It was another exciting day in the Big 12 on Saturday as you saw three early games that were roller coaster rides with two of them going down to the final minutes. The evening games unfortunately both turned out to be non contests.
As for my predictions it was a crazy day for me as I felt confident in all of my selections at some point during the games while they were going on. Then as a few of the games continued to progress my selections suddenly went down in flames right along with the Texas A&M & Kansas defenses.
MY OLD RECORD AGAINST SPREAD THIS SEASON: 10-14
MY NEW RECORD AGAINST THE SPREAD THIS SEASON: 12-17
So down below are the games, their spreads and my predictions along with the actual results of the games. Please feel free to make any comment you want on any of these games.
Please note the spreads I use come from the website www.vegasinsider.com and I try to use the most common spread listed amongst the different sports books assuming there is a variance.
Texas A&M Aggies vs Arkansas Razorbacks * - A&M is a 3 point favorite
* Game to be played at Cowboys Stadium - Arlington, TX
Saturday - 11:00 Central - ESPN
MY PREDICTION: A future middle of the road SEC team against a current middle of the road SEC program face off in Cowboys Stadium early on Saturday and it should be a good contest. The Razorbacks will be looking for their third straight win over the Aggies whom they beat 24-17 last season and 47-19 the season before. Both teams look to get back on track as Arkansas was throttled against Alabama 38-14 last weekend while the Aggies blew a 17 point lead against visiting Oklahoma State and then had to hear the chanting of "Big 12" from the visiting Cowboy fans. As for this game I think the Aggies get back on track as they are not facing Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon this week. I expect A&M to pound the ball against Arkansas with Cyrus Gray while Ryan Tannehill should be more efficient and safe with the football. I am going to say A&M wins the game and covers the spread in the process.
RESULT: Arkansas 42 - Texas A&M 38
Well at least the Aggies are consistent right? Another week and another blown second half lead as the Aggies were outscored 25-3 in the second half by the Razorbacks. It appeared early on that A&M was the more physical and dominant team in this one as they were pounding the ball with Christine Michael who ended up with 230 yards rushing and 3 TD's. But for a second straight week the Aggies defense was unable to shut down their opponent as Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson shredded the A&M secondary and finished up with 510 yards passing and 3 TD's. As for my prediction I thought I had nailed it early on when A&M looked to be running all over the place but then things changed quickly and Arkansas ended up with the outright win so I obviously started out the day on a loss. Although it started my day with a failed prediction, I have to admit a small part of me did enjoy see Texas A&M losing a tough one again for a second straight week, maybe there is such a thing as karma.
Texas Tech Red Raiders at Kansas Jayhawks - Tech favored by 6.5 points
MY PREDICTION: If you are an Arena football fan then this game will probably be to your liking as neither team appears to field much in the way of a defensive unit. The Jayhawks last outing provided Georgia Tech an opportunity to print up t-shirts while Tech's game this past Saturday vs Nevada was almost just as ugly from a defensive perspective. Who to choose in this game is anyone's guess as this could be KU's best chance of the season to get a conference win while Tech should come in expecting to be able to rack up points every time they touch the ball. If I had to make a selection I would place my money on the home team getting the points so I will go with KU to cover this spread. Not sure if the Jayhawks get the win outright since this game could come down to the final possession so whoever has it last could win.
RESULT: Texas Tech 45 - Kansas 34
Speaking of blown leads and failed predictions, look no further than what happened in Lawrence yesterday. The Jayhawks jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter and it appeared that it could be KU's day. The Red Raiders though came back and took a 24-20 lead midway through the second quarter but then KU answered with a touchdown before halftime to take a 27-24 lead into the locker room. In the second half though the Jayhawk defense simply looked tired and could not stop Tech as the Red Raiders scored 3 unanswered TD's to lead 45-27 and this one was in the books. This was another game where I thought my prediction was spot on when KU was up by 20 points and I didn't think they could blow a 26.5 point cushion at that point, obviously I was wrong and should now have learned my lesson about the KU defense.
