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Updated Big 12 Predictions and Superlatives After Week 12

A top conference team fell while another became bowl eligible. Heading into the final week of the regular season, four teams are still one win away from bowl eligibility.

NCAA Football: Kansas at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State giveth and Oklahoma State taketh away. The Cowboys win over Texas in late October all but ended their playoff hopes (West Virginia would end those the next week) and made their chances for the Big 12 Championship game slim. Then OSU upset West Virginia and put Texas in great position to make the Big 12 Championship game. All they have to do is beat Kansas....oh how times have changed.

Standings

1. #6 Oklahoma Sooners (10-1)

2. #14 Texas Longhorns (8-3)

3. #13 West Virginia Mountaineers (8-2)

4. #25 Iowa State Cyclones (6-4)

5. Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-5)

6. TCU Horned Frogs (5-6)

7. Kansas State Wildcats (5-6)

8. Baylor Bears (5-6)

9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-6)

10. Kansas Jayhawks (3-8)

Texas Tech was the loser of the week, dropping from #5 to #9 after their embarrassing loss while Oklahoma State and Kansas State move up after big wins. There are four teams battling for bowl eligibility, including a matchup between Baylor and Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium. Let’s recap week 12 and preview our final full slate of Big 12 matchups.

#6 Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma played Kansas at home last weekend and mercifully won after allowing the Jayhawks to put 40 POINTS on the scoreboard. The Sooners won 55-40 as questions about this OU defense continue to pour in. With just one regular season game remaining, and by far the most important one of them all for OU, this defense needs to play well enough to keep OU in the game this weekend.

Oklahoma will travel to West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers. The winner will go to the Big 12 Championship game to face Texas. OU will try to keep their already slim College Football Playoff hopes alive. Kyler Murray and the offense will have to play a near perfect game to keep up with a lively West Virginia offense that will likely feast on the OU defense. This one will be a shootout, but I expect West Virginia to get the win at home.

#14 Texas Longhorns

Texas picked up an impressive home win over a surging Iowa State team over the weekend. The 24-10 win only moved the Horns up to #14 in the CFP rankings, but it ensures that all Texas has to do is beat Kansas to make the Big 12 Championship Game. Sam Ehlingher and Shane Buechele split time at quarterback, but Tom Herman expects Ehlingher to be healthy and ready to go against Kansas on Friday.

Texas will travel to Kansas on Black Friday (we really need A&M and Texas playing on Thanksgiving Day back) as Texas can clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game with a win. The Horns will be motivated to put this one away early as they return to the stadium they were humiliated in just a few seasons ago. Texas should roll Kansas this weekend to secure their spot in the Big 12 Championship Game.

#13 West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia was upset in Stillwater against an Oklahoma State team that has upset two top 10 ranked teams at Boone Pickens Stadium this season. OSU turned it over four times but wouldn’t go away and eventually pulled off the upset late in the game. West Virginia didn’t play horrible, but they should have been able to put this game away.

The Mountaineers will host Oklahoma in the regular season finale for a shot to play in the Big 12 Championship Game. The OU defense has been absolutely horrendous this season, and West Virginia should score at least 40 if not 50 points in this game. It’ll help that they have this game at home with the stakes so large. I know I’ve liked Oklahoma in a close game all season, but with the way this OU defense is performing, I’ll take West Virginia.

#25 Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State lost a tough game in Austin after not having David Montgomery for the first half. Iowa State was never able to get momentum going against Texas and lost 24-10. It was the Cyclones first loss since losing to TCU back in September. The Cyclones are bowl eligible and have two games remaining, both of which they should win, for a chance at a 8-4 season and a decent bowl game.

Iowa State will get Kansas State at home next week. The Wildcats will be fighting for their bowl eligibility, so Iowa State will need to show up to this game and play like they want to win. Iowa State can’t make the Big 12 Championship Game anymore, but they can still make a better bowl game than they’ve been to in quite awhile. This team has had a great season and should still be playing with pride.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State earned bowl eligibility for the 13th straight season with a win over West Virginia. Taylor Cornelius started well before a horrific ending to the first half. He played an excellent second half to lead the Cowboys back from a 17 point halftime deficit. It’s been an up and down season for the Cowboys, but they didn’t stop fighting in this one, overcoming an almost insurmountable four turnovers.

Next up for Oklahoma State is a road game at TCU. This game will be interesting to see if Mike Gundy plays Corndog wire-to-wire, or if he plays one of his backup quarterbacks. TCU will be fighting for bowl eligibility, so OSU will get their best shot. This one could easily go either way depending on how bad OSU wants it, but I’ll take the Cowboys in a close one.

TCU Horned Frogs

TCU got a BIG win over Baylor on the road last weekend, winning 16-9. While it isn’t a particularly impressive win, it moves TCU to 5-6 on the season and moves them to within one win of bowl eligibility. The Horned Frogs are now down to their third string quarterback, but he played well enough to help TCU pick up a win. Jalen Reagor rushed for a touchdown and caught another to give TCU their only two touchdowns for the day.

