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Big 12 football: Predictions, superlatives after Week 6

The top of the conference is starting to separate itself from the bottom.

Oklahoma State v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

Oklahoma State continued the trend of losing the week after breaking into the top-25 poll. The Cowboys loss to Texas Tech shakes up the rankings and Baylor now emerges as the likely challenger to Oklahoma and Texas. Let’s take a look at where Big 12 teams stand after week six.

Standings

No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners (5-0, 2-0)

No. 11 Texas Longhorns (4-1, 2-0)

No. 22 Baylor Bears (5-0, 2-0)

Iowa State Cyclones (3-2, 1-1)

TCU Horned Frogs (3-2, 1-1)

Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-2, 1-1)

Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-2, 1-2)

West Virginia Mountaineers (3-2, 1-1)

Kansas State Wildcats (3-2, 0-2)

Kansas Jayhawks (2-4, 0-3)

I have Kansas State in ninth place because of their offense. I didn’t love it through three games and didn’t really understand the hype behind the Wildcats. KSU’s offense has been lifeless in its 0-2 start to Big 12 play. OSU falls after losing to Texas Tech, who rises to sixth. Baylor and Iowa State each had a good week and the Bears are still undefeated.

#6 Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma played Kansas last weekend and it was a weird game. OU let Kansas score and jump out to a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter. If not for a late second quarter touchdown, Oklahoma would have gone to halftime up only 14-7 on Kansas. Of course, there was never any doubt OU would lose, and the Sooners prevailed 45-20.

Shoutout to Kansas for hanging tough though. Jalen Hurts didn’t complete more than two passes to any receiver. CeeDee Lamb had just two receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown. Hurts himself had almost that many receiving yards, catching a pass for 21 yards. Most of the damage OU did on offense was on the ground, where the Sooners scored four touchdowns, including two from Hurts.

OU might have been caught looking ahead to Texas a little bit. It was still a comfortable win that won’t change anyone’s opinion on this team or how talented they are. What might change that a little bit would be a loss against Texas. The Sooners head to Dallas for the Red River Rivalry this weekend.

Last year Texas upset OU at the Cotton Bowl, which fueled the Horns run to the Sugar Bowl. Texas might need a similar outcome this season. UT could still make a NY6 bowl with a loss to OU in this game and again in the Big 12 championship, but that would be all the breathing room Texas has. On the other hand, Oklahoma needs to at least split with Texas, if not win both games to go back to the College Football Playoff. Buckle up, we’re in for a good one this weekend.

Prediction: OU wins...in overtime.

#11 Texas Longhorns

Texas maybe got caught looking ahead to OU as well. The Horns could have played better in a 42-31 win over West Virginia. Even in down years, winning at West Virginia isn’t typically an easy task.

The Texas defense picked off Austin Kendall four times and the Texas lead was never in doubt. Sam Ehlinger passed for 211 yards, two touchdowns and an interceptions. Roschon Johnson led Texas in rushing with 121 yards. Devin Duvernay led in receiving yards once again with 86.

Collin Johnson is expected to return from injury against Oklahoma to give the Horns another deep threat. Anything can happen in the Red River Rivalry. The best team doesn’t always win. That being said, I still think OU wins a close game.

Prediction: Oklahoma wins (OT)

#22 Baylor Bears

Baylor is still in the fun fort! The Bears are 5-0 and ranked. Baylor hasn’t faced particularly tough competition so far but does have wins over Iowa State and Kansas State. How long can Baylor stay undefeated though?

Against Kansas State, Charlie Brewer passed for 230 yards and a touchdown. John Lovett found the end zone twice on the ground and Kansas State wasn’t able to keep up. The Kansas State offense has really sputtered since Big 12 play has started and Baylor took full advantage.

The Bears will be looking to keep their undefeated streak alive when they host Texas Tech this weekend. Texas Tech is coming off of an impressive home win against Oklahoma State. Baylor has some usable game footage of Jett Duffey and should be well prepared for this game. I have an inspired Baylor team by a few touchdowns.

Prediction: Baylor wins.

Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State beat TCU handily at home in a must win game. After opening conference play with a loss at Baylor, Iowa State bounced back and inspired a little hope again. The season is salvageable, but the Cyclones will need to run the table for quite awhile.

Brock Purdy was impressive, passing for 247 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 102 yards and two more scores. Deshaunte Jones led in receiving with 110 yards. ISU jumped on TCU early, leading 21-3 at halftime and winning 49-24.

Iowa State travels to West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers in another game the Cyclones should and need to win. If Brock Purdy can take care of the football, there’s no reason Iowa State should lose.

Prediction: Iowa State wins by two scores or less.

TCU Horned Frogs

TCU got off to a slow start against Iowa State. It’s hard to win in Ames, especially with a young quarterback. TCU wasn’t able to pull off an upset and fell 49-24.

Max Duggan continues to be the guy for TCU. Alex Delton saw limited action and only attempted five passes. Duggan finished with 219 passing yards and two touchdowns, completing 17 of his 25 passes.

The Horned Frogs struggled to get anything going on the ground and TCU spent most of the afternoon playing catchup. TCU will likely ride out the rest of the season with Duggan at quarterback and hope for the best results possible. Duggan is talented enough to get TCU to a bowl game.

