Week six saw Texas topple Oklahoma in the game of the year so far. That means that West Virginia is the only remaining undefeated team in the Big 12. As for the rest of the conference....yikes. Outside of Texas, West Virginia and Oklahoma, nobody looks great. Like I said last week, there is a clear top and bottom tier of teams in the conference this year. That middle tier looked a lot worse than I thought they were last week.
1. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-0)
2. Texas Longhorns (5-1)
3. Oklahoma Sooners (5-1)
4. Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-2)
5. TCU Horned Frogs (3-2)
6. Iowa State Cyclones (2-3)
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-2)
8. Baylor Bears (4-2)
9. Kansas State Wildcats (2-4)
10. Kansas Jayhawks (2-4)
The Oklahoma schools fell the most in the rankings after OU lost a heartbreaker to Texas and Oklahoma State got embarrassed by Iowa State. UT has surged to #2 and Iowa State is sneaking up on the top five. Let’s explore some Big 12 football.
West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia struggled with Kansas at home because Will Grier threw three interceptions. So much for a Heisman campaign. The Kansas offense has improved greatly from last year, and much of that is due to Pooka Williams, however, the defense still struggles. It isn’t embarrassing to allow 22 points to Kansas anymore. Especially when your quarterback throws three picks. But only 38 points?? This is about as disappointing and concerning as a 16 point win can get for the Mountaineers.
West Virginia is on upset alert this weekend when they travel to Iowa State. Winning in Ames is never easy, no matter how good the team is. The Cyclones revamped (??) their offense last week at Oklahoma State when they brought in Brock Purdy to take over for Zeb Noland at quarterback. He figures to get his first start this weekend against the 6th ranked team in the nation. West Virginia will need to figure out how to stop him and Will Grier needs to learn how to protect the ball and West Virginia should avoid an upset in Ames.
Texas beat Oklahoma in the game of the year in the Big 12 so far. Sam Ehlinger passed for two touchdowns and ran for three more in the Horns 48-45 win over the Sooners. While Texas still doesn’t quite have the running game figured out, Sam Ehlinger has looked more competent passing the football every week. Texas held the Sooners lethal offense to 24 points before they exploded for 21 points in the 4th quarter during a failed comeback attempt. Texas only managed three points in the final frame as they tried to hold off a furious Kyler Murray led comeback. Those three points came on Cameron Dicker’s game winning field goal. Check out Gus Johnson with an amazing call.
"FOR RED RIVER IMMORTALITY."— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 7, 2018
Gus Johnson... Please don't ever change. pic.twitter.com/TOaTUXngKO
Texas is gracing the top 10 for the first time in years. They’ll be introduced as the 9th ranked Longhorns when they take the field at home next Saturday against Baylor. The Horns need to be careful this weekend and not let Baylor sneak up on them. Oklahoma gets UT’s best shot every year, but Texas will have to remain focused against Baylor in order to remain in the top 10. Expect the Longhorns to win this one, but watch to see if Texas starts slow after a Red River Rivalry hangover.
Now for the losing team in the 2018 Red River Rivalry. The good news for Oklahoma is that it was only a three point loss and it was early in the season. The Sooners lost to Iowa State at home last year and never looked back. If Oklahoma wants to keep their CFP dreams alive, they’ll have the same task in front of them this year. Aside from their tilt with West Virginia, this should be a fairly easy task. Am I wrong for dreaming of a Red River Rematch at the Big 12 Championship Game?
The Sooners have their bye week this week to regroup following the loss to Texas. Oklahoma needs to work on their ground game. Kyler Murray ran for almost 40 yards more than Trey Sermon did against Texas. If Oklahoma had that extra dimension in their offense, they might not have lost to UT.
According to @TFB_Sooners, Mike Stoops is OUT as OU defensive coordinator.— Barstool Sooners (@OUBarstool) October 8, 2018
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech had their bye week last week, although they didn’t have a full two weeks to prepare for TCU. It’s still unclear if Alan Bowman will get the start in Fort Worth or if it’ll be backup Jett Duffey again. Duffey (Lake Dallas) and Bowman (Grapevine) are both DFW natives and we could see a little of both against the Horned Frogs if Bowman is healthy enough to play.
As mentioned above, Texas Tech gets TCU in Fort Worth this week. The Red Raiders will be rocking some sweet throwbacks on Thursday night in a crucial Big 12 game. The Tech defense is going to have to put pressure on Shawn Robinson and prevent the big play. There’s no telling at this point in time which quarterback the Red Raiders will start. The key for the offense will be to take care of the ball. Tech could have beat West Virginia had Duffey not thrown an interception late in the game.
TCU Horned Frogs
The Horned Frogs had their bye week last week as well. We’ll see this weekend how much the week off helped the TCU offense and if Shawn Robinson takes better care of the football. The last time TCU played they barely beat Iowa State at home.
TCU gets Texas Tech at home on Thursday night in what should be a pretty good ball game. No matter who gets the start for Texas Tech, lack of experience at the quarterback position will be a theme in this one. The quarterback who makes less mistakes and takes better care of the football will likely come out as a winner. If the TCU defense can get pressure on the quarterback like West Virginia did, they should win this one.
We moved up the most in the rankings during a bye week... not great https://t.co/8M8TbiBg9w— Barstool Frogs (@BarstoolTCU) October 7, 2018
Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State pulled off an upset in Stillwater last weekend after bringing in Freshman quarterback Brock Purdy. He went off for 318 yards and four touchdowns and only one interception. Iowa State changed up their offense and ran something a little different from what Oklahoma State had prepared for. That doesn’t change the fact that Iowa State downright out-coached Mike Gundy’s squad. The win should pump some life into this team and give other teams in the Big 12 more to worry about.
