Big D's Big 12 South forecast

With a new coach in Waco and Aggieland, returning starters galore in Lubbock, will Oklahoma be able to defend its Big 12 South crown from a year ago? Aggie Websider's Dallas Shipp dives into game-by-game predictions of this fall in the Big 12 South.

1. Oklahoma (12-0, 8-0)
Chattanooga – W
Cincinnati – W
@ Washington – W
TCU – W
@ Baylor – W
Texas – W
Kansas – W
@ Kansas State – W
Nebraska – W
@ Texas A&M – W
Texas Tech – W
@ Oklahoma State – W

NOTES: With road games at Kansas State, Texas A&M and the season finale at Oklahoma State, it will take a little magic for Oklahoma to pull off the 12-0 season, but on paper, they should be favored in every game this year. Will they do it? Who knows? Non-conference games should be a cake walk to 4-0 before the big tests come against Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and the big rivalry showdown at Oklahoma State. The game in Norman against Texas Tech could decide the Big 12 South, and have major BCS implications.

2. Texas Tech (11-1, 7-1)
Eastern Washington – W
@ Nevada – W
SMU – W
Massachusetts – W
@ Kansas State – W
Nebraska – W
@ Texas A&M – W
@ Kansas – W
Texas – W
Oklahoma State – W
@ OU – L
Baylor – W

NOTES: With a slew of returning starters, including All-American wide receiver Michael Crabtree and All-Big 12 quarterback Graham Harrell, Texas Tech will try to avoid that costly loss that has plagued the Red Raiders during the Mike Leach era. If they can get past road games at Kansas State, A&M and Kansas, the game in Norman could decide the Big 12 South Champion. I think OU has the edge in that game, but Texas Tech has a bye week the previous week, which could give the mad scientist, Leach, time to come up with an extra-special game plan for Stoops' Sooners.

3. Texas A&M (9-3, 7-3)
Arkansas State – W
@ New Mexico – W
Miami – W
Army – W
@ Oklahoma State – W
Kansas State – W
Texas Tech – L
@ Iowa State – W
Colorado – L
Oklahoma – L
@ Baylor – W
@ Texas – W

NOTES: Okay, I know what you're saying, 9-3… Lay off the Kool-Aid, but hear me out. I have a feeling that A&M will stumble in one of the games against Oklahoma State, Miami or Colorado (who I think will be pretty good this year), so I gave them the ‘L' to the Buffalos. But I think that the Aggies match up well against Texas once again, and I went with my gut for another upset victory over Colt McCoy and the Longhorns this Thanksgiving. If the Aggies could throw the ball against the Texas secondary like they did in 2007 under Franchione, a much more polished aerial attack should be tough to defend for a secondary that is filled with freshmen. Granted, they'll almost be sophomores by the time the two teams play, but I still think that if the Aggies are healthy heading into that game, especially at offensive line, they could win a third consecutive year over the Horns.

4. Texas (8-4, 4-4)
Florida Atlantic - W
@ UTEP - W
Arkansas - W
Rice - W
@ Colorado - W
Oklahoma - L
Missouri - L
Oklahoma State - W
@ Texas Tech - L
Baylor - W
@ Kansas - W
Texas A&M – L

NOTES: The 10-game winning streak will come to an end this year in Austin, regardless of what happens on Thanksgiving, and if Colt McCoy goes down at any point during the season, it could get ugly for the Longhorn Nation. With Mack Brown publicly nervous about his secondary holding up against pass-happy Florida Atlantic this weekend, that's not a good sign playing in a conference filled with quarterbacks. Texas will struggle to hit the 10-win mark again.

5. Oklahoma State (6-6, 2-6))
@ Washington State – W
Houston – W
Missouri State – W
Troy – W
Texas A&M – L
@ Missouri – L
Baylor – W
@ Texas – L
Iowa State – W
@ Texas Tech – L
@ Colorado – L
Oklahoma – L

If the Cowboys finish 6-6, sources in Stillwater believe that the Mike Gundy era will come to an end, as Boone Pickens is spending way too much money to be finishing in the bottom half of the Big 12 South. But with road games at Missouri, Texas, Texas Tech and Colorado, along with games against Big 12 South wild-card Texas A&M, it will be tough for Gundy and Co. to hit that mark.

6. Baylor (4-8, 1-7)
Wake Forest – L
Northwestern State – W
Washington State – W
@ Connecticut – W
Oklahoma – L
Iowa State – W
@ Oklahoma State – L
@ Nebraska – L
Missouri – L
@ Texas – L
Texas A&M – L
@ Texas Tech – L

NOTES: It's a good thing he's getting paid well, because Art Briles' first year in Waco is going to be a tough road. If he's going to have a shot at reaching .500, he's got to go 4-0 in non-conference play, but even then, two wins in Big 12 play will be pretty tough to come by for the Bears this year. With four of their final six games on the road—against Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Texas and Texas Tech, no less, with home games against Missouri and Texas A&M thrown into the stretch—the last two months could be brutal.


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