TCU at Baylor (Friday, 5 pm PT – ESPN)
CRIS Opening Line:
TCU -6.5 O/U 57
CRIS Current Line:
TCU -6 O/U 56.5
Rob Veno Power Rating:
Teddy Covers Power Rating:
Marty Otto’s Betting Take:
The first proverbial “revenge" game of the season takes place in Waco on Friday night as Baylor is out for blood against highly ranked and highly regarded TCU. Fresh off a perfect 13-0 season and a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, much is expected from the Horned Frogs in 2011. This despite the fact that they must replace second round draft choice and four-year starter Andy Dalton, Mr. Everything Jeremy Kerley, top sack master Wayne Daniels, and four offensive linemen. I have no doubt TCU’s defense will be mean and fast as head coach Gary Patterson’s stop units typically reload rather than rebuild. But I’m not so sure this offense will come close to the production they’ve had the last two seasons. Dalton’s replacement, Casey Pachall, has little experience and dealt with some nagging injuries this offseason. The last time we saw such a mass exodus of offensive talent in Fort Worth was in 2007 when the Horned Frogs managed just 26 ppg and a paltry 3.7 yards per carry. I expected big things from Baylor last year but they simply didn’t deliver. Yes they made it to a bowl game for the first time since 1994 but they were run off the field by a mediocre Illinois squad 38-14 in the Texas Bowl and finished a disappointing 5-8 ATS. The Bears must improve defensively if they hope to improve on last year’s 7-6 record. I’m not sure the defense will be up to the task from a season-long perspective against some of the stout Big XII offenses but with time to prepare and full health, perhaps this is their best shot at a major upset due to TCU’s inexperience. Quarterback Robert Griffin’s offense set plenty of school records last season and he should be even more dynamic another year removed from a torn ACL. We know the crowd will be rowdy and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Baylor use the extra juice from the home fans to pull the outright win.
Local News Links:
Baylor head coach Art Briles is pleased with addition of various transfers
. TCU’s Gary Patterson admits there are a lot of unknowns
for his team heading into 2011.