By Tony George
My first Big 12 report of the season, and I look forward to posting weekly recaps and updates from my specialty conference. My first feature play of the season was last week, a Winner on Nebraska -22 who wiped the board with Arkansas State in Lincoln. Numerous teams struggled last week in the Big 12 conference. Missouri was down 20-6 late in the third quarter at home to lowly Bowling Green from the MAC before a wild fourth quarter where Mizzou finally ended up winning it in com from behind fashion. A hangover from an impressive blowout of cross state rival Illinois no doubt. The Tigers will tame patsy Furman this week in Columbia in a non lined game. Missouri has Nebraska in early October, they better get it together quickly. Mizzou I feel, although they hit a small bump in the road last week, is better than advertised.
Oklahoma State also had a hangover and it cost them, as high octane offense minded Houston came calling to Stillwater, and beat the Cowboys straight up as a sizeable dog. The Cowboys must have celebrated a win over Georgia well into the week, and were not aware that their biggest weakness is their defense, who gave up huge yards in 2008 and let Houston cut through them like a hot knife on butter. In the Big 12 South, your lifespan is short with no defense, trust me.
How about the Colorado Buffalo�s? I though K State would rival anyone for bottom feeder in the Big 12, but losing badly to Colorado State and then allowing Toledo to hang 54 on them on national TV put plenty of nails in head coach Dan Hawkins coffin. The guy on the hot seat, just became the first coach looking for a job in the Big 12 next season. Colorado has no defense and are laying over a TD to Wyoming. Are you kidding me? Things in Boulder are dicey to say the least! I will touch on other teams from the Big 12 next week, but it should be noted that predicted division leaders Texas and Kansas are rolling along.
Here are my takes on a few games this week of interest and my opinion on them:
Nebraska @ Virginia Tech -4.5
Nebraska has blown out and dominated 2 weak sisters, and have not allowed an offensive TD all year as Bo Pellini�s stamp on the defense is apparent and the blackshirts are fired up. QB Lee for Nebraska is a young Turner Gill prototype and has the tools both through the air and running it to give defense�s fits, and NU will need that versus a solid VT defense. Doubt Nebraska resembles Marshalls offense for VT to shut down and or roll up points on like last week. This was a 35-30 game last year in Lincoln, and Nebraska has a better defense this year with Suh leading the way, this DL will give VT some issues in a hard fought game. I would grab the points here. Virginia Tech 20 NU 17
Tulsa @ Oklahoma +16.5
Much like BYU, a spread type attack and some really good players for Hurricanes might give OU a game here. While losing QB Bradford a HUGE hit for OU, they hope to have him back by the Texas game, at least they better! The Sooners defense was exposed a little against BYU, and I see Tulsa, who averages 40 ppg while allowing only 11 a formidable in state foe for big brother OU. Tulsa QB Kinne had 4 TD passes last week, and has enough weapons to trade punches with OU and keep it under the Number. Oklahoma 38 Tulsa 24
U Conn @ Baylor -10.5
Tough call here. Baylor off a big road win at Wake Forest and U Conn off a devastating loss to North Carolina giving up 12 unanswered points at home in that game to lose. Baylor had a week off to prepare for thios one, and QB Griffen for Baylor the real deal for the Bears, one of the more exciting players in the Big 12, and very dangerous. The U Conn offense is the issue, and the no huddle deal is not working out well, and I think that Baylor can pull away late as there is no way U Conn can trade scores with Baylor all day. Baylor 31 U Conn 17
My Big 12 Game of the Week feature is loaded and ready, have NO doubts again this week with my singled out Best Bet at www.pregamepros.com