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What we learned in the Big 12: Week 6

After a wild week in the Big 12, contenders are starting to separate themselves from the pretenders.

NCAA Football: Texas at Oklahoma Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12, while offering up some questionable defense, has provided quite an entertaining first six weeks to the season. As we approach the midway point of the season (I can’t believe I’m typing that already), a few early contenders have started to fall behind the pack, while some unlikely teams are finding themselves in great position for the second half of the season.

Let’s get to some thoughts on the Big 12 in Week 6.

This looks like OU’s conference to lose:

Before you burn me at the stake, just know that I see some glaring weaknesses for Oklahoma, especially in the secondary. That said, OU looks like the closest thing to a complete team in the Big 12. Their defensive line played quite well against a stout Texas running game, allowing the Longhorns to only 180 yards on the ground. The Sooners had a ton of injuries take place in this game, and a few at some key positions. I wonder how that affects them down the road in this season.

The offense is firing on all cylinders though, and they might have found a big-play threat in Dede Westbrook. Westbrook lit up the Texas secondary to the tune of 232 yards and three touchdowns. Oh, and they ran for 282 yards to go along with 390 passing yards. OU is scary, but they aren’t untouchable.

The Big 12 is also anybody’s to lose:

As I mentioned above, OU has some glaring weaknesses. In an already weak secondary, the Sooners lost Miciah Quick on a knee injury. His status is currently unknown. The point here is that while OU’s offense is crushing it right now, they have vulnerabilities that teams like OSU, West Virginia, Baylor and Kansas State could potentially expose. Whether or not that comes to fruition is yet to be seen, and it might not even be likely. For these teams, it is important for them to win games they’re supposed to win, and protect the home field. If they do that, they’ll have their shot at the reigning Big 12 champs.

Texas is not back. Not even close:

I tried to tell you. I really did. After Joe Tessitore emphatically exclaimed, “Texas! Is! Back,” after their win over Notre Dame at the beginning of the season, Texas is 1-3. Their lone win came over UTEP back in September. In those three losses, they’ve given up 50, 49, and 45 points, respectively. Oh, and now Notre Dame is apparently hot trash too.

The “old” Texas is not back, and I’m starting to believe that what we are seeing now is just the “new” Texas. From an outsider’s perspective, it’s hard to find one thing that is vastly different from the late stages of the Mack Brown era. That may hurt to read for some Texas fans, but we’ve been on this merry-go-round of Texas’ relevancy for the last half-decade, and I’m not sure much has changed. Texas is always going to have talent, and they have a lot of it right now. Every week it seems like there is a major setback, and giving up 672 yards of offense to Oklahoma last weekend was just the latest example. Bowl eligibility for the Longhorns is now suddenly in jeopardy, but please, tell me more about how Texas is back.

Texas Tech might not be the same old Texas Tech:

Pat Mahomes is good. Really good. He threw for 502 yards with an injured shoulder on the road Saturday against Kansas State. That’s incredible.

Incredibly enough, the defense probably did enough to get the win this weekend. While only holding Kansas State to 335 yards of offense, which is actually pretty good, I’m not sure that Tech is able to get out of their own way. They gave up a pick-six and a kickoff return for a touchdown. 14 points in which the defense bears no responsibility.

It’s a long season, and Tech has already lost a conference game that they probably should have won. They have a shot at redemption though, with West Virginia and Oklahoma coming to town in the next two weeks. I think they can win one of those.

TCU is talented enough to beat anyone, but I don’t think they are very good:

How in the world did TCU not lose to KU this weekend? TCU turned the ball over to the Jayhawks four times, and was massively out-gained on offense. The Frogs allowed 470 total yards of offense to the Jayhawks, while only mustering 366 of their own. I’ve said from the beginning that TCU has some issues. I wrote in week two that Kenny Hill is good enough to win any game, and erratic enough to lose any game. Hill only threw for 206 yards and a touchdown, but the three interceptions nearly cost his team the game.

It took three KU missed field goals in the 4th quarter for TCU to win this game. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing for TCU.

Let me know your thoughts on the Big 12 in the comments below!