Underdogs look to upend conference elites in Big 12, Pac-10

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Two weeks ago, Nebraska was one of four undefeated teams in the Big 12, but looked far and away like the best program the conference had to offer. Fast forward to week eight and the picture isn’t quite so clear anymore.

After dropping the much-anticipated home game to Texas, Nebraska will be forced to regroup against Oklahoma State, one of three unbeatens left in the Big 12. Also battling for Big 12 North supremacy is Missouri, whose own undefeated record will be put to the test against — you guessed it — undefeated (and top-ranked) Oklahoma.

As it is, week eight is turning into one big contenders and pretenders Saturday for the Big 12.

No. 1 Oklahoma at No. 11 Missouri (8:00 ET)

THE LINE: Oklahoma -3

THE PLOT: The magic number here is three. Oklahoma is a three-point favorite on the road. Missouri has lost its three previous “prime time” meetings against the Sooners and, for the third straight week, a No.1 team will go on the road for conference play. The previous two have gone down at the hands of their underdog opponents. Will Oklahoma be the third?

THE PICK: Short answer: yes. I’m just not buying what Oklahoma is selling. The Sooners have had some marquee wins this season, but you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get out of them. They always seem to play to the level of the their competition. To be honest, I’m not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing for Missouri.

THE SCORE: Missouri 28, Oklahoma 25 (three point win — see how I did that?)

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No. 16 Nebraska at No. 14 Oklahoma State (3:30 ET)

THE LINE: Nebraska -6

THE PLOT: This is pretty obvious. How do Nebraska and Taylor Martinez respond to losing on of the most highly-anticipated games in Cornhusker history? Unfortunately for Nebraska, there’s no follow-up cupcake to help cure that bruised ego. Oklahoma State, undefeated out of the Big 12 South, is looking to claim they’re the best team not only in Oklahoma, but in the conference.

So, who wants it more? The team looking to bounce back, or the team who needs to finally get over the 9-3 hurdle.

THE PICK: (Another) short answer: Nebraska. T-Mart gets his mojo back and the black shirts shut down star receiver Justin Blackmon.

THE SCORE: Nebraska 38, Oklahoma State 19

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Washington at No. 18 Arizona (10:15 ET)

THE LINE: Arizona -6.5

THE PLOT: Just as everyone was ready to kick 1-3 Washington when they were down *ahem* …

Two big wins over USC and Oregon State have propelled the Huskies back into, at the very least, bowl eligibility conversations. Ever since losing to Oregon State, Arizona has been back flying under the radar and that’s probably how Mike Stoops likes it. One thing Stoops doesn’t like, however, is losing starting quarterback Nick Foles. Matt Scott will get the nod for Arizona Saturday night.

THE PICK: Time to put on the blindfold and pick a team out of the hat because this one’s a toss up. The Huskies are hot right now and, with Foles out, that’s enough to propel them over Arizona.

THE SCORE: Washington 21, Arizona 20

LAST WEEK:

Straight Up: 4-0

Vs. Spread: 3-1

OVERALL:

Straight Up: 14-9

Vs. Spread: We’re still keeping track?