Needless to say as the fourth quarter went on I was just hoping for the middle of the road outcome of an against the spread loss but a Tiger victory. Thanks to an outstanding effort by the Tiger defense the toothpick collection went up this week despite the poor week on this site. For the year we are now 24-30 ATS and 44-15.
I have some games I feel very strongly about and some games where I really don't know who to favor. I am going to pick my Big XII games from my least confident to my most confident picks. But sometimes I do better on games I don't seem to have a clue about so reader beware!
MIZZOU (-20) at Baylor (9 PM FSN) - I think it is a safe statement to make that as of today Missouri appears to be the best team in the Big XII North. That doesn't mean that the Tigers will win the North and while right now the Tigers and Nebraska have a slight leg up on the rest of the North, this is still a wide open race. I will say that Missouri has been the more talented team in every game they have played this year, that continues this week but the Tigers have been brutal on the road.
Here are some causes for optimism.
1. The Missouri defense had one of their strongest performances in the history of their Big XII games on Saturday, probably the strongest. Now sadly, that's not a high bar to cross but the adversity this bunch was able to overcome was impressive.
2. Much has been made of MU's horrible road record but they were able to go into Muncie, Indiana last year and blow out Ball State. I know that Baylor is giving plenty of tickets away for this game and the atmosphere should be at a high level for the 9 PM start but I think we might see a repeat of the Ball State game last year. At the same time, it's not outside the realm of possibility that another ambush like the BU/CU game last year or the Troy game from earlier this year occurs.
The question is does Baylor have as good of athletes as Troy? Even if they do, this is a game MU should win easily, I would never wager on this one but I will say MU continues to have some trouble on the road.
Pick Baylor, they lose 31-14
OSU (-6) at Colorado (230 ABC) - Here is another game that I am unsure about. Oklahoma State has looked strong in most of their games. They really worked over an Iowa State team that I thought had a rush defense to slow OSU down and had better passing numbers last week. Colorado is far from a perfect team, they don't have the best deep threats on offense and they appear to be fairly limited on offense. I thought MU really did a great job forcing turnovers and CU didn't make terrible errors on most of the turnovers. Also the defense is pretty solid for the Buffs.
This is a tough call but I think CU finds a way to win a close one at home.
Pick Colorado 27-24
OU (-6) vs. Texas (11 AM national ABC) - This is a difficult game to call. I hate going against trends and this is one of the biggest trends in college football. We all know that OU has owned Texas and I have already watched UT struggle in Fayetteville in person. However, I think this Texas team has some intangibles that previous teams did not have. Oklahoma hasn't been quite as impressive this year as previous years and only putting 28 up on Texas Tech (who allowed 30 to KU) has me making the crazy pick.
I'll pick Texas to win outright 28-27
The rest of the Big XII games I feel a bit more strongly about.
Texas A&M (-7) at Iowa State - The Aggies impressed me on Saturday night, I know they had significant turnovers go their way but that D line looks solid. If the D line dominates ISU, it's going to be a bad day in Ames.
Pick A&M 38-17
Nebraska (+7) at Texas Tech - I had a buddy that went to Vegas before the season started and he saw a few lines that he told me about. He told me he thought about betting MU (+4) against Nebraska or MU (-2) against KSU which were the preseason lines. I told him that he should have bet Texas Tech who I think at that time was a dog against Nebraska. Nebraska has a very good defense but I can't see them completely shutting down the Tech offense and while Tech is not good on defense, I think they can get some turnovers on a very turnover prone team at this point. This was a great upset pick before the year, now I don't feel quite as strongly about the pick.
Pick Texas Tech 34-20
Kansas State (-2) at Kansas - KU is charging $65 a ticket for this homecoming game. Way to take care of the alums who make it to one football game a year! Typical KU. Here is the mother of all trend games, KSU has covered 10 straight years. The average score has been something like 47-9. Bill Snyder loves to run it up on KU and he has done it year after year after year.
Let's be clear, KSU is not as good this year as they have been, they appear to have real issues on the O line, KU is better this year, the D gave them a shot in Lincoln and that's a team they haven't beaten in my lifetime so maybe another streak is in danger. I don't see it. I don't think KSU is THAT much worse and KU is THAT much better this year. This appears to be as easy as any pick gets.
Pick KSU they win 30-10
Other games I like:
Tenn. (+12) will be able to keep it closer than expected and possibly beat Georgia. (I'm picking Georgia straight up though).
Good luck to your team!