October 13, 2008

Colt's got a lot on the line, so does Texas ... inThe Fix

Not that he cares, but Colt McCoy's Heisman Trophy chances are squarely in the national crosshairs this week against Missouri.

McCoy just stared down OU, but Sam Bradford threw for five touchdowns and threw for 387 yards and didn't seem to lose much ground. McCoy only threw for one touchdown.

Missouri is dropping thousands of dollars on a Heisman campaign for Chase Daniel that included mailing Viewfinders with photos of Daniel to football writers across the country.

Voters might be willing to forgive Daniel for throwing three picks in last week's loss to Oklahoma State if he can right himself against Texas and get Mizzou into the Big 12 title game.

McCoy can really put some distance between himself, Daniel and Bradford with a big show in a win this week.

THREE THINGS …

… THAT GOT BETTER

1. Kick returns
- Eddie Jones and Chris Ogbonnaya were the unsung heroes, springing Jordan Shipley on a 96-yard kickoff return after Texas had fallen behind by 11.

2. Four-man rush - Rushing Florida Atlantic, UTEP, Rice, Arkansas and a banged up Colorado is one thing. Rushing Oklahoma's legion of future NFL O-linemen is totally different. Texas can rush with four against anyone.

3. Running game - Chris Ogbonnaya became the first running back to rush for 100 yards against OU. Greg Davis deserves credit for sticking with the run, despite ghastly results in the first half.

… THAT STAYED THE SAME

1. Colt McCoy
- All he did was continue to make this game look as easy as flipping channels on the remote. He's completing 73.4 percent of his passes in three games against OU.

2. Run defense - Led by Roy Miller and Lamarr Houston up front and linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy cleaning up anything behind them, Texas remains an elite rush defense (No. 3 nationally, giving up 51.2 ypg on the ground). OU ran for 48 yards and 1.8 yards per carry.

Quan Cosby and Jordan Shipley - We watched these guys make plays against the non-league schedule and wondered if they could carry the load against the likes of OU. Not any more. They became the first duo from a team to each post 100 yards receiving (Cosby had 122 and Shipley had 112) in the Red River Shootout.


… THAT GOT WORSE

1. Explosive plays against the pass defense
- Five OU pass-catchers had at least one reception of 23 yards or more.

2. Red zone offense - Texas had first down inside or at OU's 20-yard-line three times and came away with field goals, including failing to convert third-and-1 from the OU 11 in the third quarter. Yes, Texas scored, but against high-scoring offenses, Texas has to come away with touchdowns, not field goals.

3. Roy Miller as pass-catching fullback - We wrote last week that we would love to see big ol' Roy catching a TD pass against OU. Nevermind.

NEXT OPPONENT - MISSOURI
(7 p.m. Saturday, Royal-Memorial Stadium, ABC)


The Tigers looked to be the one ranked No. 1 this Saturday if they could have pulled off a home win against Oklahoma State. But Chase Daniel threw three interceptions in the second half as OSU's defense was able to get some pressure, and Cowboys' quarterback Zac Robinson looked like the Heisman Trophy frontrunner. Robinson was 19-of-28 for 215 yards and two touchdowns, while RB Kendall Hunter had 154 yards on 24 carries, including a 68-yard scoring run. Mizzou RB Derrick Washington, who had been averaging 100 yards per game on the ground, had 11 yards rushing on eight carries. WR Jeremy Maclin (120 yards) and TE Chase Coffman (104 yards) both topped the century mark receiving but neither scored. The Mizzou defense gave up 402 yards and scoring plays of 68, 40 and 31 yards.

BIG 12 POWER RANKINGS

1. TEXAS (6-0)

Last week: No. 3

This Saturday
: Missouri

Bottom line: Not since 1984 has UT been ranked No. 1 in the regular season. Hard to believe, but that's what Mack Brown has meant to this football program - bringing in top talent and assistant coaches.

Chip's pick: Coming later in the week.

2. OKLAHOMA (5-1)

Last week: No. 1

This Saturday
: Kansas

Bottom line: Jayhawks could be tougher bounce-back game for OU than some might think.