TCU has a bye week this weekend to prepare to face Kansas State on the road the following week. Kansas State has struggled so far in Big 12 play and this is a game TCU should be looking to steal on the road.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Texas Tech defeated Oklahoma State 45-35. The Red Raiders jumped out to an early 20-0 lead before holding off an Oklahoma State rally.

The Tech defense forced five turnovers from Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders, fueling the Tech victory. Duffey played well, especially in the second half, passing for 424 yards and four touchdowns. T.J. Vasher and Erik Ezukanma 202 yards and two touchdowns receiving.

The Red Raiders have a new lease on life, stealing a win while Alan Bowman remains out with an injury. What would be even more impressive would be if Texas Tech could upset a top-25 opponent for the second week in a row as the Red Raiders travel to Waco to face Baylor. I have the Bears in this one.

Prediction: Baylor wins.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

It was a disappointing performance from OSU in the Cowboys first and only week spent ranked so far this season. Spencer Sanders turned the ball over five times, forcing the Cowboy defense to face 18 Red Raider offensive drives. The defense held as long as it could, but struggled to stop Texas Tech in the second half.

Chuba Hubbard ran 34 times for 156 yards and three scores while Tylan Wallace led in receiving with 85 yards and a score. Its hard to dig out of a 20 point hole on the road, especially with a freshman quarterback, and the Cowboys couldn’t quite finish the comeback.

Oklahoma State has a bye week this week to prepare to face a currently ranked Baylor squad at home for homecoming. The Cowboys could really use a quality win over a ranked team for momentum heading into the stretch of Big 12 play.

West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia hung tough with Texas at home but lost by 11 despite four interceptions thrown by Austin Kendall.

West Virginia drops to 1-1 in conference but still has three wins for the year. Three more are needed for bowl eligibility and I think the Mountaineers can get there. Despite throwing four interceptions, Kendall threw three touchdowns and passed for 367 yards. West Virginia is still struggling to get much going on the ground.

West Virginia takes on Iowa State at home in another tough game. Iowa State won’t be an easy win, but WVU can do it. Austin Kendall needs to take care of the football, but the Mountaineers have a chance if he can do so.

Prediction: Iowa State wins.

Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State’s offense has looked bad through two Big 12 conference games. I mean really bad. As we all know, teams without an offense do not survive in this conference. The defense is good enough to keep Kansas State in games, but I won’t pick the Wildcats to win a game until their offense can show me something.

Skylar Thompson threw a touchdown pass to Dalton Schoen for the only touchdown of the game. Baylor rolled 31-12 over the Wildcats in Manhattan as the Wildcat offense has only scored two touchdowns in two Big 12 games. Kansas State has a bye week to figure things out before hosting TCU the following weekend. Beating TCU at home is an absolute must for KSU.

Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas actually hung tough with Oklahoma for awhile. The Jayhawks were never going to win the game, but they tried their best to hang in there. Oklahoma came away with a 45-20 win.

Carter Stanley passed for 230 yards and three touchdowns while Pooka Williams Jr., rushed for 137 yards. At this point, I can actually imagine a world where Kansas upsets Kansas State this year.

Or maybe I’m just that down on Kansas State right now. Kansas has a bye week before hitting the road to face Texas. Kansas won’t win this game but I will be impressed if the Jayhawks can find a way to hang tough like they did against OU.

Big 12 Championship Game:

Texas Longhorns vs Oklahoma Sooners

Baylor takes the drivers seat as the main challenger to Texas and Oklahoma but it’s going to be these two in the Big 12 Championship game. Oklahoma needs to win out to guarantee a spot in the CFP, and that all starts with the Red River Rivalry this weekend.

Offensive Player of the Year:

Jalen Hurts: Oklahoma University

Hurts had another big week but could he have a potential Heisman moment against Texas this weekend? With the stiff competition Hurts faces, he’ll need a big game against the best opponent he’ll face all season this weekend.

Defensive Player of the Year:

Jordyn Brooks: Texas Tech University

19 total tackles and three sacks for Brooks last weekend against Oklahoma State in a game his team needed to win gives him my vote for this award. Brooks was impressive and he is my pick for defensive player of the year for now.

Big 12 Newcomer of the Year:

Roschon Johnson: University of Texas

Johnson led Texas in rushing with 121 yards against West Virginia. If Johnson can continue being productive on the ground, that would add another element to the Texas offense. My guess is the Horns will still run Keaontay Ingram more often than not, but if Johnson has a big game against OU, things could change.

Big 12 Freshman of the Year:

Jadon Haselwood: Oklahoma University

I would still like to see more from Haselwood but he is more productive each week. I will still be keeping a close eye on Jordan Whittington when he returns for Texas, which should be any week now.

Coach of the Year:

Matt Rhule: Baylor University

Rhule has his Baylor Bears at 5-0 right now and a chance to qualify for a bowl game with a home win over Texas Tech this weekend. Of course, Baylor still has to face both Texas and Oklahoma this season, but right now, Rhule is looking pretty good for this award.

Breakout Player of the Year:

Chuba Hubbard: Oklahoma State University

It was a shaky performance for Oklahoma State against Texas Tech, but that isn’t on Hubbard. He continues to impress and have an outside shot at the Heisman trophy.