CFB - Missouri vs. Kansas (8:00 PM ET ABC)


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CFB - Missouri vs. Kansas (8:00 PM ET ABC)

The Big 12 North Division has regained some respect in 2007


2007-11-23

The Big 12 North Division has regained some respect in 2007, and it's all due to Missouri and Kansas. On Saturday they'll meet at K.C's Arrowhead Stadium with the winner moving on to the conference title game.

Combined the teams are 21-1 SU & 18-2 ATS this season, with the Jayhawks unblemished and in the midst of the BCS title picture. The Tigers aren't out of that hunt but might need some help. In this series, Mizzou won in ‘06, 42-17 at home, but Kansas won the prior three meetings SU & ATS. The most significant matchup trend finds HC Gary Pinkel's Missouri teams 14-5 ATS vs. good defenses allowing <=17 PPG.

From the view of public perception, Kansas is on the wrong side of this enormous confrontation. Missouri is known as the "Show Me" state, with long culture of doubters. Unbeaten Kansas schedule has been hung up to ridicule, though they have won by over 30 points a game. The Jayhawks lack star power that people can attach to, but coaches on the field or those in the media see the brilliance of which they shine. Coach Mark Mangino has the best perspective, "Our kids just kept their poise," he said. "They don't panic. They listen to instructions. They talk to each other and support each other. Those are signs of a good football team."

The only thing Missouri has done wrong is having a game scheduled in Norman, OK. The Tigers have been roaring offensively all season behind QB Chase Daniel. He leads a three-headed monster that includes Jeremy Maclin, the top all purpose running back in the Big 12 and TE Martin Rucker. Like Kansas, the Missouri players bought into coach Gary Pinkel and his staff's preaching before the season began. The opening game win over Illinois is far more impressive today then before. They have gone on to be an offensive torpedo at well over 500 yards a game.

Key Trend The underdog has covered 8 of 12 of these Border Wars.

As part of earlier arrangement, these teams will play at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The neutral site guarantees more competitive balance. The winner heads to San Antonio for Big 12 title game still embracing chance of playing in BCS championship game in the second longest running rivalry in college football. Prediction Kansas by 6

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