Thursday, September 1, 2011

NCAA Football Picks: TCU Horned Frogs vs Baylor Bears NFL Picks

Baylor Bears vs TCU Horned Frogs NCAA Football Picks: The TCU Horned Frogs had a storybook season last year. TCU went 13-0 and finished second in the final AP college football standings. The team would have obviously liked to get a chance to play in the BCS Championship Game, but a hard fought win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl was huge for the program.

Art Briles has done an impressive job turning around the program at Baylor, and they would like nothing more than to stop TCU’s winning streak at 13 games. TCU dominated Baylor 45-10 last year, but the circumstances are a little different this season. This game will be nationally televised by ESPN on Friday night.

TCU’s team will look a whole lot different this season. Only eight starters return from a year ago, and the team lost 26 lettermen from last year’s undefeated team. Andy Dalton was the offensive leader for TCU, but he’s now the starter for the Cincinnati Bengals. Casey Pachall appears to be the guy who will be the starter, but he attempted just nine passes in his freshman season last year.

The Horned Frogs lost three of their top four receivers, which will make life even more difficult for Pachall. On the positive side, TCU returns three terrific running backs. Ed Wesley, Matthew Tucker, and Waymon James should have another great year in the backfield. The strength of this TCU team will need to be the defense.

Tank Carder and Tanner Brock are both great linebackers, but the defensive front must replace four out of five starters from last year. TCU has plenty of talent on its roster, but they also have quite a bit of inexperience.

Baylor was destroyed by Illinois in their bowl game at the end of last year, but the team still had a very successful 7-6 season. This was a program that was a perennial doormat just a few short years ago. Art Briles has come along and made this team pretty competitive. Robert Griffin III is the team’s leader, and he is one the best quarterbacks in the country.

Griffin is a dual-threat quarterback who makes solid decisions with the football. He completed 67% of his passes last year, and he also ran for 635 yards. Griffin’s top five receivers from a year ago will be back, but the team will definitely miss star running back Jay Finley’s presence in the backfield. As good as the Baylor offense was last year, the defense was that terrible. Baylor’s defense allowed 30.5 points per game last season, and they lost some of their best talents on the defensive side of the football.

These teams know this is a great chance to show what they are made of on national television. I really like Griffin and the Bears offense, but Baylor’s defense is a real problem. TCU should still be able to run the football at will. I like the Horned Frogs to cover in this one.

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Baylor Bears NFL Picks from BTB

NCAA Football Betting Favorite: TCU -5

Over/Under: 56

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