Week 2 Big 12 picks: Baylor deserves credit for making a stand
I'm trying to picture the scene on Oct. 15, when the Baylor football team travels to College Station, Texas, to take on Texas A&M.
Complete mayhem, in all likelihood.
Baylor's threat on Wednesday to sue Texas A&M if it left the Big 12 to join the SEC caused a momentary pause in college football realignment, which is beginning to more closely resemble a circus act than a gathering of rational minds that make decisions for the good of the sport.
The SEC agreed to extend an invitation to Texas A&M only if the nine other Big 12 schools waived their rights to pursue litigation against the SEC. Baylor refused. No formal invitation for Texas A&M, at least for now.
Good for Baylor.
Laugh all you want, but I applaud the Bears for sticking up for themselves.
Sure, Baylor isn't Texas or Oklahoma, but can you blame the Bears? Baylor is set to receive between $17 and $20 million in TV revenue starting next year with the Big 12's new TV deal. If Texas A&M peaces out to the SEC, and the Big 12 collapses, Baylor could be left out of a major conference. In this scenario, it's safe to say the Bears wouldn't make between $17 and $20 million in TV revenue, and their plans to renovate Floyd Casey Stadium with some of that money would not be feasible.
Plus, look what happened after Baylor decided to make a stand. Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State joined the Bears in their refusal. All after Baylor showed a little pride and stood up for itself.
In this every-man-for-himself era of college football realignment, where decency, common sense and tradition are thrown by the wayside, who in their right mind can blame Baylor for wanting the Big 12 to remain intact?
I have no idea what will happen to the Big 12. But I'm confident in saying this: Good for Baylor.
So I hear there are actually games to be played this weekend.
I keep a running tally of picks on Big 12 football games here on the Conference Chatter blog every week. I make two sets of picks, one against the spread, and one straight up. After week 1:
Straight up: 9-1
Vs. spread: 4-2
Let's see what's in store for week 2.
Arizona at No. 9 Oklahoma State, 7 p.m.
Line: Oklahoma State by 13
Pick: vs. line: Arizona; straight up: Oklahoma State
One-line reason: In a rematch of last year's Alamo Bowl (a 36-10 OSU victory), Arizona makes it more respectable, but Justin Blackmon (held without a score last week) finds the end zone once or twice and the Cowboys play just enough D to hold on.
No. 21 Missouri at Arizona State, 9:30 p.m.
Line: Arizona State by 8
Pick: vs. line: Missouri; straight up: Arizona State
One-line reason: I think MU's defense is good enough to keep the Tigers close all game, but it's asking a lot of sophomore quarterback James Franklin to engineer a victory in his first road start against a stout opponent.
Iowa at Iowa State, 11 a.m.
Line: Iowa by 7
Pick: vs. line: Iowa; straight up: Iowa
One-line reason: Iowa has won six of the last eight against Iowa State, and for the last two years, it hasn't been close (35-7 in Iowa City in 2010; 35-3 in Ames in 2009).
Northern Illinois at Kansas, 6 p.m.
Line: Northern Illinois by 6.5
Pick: vs. line: Kansas; straight up: Northern Illinois
One-line reason: KU's ability to run the ball effectively should keep the game close, but the Jayhawks could struggle against senior dual-threat quarterback Chandler Harnish, who threw for five touchdowns and ran for another against Army last weekend.
BYU at No. 24 Texas, 6 p.m.
Line: Texas by 7
Pick: vs. line: Texas; straight up: Texas
One-line reason: In a potential future Big 12 matchup, Garrett Gilbert continues to involve freshman receiver Jaxon Shipley (two catches, 54 yards, TD in season opener against Rice), and UT's defense holds its own at home.
That should be all for now, friends. As always, discuss.