Before we get going, we have two links for you. The first comes from Rock Chalk Talk - they hosted the Rock Chalk Roundtable this week, which includes contributions from their guys, DJ from Hawk Digest and yours truly.
And secondly, we must direct you to EDSBS where Orson has outdone himself with another must-read.
As you know, we didn't really waste our time picking the non-conference games for a couple of reasons. The first being that 90% contained an inept opponent, some not even warranting a line. The second being that I didn't really want to. Tim Griffin, who has yet to go against a favorite (easy to do when you don't acknowledge the spread), will be taking them all again this week. He would also like you to know that he's gone 44-4 thus far. And for that we congratulate him on being a true savant of Big XII football. With that, we're on to the picks…
Texas Tech (-7.5) @ KSU – 2:30 ABC
This is the one I had pegged as my upset special about halfway through the non-conference. Then I subjected myself to watching the Wildcats attempt to play an actual game. This will be Tech's first televised game, so I've yet to see them. But common sense tells me that if they're even half as good as they want to think they are this game should be a cakewalk. Don't get me wrong, I'm still in the "not sold' department when it comes to Tech, let alone their defense. But if the Wildcats couldn't stop a decent high school team (and right now I'm not positive they could), how are they going to stop Tech?
Tech 41 KSU 30
Methzou (-10.5) @ Nebraska – 8:00 ESPN
It's been well documented that the Tigers haven't won in Lincoln for 30 years (try 40 bitches!), but all streaks must come to an end at some point. Assuming Chase can keep his fingers out of his proboscis long enough to direct his offense, there is almost no way Nebraska is going to contain them. After watching Tyrod Taylor carve them up last week, it's pretty apparent that Pelini Magic has yet to set in. Says Tiger radioman Gary Link, "they're gonna knock the damn door down!" As always, maturity prevails.
Methzou 38 Nebraska 27
Texas (-13) @ Colorado – 6:00 FSN
Going into the season this was viewed as a possible stumbling block for the Longhorns. After watching Colorado's offense against WVU and hearing about their defense against FSU, I really don't see how the Horns don't handle this one easily. But I would have said the same thing when OU went there just a year ago. As much as they don't want to admit it, they have to be looking forward to the RRS next week and sometimes that's all it takes. I have to think the Buffs are just too banged up to pull out a win here though.
Texas 31 Colorado 24
OU (-24.5) @ Baylor – 11:30 FSN
Baylor thinks they're going to win. I think they have a chance. To cover. I really like what I've seen from Baylor since the Wake Forest game. But as valiant as their effort was at UCONN, any team that can't fend off the Huskies is bound to have some trouble with the Sooners. Much crazier shit has happened and the Sooners definitely have some weaknesses, but Baylor is not the team that's going to expose them.
Oklahoma 48 Baylor 24
Texas A&M (+25) @ Oklahoma State – 6:00 Radio
I juxtaposed these two games for a reason. Notice the lines. Baylor : Oklahoma :: Texas A&M : Oklahoma State … There's a chance I may not watch A&M play this entire year. And be a better man for it. Sad state of affairs going on there.
OSU 45 Texas A&M 17
Kansas (-13) @ Iowa State – 11:30 Versus
Confident, yet apprehensive. Those three words could probably sum up how I feel about any game like this (i.e. league road game as the favorite), but it's especially true this week. I didn't get to see much of Pitt's victory in Tampa last night (why Cubs why?!?), but on the surface it probably takes a bit away from what the Hawks did (or didn't do) down there. I'm not one to rely on the transitive property, but more than anything it just pisses me off that Wannstache was able to win where the Jayhawks could not.
Obviously they'll have plenty of chances to redeem themselves throughout league play, but what it really exposes is that we may not know exactly what we've got right now. Fields and Harper are set to return, which can only help, but last year aside the road has not been kind to Mark Mangino teams.
Fortunately, this road game is being played in Ames, otherwise known as a perfect place to build a little confidence. If the Hawks do three things they should have no trouble leaving with a victory:
1. Show up
2. Play assignment sound defense
3. Take care of the ball
As little as we may know about them, we know without a doubt that they're better than Iowa State. Handle these three objectives and they'll prove it emphatically.
Kansas 37 ISU 17