Thursday, November 12, 2009
Four-star viewers guide for Saturday's games
By ESPN.com staff
Here's the latest four-star viewer's guide for the games on Saturday. Set your DVRs and plan your honey-dos accordingly.
A ranking of four stars indicates must-see television, and maybe even a game tape to be savored by the most devoted viewers to be saved for posterity. Three-star games clearly are worth the investment in time. Two-star games are worth a quick glimpse or two for occasional score updates, but little more. And one-star games are indications that your time might be better spent spending time at a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's -- which I did earlier this week.
All starting times are Eastern.
Texas Tech at Oklahoma State (8 p.m., ABC-TV): The winner of this game immediately jumps into the driver's seat for a trip to the Cotton Bowl. And maybe with a lot of breaks, they could have slim hopes of making the BCS as an at-large team. It's annually a high-scoring shootout and there's always the promise of potential fireworks in the postgame press conferences when Mike Leach and Mike Gundy meet. It should be an entertaining game to watch.
Nebraska at Kansas (3:30 p.m., ABC-TV): The Cornhuskers have rebounded to save their season with two late victories. They meet the slumping Jayhawks, who realistically might not make a bowl game if they don't win this game. It will be interesting to watch Nebraska's punishing defensive front pressure struggling Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing. Nebraska's offense is struggling, so look for a low-scoring game where the kicking game might be critical.
Missouri at Kansas State (12:30 p.m.): Bill Snyder's surprise season can take another step forward against his old whipping boys, the Missouri Tigers. Snyder has beaten Missouri 13 straight times and can get his team to bowl eligibility with another victory. The Tigers have struggled against the pass, but have done better against the run -- Kansas State's biggest offensive strength with Daniel Thomas. This will be a great shot for stellar Kansas State returner Brandon Banks to make the record books as he runs back kicks against Missouri's leaky special teams.
Texas A&M at Oklahoma (7 p.m.): It's been the roughest week in recent memory for Bob Stoops as his team struggles with a 5-4 record -- his worst mark ever at this point of the season. But it's got to be a relief to see Texas A&M coming into Owen Field. Stoops has lost to the Aggies only once in his career and never at home in his five previous games. But the level of talent between the two teams with all of the Sooner injuries probably is closer than it's been since Stoops took over.
Texas at Baylor (11 a.m.): The Longhorns are in cruise control as they head to their first Big 12 title game since 2005. Colt McCoy's passing was the big story last week against UCF and he could be primed for another game just like that against Baylor's leaky secondary. Baylor's Nick Florence is coming off the most productive game by a Baylor quarterback this season, but he will quickly find out that throwing against the Texas secondary is a little different than teeing off on the Missouri Tigers.
Colorado at Iowa State (1 p.m.): Something has to give in this game. Iowa State needs a victory to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2005. Colorado needs a victory to keep its flickering championship and bowl hopes alive. A Buffaloes loss ends all of that. The Buffaloes looked like they got a spark in the passing game with Tyler Hansen throwing to Markques Simas. They might be able to thrive against the smallish Cyclones secondary. But the Cyclones will be looking to dominate the clock with their running game, which struggled last week.