Big 12 Report: Week 5

Halfway through Big 12 play, how is the conference shaping up? Who will win the big games this weekend, and by how much? Aggie Websider's Taylor Freeman takes a look around the Big 12 for the 5th edition of his report.

If I were the Big 12 commissioner, I am blowing my rainy day money on advertising right now. For so long, all the hype has been with the SEC and their particular breed of football, but this year the Big 12 can finally challenge for the premier conference in the nation. Has there ever been any division more fun to watch for both the hardcore and casual fan?

You've got it all in the Big 12, top 10 matchups, Heisman hopefuls, crazy shootouts. The only thing missing is, well, defense, and who misses that? Oh sure, the grass is always greener, and the Ohio State vs. Penn State game was a classic 6-3 struggle, but was it fun to watch? Heck no. I've seen soccer scores higher than that game, and in soccer the refs do not stop the clock when you flail on the ground (unlike when Colt McCoy does it).

Don't worry Aggie fans. We may be the fat girl invited to the cheerleader's party this year, but we're losing dead weight fast. Baylor has got a wart on her face that isn't going away, people only talk to OSU because they are rich, and Tech lives too far out in the boonies to stay very long. On to this week's games.

Iowa State (+31) at #9 Oklahoma State

Why to watch:
In light of the fact that Texas may not lose for the rest of the season, the closest Aggie fans may get to savor a Longhorn loss is watching one of its coaching alums get continually pasted by Big 12 opponents. Or, if the stock market tanks again this week, you can tune in to see T. Boone promise an additional donation of Capri Sun and orange slices to every football player.

Who to take: Iowa State (+31). All the signs point to Oklahoma State, but this is still Big 12 play, and 31 points is a spread typically only reserved for Baylor. Iowa State has scored 30+ 5 times this year, and Oklahoma State may call off the dogs early to save them for Tech next week.

#14 Missouri (-20) at Baylor

Why to watch:
Missouri just hung 58 unanswered points on Colorado, and come into Waco looking to extend their points scored without retaliation. Can the Bears stop them and pull off the upset? Of course not, which is why it is worth watching Floyd Casey empty after the third quarter of play.

Who to take: Missouri (-20). Baylor may surprise by scoring some early touchdowns, but they have no match for the offensive speed of Missouri. Missouri scores at will, and cruises to an easy victory.

Colorado (+3.5) at Texas A&M

Why to watch:
Energized by the realization that the Aggies are technically not mathematically eliminated from the Big 12 championship this year, you make the trek to college station to avoid hearing broadcast gems such as, "And Jerrod steps back, we had uh, twins right slot left, motion man, thrown… the ball is thro-tipped! The ball was tipped and it is going to be marked dow- TOUCHDOWN A&M!"

Who to take: Colorado (+3.5). Sure, we're all excited about the passing game, but where is the rest of the team? The defense looks so lost I'm pretty sure I saw a Wrecking Crew picture on a milk carton last week, and the running game does not showcase the talent we have in the backfield. With Goodson and Schneider probably for this week's game the Aggies can pull it off, but if they do Colorado will score enough points to at least stay within a field goal.

Nebraska (-22) at #4 Oklahoma

Why to watch:
It was not more than a decade ago when the lines were usually flipped, with Nebraska rolling this series regularly as monumental favorites. There are a lot of ties in this game, as Pelini was the co-defensive coordinator for the Sooners in 2004 and Stoops has a relationship with many Tom Osborne disciples.

Who to take: Nebraska (-22). As usual, Pelini has improved the defense of the Huskers substantially, although he will be tested heavily by Bradford and company. The key is that he is more familiar with Stoops' attack than most, and he should be able to slow down if not stop the Sooner offense.

Kansas State(+10.5) at Kansas

Why to watch:
Beat's me. The only showcase of two Big 12 North teams on the downslide, with Kansas State continuing its fall from the 90's and Kansas showing it may have been a one-hit wonder. Unless you are a Kansas native wondering who will win the whatever-ridiculous-trophy-they-surely-have for this matchup, there are better games.

Who to take: Kansas (-10.5). Both of these teams got humiliated last week, so there will be much to play for pride-wise for both teams. I'll give the edge to Mangino over Prince for getting his team back up for this game, however, and at the risk of hammering a joke too hard I'll let you figure out why.

#1 Texas (-3.5) at #6 Texas Tech

Why to watch:
Because this will be an awesome freaking game. Put aside your differences for one week Aggies and realize there is a reason Gameday chose to go to the Lubbock abyss. Texas can beat you in so many ways while Tech can beat you with one, but the supporting cast is now good enough to give the Raiders a chance. As an Aggie, I want to dismiss the game but as a football fan, I can't wait.

Who to take: Texas (-3.5). How to beat Texas Tech: #1 – Be able to move Harrell with a 4 man pass rush. That's it. Luckily for the longhorns, they have both the talent and coaching staff to make that happen. Tech could surprise again, but they have faced nowhere near the athleticism Texas brings to the table. They will keep it close for a half, but Texas will not fall from #1 this weekend.

Week 4 record: 4-2-0
Overall record: 12-12-0

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