Chip's pick: OU 28, Kansas 24

3. OKLAHOMA STATE (6-0)

Last week: No. 4

This Saturday:
Baylor

Bottom line: Cowboys' defense showed up at Mizzou, but now OSU has to avoid "the poison cheese" because Robert Griffin was 21-of-24 passing last week in a rout of Iowa State and still hasn't thrown a pick this year in 128 attempts.

Chip's pick: OSU 31, Baylor 21

4. MISSOURI (5-1)

Last week: No. 2

This Saturday:
at Texas

Bottom line: Chase Daniel and the Tigers are desperate, which means they'll test Texas' limits.

Chip's pick: Coming later in the week

5. TEXAS TECH (7-0)

Last week: No. 5

This Saturday:
at Texas A&M

Bottom line: Red Raiders barely beat Nebraska in OT, but now get a team they own … heck, a team this year everyone owns.

Chip's pick: Tech 41, A&M 13

6. KANSAS (5-1)

Last week: No. 6

This Saturday:
at Oklahoma

Bottom line: Sooners could be flat after losing to Texas and losing MLB Ryan Reynolds, so Todd Reesing and Co. need to capitalize.


7. COLORADO (3-3)

Last week: No. 7

This Saturday:
Kansas State

Bottom line: After a 3-0 start, the Buffaloes have lost three straight and will need to play well to hold off K-State's Josh Freeman.

Chip's pick: Colorado 31, K-State 28

8. KANSAS ST. (4-2)

Last week: No. 9

This Saturday:
at Colorado

Bottom line: Second game of back-to-back road trips after pounding A&M in College Station last weekend.

9. BAYLOR (3-3)

Last week: No. 10

This Saturday:
at Oklahoma State

Bottom line: Art Briles wanted wins that would create headlines. This would be one of those.

10. NEBRASKA (3-3)

Last week: No. 8

This Saturday:
at Iowa State

Bottom line: Big Red fans will be able to stomach a lot in Bo Pelini's first season as coach - losing at Iowa State is not one of them.

Chip's pick: Nebraska 31, Iowa State 30

11. IOWA ST. (2-4)

Last week: No. 11

This Saturday:
Nebraska

Bottom line: I feel like the Cyclones could pull the upset in this one. They were typically flat in a road loss at Baylor, but can and will play much better. Nebraska is emotionally spent after scoring 21 in the fourth quarter to get into OT with Texas Tech, only to lose. We'll call this one an UPSET ALERT.

No. 12 TEXAS A&M (2-4)

Last week: No. 12

This Saturday:
Texas Tech

Bottom line:DL Michael Bennett doesn't play against K-State for violating team rules. RB Michael Goodson is held out the first quarter because he "had trouble finding his way to class last week," according to Mike Sherman. Any doubt this guy has lost his locker room?


COAST TO COAST

THE TOP FIVE


1. TEXAS - Colt McCoy, Will Muschamp and a whole bunch of heart make a lethal combination

2. ALABAMA - Tough defense and road wins give the Tide the two spot

3. FLORIDA - The Gators showed they can be physical

4. PENN STATE - This team is playing together

5. OKLAHOMA - LB Ryan Reynolds out for the season doesn't help, but still lots of talent

THE PICKS

VANDERBILT at GEORGIA (-15.5) - Vandy's QB is questionable, so the Bulldogs finally put the hammer down

Chip's pick: Georgia 34, Vandy 17

OHIO STATE (-3) at MICHIGAN STATE - Spartans pull the upset with Ohio State looking ahead to a bigger game (Penn State) - just like the old days. UPSET SPECIAL.

Chip's pick: Michigan State 28, Ohio State 24

LSU (-3) at SOUTH CAROLINA - Tigers bounce back with a tough, fourth-quarter win.

Chip's pick: LSU 27, South Carolina 24

MISSISSIPPI at ALABAMA (-13.5) - Ole Miss had their big road upset in the SEC.

Chip's pick: Bama 21, Ole Miss 17

BYU (-1.5) at TCU - The Cougars have the offense to solve TCU's defense

Chip's pick: BYU 20, TCU 17

ONE FINAL THOUGHT
Good news for Texas fans. Lane Kiffin's name is getting some love as a possible replacement for Tommy Bowden at Clemson.






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