The season is winding down and the race for the national championship is really heating up. If only the race for the tasty boneless wings was half as exciting as what’s going on with the BCS, this column would be much more intriguing. As it is, the Wang seems to have this thing wrapped up. Despite not having an official tally of the scores, I am so confident that I have gone ahead and chosen the flavor of wing I will dine on once Homerism pays up.
The Wang will refrain from making any BCS comments or predictions until this week is over. Much can change depending on the outcome of the games this weekend, so any discussion at this point in time is moot. Now, if we do hit the three-way tie in the Big 12 South, the Wang will have plenty to say.
Instead, I will take this time to make a quick comment on each team, as I reflect on the 2008 season.
Texas--I can hear the cries from Austin already. If things go as planned, it won’t end well for Texas. An out-of-conference schedule of Florida Atlantic and UTEP doesn’t help. What the Wang really wants for Christmas is a rematch with the Horns in Miami. Not out of the question…
Oklahoma State--Hope this doesn’t come back to bite me… I think the phrase goes, “You can’t polish a turd.” I am happy Boone Pickens has given Poke fans something to be proud of with the stadium renovations, but OSU still seems to sit in the second tier of South division teams. Also, the decision to not sell single-game tickets for Bedlam is just stupid.
Texas A&M--Not exactly what Aggie fans were expecting when Mike Sherman signed on. Just two wins at Kyle Field hurts. Jerrod Johnson showed some potential through the season, though, so I expect this team to rebound next year.
Missouri--I know they are playing for the conference title. I know they can still reach a BCS bowl game. Yet, I have to think Tiger fans are a bit disappointed with the way this season went. A home loss to OSU followed by a blowout at the hands of Texas was a rough two-game stretch. Chase Daniel's Heisman campaign feasted on inferior opponents, then sunk faster than the Titanic once a real team showed up in Columbia.
Kansas--I hope the Kansas faithful and Mangina enjoyed last year’s Orange Bowl. The Jayhawks are staring at .500 overall and a losing conference record. Something tells me the bowl pre-game spread won’t be as bountiful as the one in Miami for the hefty coach, wherever they land this year.
Colorado--The season started so promising for Colorado with a 3-0 record and a win over West Virginia. A win over Nebraska can salvage a .500 season. The Wang says its time to pull the plug and bench Cody Hawkins in favor of Tyler Hansen.
“If you can accept losing, you can't win.”
Thank you, Vince Lombardi, the Wang will never accept losing. On to some picks…
The Aggies have won the last two meetings in this rivalry, but now head to Austin on Thanksgiving decided underdogs. This game is big for Texas, which needs to win and look good doing it. The Aggies relied on Stephen McGee in the last two games to lead the upsets, but they will likely be without the quarterback again this week who continues to suffer from a sprained shoulder. Colt McCoy has struggled against A&M the last two seasons and knows he needs to step it up, as Texas gets a chance to make their statement on Thursday. Texas has much more to play for here than the opponent, and the Longhorns get the chance to play at home. I fully expect Texas to win this game and win it handily. But this is an awfully big number to hit in a rivalry game, even one as lopsided at this one.
The Pick: I will take the Aggies plus all these points.
Colorado at Nebraska (-18)
Colorado heads into Lincoln looking for its sixth win of the season and the chance to be invited to a bowl game. Whether they belong in a bowl is a different question. Colorado has won only two of its last eight games, and those two wins came against Kansas State and Iowa State by a combined five points. Good news for Buff fans, though, as kicker Aric Goodman snapped his streak of eight straight field goal misses with a 31 yarder last week! After losing three in a row, Nebraska has come back to win four of its last five games. Those four wins though have come against Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Baylor. Not exactly the 1927 Yankees.
Oklahoma (-7) at Oklahoma State
As confident as the Wang was about last week’s game, he is equally uneasy about this one. The Sooners have taken the last five meetings in the Bedlam series, but it hasn’t been easy. Missed field goals and failed last-second passes have kept the streak alive for OU. The Pokes bring in a much more balanced offense than Tech offered, but probably don’t have the same caliber passing attack as Harrell and company. While the Pokes can’t improve their status in the Big 12 South, they can get to the 10-win plateau and secure a nice bowl bid. Spoiling OU’s national title hopes again isn’t bad motivation either.
The Pick: I will cross my fingers and take the Sooners in this one, 45-35.
Kansas at Missouri (-16)
It wasn’t long ago that this game looked like it would be a battle to see who would get the chance to be the designated North division sacrificial lamb. A string of Tiger wins combined with some poor play from Kansas has rendered this nothing more than just another rivalry game. While Chase Daniel looks to eclipse his passing marks from last year, his recent propensity for interceptions has become troublesome. Daniel has now thrown a pick in six straight games, giving him 11 on the year. Chase Coffman returns for this game, giving Daniel his favorite target to go along with the dangerous Jeremy Maclin. Todd Reesing has also celebrated a season in which he has improved upon his passing stats from last year. Missouri’s defense ranks 111th nationally against the pass, which should mean some big plays for the Jayhawks. Unfortunately, Kanasa ranks 114th, and the Missouri pass game is far superior.
The Pick: I will take the Tigers and hope they don’t let me down again.
Baylor at Texas Tech (-21.5)
Poor Texas Tech gets to return to the comforts of home this week and play a team not quite on par with Oklahoma. It was a rough week for the Red Raiders, who were looking to secure their first Big 12 South title. Tech can still make the title game with an Oklahoma loss.