The Cyclones get West Virginia in Ames this weekend. The Mountaineers are on high upset alert this weekend. They didn’t have a great showing against Kansas, and the Cyclones are riding high off their big win. Ames will be rocking after Iowa State gave something for fans to cheer about for the first time all season. Iowa State pulled off two big upsets last year, one on the road and one at home. They have an upset on the road so far this season, can they get one at home? Keep a close eye on this one as it might be a closer game than we all might think.
Listening to WVU's fight song to prep for the weekend pic.twitter.com/xK9eVN8Kyb— Iowa State University Police Department (@ISUPD) October 10, 2018
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oof. That’s all I have to say. The Cowboys offensive line still struggles to block and protect Taylor Cornelius. Corndog hasn’t been as bad as most Cowboy faithful might have you believe, however, he hasn’t played inspiring football either. The defense is still inconsistent and the secondary often times won’t turn their heads around when the ball is in the air. All of this is leading to a long season in Stillwater. It didn’t help that Iowa State brought in a quarterback they hadn’t prepared for and ran an offense a little different from what they’ve been running. That isn’t an excuse to lose at home to a team that only scored 26 on Akron, but that also isn’t to say Iowa State didn’t play a good game of football.
Oklahoma State travels to Manhattan this weekend for a game with Kansas State. For Oklahoma State, this is a must win game. The Cowboys only need two more wins to make a bowl game, but the only two games OSU should be favored in are against Kansas State and Baylor. It will be important for this team to get some momentum before entering the gauntlet that is the back-half of their schedule.
It’s officially “I can’t wait for basketball” season in Stillwater.
Baylor defeated Kansas State on the road last weekend 37-34. Baylor’s kicker missed three field goals before nailing the game winner. Charlie Brewer threw an interception but played fine outside of that. Jalen Hurd carried the offense both in receiving and on the ground. It was an impressive offensive performance for Baylor. The defense left something to be desired. They picked off Skylar Thompson twice but still allowed 34 points to a team that averages 19 a game.
Baylor makes the short trip down to Austin next weekend to take on the Longhorns. This one will probably be a long afternoon for Baylor, but if Brewer can have a decent performance he might keep the Bears hanging around in this one. The Texas defense doesn’t figure to let that happen, and the Longhorns will probably roll big in this one.
The Wildcats lost at home to Baylor 37-34. The Bears kicked six field goals and only made three of them. Kansas State held the Baylor offense to 37, which was enough to keep them in the game. The offense had one of their better performances despite the interceptions from Skylar Thompson, and Kansas State still lost. This is looking like a lost season for the Wildcats unless they can pull off a few wins in Big 12 play. At 2-4, they’re in danger of missing a bowl game.
Kansas State has another home game this weekend, this time against Oklahoma State. While OSU is better than Baylor, the Cowboys are reeling after a 1-2 start to conference play. Kansas State should be able to exploit the Cowboys weaknesses and could pull off a win. The defense will need to get pressure on Taylor Cornelius and limit Justice Hill, and if they can do that, the offense just needs to be competent enough to score a few touchdowns. This is another game to keep an eye on that might be closer than many expect it to be.
This aged poorly... https://t.co/jIGbKGS8sd— Barstool Kansas State (@BarstoolKState) October 6, 2018
Kansas lost to West Virginia on the road by 16 in what was a pretty impressive showing for the Jayhawks. They forced several turnovers and put some points up on the board. Kansas was never going to win this game but these are good building blocks for this program. They’ve done some impressive things this year and they could be dangerous in the Big 12 if they can build on that. Even then, it’ll still take a handful of years to see that come to fruition.
Kansas will have their bye week next week and they should use it to figure out how to make their offense more dynamic. They might be able to pull off an upset in Big 12 play if they can become more dangerous on offense.
Big 12 Championship Game:
Oklahoma Sooners (5-1) vs Texas Longhorns (5-1)
I absolutely NEED this to happen. A rematch between the Sooners and Longhorns. Kyler Murray, a Texas football legend, with a chance at redemption with a conference championship on the line. This game would be tense. It would be wild. I need it to happen. I’m still rocking with OU in a close one in the Big 12 Championship game.
Offensive Player of the Year:
Kyler Murray: Oklahoma University
Kyler passed for over 300 yards and four touchdowns, and added another 92 yards and a score on the ground against Texas. He led a furious Sooners comeback that fell just short, but man was it fun to watch. After Will Grier’s four turnover day against Kansas, Murray has this award firmly secured.
Defensive Player of the Year:
Joe Dineen Jr: Kansas University
Joe Dineen recorded eight tackles and a sack against West Virginia over the weekend. The Jayhawks forced four turnovers against a good West Virginia offense. Dineen has helped lead the charge on defense and has been instrumental in Kansas’ success this season.
Big 12 Newcomer of the Year:
Brock Purdy: Iowa State University
The Freshman won his first game on the road at Oklahoma State over the weekend. Purdy was effective running the offense as the Cyclones scored 48 on a maligned Cowboy defense.
Freshman of the Year:
Caden Sterns: University of Texas
Sterns was second in tackles for the Longhorns with seven in Texas upset win over Oklahoma. He’s been a game changer in the secondary for Texas wreaking havoc on opposing offenses.
Coach of the Year:
Lincoln Riley: University of Oklahoma
Riley lost just his third game of his tenure as head coach at Oklahoma. The Sooners lost by just a field goal to Texas. Don’t be surprised if Riley’s squad runs the table to win the Big 12 and earn another CFP berth this season.
Breakout Player of the Year:
Tylan Wallace: Oklahoma State University
Wallace caught five passes for 82 yards and a score against Iowa State. Although he’s put up better numbers this season, Wallace is still leading the way receiving for the Cowboys this season.