game of the week
Oklahoma, Iowa State (-14.5)
Last year the Cowboys dropped an old fashioned ass on ISU in Stillwater 36-7, but I see a reversal of fortune for the Cowboys this season in Ames as Iowa State has 3 straight losses, 2 of them in OT to Nebraska and Missouri last week, and Baylor won 2 weeks ago. The number is big in this game, but I think the Cyclones could cover it, given OSU’s lack of defense, as evidenced by their last 3 games where they gave up a whopping 545 yards of offense per game and 62 points last week against the angry The Texas A&M team. I don’t feel comfortable laying 14+ points on any team that has 3 straight losses and I feel like the number here is too close to call, but covering OSU wouldn’t surprise me either, since Iowa State is deflated after they were touted by many, myself included, to win the Big 12 North this season. Gun to the head, I’d lean towards the dog in this one, they scored 31 against Missouri two weeks ago in a home loss, that’s more than ISU put up against them last week.
Texas A&M (-5) at Kansas State
Back in the saddle after defeating Okee State 62-23 last week, the Aggies’ offense is back on track. Conversely, the Wildcats were hammered at Texas Tech allowing 59 points. This is an interesting game, as Kansas State is tough to beat at home, and the line jumped from A&M’s opening 2.5 all the way up to 5 points from Wednesday, as the blades are all over the Aggies here. I’m not sold on Kansas State because they lost to every good team they played in the conference this season and struggled with Marshall and Kansas. The only team KSU beat was lowly North Texas, and I think KB McNeal will be a difference maker, but this is a bad number on the road, but I can’t make a case for Kansas State right now, and A&M has a rushing offense, so that’s how we look at this M.
Texas Tech @ Texas (-16.5)
A 3.5 point jump on the Longhorns from the top line here, and both teams are 6-0 and ranked in the top ten. Both of these offenses are off the map and KB Hodges for the Red Raiders has thrown 22 TD passes against 5 points. this season, and both defenses are allowing less than 16 points per game. The KEY in this game is Texas’ running game which is giving up 264 rushing yards per game and Tech is respectable in stopping the run at 117 yards allowed per game. I think Texas will find success on the ground here, and their best defense against this high-octane offense is their own offense, being able to grind it out on the ground and eat up the clock. Texas beat the Red Raiders 51-21 last year, and while I don’t think it will be that big, I expect a high-scoring game, and a total of 71 isn’t out of reach here.
Here are my picks for the action and interesting games this weekend, the picture in the North should be decided in the next few weeks, and after the showdown in Austin this weekend, Texas A&M only has so much to deal with at the end of the season, but that game is in College Station.
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