Crystal ball: TCU slips past Baylor

September, 2, 2011

OK, folks. College football is finally here and that means our weekly crystal ball series. We'll pick some key games here on and then we want you to pick the games in the comment section and we'll be sure to note those who picked the most games right each Friday. So let's get going:

TCU at Baylor, 7 p.m. Friday, ESPN: TCU has a new quarterback, a revamped offensive line and even some questions on defense. That's what happens when so many players are seniors on an undefeated team. Baylor has had this game circled since losing last year and they've got the Frogs at home. I think this will be a fantastic game, but the TCU defense will find a way to make a big stop late and Casey Pachall will do enough for the Frogs to slip out of Waco with a 7-point win. Prediction: TCU 24, Baylor 17

Louisiana-Lafayette at OSU, 6 p.m., Saturday: The Cowboys come into the season with a top-10 preseason ranking and will look to continue to put up points in their high-octane offense. That shouldn't be a problem against the Ragin' Cajuns. The Cowboys have Arizona coming to Stillwater less than a week later, too. Prediction: OSU 45, Louisiana-Lafayette 20

Oklahoma vs. Tulsa, 7 p.m., FX, Saturday: The top-ranked Sooners should score a bunch of points against Tulsa, but may give up some too. I'll be interested to see Landry Jones, who should be a Heisman Trophy contender this season. He'll have a good game. Prediction: OU 52, Tulsa 21

Texas vs. Rice, 6 p.m., Longhorn Network, Saturday: The Longhorns want to start to put last year behind them and will do so debuting on their new network. Texas takes care of business. Prediction: Texas 38, Rice 14

Texas A&M vs. SMU, 6:30 p.m., Sunday: Warning to the Aggies: Don't overlook June Jones and the Mustangs. SMU continues to improve as Jones gets more recruiting classes and his players get more experience within in his system. Kyle Padron is maturing as a quarterback and will be a challenge for the Aggie defense. SMU isn't quite ready to beat A&M in College Station, but they'll keep this close. Prediction: Texas A&M 31, SMU 24

Other big games:

LSU vs. Oregon, Cowboys Stadium, 7 p.m., ABC, Saturday: What a matchup in Arlington. Oregon returns most of the starters that appeared in the BCS Championship Game in January and LSU, while dealing with the distractions of the past week, still has plenty of talent. The winner sends a signal for inclusion in the national championship picture. The LSU defense will face a challenge in stopping Oregon, but I think they'll be able to get it done in crunch time. Prediction: LSU 24, Oregon 20

Boise State at Georgia, 7 p.m., ESPN, Saturday: There's lots of talk about Kellen Moore, and not much about the receivers that he no longer has at his disposal. Georgia is motivated and will have their passionate fan base ready. But Boise State has had a lot of time to get ready for this game and Chris Petersen knows how to prepare a team for a game like this. I'll take the Broncos...barely. Prediction: Boise State 31, Georgia 28



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