There weren’t many surprises in the Big 12 during week 11, but the last two weeks of regular season conference play could still shake up the standings in a big way. Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor are all just a win away from bowl eligibility while OU and West Virginia remain at the top of the standings with Texas on the outside looking in. Let’s recap week 11 and look ahead to week 12.
1. #6 Oklahoma Sooners (9-1)
2. #9 West Virginia Mountaineers (8-1)
3. #15 Texas Longhorns (7-3)
4. #16 Iowa State Cyclones (6-3)
5. Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-5)
6. Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-5)
7. Baylor Bears (5-5)
8. TCU Horned Frogs (4-6)
9. Kansas State Wildcats (4-6)
10. Kansas Jayhawks (3-7)
Kansas became the first Big 12 school to be officially eliminated from bowl contention, and Kansas State will likely join them this week. TCU will be fighting to keep their bowl hopes alive against Baylor in Waco. Texas will have to get by Iowa State to keep their Big 12 Championship hopes alive. Let’s take a look at where we stand.
#6 Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma barely escaped Bedlam with a one point win over the Cowboys. The offense was spectacular throughout the game. The Sooners had the running game figured out, as both Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks were spectacular. The defense was a completely different story for Oklahoma. They allowed Taylor Cornelius to pass for over 500 yards and three touchdowns, as well as giving up over 100 yards and three touchdowns on the ground for Chuba Hubbard. This defense needs to figure things out before they head to Morgantown in two weeks.
Oklahoma will host Kansas and cash in their free conference win coupon this weekend. This game will be about staying healthy and dominating on defense. This defense will need a confidence boost going into their tilt with West Virginia, but they also need the extra week of work with their new defensive coordinator. Oklahoma will roll big on Senior Day in this one.
#9 West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia rolled big at home over TCU 47-10. After a slow start, West Virginia dominated TCU on both sides of the football for the big win. TCU actually led this one after the first quarter, albeit 3-0. West Virginia will need to improve on their slow starts before they potentially have to face Oklahoma in back-to-back games to end the season.
West Virginia will travel to Oklahoma State in what very well could be a trap game for the Mountaineers if they get caught looking ahead to their regular season finale with Oklahoma. Oklahoma State caught Texas napping earlier in the season. The Longhorns rallied after a slow start but their comeback bid fell just short. This is another reason it’s important for West Virginia to start fast on Saturday. Expect the Mountaineers to win, though not by a lot.
#15 Texas Longhorns
Texas escaped a tough road game with Texas Tech by the skin of their teeth. Lil’ Jordan Humphrey gave the Red Raiders deja vu by scoring the game winning touchdown on the right sideline 10 years after the Texas Tech upset Texas in similar fashion in the same end-zone. Humphrey continues to be a huge playmaker for the Longhorns. Sam Ehlinger had another respectable outing to give Texas an impressive win over a Texas Tech team that’s much better than their record indicates.
The Horns season will be on the line this weekend in Austin when Texas faces Iowa State. The Cyclones have ripped off five straight wins and have been one of the more impressive teams in the Big 12 this season. If Texas wins this game, they should win out, meaning all that would have to happen for the Horns to make the Big 12 Championship game would be an Oklahoma loss in Morgantown. Texas will have to control the ball and the pace of this game. West Virginia lost in Ames because they control the ball.
Told that he scored in the Crabtree corner, Humphrey said, “It’s the LJ corner now.”— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) November 11, 2018
#16 Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State won a chippy game against Baylor last weekend 28-14. David Montgomery never got going and was eventually thrown out of the game for his role in a brawl between the two teams. Brock Purdy continued to impress with 230 yards passing a touchdown. He also led the Cyclones in rushing. This was the first time during the Iowa State winning streak that they were rattled and knocked out of rhythm. Purdy will have the biggest game of his young career next weekend.
Iowa State will travel to Austin to take on Texas this Saturday. Iowa State can still make the Big 12 Championship game if they win out and West Virginia losses to OU at home. The story is the same for the Longhorns, except they would need West Virginia to beat Oklahoma. Either way, the loser of this one will see their Big 12 title chances evaporate. This game will likely decide the second team that makes the Big 12 Championship game.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech lost a tough game against Texas at home 41-34. The Red Raiders dropped to 5-5 on the year and 3-4 in conference play. With that being said, Tech will be favored in their last two games and should finish 7-5 and make a bowl game. It’s been a tough year for Tech injury wise, but the 7-5 finish should be enough to keep Kliff Kingsbury around town. Jett Duffey played well against Texas but lost two fumbles to seal Texas Tech’s fate.
Texas Tech will go on the road to face Kansas State in a game they should handily win. After close losses to Texas and Oklahoma, the Red Raiders should roll Kansas State this weekend. Jett Duffey proved he is good enough to start for the Red Raiders, though they will want Alan Bowman back as soon as possible. Expect Tech to win this one easily.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Cardiac Cowboys were at it again last weekend, suffering a 48-47 loss to OU. It was an impressive showing for Taylor Cornelius, despite him missing a wide open Tylan Wallace with a chance to take the lead late in the game. This also falls on the Sooners’ porous defense. Chuba Hubbard impressed after Justice Hill left the game early with an injury. The loss drops the Cowboys to 5-5, giving them just two more shots at bowl eligibility.
Next weekend Oklahoma State will host Senior Day against West Virginia. This is one Oklahoma State will probably lose, however, they could sneak up on West Virginia. The Cowboys will need to get off to a fast start in this one as West Virginia typically gets off to slow starts. Similar to the Texas game, they’d just need to hold on in the second half if they can build a substantial halftime lead. West Virginia should win this one by 10.