TCU will host Oklahoma State for their regular season finale and to potentially become bowl eligible. The TCU offense has been one dimensional with Jalen Reagor being their only real playmaker. Depending on what OSU team shows up, TCU will probably have to get more players involved and hang points on the board if they want to beat Oklahoma State.

Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State kept their bowl hopes alive with a 21-6 win over Texas Tech at home last weekend. Alex Barnes had another big game, but much like TCU, he’s the only weapon on the Kansas State offense. The Wildcats recorded a safety and converted four field goals to give them 14 of their 21 points. Texas Tech beat themselves more than Kansas State won this game.

If Kansas State wants to make a bowl game, they’ll have to go through Ames first. The Wildcats will play Iowa State on the road this weekend. Kansas State will have to rattle the Cyclones offense and keep them out of the end-zone if they want to win this game. So far Texas is the only team to beat Brock Purdy, so that’s the blueprint to follow for Kansas State. Iowa State should win this one by a few scores at home.

Baylor Bears

Baylor lost at home to a struggling TCU team 16-9 last weekend. Now the Bears are 5-6 and on the outside looking in at a bowl game. The quarterback struggles continued for the Bears as Charlie Brewer was never able to get anything going. He did score Baylor’s only touchdown, though it was on the ground. If Baylor wants to make a bowl game, they’ll likely have to score more than 9 points this weekend.

Baylor will play Texas Tech this weekend at AT&T Stadium and the winner will go to a bowl game. Baylor has a chance to win this one if Jett Duffey plays like he did against Kansas State. These teams combined for 15 points last weekend but there should be more points score in this one. I’ll take Texas Tech in a close game as both teams will be desperately fighting for their postseason lives.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Texas Tech had an absolutely abysmal performance against Kansas State to put Kliff Kingsbury back on the hot seat. All season long this Tech team has looked like an impressive, gritty team. They didn’t have a purpose against Kansas State and it showed. Now they’ll have to win their last game of the year to make a bowl game. It’s been tough for Texas Tech this season as they have missed Alan Bowman in some of their biggest games.

Texas Tech plays Baylor at AT&T Stadium this weekend in what should be a competitive game. Both teams want to make a bowl but only one team will. Kliff Kingsbury might very well be coaching for his job this weekend. Tech is the more talented team and they should win this game, but don’t underestimate a desperate Baylor squad.

Kansas Jayhawks

As of right now Kansas is the only team in the Big 12 that won’t make a bowl, though they’ll be joined by at least one other school after this weekend. Kansas lost to Oklahoma last weekend though they did hang 40 points on the Sooners. Pooka Williams had a big game and the Jayhawks will carry this momentum in to their first season with Les Miles at the helm.

Kansas will close the season hosting Texas in a game they have no business winning. Texas just needs a win in this game to make the Big 12 Championship Game and they’ll be looking to put Kansas away early. With that being said, Kansas won’t lay down and they will probably put a few scores on this Texas defense.

Big 12 Championship Game:

West Virginia Mountaineers vs Texas Longhorns

Texas will beat Kansas this weekend and that will make the West Virginia vs Oklahoma matchup a play in game for the Big 12 Championship Game. With as bad as OU has been on defense in recent weeks, I’m taking West Virginia in that one. The Big 12 Championship Game will be a close one, but I’ll take Texas in the rematch.

Offensive Player of the Year:

Kyler Murray: Oklahoma University

Will Grier has put up respectable numbers this season, but even if he outplays Murray this weekend it won’t matter. Kyler is winning this award in a landslide and will even challenge Tua for the Heisman.

Defensive Player of the Year:

Joe Dineen Jr: Kansas University

Dineen recorded 14 tackles against the Sooners last weekend and has over 130 for the season. He’s the heartbeat of the Kansas defense. While it may not be a successful season in Lawrence, Dineen is one of the most talented defensive players in the Big 12 and a hometown hero that deserves this award.

Big 12 Newcomer of the Year:

Brock Purdy: Iowa State University

It wasn’t a great game for Purdy in Austin as he suffered his first college loss at the hands of the Texas Longhorns. He’s had a great season and put Iowa State in a position nobody thought they would be in. He has a chance to have big games in Iowa State’s last two regular season games, and then they’ll have a respectable bowl game to play in.

Big 12 Freshman of the Year:

Caden Sterns: University of Texas

Sterns had five tackles and two tackles for loss against Iowa State. Sterns has had a good year, however, Brock Purdy deserves this award just as much as Sterns does. This young man will be the leader of a great Texas defense in the next few years.

Coach of the Year:

Lincoln Riley: University of Oklahoma

Riley will get some NFL looks this offseason and for years to come if does choose to stay in Norman. He’s a brilliant coach who knows how to recruit and Oklahoma is lucky to have him.

Breakout Player of the Year:

Tylan Wallace: Oklahoma State University

Wallace caught 7 passes for 62 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the game winner, against West Virginia. He was named one of three finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. Tylan will almost certainly rewrite some OSU records in years to come.