Baylor Bears at Kansas State Wildcats - Baylor is a 3.5 point favorite.
Saturday - 2:30 Central - ABC
MY PREDICTION: What a difference a week makes as the Wildcats went on the road and defeated a Miami team who was coming off a thrashing of perennial power Ohio State. Now the K-State fans get to see if their defense is for real as they take on Heisman Trophy candidate (favorite?) Robert Griffin III who as you may have heard has more TD passes this season than incompletions. The question in this game is can K-State force the Baylor offense to punt it away a few times and hold the Bears to field goals and not touchdowns. The Wildcats should be able to run the ball and put up points against the Baylor defense but they will need to be efficient in the red zone as they cannot afford to settle for field goals after long drives. I got burned last week by going against Bill Snyder and the Wildcats but I am going to do it again here as I think the Bears come in with too many athletes. I say RG3 and the Bears keep their early season success going as they travel to Manhattan and come away with not only a win but the cover.
RESULT: K-State 36 - Baylor 35
In another instance of where I should have learned my lesson is picking against K-State and Bill Snyder for a second consecutive week. I watched this whole game and still am not exactly sure how the Wildcats were able to come out with the win as I was sure throughout the game that Robert Griffin and Kendall Wright would eventually pull away in this one for the easy win and cover. Arthur Brown and the KSU defense made just enough stops and big plays to survive this one and get the win. This was a HUGE win for K-State as they now get to prepare for another strong dual threat QB in James Franklin as Missouri comes to Manhattan next weekend in what should be again a must watch showdown on ABC. Let's hope that Bob Davie and the same officials aren't assigned to work in Manhattan next weekend again.
Texas Longhorns at Iowa State Cyclones - Texas favored by 9.5 points
Saturday - 6:00 Central - FX
MY PREDICTION: The Longhorns revenge tour continues this Saturday night in Ames, IA as they take on the Cyclones who defeated Texas last season by a score of 28-21 in Austin. The Longhorns have already traveled to UCLA and beat down the Bruins who also beat UT last season so many people are expecting a similar result in this game. The loss last season should provide Texas with the kind of motivation that some previous Longhorn teams may not have had when traveling to take on Iowa State. The Cyclones are riding high as they are an unexpected 3-0 with victories over in-state rival Iowa and a road victory at UConn. Those three wins have come despite the Cyclones being minus five in turnover differential. While I am still not sold on the combination of Case McCoy and David Ash at quarterback for the Longhorns it does seem to be a significant upgrade over Garrett Gilbert. As for the game I think the Cyclones have been living somewhat dangerously this season and I think this is the week where some of their errors catch up to them. I have to pick Texas to travel into Jack Trice Stadium and come away with the win and the cover in this one.
RESULT: Texas 37 - Iowa State 14
The Longhorns continue to prove that last year was more of a fluke than anything as they traveled to Ames and dominated the Cyclones in front of a great crowd. This game was never really a contest as Texas dominated from the start and led 34-0 at half and put it on cruise control in the 2nd half. I thought I was taking a gamble predicting Texas to cover almost a double digit spread on the road but my growing confidence in them was rewarded with my first correct prediction of the day.
Ball State at Oklahoma Sooners - Sooners favored by 37.5 points
Saturday - 7:00 Central - FX
MY PREDICTION: Who the heck knows on spreads like this since everyone knows OU is going to win by a wide margin but no one knows if Bob Stoops will rest players like Ryan Broyles and Landry Jones in preparation for conference play. Since they are playing at home and maybe a touch upset over losing the #1 ranking to LSU despite easily handling Missouri I am going to pick OU to win and cover this spread.
RESULT: Oklahoma 62 - Ball State 6
You wouldn't know it by checking the final score but OU came out a bit slow in this one and still ended up winning by 56 points. Nothing to say except the Sooners ended up dominating and getting the cover so I was correct on this one as well.