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Big 12 Discussion – Week # 1

Big 12 Discussion – Week # 1

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.


11 Responses to “Big 12 Discussion – Week # 1”

  1. SoonerBS says:

    There is no doubt that Oklahoma can cover the spread against UTEP, however, you know this game is going to be played very generically by Oklahoma. Plus, it is just hard for me to lay that many points on an Oklahoma team that just doesn’t do as well on the road as what they do at home. I’ll probably just be glad to sit home and watch my Sooners late Saturday night without any wager going.

    I’m still contemplating a play on Texas. I am like you, I don’t think there is any way Wyoming can remotely stop Texas’ running game. And, with both QBs trying to prove themselves, and with a stable of very good running backs trying to vie for playing time, there should be scoring throughout the game. I’ll likely be on Texas here, but I’ll wait to see what the line does . . . for at least a couple of hours. 😉

    Here is the one play I have already made and why I made it:

    Tulsa PK for 1 UNIT — I like the direction that Rhoads is taking this Iowa State team. Slowly he is making improvements, but he just doesn’t have a lot to work with here. That being said, Iowa State always has the advantage of being taken “lightly” by other teams. When this happens, they can slip up on you and give you a game. Just ask Oklahoma State last year. They bring back 7 offensive starters, including their QB, Barnett, and I think they are going to have similar offensive performance to last season. They are not going to run over you or dazzle you, but they are well balanced offensively. I also think they will probably have a little more success this season based on the fact that last year they had -11 lost turnovers. BUT, the thing that hurts them in this game is that they are playing it the week before their rivalry game against Iowa. Also, their rush defense, which wasn’t great last season, looks to be down a bit this year with their two best defensive line players gone. They are also replacing nearly their entire defensive backfield.

    Now, we bring in an 8-5 team that has improved defensively and brings back the core of their offensive players. The only one not coming back of value is their 3 year starter, Kinne at QB. But, they will be starting a Junior QB that transferred over from Nebraska and had 5 starts with them, Cody Green. He didn’t fit into Pelini’s offensive schemes (Pelini wanted a more dual type QB, but what he got was a running QB instead), but I think he’ll find a fit here at Tulsa. I think Tulsa will be a very solid team with the strength of their team relying on their run game.

    Iowa State struggles a bit with games leading into the Iowa game and this is a higher caliber team than what they are use to playing in this spot. Normally they like to try to start the season with an FCS team or a weak FBS team. I think the lookahead factor is big here with an Iowa State team that loves to try and pull the upsets against the big dog teams. I am not so sure Tulsa is a big enough dog for them to want to hunt with Iowa on deck.

    • SoonerBS says:

      With us being a week away from action, I feel confident enough to go ahead and finalize plays where I like the line without a lot of fear of injuries. So, with that in mind, I went ahead and laid the money:

      Texas -30 for 1 UNIT — No need to get too technical with this one. I like Dave Christensen and he has improved this Wyoming team by the numbers every season he has been there (except for a bit of a hitch in 2010). But, the bottomline in this game has to come down to these two questions: Can Wyoming score on what could be the Big 12’s best defense? Can Wyoming stop what could be the best running game in the Big 12? The answer to both of these questions is a profound, NO. Texas will not have to have great QB play in this game as they can run it down the throats of the Wyoming Cowpokes the whole game and score at will. Wyoming’s run defense was weak last season and I don’t think they can improve it enough this year to be a factor in this game.

      Another thing to consider here is the fact that both Texas QBs are likely to play. Although Ash has been named the starter, the Texas OC has already said both QBs are likely to play as competition continues at this position. So, you are going to see plays run that attempt to put more scores on the scoreboard throughout the game as coaches continue to evaluate Ash and McCoy. Another plus is the fact that Texas has a whole stable of very good RBs that are trying to impress the coaching staff that they need a lot of playing time. If the offensive line will do their job, Texas will run away with this game offensively to the tune of 40+ points. With the defense Texas has (probably the best in the Big 12), Wyoming may not score more than 10 points the whole game.

  2. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    BS…I had a lean to Iowa State. But Pez emailed this morning telling me Rhoades is starting Jantz at QB instead of the sophomore Barnett. They both have starting experience. I’ve just never been impressed with Jantz as a passer. And Barnett was just a freshman last year. I would have thought Rhoads would have stuck with him to see if he’s improved in his second season.

    As for Tulsa, they did lose a lot on the O-Line. And Kinne was one of the better QB’s in the country. His decision making will be missed. Tulsa also lost some key players at LB. So as far as loss of players, they are pretty much in the same boat as Iowa State. I like their QB Cody Green. But he hasn’t played a meaningful game in two years. Tough call on this one. But you make a good point with Iowa on board the next week. That game is as imporatant to ISU as Texas or OSU is to OU.

    I’m also going to play Texas -30. I see no reason why they can’t cover this game. I looked back at Wyoming’s schedule last year, and 7 out of their 8 wins came against either FCS teams (2) or non-bcs teams with a losing record (5). Their only win over a winning program last season was a 3 point win over SDST. The truth is Wyoming averaged only 372 ypg on offense, but gave up an average of 446 ypg on defense with an easy schedule in a non-bcs conference. And they have only 12 starters back from last year. I just don’t see where this team is going to be any kind of a threat to the Horns.

