By Tony George
The Big 12 now has 5 ranked teams in the Top 25, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers crawled back into the driver’s seat last week with a beat down of the Mizzou Tigers in Lincoln, where Roy Hulu Jr. ran wild and set a single game rushing records for the Huskers, and that is saying something considering the past running backs at Nebraska. As Nebraska punches their exit ticket for the Big 10 next year, they are clearly lining up an old Big 8 battle at season’s end with long time hated rival Oklahoma who clearly is the best team in the South. Both teams have some potential landmines along the way, but it looks to be a December 12th meeting in Dallas for those two unless the wheels come off.
Other contenders still are Mizzou up north and not to mention Iowa State, a real shocker this season with a huge game on deck this week at home with Nebraska. Baylor is getting the best coaching in the Big 12 from Art Bryles and have now knocked off Texas in Austin as Iowa State did the week before and have no doubt, Baylor and QB Griffen are the real deal and ranked and currently leading the South standings! A lot of big games that determine some paths for some teams this weekend, lets break them down and offer some opinions.
Nebraska -19 @ Iowa State – Potential landmine for Huskers, but remember last year Iowa State BEAT Nebraska in Lincoln after the Huskers turned it over 8 times in a single game. That is a good thing considering Nebraska is off a huge national TV game against Missouri and this could be a letdown spot for a game like this, so having some payback should give the Huskers focus. All world QB Taylor Martinez has an ankle sprain and bone bruise in his leg, and is 50/50 for this game, but Zac Lee is a 5th year senior and started all last year and has seen plenty of time already, so they are in good shape there. ISU off a so-so win against Kansas last week after upsetting Texas. This should be a better than advertised game, as ISU can move the ball, but play little defense and NU’s offense may give them trouble. A lot of points on the road after a big win, Lean to the host to cover.
Baylor @ Okie State -7 – Baylor sits atop the South rankings but are playing a team whose only loss is to #6 ranked Nebraska, a game they were in till mid fourth quarter. Baylor off a huge win and now travel back to back here, while OSU off a pretty tough game and 10 point win at Kansas State. This should be a shootout in Stillwater without question as these two teams 1 and 2 in scoring offense’s in the Big 12. The Total is 73 in this game, the highest for either team all season, I lean to the UNDER. This will be a hard fought game with equal teams, slight edge to OSU at home, UNDER is my lean.
Colorado -8 @ Kansas – If you look at the list of injuries for Colorado it is flat out scary that they are laying 8 to anyone at home or on the road. Given the fact half their OL is out, and QB Hansen is gone for the season, the Buffs face a tough test the rest of the way out, but this is a winnable game on the road. Look for Kansas to possibly get a QB from the stands as they are on their fourth QB so far due to injury and none are ready to play, what a mess for Turner Gill. Look for Colorado to sneak out a win here by 10, lean to visitor.
Other games this weekend include my Big 12 Game of the MONTH between Texas AM and Oklahoma, so look for that. Missouri travels back to back weeks laying 4 at Texas Tech who just got waxed on the road at Texas AM and their last home they were beaten by 17 against Okie State and have lost 4 out of their last 6. SOLID Lean to Mizzou in this one. Texas travels to Kansas State laying 4 points and both teams are reeling. At day’s end the Longhorns have better talent and should win a close one, but Texas not bankable as they have lost 9 out of their last 11 games ATS, small lean to Texas here but a stay away game for me.