Baylor lost an ugly game against Iowa State 28-14. The Bears were down 17-0 at halftime before outscoring Iowa State 14-11 in a physical second half. Charlie Brewer had a good day, leading the Bears in passing and rushing yards. What otherwise might have been an impressive performance for a rebuilding team was taken away by what might be the most disgraceful fight in college football this season.
Baylor will get TCU at home as they look to become bowl eligible just one year after going 1-11. TCU will also be fighting for their bowl chances as they have to win out in order to make a bowl. Baylor should win this game, and they can do so by protecting the ball and keeping their offense on the field. The TCU offense has struggled to put up points for most of the season, so Baylor should be good if they put up a few touchdowns. Expect Baylor to win this one by 10 or more and hold TCU to 17 points or less.
TCU Horned Frogs
TCU got rocked by a good West Virginia team last weekend. Jalen Reagor caught 11 passes for 150 yards, but that was the only bright spot for the Horned Frogs on offense. On the other side of the ball, TCU shut out West Virginia in the first quarter and picked off Will Grier, but it was all downhill after that.
At 4-6 the Horned Frogs have to win their last two games to become bowl eligible. They travel to Waco to play Baylor this weekend and will get Oklahoma State at home the following weekend. It’s time for Gary Patterson to pull out all the stops, and it starts with Baylor. If TCU can put up some points and get pressure on the quarterback, they have a decent shot in this one. The problem is putting up points. Baylor should win this one but don’t be surprised if TCU makes it interesting.
Kansas State Wildcats
Alex Barnes starred once again for Kansas State as they beat Kansas 21-17. This might have been the saddest game in the Big 12 this season. Alex Barnes ran the ball 22 times for 117 yards and two scores. Kansas State won the pillow fight of the year and technically keeps their bowl chances alive another week.
Kansas State will host Texas Tech in a game that will almost certainly end Kansas State’s bowl hopes. No matter what quarterback Texas Tech plays on Saturday, this should be a big win for the Red Raiders. If Kansas State wants a shot in this one they’ll need to control the ball and keep the Tech offense off the field.
Kansas lost to Kansas State 21-17 last weekend to officially eliminate themselves from bowl contention. The offense has really struggled the past few weeks as the Jayhawks performance has been in decline as the year has gone on. The next big thing for Kansas football will be finding their new head coach this offseason.
Kansas will have to travel to Norman to take Oklahoma next weekend in a game that they have no business winning. It’ll be a long day for Kansas, though they should look to gash the horrendous OU defense for a few touchdowns. If they can keep things interesting in the first half, that’ll be enough of a morale victory for Kansas.
Kansas Head Football Coach Bill Self https://t.co/781e2UBXJ7— Wide Right & Natty Lite (@WideRtNattyLt) November 13, 2018
Big 12 Championship Game:
Oklahoma Sooners vs West Virginia Mountaineers
There is only one way for this matchup to happen. Oklahoma would have to beat West Virginia in Morgantown, and then Texas would have to beat Iowa State this weekend. That would make Oklahoma the home team (only one Big 12 loss) and West Virginia would get the tie-breaker over Texas because they beat UT head-to-head. I still have Oklahoma in a close one, though it’ll be interesting if these teams end up having to play in back-to-back games. Here are ALL the scenarios for the Big 12 Championship game, assuming Kansas doesn’t win another game (they wont).
Revised Big 12 title game scenarios. Assuming OU, TEX beat KU in this exercise. pic.twitter.com/NgjM0Rrn9o— Max Olson (@max_olson) November 11, 2018
Offensive Player of the Year:
Kyler Murray: Oklahoma University
Murray had another big week against Oklahoma State. He finally got help from the running game as Sermon and Brooks carried the Sooners down the stretch. Murray is the clear favorite for Big 12 player of the year and might even be closing Tua Tagovialoa’s Heisman lead.
Defensive Player of the Year:
Joe Dineen Jr: Kansas University
Dineen may not win this award, but he would be my pick. He remains at the top of the leaderboard for tackles in the Big 12 and is clearly the best player on this Kansas football team.
Big 12 Newcomer of the Year:
Brock Purdy: Iowa State University
There should be no question with this one. Purdy has led the Cyclones to five straight wins, and with a win in Austin this weekend, he might have them in the Big 12 Championship game. After the Cyclones 1-3, this seemed nearly impossible. Brock Purdy has turned this team around.
Big 12 Freshman of the Year:
Caden Sterns: University of Texas
Brock Purdy may very well win this award as well. I’m choosing Sterns just because I don’t want to choose Purdy to win two different awards. Sterns had seven tackles last weekend to add to his solid freshman campaign.
Coach of the Year:
Lincoln Riley: University of Oklahoma
This one will probably come down to the Oklahoma- West Virginia matchup. Dana Holgerson has a good team that has had a good season, but defeating Oklahoma would put it over the top. Once Holgerson proves he can compete with Riley, then I’ll consider him for this. Riley is getting looks for the NFL, and he is clearly the best coach in the Big 12.
Breakout Player of the Year:
Tylan Wallace: Oklahoma State University
Tylan caught 10 balls for 220 yards and two touchdowns against Oklahoma. Most of this is on the Oklahoma defense, but Wallace is also just that good. So far he has put up better numbers than the last three Biletnikoff award winners, and he might be well on his way to winning the award in his Sophomore (!!) season.