Week seven saw a plethora of AP Top 25 teams lose, including a Big 12 school. West Virginia lost to Iowa State and now every Big 12 team has at least one loss. The race to the Big 12 Championship game is heating up with Iowa State and Texas Tech emerging as dark horse candidates behind Texas, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
1. Texas Longhorns (6-1)
2. Oklahoma Sooners (5-1)
3. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-1)
4. Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-2)
5. Iowa State Cyclones (3-3)
6. TCU Horned Frogs (3-3)
7. Baylor Bears (4-3)
8. Kansas State Wildcats (3-4)
9. Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-3)
10. Kansas Jayhawks (2-4)
Oklahoma State has taken a nose dive after their 1-3 start in conference play. Baylor and TCU looked decent in close losses and Texas Tech and Iowa State have impressed the last few weeks. Now to fully submerge ourselves in some Big 12 #content.
Texas struggled at home against Baylor after their “hangover” win against Oklahoma. It doesn’t help that Sam Ehlinger went down with a shoulder injury early in the first quarter. Shane Buechele was serviceable but not great in the Horns win and that contributed to Texas only scoring 23 points in the game and being shut out in the second half. Despite only a 6 point win, the Horns climbed two spots in the AP Poll because teams in front of them lost.
Texas has their bye week this weekend and it comes at a good time as they try and get Sam Ehlinger healthy for the rest of the season. While Ehlinger is recovering, Buechele needs to be preparing as if he’ll be starting on October 27th in front of a Homecoming crowd in Stillwater.
The scene in the locker room after Texas’s win over Baylor may just warm your heart up on this cold day.— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) October 17, 2018
New All Access tonight at 8:30P/CT on LHN. pic.twitter.com/w3KK4OBwpx
Oklahoma moved up a spot in my power rankings during their bye week due to the West Virginia loss to Iowa State. The Sooners should be rested up and prepared to run the table. That’s exactly what they’ll have to do if they want to win the Big 12 and secure a potential CFP bid.
Oklahoma plays TCU in Fort Worth on Saturday. That game will be an 11 a.m. kickoff and you can watch it on ABC. This is a big game for both teams. TCU is desperate for a win after a poor start to Big 12 play. Oklahoma needs to bounce back after a close loss to Texas. The Sooners should be fine in this one. TCU will have a tough time containing Kyler Murray and the the TCU offense won’t be able to keep up with OU’s electric offense. After hanging 45 on the Texas defense, expect Oklahoma to do the same to TCU.
West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia struggled on both offense and defense against Iowa State. Matt Campbell has revived the Cyclones season after putting Brock Purdy in at quarterback. West Virginia struggled on offense with Will Grier turning the ball over and only scoring 14 points. So much for his Hesiman candidacy. West Virginia had the ball for just 22 minutes in this one and Grier only threw 15 passes.
West Virginia has their bye week after the loss. Although it may feel as if the sky is falling in Morgantown, the Mountaineers have only one Big 12 loss. If they can run the table they will be just fine. This means beating Texas and Oklahoma, along with other some other tough games.
There’s not enough moonshine in West Virginia to get me through this bye week. pic.twitter.com/9MY7r92KyJ— WVU Barstool (@WVUBarstool) October 14, 2018
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech got a huge road win over TCU last Thursday. The Red Raiders won 17-14 in a defensive game. Yes, you read that right. A defensive game in the Big 12. An unprecedented concept. Jett Duffey accounted for both Tech touchdowns, passing for one and running for the other. He led Tech in rushing and had a decent day passing the football. Neither quarterback played great but Duffey played well enough to get a win.
Texas Tech will get Kansas this week in a game that would be great to ease Alan Bowman back into, although he is doubtful to play. Duffey will likely get the nod and Texas Tech should improve to 5-2 in conference play. They’ll have to this Kansas team seriously to win. They have improved from last year, but Tech should win this one easily if they don’t play out of their world.
Iowa State Cyclones
What a turn around it’s been for Matt Campbell’s squad. Brock Purdy threw an interception but played a fantastic game outside of that. David Montgomery returned from injury and rushed for 189 yards and a score. Iowa State has a lot of momentum and the tough part of their schedule is behind them. Iowa State is a darkhorse candidate to make the Big 12 championship game if things get crazy and they win out. They’ll have to beat Texas and Texas Tech first.
Iowa State has their bye week this weekend and it’s time for Matt Campbell to figure out how he can get his team to win out and potentially play for a Big 12 championship. If they can keep everyone healthy, Campbell has this team rolling and dangerous.
TCU Horned Frogs
TCU lost a tough game to Texas Tech at home by three last week. If Shawn Robinson doesn’t throw two interceptions TCU might have won this game. Robinson also led the Horned Frogs with 42 yards rushing. That’s problematic for the TCU offense. They need to figure out the running game quick or they’ll find themselves in trouble if they keep relying on their Freshman quarterback to make every play.
