Thursday, November 5, 2009
Big 12 predictions, Week 10
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
After last week, I have the opportunity to savor a rare perfect week.
And is it ever rewarding.
And the best part, I finally got on the right side of Texas A&M after struggling with picking incorrectly on the Aggies the previous four weeks.
But as Mike Sherman’s team watches fight films the night before games and receives carabiners a few days before they upset teams, their confidence is growing.
Even for me.
Here’s a look at this week’s games. Hopefully, another 6-0 week is in store this time around, too.
Texas 45, UCF 7: This rare November nonconference game shouldn’t be that much of a challenge for the Longhorns, although George O’Leary’s team is feisty on defense and will make the Longhorns sweat as they try to run the ball. But with Colt McCoy and Co. in the passing game, that shouldn’t be a concern as Texas should be able to pass at will. And the Texas defense should harass UCF quarterback Brett Hodges throughout the game.
Kansas State 28, Kansas 24: Bill Snyder improbably brings his Wildcats into the Sunflower Showdown in first place in the North Division. Even in a loss at Oklahoma, the Wildcats showed pluckiness as they were competitive despite falling into an early 21-0 hole. But Snyder always seems to get up for the Jayhawks, whom he beat 12 of the last 13 times before his sabbatical. Kansas arrives mired in a three-game losing streak. And with Mark Mangino’s team reeling after the surprise benching of Todd Reesing, along with a sputtering offense, don’t be surprised if the Wildcats claim an upset in this one. Kansas State must dominate time of possession and win special teams with a key play or two from Brandon Banks in order to win the game.
Texas A&M 38, Colorado 27: The Aggies have traditionally struggled in Boulder, but arrive with a lot of confidence after their two-game winning streak. With Jerrod Johnson, Jeff Fuller, Uzoma Nwachukwu and an emerging running game, A&M looks like the same kind of team that has troubled Colorado all season long. And the defense is appearing to make progress after a strong effort last week against Iowa State. Colorado will have trouble matching those weapons.
Missouri 34, Baylor 14: Two teams going in different directions will meet at Faurot Field. The Tigers still have legitimate hopes for a North Division title if they can sweep the rest of their games -- an amazing statement considering their 0-3 start. Baylor’s bowl hopes were derailed as soon as Robert Griffin hurt his knee against Northwestern State. Missouri will have a healthy Blaine Gabbert, an improved running game and a developing pass rush. Baylor will be challenged to contain any of those huge Missouri advantages.
Oklahoma State 33, Iowa State 27: It will be interesting to see how Mike Gundy’s team rebounds after the turnover-filled loss to Texas last week. And the Cowboys will be tested by an Iowa State team that has all of its weapons healthy with Austen Arnaud returning to the lineup after missing two games with a bruised hand. The Cyclones need only one victory for bowl eligibility, but it will be tough to get against the Cowboys. Look for Zac Robinson to bounce back after his struggling game against Texas as the Cowboys should be able to exploit an Iowa State secondary that has allowed 18 touchdown passes this season.
Oklahoma 21, Nebraska 17: It will seem just like old days when Oklahoma and Nebraska meet and the defenses for both teams will be their key strengths. The team that wins will be the one that gets the best play out of their quarterback. Landry Jones leads all freshmen with 17 touchdown passes and has an expanding receiving corps with a bevy of playmakers. It still won’t be easy against a Nebraska defense that has limited its last seven opponents to 280 yards or less. But the Cornhuskers don’t have the offensive firepower -- particularly with top rushing threat Roy Helu Jr. struggling with a bad shoulder -- to keep up with the Sooners.
Last week: 6-0, 100 percent
Season total: 56-18, 75.7 percent