  3. Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

    GS, you mention that you think Baylor – SMU could be a somewhat defensive oriented game and I agree. In fact yesterday I analyzed this game looking to go under (60) and ended up making the wager last night at BetOnline.

    The big determining factors that stood out for me were the OL’s, especially SMU’s and the defenses (again, especially SMU’s).

    Despite some massive losses at the skill positions for Baylor (RGII at QB, Ganaway at RB and Wright at WR), I think Baylor will be fine at those positions. They may not be as “explosive,” which of course is a good thing when considering an UNDER. They do however lose 2 players on the OL and will be starting 2 really inexperienced players at both tackles.

    Anyway you look at it, as I expressed to SoonerBS in another comment, most teams (especially teams like Baylor), cannot easily replace players like that without expecting a drop off in production. How often does Baylor get 5 players drafted including 2 first round draft choices?

    SMU also looks like they’ll be fine at the skill positions, especially if Gilbert learns the offense. He could be an upgrade at the position. But their losses on the OL are MASSIVE. They lose 5 multi-year starters (184 career starts). They have three players w/ start experience, but between those three they only started 2 games last year and their are only 2 other returning lettermen on the OL.

    However, defensively SMU may have the best unit in CUSA, especially the front seven. The Baylor D sucked last year (they only held 2 teams below 30 points), but they return 8 starters, so we should expect some improvement. In addition, here is a list of offenses (and QBs they played last year):

    TCU (Pachall)
    K-State (Klein)
    TX A & M (Tannehill)
    OSU (Weedon)
    Missouri (Franklin)
    OU (Jones)
    Texas Tech (Doege)
    UW (Price)

    Those are some monster offenses w/ NFL quality QBs and/or All-Conference caliber QBs. I don’t see SMU and Gilbert anywhere near that caliber of offense or QB play.

  4. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Pez, with the line going down I think the under is probably all I would consider unless the line should jump back up. I think another thing that could help the under is the special teams. 3 out of the 4 special teams kickers from both teams are back. Baylor’s punter is especially good. The only thing that would concern me is even though SMU’s O-Line graduated, they do have some of the best skill players in the CUSA. And Baylor is also loaded at the skill positions. Baylor should be a little better on defense this year in DC’s Bennett’s second season. They have a very good secondary, so they probably won’t allow the big plays they did last year. That could also help Baylor get a few more unders this year.

  5. Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

    GS, the skill players on both sides are definitely a concern, especially for Baylor. They have Seastrunk at RB (former 5* recruit that transferred from Oregon) & Darryl Stonum from Michigan. And you know that QB Florence has a good grasp of the offense.

    SMU has Johnson back at WR and he’s a game breaker, but their best offensive player in RB Line. And how well has Gilbert grasped June Jones’ offense? Got to think we’ll be seeing a lot of Line in this one., which should only help an already good SMU D.

    PS As you know I grabbed a small chunk of SMU +14.5 when it first opened. Still debating whether to try and middle it if line drops below 10.

  6. Dave says:

    Gentleman-You may or may not know about this site. it is a great site for college football injury reports.

    If I am out of line for posting this site, please delete this post. I have know monetary/vested interested in this website.
    I just thought it would be a good site to share injury reports.

    Also, you do have to register to access the site.

    again, if I am out of line for posting this website excuse me for my ignorance and delete this post

    Good Luck

  7. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Dave, we don’t mind the link at all. We’ve posted several links ourselves that we think can be helpful to our readers. Pezgordo had an entire thread of links he posted a few months ago that we feel is the most helpful in gathering info. College Injury Report is an excellent site that I’ve been using for years.

  8. Terry says:

    Why is there so much respect for Tulsa? I din’t know enough about this team, but I still question them being favored on the road. Didn’t Jantz play well last year before injury? He helped Iowa State beat Iowa.

    • GoSooners GoSooners says:

      Terry, I don’t think it’s the respect for Tulsa as much as it is a top end CUSA team against a bottom end Big 12 team. I’m pretty torn on this game myself. I don’t like when I see non-bcs teams going on the road and being favored over any BCS team. But this isn’t a particually good spot for ISU with Iowa on board. ISU has also started their season out the last few years with easy opponents. Tulsa will be far from easy. And this group has seen much better teams than Iowa State. Remember last season? Tulsa started out playing OU, OSU and Boise State in their non conference games. They went 8-2 against everybody else. In their last game they lost 24-21 to BYU in their bowl game in which they outplayed BYU. And in my opinion BYU is a better team than ISU. I think it comes down to QB play and how big of a splash Cody Green can make in his first meaningful game in nearly two years. As for Jantz, I never was impressed with his arm. But apparently Rhoades sees something else in him that I don’t. Barnett was thrown to the wolves last year as a redshirt freshman. I thought that he would have shown improvement in his second year. Something tells me that we’ll see him before it’s all said and done.

  9. Sendacash says:

    I like this Texas play, people talk about how difficult it can be for teams to travel up to altitude to play in places like Wyoming, but there is an opposite effect as well. When they have to travel down south and play in high heat AND humidity it is something they are not used to being around and can wear them down.

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