Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Big 12 [Print without images]

Thursday, September 15, 2011
Big 12 predictions: Week 3

By David Ubben

Holy cow. So, before we get to this week's picks, there's an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed.

Last week was by far the worst week I've ever had picking games. So, on paper, it's ugly. I have no idea what I'm talking about, right?

Well, here's my defense: Sure, I missed four games, but all I have to say is all four of those games were decided in the final minutes, including two in overtime. Missouri missed a kick to win the game in regulation before losing in overtime. Iowa State converted two fourth downs late before knocking off Iowa in triple overtime. Texas erased a double-digit deficit in the second half to win by a point and Kansas mounted a late drive to win the game in the final seconds.

They all could have gone the other way. But last week, every single game went against my picks. Thanks, guys.

On to this week's embarrassment:

Last week: 1-4 (.200)

Overall: 10-5 (.667)

FRIDAY

Iowa State 27, Connecticut 20: Connecticut has a big offensive line, but no big-time back with Jordan Todman gone to the NFL. Iowa State's defensive line needs to play well, but the ISU linebackers will be called upon. Fortunately for the Cyclones, that's their biggest strength. ISU won't play many more teams that lack the ability to sling it like UConn does.

SATURDAY

Georgia Tech 34, Kansas 28: Can Kansas keep the good times rolling? I'm not quite sold on the Jayhawks just yet, but this game will be close. Expect somewhere between 10-15 passes in this game.

No. 23 Texas 17, UCLA 14: This will not be pretty, but it will be physical. If you love zone reads, watch every second of this. If you value precise, accurate passing, look away. Here's guessing Malcolm Brown cements his status as Texas' lead back in this game.

Texas Tech 48, New Mexico 17: I'm excited to see what Darrin Moore does in his followup to the opener, but the Red Raiders won't run into many problems with a weak Lobos squad.

Missouri 34, Western Illinois 10: Missouri played two underrated teams to begin its season, but the Leathernecks shouldn't be quite the same challenge. The focus for the Tigers should be getting and staying healthy.

No. 19 Baylor 41, Stephen F. Austin 14: Wins are better to look at for two weeks than losses. Baylor learned this well after notching the Big 12's best win so far this season when it beat TCU in Week 1. The Bears are back, and continue their season with a win over another in-state opponent.

No. 9 Texas A&M 51, Idaho 7: The Aggies' offense can do it all, more so than any other offense in the Big 12. The Vandals' offense isn't one that's going to make the Wrecking Crew struggle, either.

Kansas State 27, Kent State 10: The Wildcats' defense is better, and it will have to be. If Kansas State wins games this year, it won't be by outscoring teams. Last year, this team was third in the Big 12 in scoring. Expect that to drop, but the defense is much faster. David Garrett, Arthur Brown & Co. get it done against the Golden Flashes.

No. 1 Oklahoma 34, No. 5 Florida State 30: This is my pick of the week. Come back later today for a video of me explaining my pick.

No. 8 Oklahoma State 51, Tulsa 27: We might find a defense this year that can slow down the Cowboys' offense (next week, maybe?) but it's not going to be Tulsa. And simply put, without Damaris Johnson, Tulsa won't be able to keep up. Easy pick here.