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Baylor vs. Texas

Betting Line: Texas -7 o/u 53

10/30/10

 

Well, HC Mack Brown, they do call this the Entitlement Generation after all. Entitlement is what Brown is blaming the play of his Texas Longhorns on. He says they have it in their heads that teams will think "Oh, you're Texas, just go ahead and knock us around". However, that's not the way things work in the FBS. He is hoping to get his team back on track against the 6-2 upstart Baylor Bears. This is a team that nobody thought would be 6-2, but here they are. Can they go blow for blow with a down, but still classy Texas team? Let's analyze the game and find out.

Baylor has finally found a spot in the rankings at #25. While they started 6-2, they end the year with 4 of the toughest games on their schedule. Things only get harder after facing Texas. The Bears boast a high flying pass first offense. This offense is headed by QB Robert Griffin. The sophomore was lights out in the Bears 47-42 win over Kansas State. He passed for 404 yards, 4 TDs, and only a single INT. On the year he has 2,373 yards and 18 TDs. Griffin has also rushed for 6 TDs and 384 yards. Fellow sophomore WR Josh Gordon has 26 catches for 564 yards and 7 TDs. He is averaging 21.7 YPC.

The Baylor offense could run into problems here. First of all, they don't seem to travel well, and the environment in Texas will be crazy. Secondly, the Longhorns shut down a player similar to Griffin in Nebraska's Taylor Martinez. Baylor may have to rely more heavily on the run than they are used to doing. The offensive line has been stellar allowing only 3 sacks in the past 5 games. It is imperative for them to keep up the good work for Baylor to get a win here.

Problems for Baylor could be on the defensive side of the ball. They have given up 635, 399, and 407 yards of offense in their past 3 games. Texas is capable of getting close to that first number we mentioned. Despite a relatively high number of sacks, they aren't getting the job done. Texas has too many athletes for them to play a bad game and get out of there with a win. 

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Who would have thought Texas would enter this game against an instate foe and be the team that isn't ranked? Things change fast in the world of college football. If the Longhorns want to get back on track they will need great play from QB Garrett Gilbert. The sophomore has been largely ineffective this year, but its never too late for this talented kid to turn things around. After a 2 TD, 3 INT showing against Iowa State we can expect him to come out and at least try to redeem himself.

RBs Foswhitt Whitaker and Cody Johnson need to have big games as well. The junior/senior duo have only 5 TDs between them this year. Gilbert, Johnson, and Whitaker will find this Baylor defense to their liking. It would be a big surprise if Texas doesn't get a large number of points on the board.

The Texas defense isn't as stellar as it has been in years past, but they have displayed an ability to stop QBs like Robert Griffin. They proved it against Nebraska when they shut down Taylor Martinez. This defense is giving up a mere 261 yards per game. The biggest matchup in this game will be the Texas defense against the Baylor offense. Both are solid, but which one will give in?

"Situations" in college football handicapping are just as important as stats. Here, we circled Baylor weeks ago as a play in this spot. In fact, we even mentioned it last week in our Baylor write up. It was obvious in week 1 this year against Rice that something was wrong with Texas. Here you'd have a Baylor team playing better than they have in years going up against an underachieving Texas squad ripe for a huge upset. But something happened last week that has thrown a wrench into the situation. Texas lost to Iowa State. Iowa State stole our thunder. It was supposed to be Baylor upsetting Texas THIS week. Oh well.

Here's the thing. We talk about talent gaps all the time. There may be no better example than Texas and Baylor. Texas has the Talent. Baylor doesn't. In the 12 years Mack Brown has been at the helm, Texas is 12-0 against Baylor winning by an average score of 48-11. Baylor hasn't come close. Even last year, with Baylor showing signs of improvement, Texas whipped them 47-14. Talent gaps this wide do not change in one year.

Baylor has done a fine job this year, finally qualifying for a Bowl game after knocking off Kansas State last week. But in the one game against a strong opponent this year, TCU, Baylor was blown off the field 45-10. Their wins are against Sam Houston, Buffalo, Rice, Kansas, Colorado and Kansas State. Nothing to write home about. They also lost to Texas Tech, who is not the same Texas Tech we've known in recent years. All the credit goes to Baylor, but let's face it, things had to break just right as far as their schedule goes for them to be sitting at 6-2 with a shot to win the Big 12. They happen to be catching all of the teams that traditionally give them trouble, in down years, including Texas.

The Texas talent has made some "cameo" appearances this year when facing a true challenge. They knocked off Nebraska and went toe to toe with #8 Oklahoma. It's not that Baylor can't compete here, and even pull the upset. They can. Rice stayed in the game against Texas. UCLA beat Texas and we all saw what Iowa State did last week.

Had the situation this week been a little different, we would have made Baylor a key release and it may have even been our highest rated play of the year. Iowa State ruined it for us. Now, Baylor becomes a strong opinion. At most, a peanut play.

The Talent gap, Texas not having lost on consecutive weeks at home since 1938, losing to Iowa State, the fans, alumni and media all questioning the team, Baylor being ranked 25th while Texas isn't even ranked.........there are just too many variables at work here to go forward with a play on Baylor. We'll leave it as a lean towards Baylor, as the numbers still support it and there is definitely something wrong with this Texas team. Lean - Baylor +7.5

 

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