I'm still working on the picks and I'll add to this shortly, but I wanted to get in my Texas/Texas A&M pick in before it was too late.
Texas A&M @ Texas (-36.5)
I'm sure the Longhorns will win this handily as they're far superior and looking for style points (despite what Mack says) for the BCS voters. But 37 points is a lot to cover for an offense that really doesn't even look for the big play. And as worthless s A&M is, they do have a couple playmakers on offense to be able to score some points. But they'll get it done anyway.UT 49 A&M 10
The rest are on their way...
Game of the week
Oklahoma (-7) @ Oklahoma State
I was the last one on the Cowboy bandwagon and as soon as I got behind them full tilt, they went to Lubbock, quickly went up 7-0 and did absolutely nothing the rest of the evening. Since then the Sooners returned the favor to Tech in even more embarrassing fashion. And while that shouldn’t mean anything – and to an extent won’t – it makes it pretty hard to trust the Pokes this weekend. If Hunter is available, they really should be able to run the ball pretty effectively. As good as OU looked last week, we still haven’t seen them overcome what appears to be their biggest weakness, conditioning. In a close game, they seem to wear down badly (which is exactly what happened in the Cotton Bowl and was even starting to happen v. KU) and can’t sustain on either side for the duration. So if OSU is picking up first downs on the ground and Dez Bryant is doing what he usually does in Stillwater, things could get interesting. But as much as I underestimated them early, I think we all need to accept that OSU simply outplayed MU and caught Texas on a bit of a downswing. They’re a good team, but they’re not elite. Bradford will have all day and the Pokes just won’t be able to keep up. OU 45 OSU 31
Baylor @ Texas Tech (-21.5)
Tough line here as Baylor has just enough to keep things interesting if Tech hasn’t put last week behind them. Frankly, I think I’m making a mistake leaning towards Tech, but this just seems like the kind of game where they might try to run it up to make themselves feel a little better about the humiliation they endured Saturday. If you haven’t guessed, I don’t have much in the way of analysis here. Tech 51 Baylor 24
Colorado @ Nebraska (-18)
The Buffs need this one to become bowl eligible. But with the way Nebraska is playing and with how unbelievably bad the Colorado offense has looked, I just don’t see it happening. Eighteen seems a little higher than I would have expected, but also seems doable if they protect the ball (no sure thing). For some reason, I’ll trust the Huskers here to exact a little revenge from last year. NU 38 CU 17
Kansas (+16) v. Missouri
If you haven’t heard, the powers that be at these two institutions have decided to prolong the mistake that is having this game at the concrete hell that is Arrowhead. I’m all for making money, but this is just ridiculous. There are exactly two games in the nation that play on neutral fields with consistency: UT/OU and Florida/Georgia, and it should stay that way. But since I could go on about this for hours and it doesn’t really matter anyway, I’ll just leave it be for now.
As for this game, I guess you never know what you’re gonna get, but I think it’s safe to say that we’ll see some points. Just as was the case a year ago, the Tigers have a slight edge on paper. Both offenses have an overwhelming advantage over the opposing defense, but theirs is slightly larger. But as we’ve seen many times in this rivalry and others, that often means very little. Consider the fact that Terry Allen actually went 3-2 against the urine ad black. Consider that in the last 10 years, the mark stands at 5-5, though KU has arguably never had the more talented team. So anything can happen. And honestly, I’d argue that the disparity between these two teams is not nearly what the record would indicate. Their people like to point out that Kansas isn’t winning this year because we’re playing an actual schedule – yet their three biggest wins over the last 2 seasons would be: 1) over what they like to call a fraudulent Kansas team, 2) a Tech team that couldn’t beat OSU or Colorado, & 3) Illinois. You could probably throw Arkansas in there somewhere, but considering they played without a coach and their only two players were already looking toward the NFL Combine and, well, you get the idea.
Long story short, I think we need to create some breaks for ourselves, but I think a win is plenty within reach. Like I said, we’ll have plenty of chances to score some points. Hopefully the weather permits for us to go down the field a little as the Tigers have proven to be very susceptible to the big play. But really, we just need to play to our strengths. Run the ball against one guy, not four. Find soft spots in their zone or exploit their corners in man. Protect our defense and make the most of our opportunities and we’ll keep the pressure on them to keep scoring too.
Defensively, we need to maintain intensity. They don’t get held to a three and out very often – almost never against teams outside of the South – and they often find a way to punch it in for six. We by no means have a wall of a defense, so we’re going to give up points too. It will be imperative to have a short memory and keep fighting for the full sixty minutes. And as far as that will get us, we also need to do a little extra. We need to get pressure on Booger. We need to press the receivers and make breaks on balls. Force the issue. Booger isn’t good under pressure and he will force throws if we make him. When that happens, turnovers happen and the Tigers lose. This sounds like fun. Make it happen, Hawks. KU 38 MU 34