Big 12 Game of the Week - Free Pick
Written by Chris Coleman.

Gus Malzahn won't be within 1,000 miles of the final game played at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Tex. this weekend, but no doubt his name will certainly be making the rounds.

Yes, the main storyline should be about it being the final game at Casey, about the Bears trying to win a Big 12 title for the first time, and about how odd it is to see the Bears as double-digit favorites over the Longhorns.

But the Bears loss two weeks ago to Oklahoma State put a damper on what could have been a miraculous season and now may just end up being a historic season for the Bears. Of course, the Sooners and Cowboys game should be about finished by the time the Bears and Longhorns kick-off. If by some chance the Sooners can upset the Cowboys, this game takes on a whole new significance.

If we had told you in October that the Longhorns would be playing for a possible chance to play in a BCS game, you woulda laughed us off the Internet. But a 7-1 conference run, marred only by a loss to OSU, has led the Longhorns and Mack Brown to the precipice of one of the most remarkable turn-arounds in college football in recent memory.

Of course, some Longhorn fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that the Horns lose on Saturday. If they win, Mack Brown almost certainly keeps his job, as the Longhorns will have at least secured a share of the Big 12 title. If they lose, they end up third in the conference, head to the Cotton Bowl and then all of a sudden Brown's job is in question and the Saban rumors gather even more momentum.

Nobody would have even guessed three months ago that we would be talking about Brown's job security. It was a foregone conclusion he would be gone. So how did the Longhorns get back to respectable? An easy schedule helped -- it turns out Ole Miss and BYU may have been the 2nd and 3rd best teams UT played all year -- so did bringing in Greg Robinson and his blitz packages. The Longhorns also stuck to running the ball down people's throats and fell into having game-manager Case McCoy at starting quarterback. McCoy will never make it to the NFL, but this has been a nice senior year for him.

Robinson brought some looks last week against Texas Tech that he hadn't used all season, and he will have to get creative against a Baylor team that was averaging 60 points a game before they ran into OSU. Another thing they ran into at OSU that slowed down their vaunted passing attack? Cold weather. The forecast for Waco Saturday? Freezing cold weather and maybe some ice or wintry mix. That definitely benefits Texas, who is bigger on the line, and will look to pound the ball with their stable of backs.

Baylor barely won last week against TCU after getting hit in the mouth by OSU. They may have been looking ahead to UT and a chance to play in the national title game -- something that would have happened, with Alabama losing. How much air has come out of Baylor's balloon in the past two weeks? Maybe not so much as to deflate them, but I don't see them rolling the Horns the way we all would have predicted five weeks ago.

The Line: Baylor - 13 1/2

The Pick: Texas

Last updated on December 06, 2013.

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