Big 12: Big 12-SEC challenge

Kansas vs. Georgia in mythical test of Big 12-SEC No. 5 teams

July, 6, 2009
7/06/09
6:04
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Kansas (Big 12 No. 5) vs. Georgia (SEC No. 5)

Kansas' record against the SEC: 0-0
Georgia's record against the Big 12: 3-0
Previous series: Never played

Distance between them (according to How Far Is It): 745 miles.
Where they should play: Memphis, Tenn. (385 miles from Athens, 393 miles from Lawrence)

Who wins: Georgia.

Why: Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno might be gone, but Georgia coach Mark Richt has other capable reserves that could make the Bulldogs one of the more underrated teams nationally.

I think that that quarterback Joe Cox, wide receiver A.J. Green and running backs Caleb King, Dontavius Jackson and freshman Washaun Ealey should provide enough firepower to enable the Bulldogs to outscore Kansas' potentially explosive offense.

Eight offensive starters who have started for Georgia over the last two seasons should provide the Bulldogs with the beef to dominate Kansas' suspect linebacking corps.

Kansas will be able to score in bunches with a lethal passing attack featuring Todd Reesing, Dezmon Briscoe, Kerry Meier and Johnathan Wilson. But if Georgia could maintain enough of a pass rush to keep Reesing from feeling comfortable in the pocket, the Bulldogs should be able to score enough to win this mythical game.

The count: Tied, 4-4.

Coming Tuesday: Nebraska (Big 12 No. 4) vs. LSU (SEC No. 4)

Note: Matchups are determined by the most recent rankings of Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin and SEC blogger Chris Low. All cumulative records go back to the 1996 season -- the first of competition in the Big 12.

Texas Tech vs. Arkansas in Big 12-SEC challenge

July, 6, 2009
7/06/09
9:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Texas Tech (Big 12 No. 6) vs. Arkansas (SEC No. 6)

Texas Tech's record against the SEC: 2-5
Arkansas' record against the Big 12: 3-4
Previous series: Arkansas leads, 28-7
Most recent meeting: Texas Tech, 38-21, at Lubbock in 1991.

Distance between them (according to How Far Is It): 471 miles.
Where they should play: Dallas, Texas (271 miles from Fayetteville, 301 miles from Lubbock)

Who wins: Texas Tech

Why: Both teams are looking for new quarterbacks, but Texas Tech's Taylor Potts has more experience in his offense than Ryan Mallett or Tyler Wilson at Arkansas.

Although Mike Leach's team had all kinds of trouble against Mississippi in the Cotton Bowl, Arkansas' defense is nowhere near the level of those Rebels.

It would be tough for Texas Tech's defense to contain bruising tailback Michael Smith. But I would expect the Red Raiders to be able to cook up enough of a pass rush to make things iffy for the Razorbacks, particularly considering they ranked 118th nationally in sacks allowed last season.

And even without Michael Crabtree, Graham Harrell and Shannon Woods from last season, the Red Raiders would be able to score consistently against an Arkansas team that ranked last in the SEC in total defense and scoring defense last season.

Even with nine Arkansas defensive starters back from last season, Tech's offensive arsenal would be difficult to contain. And that would be enough for the Red Raiders to outscore the Razorbacks in this battle of old Southwest Conference rivals.

Later today: Kansas (Big 12 No. 5) vs. Georgia (SEC No. 5).

The count: Big 12, 4-3.

Note: Matchups are determined by the most recent rankings of Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin and SEC blogger Chris Low.

All cumulative records go back to the 1996 season -- the first of competition in the Big 12.

CU-South Carolina meet in No. 7 battle in Big 12-SEC series

July, 2, 2009
7/02/09
3:19
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Colorado (Big 12 No. 7) vs. South Carolina (SEC No. 7)

Colorado's record against the SEC: 0-2
South Carolina's record against the Big 12: 0-1
Previous series: Never met.

Distance between them (according to How Far Is It): 1,404 miles.
Where they should play: Clarksville, Ark. (717 miles from Boulder, 722 miles from Columbia)

Who wins: Colorado.

Why: Two of the great quote machines in college football will square off in this matchup. It's too bad the action on the field likely wouldn't compare with the interplay between Steve Spurrier and Dan Hawkins.

Even with the uncertainty of Colorado's quarterbacking with Cody Hawkins and Tyler Hansen battling for the job, the Buffaloes would be able to run consistently against a Gamecock defense weakened by the departure of its top three playmakers from last season. And although Stephen Garcia was Spurrier's first big-time recruit with the Gamecocks, he hasn't gone through the wars in college football -- yet.

The Gamecocks' specialty on defense is stopping the pass. Unfortunately, Colorado moves the ball much better running the ball than passing. So it's not a good matchup for South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson's group.

South Carolina might be able to beat some other more highly ranked Big 12 teams that rely on passing more than the Buffaloes. But in this game, Darrell Scott, Rodney Stewart and an improving offensive line would enable the Buffaloes to grind out a victory.

The count: Tied, 3-3.

Monday: Texas Tech (Big 12 No. 6) vs. Arkansas (SEC No. 6).

Note: Matchups are determined by the most recent rankings of Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin and SEC blogger Chris Low. All cumulative records go back to the 1996 season -- the first of Big 12 competition.

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