By Tony George
A KEY week in the Big 12 in terms of setting the stage for a season ending showdown, the last of it's kind for the Nebraska Cornhuskers as they move to the Big 10 next year. I honestly feel if NU can get over on Texas in Lincoln, they will end up seeing Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship. The old rivalry renewed with OU and NU both in the Top 10 and vieing for a national title. It very well could happen.
Some real KEY games this weekend and some excellent macthups that really have season long implications. Mizzou takes to the road for the first time this week and the Wildcats and Jayhawks hook up early in the week.
Lets get right to it boys, my takes and leans for this weeks action in the Big 12
Texas @ Nebraska -9.5 - The Huskers have had this one circled since their spring game, the Big 12 championship score on the scoreboard all week in Lincoln and replays from last years game stick in the minds of the rerturners, all 18 of them for NU who lost a last second heartbreaker to Colt McCoy and the Longhorns last year, a game they dominated. Texas back on their heels and reeling, staring at 3 losses after this one if they cannot beat NU.
Nebraska has a new ace in the hole with all world speedster QB Martinez making national headlines and Nebraska off a complete butt kicking of K State on ESPN last week for all the world to see. You think NU is ready for this one? Texas cannot run the ball, but can throw it, and with NU's pass rush solid and their secondary in the top 2 or 3 in the nation, at home, expect Nebraska to compete here. Bo Pelini has been waiting for this one since last December, and Texas needs this win to save their season. Texas gave OU all they wanted and then some, can they get over on NU in Lincoln and is near 10 points too many?
BIG 12 GAME OF THE WEEK - Look for it now!
Kansas St -2.5 @ Kansas - THURSDAY NIGHT SELECTION. In State rivalry, Kansas is struggling and K Satte is licking their wounds and now on a back to back ESPN Thursday games. Can Kansas stop RB Thomas and play like they did against Georgia Tech at home, or does K State get it going again after that Nebraska debacle? I have the answer.
Mizzou @ Texas AM -2.5 - Not sure about Mizzou in this one as they begin a brutal stretch of games and have OU on deck at home, the line opened at Texas AM -1.5 and is climbing, and word is in my line of work many big time players love AM here. I am not sold on either team, and QB Gabbert is banged up for Mizzou with a bad hip but is likely to play. Texas AM is a disappointment to date and their offense has struggled and they have been a turnover machine. This one could go either way and home field is huge for the Aggies here, and this is the Tigers true first road game after playing weak sisters all season with the exception of Illinois. Texas AM off 2 brutal games, while Mizzou buried the Buffs last week. Tough spot however for Mizzou without a running game. Very small lean to the host. I am not as confident as allot of the sharps pounding Texas AM in this one, they have only shown me how to lose all season and the Tigers are undefeated and ranked.
Okie State @ Texas Tech -3 - WOW, a 3 point line move on Texas Tech right out of the gate in this one. A tough win over a fiesty Baylor bunch last week in the Cotton Bowl for Texas Tech. Okie State can move the ball and so can Texas Tech. This is going to be a old fashion Texas Shootout in my opinion, lean to the over 69. The QB's in this game have 35 TDs combined on the year, and neither team cares about running it, although Okie State should with RB Hunter, but they refuse to. Probably cost them the game here if they dont. Lean to the Over.
Baylor @ Colorado +1 - The Baylor Bears stand at 4-2 and Colorado is reeling after a pounding in Columbia last week. QB Griffen for Baylor the real deal and is a major danger for the Buffs. Yes, Colorado beat Georgia in here, but Baylor a different animal who is VERY well coached by Art Briles, and hungry for a win after a near miss in the Cotton Bowl against Tech last week, a game they could have won. I look for Baylor to avenge a home loss last year when Griffen was out with injury and claw the Buffs in this one. Lean to the visitor.
Iowa State @ Oklahoma -23.5 - After the Cyclones allowed 68 at home against Utah last week, I cannot make a case for them here in this one as OU has a winnable game at home before traveling to Mizzou next week. Mizzou not a team this year that is a really a look ahead game as in the past few years so OU should have full attention on ISU who they barely beat last year 17-7 in Ames in a struggle. Iowa State was exposed on defense last week and OU will expose them again with QB Jones who has nearly 1500 yards and 11 TDs already. I do not like laying this many points in any conference game this time of year, but ISU comes in here deflated and beat up, OU rolls.
Best of luck and check out my action this week and weekend, curently 6-4-1 ATS in Big 12 premiums and looking to add 2-0 to that number this weekend.