Let’s get some discussion going this week on these Big 12 games. I would like to hear some opinions from the West Virginia fans since I’m not as familiar with that team as I am with the Big 12 regulars. Right now this is where the lines stand:
Tulsa (-1.5) vs Iowa State (opened at pk)
Texas (-29.5) vs Wyoming (opened at -28)
OU (-30.5) over UTEP (opened at -29)
Baylor (-10.5) over SMU (opened at -12)
West Virginia (-24) over Marshall (opened at -21.5)
The two games that stuck out some to me when the lines first came out were Texas -28 and Baylor -12. With Texas/Wyoming I still have memories of Wyoming’s bowl game against Temple in which Temple’s OL totally dominated Wyoming, who gave up 232 ypg average rushing last year. Wyoming’s D-Line should be improved. But I’m not sure they can make that big of a jump in one season. Texas SHOULD have plenty of success rushing. And with both QB’s Mack will use, we’re probably still going to see a pretty good QB battle going well into the 4th quarter. So I lean to Texas in that game
I look for a good game with Baylor/SMU. These old SW Conference rivals always bring their best stuff when they play each other. Unlike in previous meetings, SMU looks like they are physical enough on defense to match up with Baylor. I never thought I would say this with Baylor/SMU, but this looks like it has potential to be more of a defensive game. SMU’s strength could actually be their defense this year. And Baylor has 8 defensive starters returning in DC Bennett’s second season. Both teams will have new QB’s. Although both Gilbert of SMU and Florence of Baylor have seen plenty of action.
Tulsa/Iowa State looks to be a tight game. I would slightly favor ISU here if they had their QB situation straightned out. But I still haven’t heard Rhoads name a starter, or whether he has one but hasn’t revealed him to the media. At any rate, I’ve never liked a team not having a QB named with less than 2 weeks to go to the opener. And then having to go up against a high powered offense.
With OU/UTEP something tells me with only Floirda A&M on board ther next week, the Sooners will just unleash their firepower on UTEP and not let up. But you never can be 100% sure in these road games. UTEP is a familiar place for Landry Jones since OU beat Stanford in that stadium in the Sun Bowl a couple years ago. And I don’t see the fans being any kind of intimidation factor for OU. I’m kind of surprised UTEP has kept Mike Price fore 9 years. I’ve never really thought of him as a good coach. He’s had a long career, and he still has a losing record. Even in his years coaching an FCS team he was barely a .500 coach. I think if UTEP doesn’t produce a winning record or make it to a bowl this season, Price will be gone. Like I said, I think OU can probably cover this number if they really want to.
I would like to hear some opinions on WV/Marshall. I know WV shouldn’t have any trouble at all moving the ball in this game. But can they slow down Cato and the Marshall offense enough to cover the 24? Some of you WV or CUSA fans weigh in. I would like to hear you opinions.