By Tony George
The Big 12 Powers struggled last week, specifically Nebraska who scraped by at home against South Dakota State, Oklahoma getting all they wanted from a tough Cincy team on the road, and Texas was beaten badly in all aspects of the game by UCLA, who really is not all that good. Chalk it up to looking ahead for Texas and OU who square off in the Red River War this week at the state fair in Dallas in the Cotton Bowl, but Nebraska never got off the bus. Both Kansas State and Nebraska have the weekend off as they prepare to play a ESPN next Thursday in Manhattan which is barometer for both teams, although Nebraska already passed a good test on the road at Washington in a blowout win. Conference action begins full time starting this weekend. Nebraska seems to be to the team to beat early on in the North while OU in the South sits on top of my power ratings.
Here is my takes and breakdowns for this Weeks action:
Texas AM / Oklahoma State -3 (Thursday ESPN) – I have a play in this game but can assure you of one thing, a flat out shootout from both teams. Texas AM off a scare against Florida International and Okie State already had a major scare at home against Troy. Both teams will be focused and ready for conference action in what stacks up to be a very good game. Look for the over in this game. The strength of both teams is offense.
OU -4 / Texas (in Dallas) – Texas looking shabby coming in here this week. 97th in defense in the country and a far less talented team than OU just shredded them last week in Austin. QB Jones already has 1200 yards passing and in an effort to replace QB Bradford who went down in this game last year, he had 250 yards against the Horns defense, which is far superior to this years edition. Texas has no running game, and OU is not using RB Murray near enough. Tough to see Texas bounce back and win this, stranger things have happened in this game. Do or die for Texas here as they have a trip to Lincoln on the 16th upcoming. I lean OU here to win by a TD or more.
Texas Tech / Iowa State – MY BIG 12 FEATURE PLAY THIS WEEK, 5-2 with Big 12 Features.
Kansas at Baylor -9 Cannot figure out KU and Turner Gill at the moment, an enigma wrapped in a riddle. After seeing Georgia Tech this past weekend at home getting lit up, maybe that win was not so big, and then losing badly to So. Miss, and then blowing out New Mexico State last week. Baylor plugging along here with a healthy Griffen at QB, but unsure if they can lay 9 in conference opener and cover. All depends on which KU team shows up. Bears off big win against Rice, and avenging a 58-10 road loss last year at Lawrence. All in all, KU has an inexperienced team with a frosh QB in only his second road start, and his first one was a debacle. Small lean to the host.
Georgia at Colorado +5 - Brutal Schedule for the Bulldogs so far and off a bad beat at Miss State last week as well as games with South Carolina and Arkansas. Colorado has played 1 good team all year and were pounded at Cal 52-7. All in all the better players lie with Georgia whose back is against the wall and whose fans are calling for the coaches head. Stats are about even in this one and it is a make or break game for both teams, I would lean to the host who is well rested and Georgia coming in here hanging their head laying a bad number at 5. I think a 3 pointer one way or the other, which has me leaning to the Buffs.
Look for a big play on Saturday from me in the Cyclones and Red Raiders game. Take Oklahoma as my top FREE PLAY of the week in this report.