Wednesday, October 8

Big 12 Week 7 preview

Heading into week 7 of our 2008 season, the Big 12 looks stronger than I've ever seen it look before. Six teams are ranked in the top 20, with four of the top ten, three of the top five, and in the Coaches' poll, both of the top two. Five teams are unbeaten, and we've got two games matching up teams from that bunch. If you like Big 12 football, this is the weekend to tune in!

#5 Texas vs #1 Oklahoma
The last time #1 and #5 faced off, we saw USC absolutely embarass the Ohio State Buckeyes. No, I'm not going to let that one go... you'll be hearing it from me all season, Buckeye-lovers!
This is a real quarterback duel between Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford. Both players have similar weapons at their disposal. I'd give Texas the edge at WR, Oklahoma the edge at TE and o-line, and call RB a draw or close enough. Defensively, Texas seems to have the edge at d-line, Oklahoma might have an edge in the secondary (the Texas unit has performed much better than expected, but I'm not buying it just yet), and linebacker could be a wash. Neither has been outstanding nor disappointing on special teams. Of course we know, McCoy is more of a threat than Bradford with his legs, but Bradford stretches out defenses deeper than any QB in the country.
In the end I like Bradford to get the job done. This one could go either way.

Colorado @ #16 Kansas
Here we have got two teams eager to prove themselves. After a hot start that saw them upset West Virginia, Colorado has dropped consecutive games to Florida State and Texas. The loss to FSU wasn't entirely unexpected (CU tends to look like complete ass at least 4 games a year), but embarassing nonetheless to lose to an ACC team who Wake Forest held to 3 points. Kansas lost a tough game to South Florida before inexplicably getting into a nail-biter with Iowa State.
Though KU's defense has clearly lost a step, CU's lines have been getting dominated against even average opposition. Because of this, I don't think they can generate the points to keep up with Reesing's offense.

Kansas State @ Texas A&M
In a great offensive year for the entire conference, A&M still ranks 94th in total offense. The vaunted Wrecking Crew defense just got skewered by an Oklahoma State team featuring, at best, the 5th-best offense in the conference. Meanwhile Kansas State has Josh Freeman. Honestly, that's enough for me. Cats win.

Nebraska @ #7 Texas Tech
How far Nebraska has to go to compete for conference titles was really shown in their home blowout loss to Missouri. Furthermore they were unable to beat an offensively inept Virginia Tech team at home, allowing the Hokies to score 35 points! The defensive problems are still present in Lincoln despite Bo Pelini's best efforts, and for the second straight week a prime gunslinger is going to expose those holes.

Iowa State @ Baylor
Most seasons this is a cripple fight. And who am I kidding, it's still a cripple fight. However, this is also CREAM'S conference breakout game - Iowa State cannot contain the sheer manliness that is Robert Griffin III. He'll be ejukulating all over the field and spraying hot passes on this depleted defense as Baylor looks to win their third game. Unfortunately, the loss to UConn probably cost the Bears any shot at bowl eligibility - four of their final seven opponents are ranked.

#17 Oklahoma State @ #3 Missouri
This is another great quarterback duel, only this time one QB is clearly better than the other, and his team boosts superior players at pretty much every position - maybe, perhaps save for runningback. Regardless, I think we saw what Missouri is capable of last week. It's been a great season for Oklahoma State but they will need a special effort plus a poor performance by Missouri to take this one.