Crystal Ball: Texas gets past BYU

September, 9, 2011

We missed one game in week one, incorrectly picking against the Baylor Bears (that was a big home win over TCU), but we were right that Boise State would beat Georgia and LSU would take care of Oregon, though neither game was as close as predicted.

Let's try again this week with a look at some Big 12 games and other big ones around the country:

Missouri at Arizona State, 9:30 p.m., ESPN: It's a road game for the Tigers and should be entertaining, but I think Missouri finds a way to get this done. Keep an eye on sophomore QB James Franklin from Corinth, Texas. He'll lead Missouri on some key second-half drives. Missouri 24, Arizona State 16

TCU at Air Force, 2:30 p.m., Versus: The Frogs have two main missions this week: Put the Baylor loss behind them and fix a secondary that was lit up by Robert Griffin III. It's never easy to beat Air Force at their place, but you can bet Gary Patterson and his staff had the attention of the players this week. TCU must avoid a letdown and learn to live with a loss, something that has rarely happened the past few years. TCU squeaks one out. TCU 27, Air Force 24

BYU at Texas, 6 p.m., ESPN2: We'll get a much better idea of what the Longhorns have after this game. Something tells me the run game will be key for Texas in this one as will the ability to force turnovers. Seems like lots of folks taking BYU, but I'll go with the Longhorns in a close one. Texas 31, BYU 28

UTEP at SMU, 6 p.m., FSSW: The Mustangs did not put up the type of fight that coach June Jones had in mind against the Aggies and he felt like his defense wasn't physical enough. Two turnovers early by QB Kyle Padron also put him on the bench and SMU will start J.J. McDermott behind center this week. But SMU is at home and UTEP needed OT to beat Stony Brook. SMU gets it done. SMU 34, UTEP 24

Houston at North Texas: The Mean Green open their new stadium against a tough Cougar team. It's going to take time for Dan McCarney to get his system and culture in place. But he's going to be able to recruit to a new stadium and better facilities and that won't hurt. As for this Saturday, Houston has too much firepower for the Mean Green. Houston 38, UNT 24

Other notable games:

Mississippi State at Auburn, 11:21 a.m., Ch. 21: The Tigers needed a minor miracle -- two TDs in the final four minutes or so -- to beat Utah State at home last week. They are an extremely young team and it showed. Barrett Trotter will likely grow into a solid quarterback, but it's going to take time. MSU has a balanced offense and too many playmakers for the Tigers, who keep it close at Jordan-Hare Stadium. MSU 27, Auburn 24

Alabama at Penn State, 2:30 p.m., ABC: The Nitnany Lions are ranked in the top-25, but that's likely a short stint. Alabama has the talent to win the BCS Championship if they can get through the SEC. This game won't be an easy one for them at Happy Valley, but Nick Saban and company will get it done. They'll wear down Penn State in the final quarter. Alabama 34, Penn State 21



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