Dallas Colleges: Utah
The ESPN Research Reps are hard at work every day, finding statistical gems. And here's their offering for Saturday's TCU-Utah game as part of their Top 25 analytical breakdown.
Since the start of 2009, TCU has faced 20 FBS opponents. The Horned Frogs have held 13 of the 20 to their season-low in points (including seven of the eight FBS teams they have faced in 2010). They have also held eight of the 20 to season-lows in both points and yards, including Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl last season.
As the college football season enters the stretch drive, let's take a look at the local teams in our area and predict some games. Here goes:
TCU at Utah (2:30 p.m., CBS College Sports): It's BCS No. 3 (TCU) against BCS No. 5 (Utah). And both teams have defenses ranked in the top-10 in the country. Don't look for a bunch of scoring, though both offenses are underrated. TCU lost at Utah in 2008, ending any chances of a BCS bowl appearance. No doubt Gary Patterson has reminded his team of that. Turnovers will decide this one. TCU is the better team, if you ask me. But Utah plays well at home and would like nothing better than to solidify its BCS position. Prediction: TCU 24, Utah 17
Baylor at Oklahoma State (103.3 FM, FSN, 11:30 a.m.): This is a battle of two of the top teams in the Big 12 South. Both are ranked in the top 25 and both have seven wins. The winner gets a leg up with Oklahoma in the division. Baylor is playing with a lot of confidence, but the Cowboys are at home. I'll go with the Pokes in this one. Prediction: Oklahoma State 38, Baylor 27
Oklahoma at Texas A&M (6 p.m.): The Aggies certainly played better last week as quarterback Ryan Tannehill passed for 449 yards against Texas Tech. The junior was 36-for-50 and played with confidence. The Aggies will need that kind of solid outing again versus the Sooners, whose only loss was to Missouri. Something tells me A&M keeps this close, but I'll take the Sooners. Prediction: Oklahoma 31, Texas A&M: 28
Missouri at Texas Tech (7 p.m., ABC/ESPN): The Red Raiders are in big need of a turnaround, dropping to 4-4 on the season. The Tigers, dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten, will certainly be motivated. Prediction: Missouri 34, Texas Tech 21
SMU at UTEP (8:05 p.m.): The Mustangs are 5-4 overall, but 4-1 in Conference USA and still hold hopes of playing for a conference championship. These are the types of road games SMU has to win in order to do that. And I think they will on Saturday. Prediction: SMU 31, UTEP 21
Texas at Kansas State (7 p.m., ESPN2): The Longhorns are coming off a loss at home to Baylor and could use a bounce back performance. I think they get it in Manhattan. Prediction: Texas 27, Kansas State 21
Who gets the golden ticket? There are a few options. Let's take a look (in order of what we think):
1. Utah. The Utes are in the Salt Lake City television market, one that would certainly have some appeal in the Pac 10. They would bring the conference another strong football program and one that has also had some success in the past in basketball. Geographically, they make sense. (This is yet another reason why the MWC went out and got Boise State on Friday.)
2. Kansas. One of the most storied basketball programs in the country would be out of the immediate expansion if A&M goes to the Pac 10. But if they don't, the league might like the idea of adding such a strong basketball school to the conference. It would no doubt help the overall pedigree of the conference. (That's assuming Kansas and Kansas State aren't a package deal).
3. Missouri. Spurned by the Big 10, the Tigers will be looking around for a home. Rumors have circulated that some of the other current Big 12 schools aren't thrilled with them, but maybe that wouldn't matter to get the St. Louis television market. Again, from an expansion point of view, they work.
4. TCU. I've heard some folks mention this idea, but I'm not sure the Pac 10 needs the Frogs. If this is about media markets -- and for the most part it is -- the Pac 10 doesn't need TCU since it has the key Texas markets with the addition of its other teams. It would be fun to see the Frogs play some old Southwest Conference foes, but I can't think an invitation would be headed to Fort Worth.
5. Baylor. Again, a school on the outside looking in for now. There would certainly be a push from the state legislature to get Baylor in place of A&M should the Aggies go to the SEC. But that might not be enough. Certainly, the Pac 10 doesn't need Baylor (same reason as TCU). And if they decided to go another Texas school, TCU seems more attractive because of its football program.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.
Play Podcast Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Play Podcast Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.
Play Podcast Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.