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Big 12 Game Of The Week

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As we are used to focusing 97.3% of our efforts here at the Machine on the Oklahoma Sooners we do want to take a look around the conference every now and then. Obviously every game that includes the Sooners is the game of the week to us but on a conference wide level that just isn’t true.

Oklahoma State at Washington State and Colorado vs. Colorado State are intriguing match-up and to a certain extent so are Florida Atlantic at Texas and North Texas at Kansas State. The rest of the conference games (including UT-Chattanooga at Oklahoma) are just dogs.

The game of the week in the Big 12 conference this week is the Missouri vs. Illinois game. The two teams will play on a neutral field (Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis) and were only separated by 6 points in last year’s match-up. We are all familiar with the Chase Daniel to Jeremy Maclin combo in the Big 12 but the Illini have a defensive combo of Will Davis and Vontae Davis to try to neutralize the Missouri combo. Also, don’t forget that the Tigers had to hold off Illinois last year with the Illini using a backup quarterback.

Both the Tigers and the Illini have aspirations of winning conference championships this year and Missouri feels that they have a shot for a national title as well. The loser of this game will certainly still be in contention for their respective conference crown but any national championship hopes will have taken a serious hit.

Honorable Mentions

Florida Atlantic at Texas – I am not in any way saying that FAU is going to go to Austin and win but the Longhorns have a significant lack of experience on defense and are unproven at running back. The Owls could keep it interesting.

North Texas at Kansas State – Ron Prince went to the JUCO ranks to try to find a quick fix for the `08 season. The Wildcats should be able to handle the Mean Green but seeing how these new guys adjust will be worth keeping an eye on.

Ranking the Conference Games

12. UT-Chattanooga at Oklahoma

11. South Dakota State at Iowa State

10. Eastern Washington at Texas Tech

09. Western Michigan at Nebraska

08. Florida International at Kansas

07. Arkansas State at Texas A&M

06. Wake Forest at Baylor

05. Colorado vs. Colorado State

04. Oklahoma State at Washington State

03. North Texas at Kansas State

02. Florida Atlantic at Texas

01. Illinois vs. Missouri

Twelve Things to Watch For in the Big 12 This Week

12. New CoachesBaylor, Nebraska and Texas A&M are all debuting new coaches this weekend.

11. Baylor Quarterbacks – Kirby Freeman is a transfer from Miami (FL) and Robert Griffin was the #3 ranked dual threat quarterback in the country.

10. Darrell Scott – Scott won’t start for Colorado when they play Colorado State on Sunday evening but then Adrian Peterson didn’t start in his first game as a Sooner.

9. Texas Secondary – The Longhorns will be starting two freshmen in the safety positions.

8. O-State Play Calling – After losing last year’s offensive coordinator Head Coach Mike Gundy will take over calling plays this year.

7. Home Field Advantage – Only one conference team has a true road game this week. Colorado and Missouri are playing at legitimate neutral sites and everyone else is at home except for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are playing Washington State on a “neutral field” in Seattle.

6. Big Time Quarterback Match-upMissouri’s Chase Daniel going head-to-head against Illinois’ Juice Williams is worth checking in on during commercials of the UT-Chattanooga/OU game.

5. Texas A&M Offensive Line – The Aggies have four new starters on their offensive line. Good thing they are playing at home this week.

4. Michael Crabtree – Could break the 200 yard barrier in receptions.

3. Demarco Murray – Could break the 200 yard barrier in rushing.

2. Insane Numbers – Both Oklahoma and Texas could put up eye popping offensive stats on Saturday.

1. Missouri Tigers – A win over Illinois will fuel the flames for a team that believes this is their year and a loss could be a crushing blow.