Missouri wide receivers Jerrell Jackson (right) and Jared Perry (left) sit on the bench to wait out the final minutes of play during a game between Missouri and Texas at Austin, Tex. (Chris Lee/P-D) By Tony George
If there was any doubts who the best team in the Big 12 is to this point, those doubts were silenced in a Texas style ass kicking of Mizzou Saturday Night. That was one of my free play winners last week in my report for you, the other was Nebraska who covered big. Take it from me, I have seen Mizzou play twice in person this season, and they are a talented and explosive team. Texas beat them up like a bottom feeder in the Big 12 in Austin Saturday night where Texas simply dominated in every aspect of the game from start to finish. While Mizzou never threw in the towel which was commendable, they simply were out manned and out coached from the opening bell. The Mizzo secondary allowed Colt McCoy a 90% completion rate, and that is a sure fire way to lose to Texas. Now with 2 losses and plenty of ball yet to play, a late November date at Arrowhead with an above average KU team looms large as the decider for the Big 12 North title.
Oklahoma struggled with Kansas at home for 3 quarters as KU traded punches with their offense and QB Todd Reesing looked very good for KU as always, but at days end, Kansas's defense was not good enough to slow down Bradford and company. Kansas was able to run the ball, but so did Oklahoma, and that was something I mentioned last week. If you want to win in the Big 12, you have to run the ball and establish some balance on offense. OU took a page of of that thought process and did a nice job of racking up over 600 yards of offense on a decent Kansas stop unit. An impressive running effort by Murray and other for OU really was needed a week before, but none the less the South division is wide open right now and it is going to be a dogfight till the end.
Texas Tech struggled with Texas AM for 2 quarters in College Station before opening up the floodgates and winning big, although they did not cover a huge number. Okie State beat up Baylor in impressive fashion, holding a decent Baylor offense to 204 yards. Now the Cowboys travel to Austin this Saturday to see if they can do what Mizzou failed to, give Texas a game! THIS IS MY BIG 12 GAME OF THE WEEK. Nebraska beat up Iowa State in Ames big time, covering the 6.5 points last week, another free play winner for you in the report. Nebraska gets to take on Baylor in Lincoln this weekend as a double digit favorite in conference action, something somewhat rare these days for the Huskers. Texas Tech gets a real big time opponent against Kansas this week in what should be a great football game in Lawrence. Back to back roadies for the Red Raiders, we will find out which one of these teams is for real this weekend! After seeing OU throw for almost 500 yards last week against KU, Mike Leach will have some special plays ready for the Jayhawks for sure.
Kansas State lost a big game at Colorado by 1 point as both teams continue to find a consistent offense and the right combination for their teams to become successful on defense. Ron Prince better start winning games soon at K State, the natives are restless! Interesting that the North division is not all that good outside of Kansas and Mizzou, but the Huskers damn near beat TexasTech on the road,only to lose in OT, and handed ISU a big loss in Ames, something Kansas failed to do. Nebraska has Kansas, Baylor, and Colorado at home, all winnable games and they play K State and Oklahoma on the road, and they will never beat OU, but could win out other than that and create some drama in the North if they continue to get better each week, which they have to date!
My Highlighted Games this Week: (5-2 ATS the past 3 weeks)
UPSET SPECIAL Texas AM +3.5 @ Iowa State
Iowa State may have caught Kansas sleep walking 3 weeks ago in a near upset, because what I saw of them this past week against Nebraska was deplorable. Texas AM played with Texas Tech for 2+ quarters, before succumbing to the fact that Tech got their act together and were a far better team. If Texas AM can use the running game and RB Lane as a battering Ram here, and make some throws in this game, especially in the middle seam like they did against Tech, they can win this game by 7-8 points. Iowa State does not have the size and speed to match up, so I am in the hopes Mike Sherman can at least put 1 game plan together and execute it this week, because ISU at home or not, is not a good football team. Texas AM 24 Iowa State 20
Oklahoma -19 @ Kansas State
I smell a blowout here. Oklahoma should be able to pass all over K State's secondary here. When OU runs the ball to balance the attack somewhat, they are tough to defend for anyone. Kansas Sate has issues on offense in this match up, and although QB Freeman is a stud, when asked to carry the entire game on his shoulders, like this one, he will fail. OU simply has too many weapons and a mission to get o the title game tied up with the hopes that Texas can fall in defeat between now and the end of the season. Oklahoma's defense is not the same without Reynolds, who is out for the year, but an opportunistic secondary may play a large role in this one for the Sooners. Kansas State had a total of 15 first downs last week, but gave up 24 of them to Colorado. While the Buffs failed to capitalize on most of those, although they still won, rest assured Oklahoma will take full advantage of that by scoring points. Oklahoma 48 Kansas State 20
I will have the Texas and Okie State game as my featured play this week so be sure and catch that winner on my weekend card as well as Texas Tech and Kansas as a bonus play. Look for Mizzou to bounce back this week at home against Colorado, but laying 22 points is scary the way they have been beaten up the past 2 weeks, but they have the offense to do it. One thing on that Mizzou line, Colorado's offense so bad that if Mizzou can move the ball here and score a on a very good Colorado defense, they may pull out a con of whoop butt on the Buffs! The Big 12 has 4 top teams in the Top 10 this week, and I see one making a trip out of there after this weekend.