Texas is the flagship program of the Big 12. They are the anchor and the face of the conference. Armed with a huge TV contract and a satchel full of money Texas has looked like anything but a perennial powerhouse. Embarrassing losses to UCLA at home and Oklahoma has people wondering whether or not Texas is in over their heads. A win against Nebraska would go a long way towards righting the ship and restoring credibility to the program. Nebraska has looked impressive in their wins this season and they have a potent running game, but I question how their freshmen quarterback will perform against a desperate Texas squad. My guess is that Taylor Martinez shows flashes of brilliance, but eventually succumbs to the pressure and fails to execute when it really counts. College kids have a mind of their own and are easily distracted so this game will be close. In the end the Longhorns pull it out, save face, and save the season. Here are a few bonus picks from Cleavie The Greek:
49ers over Raiders. I said on Monday how entertaining it was to watch the 49ers find unique and creative ways to lose football games, but the Raiders are almost as bad. Penalties and special teams will decide the outcome, but the 49ers are at home and if they have any pride at all they will win the battle of the bay.
Ravens over Patriots. There are too many moving parts in New England to expect them to beat a potential Super Bowl contender like the Ravens. The subtraction of Randy Moss coupled with the addition of Deion Branch leaves the Patriots offense without any cohesion and timing. The Ravens defense and their strong running game will keep the contest low scoring. Ravens by a field goal.
Vikings over Cowboys. Now that Randy Moss has had a full week of practice he can be the impact player everyone expects him to be. Between tendinitis in his elbow and the ongoing investigation into personal conduct violations no one knows how long Brett Favre will remain at quarterback so this is a must win for Minnesota. Both of these teams are desperate, but Minnesota is more desperate. Vikings in a blow out.
Get your note pads out next Friday. It's the return of Young Sam Rothstein. $$$$$$$$!!!!!!!