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Week 6 Big 12 picks: A farewell and thank you from Conference Chatter

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I want to start this blog entry by thanking the loyal readers, fans and commenters of KUsports.com.

For more than three years, I've had the honor of keeping the Conference Chatter blog, where I've detailed my observations about hot topics in the Big 12. I reflect with fond memories, for instance, on live blogging two BCS Championship games involving Big 12 teams (Oklahoma in 2008 season, Texas in 2009 season), interacting with the KUsports.com community during the over/under contest of 2010 and chiming in during the conference realignment craziness last June and this year.

Much of the reason I enjoyed writing the blog was because of the lively discussion generated by the readers. You guys made this blog relevant for more than three years, and for that, I will be forever grateful.

With that in mind, I wanted to write this entry to bid the KUsports.com community farewell.

I recently accepted an offer to become the social media manager at Grantham University in Kansas City, Mo. It's an exciting and incredible opportunity, and I look forward to building and maintaining professional relationships at Grantham as I did at the Journal-World and KUsports.com since February 2008.

Thank you for making these last three years so memorable.

I will still make picks on the KUsports.com weekly staff football predictions this season, and look forward to catching up with you guys in the comments section.

We still have some Big 12 games this weekend, so let's close the blog with predicting those battles, straight up and against the spread. Here's how I've done this season:

Season, straight up: 27-8
Season, vs. spread: 16-13

Saturday

No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 11 Texas, 11 a.m.
Line: Oklahoma by 10.5
Pick: vs. line: Texas; straight up: Oklahoma
One-line reason: I could see UT's defense (12th in country in scoring defense at 14.75 points surrendered per game) keeping the Longhorns in the game, but I'm not expecting Texas to threaten OU's bid at a perfect season.

Missouri at No. 20 Kansas State, 2:30 p.m.
Line: Missouri by 3.5
Pick: vs line: Missouri; straight up: Missouri
One-line reason: I don't like doubting this Bill Snyder-led Wildcats squad, but the late-game comebacks can't last all season.

Kansas at No. 6 Oklahoma State, 2:30 p.m.
Line: Oklahoma State by 31.5
Pick: vs. line: Oklahoma State; straight up: Oklahoma State
One-line reason: This matchup will cause trouble for a Jayhawks' defense against an OSU juggernaut that puts up 571.75 yards (third in country) and 46.75 points (sixth in country) per game. OSU covers by a half point, 52-20.

Iowa State at No. 25 Baylor, 6 p.m.
Line: Baylor by 15
Pick: vs. line: Iowa State; straight up: Baylor
One-line reason: ISU's 3-0 start was nice and this game could be close for a while, but the Cyclones were finally exposed in a 37-14 home loss to Texas last week. I'm expecting losses to follow.

No. 24 Texas A&M at Texas Tech, 6 p.m.

Line: Texas A&M by 8
Pick: vs. line: Texas Tech; straight up: Texas A&M
One-line reason: The Aggies have lost their last two games by a combined five points; I could see them ending up on the other side of a close game on Saturday by pounding the football with Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael; Texas Tech is fourth-to-last in the country in rushing defense, allowing a whopping 229 yards on the ground per game.

That should be all, friends. As always, discuss.

And, again, thank you.

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