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2009 Predictions: Big 12 - First Quarter

I will be breaking down the rest of the Big 12 teams in the same format I did the ISU predictions.

If you recall, I picked ISU to go 6-6 and 2-6 in the conference and potentially get a bowl invite. In order to gain some perspective of this, it is important to try to gauge how the rest of the conference will do.

The Big 12 this year is probably going to be the second best Conference in College Football, behind the SEC. The top (Texas and Oklahoma) are National Title quality, while the bottom (ISU, KSU, CU, Baylor) believe that they will see improvement.

Let's look team by team, at how the rest of the Big 12 will do in the first quarter of the season:

Baylor: at Wake Forest, UConn, Northwestern State

  • Wins: UConn, Northwestern State
  • Losses: Wake Forest
  • Notes: I am not as big on Baylor as others. They have all sorts of Offensive Line questions, and I think QB Griffin is going to get exposed all year. Wake Forest spanked Baylor at home last year, so why do I think it will be any different on a Wake Forest team that returns almost all of their offensive starters? I do think they will beat UConn as they lost all of their playmakers, and Baylor lost last year close on the road.

Colorado: Colorado State, at Toledo, Wyoming

  • Wins: All three
  • Losses: None
  • Notes: CU has lost to Colorado State 3 times in the past 5 years, but has won the last 2 years. Since they won handily last year, and CSU has it's fair share of problems, I think CU will get the win.

Kansas:  N. Colorado, at UTEP, Duke

  • Wins: All three
  • Losses: None
  • Notes: A laughable schedule with the first three, but you have to when you have Oklahoma and Texas on the schedule and are wanting a to go bowling, you have to pad the win total early on.

Kansas State: UMass, at Louisiana, at UCLA

  • Wins:  UMass, at Louisiana
  • Losses: at UCLA
  • Notes: UCLA is still rebuilding, but K-State hasn't done well on the road in recent years and have a lot of rebuilding to do as well.

Missouri: Illinois, Bowling Green, Furman

  • Wins: Bowling Green, Furman
  • Losses: Illinois
  • Notes: Illinois is at a neutral site, and this is a rivalry game, but I am big on Illinois this year. I think it will be a close game, but I think Missouri has so many questions about their team (QB, WRs, Defense, New Coordinators), that I would expect the team to stumble a little out of the gate. Fortunately for Mizzou, they should be able to knock off Bowling Green and Furman, even if they are struggling at times.

Nebraska: Florida Atlantic, Arkansas State, at VA Tech

  • Wins: Florida Atlantic, Arkansas State
  • Losses: at VA Tech
  • Notes: I expect VA Tech to be pretty good this year, and it's not an easy place to win. If I'm a Nebraska fan, I'm excited about this game, however, as it pits you against a school that's expected to contend in another BCS conference. It's fun to see how you stack up, when you know you aren't going to compete for a National Championship, and it doesn't hurt your conference record.

Oklahoma: BYU (in Arlington, TX), at Idaho St, Tulsa

  • Wins: All three
  • Losses: None
  • Notes: BYU was solid last year, but lost most of their key guys on offense. You have to put up points to beat Big 12 teams, and BYU only returns 4 Offensive Starters. BYU's Defense will have to be unbelievable to hope for an upset.

Oklahoma State: Georgia, Houston, Rice

  • Wins: Houston, Rice
  • Losses: Georgia
  • Notes:  Georgia is looking to be very good this year. They return so many guys, and have also showed they can go on the road and beat tough teams. This is a huge game for OSU, as they try to show that they are indeed a top tier team.

Texas: ULM, at Wyoming, Texas Tech

  • Wins: All three
  • Losses: None
  • Notes: ULM and Wyoming are going to get destroyed without a question. Texas Tech will be down from last year, and they typically fare poorly on the road. Last year Texas almost had them, but this year will be different.

Texas A&M: New Mexico,Utah State, UAB

  • Wins: All three
  • Losses: None
  • Notes: I almost want to pick Utah State to win, as I think they look solid. On offense, Utah State only has to replace their RT and a WR, and they return a majority of their defensive players as well. I want to hope that a lower tier Big 12 team can beat a middle of the road WAC team at home. If Utah State does pull it off, I certainly will not be surprised.

Texas Tech: North Dakota, Rice, at Texas

  • Wins: North Dakota, Rice
  • Losses: at Texas
  • Notes: Nothing too thrilling here. I think all three games will be blowouts in some form. I think North Dakota is obvious. Rice has to replace their starting QB, RB, and WRs, and an offensive coordinator, so Tech wins this.

Summary: There are not a lot of exciting games during this stretch. It isn't surprising, though. If you're hoping to win a National Championship, you don't want to schedule a game that is too tough and ruin your hopes prior to conference play. If you're just hoping to be bowl eligible, if you can rack up 3-4 non-conference wins, you just have to win a few games in conference play.

There are some exciting moments though. Georgia vs. Oklahoma State, BYU vs. Oklahoma, and Nebraska vs. VA Tech, are the ones that stand out to me as the most exciting on the list.

Are there any particular match ups that look compelling to you?