TCU welcomes Oklahoma to Funky Town this weekend for a tilt with the 9th ranked Sooners. I just mentioned it, but the TCU offense has to figure out the running game if they want to have a chance in this one. If not, the Horned Frogs are in trouble of getting boat raced. The defense will have to contain Kyler Murray in the backfield (not a fun time) and prevent the big play at the same time.
Baylor lost by six at Texas last weekend in a game that Sam Ehlinger didn’t hardly play in. By the same token, Baylor should probably have been awarded an interception on a drive where Texas would score. Much like TCU, Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer led the Bears in rushing yards with 22. Brewer had a good day but the running backs did not. The Bears still have a long way to go, although they’ve made good progress in rebuilding their program so far this season.
Baylor will have their bye week this weekend and it will all be about improvement on the ground and working on making less mistakes during the game for the Bears. Baylor is 4-3 and needs two more wins to become bowl eligible. The last half of their season will be about winning two games and sending this team and their fans to a bowl game.
Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State put up their first respectable game of the season against Oklahoma State last weekend. The Wildcats played great defense and held an Oklahoma State team that was averaging 44 points-per-game to 12. It was a classic Kansas State rushing attack with passes mixed in few and far between, but just at the right times. Alex Barnes shined on the ground for K-State with 181 yards and scored all four of Kansas State’s touchdowns.
Kansas State has their bye week this week and their goal for the rest of the season will be the same as Baylor’s. Make a bowl game. The Wildcats are 3-4 and will need to double their win total for the year if they want to make a bowl game. That means they’ll have to finish 3-1. With Oklahoma, Iowa State and Texas Tech left on the schedule, this probably isn’t realistic.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State lost to Kansas State in one of the worst offensive performances from the Cowboys in years. The offensive line is broken and the quarterback play is underwhelming. The defense couldn’t stop the run and didn’t defend a usually poor Kansas State passing game well at all. Everything is falling apart in Stillwater. Changes are going to have to be made if the Cowboys want to make a bowl game this season.
Oklahoma State has their bye week this weekend and two weeks to prepare to welcome Texas to Stillwater. This is the week Mike Gundy really needs to evaluate where the team is at and where he wants it to go this season. If Gundy wants to make a bowl game, he’s going to have to make a quarterback change. It doesn’t stop there though. The defense has consistency issues and the offensive line might as well be turnstiles. They’ve got this week to figure it out before things get tough and OSU starts the gauntlet part of their schedule.
Kansas had their bye week last week as they prepare to travel to Lubbock to take on a hot Texas Tech team. Unfortunately for Kansas, they’ve had two weeks to prepare but haven’t known which quarterback to prepare for. The good news is they have more film on backup Jett Duffey after he started against TCU. We’ll see if the Jayhawks defense is prepared for him on Saturday.
As mentioned above, Kansas takes on Texas Tech this weekend. They’ll have to get the running game going and at least be respectable with the pass. Kansas only has a chance in this one if they protect the ball and keep Texas Tech off the scoreboard. It will probably be a long day for Kansas, but crazier things have happened.
Big 12 Championship Game:
Oklahoma Sooners (5-1) vs Texas Longhorns (6-1)
This has to happen. These are the two best (and most talented) teams in the Big 12. A storied rivalry for all the Big 12 marbles and a potential CFP bid? Arlington might actually burn to the ground. I still have Oklahoma in a close one.
Offensive Player of the Year:
Kyler Murray: Oklahoma University
He didn’t play last week but his only real challenger is Will Grier, who didn’t have a great game against Iowa State last weekend. Murray is going to run away with this award and might even end up winning the Heisman trophy.
Defensive Player of the Year:
Joe Dineen Jr: Kansas University
Kansas didn’t play last weekend either, however, Dineen is a force and the leader of the Jayhawks defense. Without Dineen, the Kansas defense wouldn’t nearly as good. He leads Kansas in tackles and is second in the Big 12 behind Curtis Bolton.
Big 12 Newcomer of the Year:
Brock Purdy: Iowa State University
Purdy passed for 254 yards and three touchdowns with only one interception. He’s been a spark plug for an Iowa State team that had a slow start. He was instrumental in helping the Cyclones upset West Virginia and outplayed former Heisman candidate Will Grier.
Freshman of the Year:
Caden Sterns: University of Texas
Sterns only had one tackle against Baylor but came away with his fourth interception of the year. Sterns is tied for the most interceptions in the Big 12 with Adrian Frye of Texas Tech. The Texas defense thrives on forcing turnovers and Sterns does just that.
Coach of the Year:
Lincoln Riley: Oklahoma University
Riley will have to run the table to make his second straight College Football Playoff. Oklahoma has one of the best teams in college football this year and under Riley, this is completely possible.
Breakout Player of the Year:
Tylan Wallace: Oklahoma State University
Wallace led OSU in receiving once again with 90 yards on five catches. Taylor Cornelius didn’t pass for a touchdown, so there’s only so much we can expect out of Wallace’s numbers.