Many people start to talk about what they’re thankful for around this time of year. Thanksgiving is approaching and I have a lot to be thankful for. One thing I am NOT thankful for is having to rank Big 12 teams 1-10 this week.
#10 Oklahoma Sooners (7-1, 4-1)
#12 Baylor Bears (7-0, 4-0)
#22 Kansas State Wildcats (5-2, 2-2)
Texas Longhorns (5-3, 3-2)
Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-3, 2-3)
Iowa State Cyclones (5-3, 3-2)
TCU Horned Frogs (4-3, 2-2)
Kansas Jayhawks (3-5, 1-4)
West Virginia Mountaineers (3-4, 1-3)
Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-5, 1-4)
It might be cheating but I let the folks who vote in the AP Top-25 Poll throw me a lob this week. Of course, the first three teams are ranked in order. Texas gets fourth because they are essentially #26 as the team that received the most votes to be in. Oklahoma State and Iowa State each had a singular vote to be in the top-25 and I put OSU ahead of ISU because the Pokes beat the Cyclones in Ames last weekend.
The rest are ranked according to how I think they should be ranked. Just to be clear, I think this is how the Big 12 should be ranked 1-10. I could easily see the argument for putting Baylor ahead of Oklahoma, but the Bears will have their chance against the Sooners in a few weeks anyway. If you don’t agree with my rankings, it is most definitely because I hate your favorite team.
#10 Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma...yikes. After a fast start, it was all downhill for the Sooners. This happens to OU every year. It was Texas last year and Iowa State the year before. Oklahoma has been able to run the table and make the CFP in years past. This year, the road back in to the CFP will be much harder.
This is mainly because a one loss Alabama or LSU would easily get in to the CFP over Oklahoma. There are a handful of teams that look worthy enough to make it and OU has shuffled its name to the bottom of the list. This might be a year similar to the year that TCU and Baylor both got left out but deserved to make it. For now, OU is on the outside looking in and hoping for maximum chaos.
Jalen Hurts passed for 395 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 96 yards and three more scores. CeeDee Lamb was excellent once again with 135 yards receiving and a touchdown. Kennedy Brooks and Trey Sermon only got three carries each for 11 total yards.
The Sooners have a bye week to figure out how to run the table. As I mentioned, that likely won’t be enough this year and OU will be hoping for some chaos. Oklahoma hosts Iowa State in two weeks.
#12 Baylor Bears
Everything is falling in to place for Baylor. The Bears got a big win on their bye week when Oklahoma lost to Kansas State. Baylor is now in the drivers seat for a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game. Losing to Texas and OU, assuming Texas wins out, is about the only realistic way Baylor doesn’t make it at this point.
Baylor can’t afford to lose a game. For those Bears fans thinking Baylor has a shot at the CFP, Baylor would pretty much need to blow everyone out the rest of the way. Close wins over conference opponents, other than Oklahoma, aren’t going to get it done. At this point, I would put a one loss Alabama or LSU in over an undefeated Baylor team.
The road starts at home in McLane Stadium on Halloween. Baylor has cancelled classes for the game for the first time in a long time. Baylor students, fans and alumni are starting to realize exactly how important every game is the rest of the way. Weird things can happen on Halloween, but not in this game.
Prediction: Baylor wins by a few scores.
#22 Kansas State Wildcats
College football is a weird place. Kansas State has personified that this season. Of course, the Wildcats have never been an easy team to beat, even when they have been bad. I couldn’t imagine a few weeks ago that Kansas State would be ranked again this season but a win against OU can do crazy things.
I’m not sure if the Kansas State offense is back from the dead or if the Oklahoma defense and Alex Grinch are frauds. It’s possible that both are true. It’s also possible that the OU defense just had a bad game. I suppose we’ll find out in the coming weeks. I would recommend keeping a close eye on the KSU offense and the OU defense.
Skylar Thompson did everything he needed to through the air. He didn’t throw an interception and passes for 213 yards. Like always, the feature of the KSU offense was the ground attack. Thompson rushed for 39 yards and four touchdowns. James Gilbert led the way with 105 yards and a touchdown.
Kansas State will host an upset minded Kansas squad this weekend. Kansas has looked much better this season but probably doesn’t get K-State in this one.
Prediction: Kansas State wins.
Texas....also yikes. The Horns knew they needed to win out, aside from a potential Big 12 Championship Game appearance, in order to make a NY6 Bowl. How Texas managed to lost to TCU by 10 is beyond me. I know the defense is bad and I know the best players from that defense are injured.....but really?
Sam Ehlinger passed for 321 yards and two touchdowns but the four interceptions killed Texas. The last interception was on the last play of the game for Texas, so I wouldn’t exactly count that one, but three interceptions is still unacceptable from Ehlinger. Devin Duvernay had 173 yards receiving and a touchdown while Colin Johnson had 101 yards receiving.
Texas has a bye week before hosting Kansas State in Austin. Believe it or not, Texas can still match its win total from last season. The Horns will need to win out, and with OU likely out of the CFP, Texas won’t be going to a NY6 Bowl without winning the Big 12 Championship game.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State needed a win last weekend in Ames and escaped with a 34-27 victory. The offense scored 27 of those points and a Malcolm Rodriguez pick-six sealed the game. The roller-coaster season continues for the Cowboys.
The Cowboy defense had an encouraging game and finished with three interceptions. The offense played well enough but I still would have liked to see a long methodical drive or two. OSU needs win its next few games with home games against TCU and Kansas and a road game at West Virginia before playing OU at home.
Spencer Sanders passed for 249 yards and two touchdowns while throwing a really bad interception. Tylan Wallace caught eight passes for 131 yards and a touchdown, including a monster catch and run for a touchdown. Chuba Hubbard rushed for 116 yards and a score. The OSU offense really relied on the big play against Iowa State.
The Cowboys host a TCU team that just upset Texas at home. The Horned Frogs also start a freshman quarterback and run a fairly conservative offense to accommodate him. Max Duggan is a dual-threat quarterback, similar to Sanders, but without the speed Sanders possesses. This should be a close one but I’ll take the Pokes at home.
Prediction: OSU wins a close one.
Iowa State Cyclones
The Cyclones dropped their second Big 12 game of the year on homecoming in Ames. Iowa State had to play catch-up most of the game and finally caught up to Oklahoma State in the fourth quarter. Brock Purdy couldn’t finish the deal though, throwing a game-clinching pick-six and then two more interceptions to give Oklahoma State the win.
Purdy attempted 62 (!!) passes for 382 yards and a touchdown. Breece Hall rushed for 76 yards and two scores and also had 42 receiving yards. Charlie Kolar had 88 receiving yards and a touchdown.
A really disappointing afternoon for Iowa State sapped the momentum the Cyclones had built up after dropped their first Big 12 game on the road against Baylor. Iowa State still has Oklahoma and Texas on the schedule.
Speaking of Oklahoma, the Cyclones have to travel to Norman after a bye week this weekend to take on an OU squad that should be motivated and firing on all cylinders after losing to Kansas State last weekend.
TCU Horned Frogs
A big home win over Texas might serve as the turning point for TCU’s season. The Horned Frogs were coming off a seven point road loss at Kansas State and in need of a win. TCU defeated Texas 37-27 in an impressive home win.
Max Duggan finally threw an interception but it didn’t matter. The freshman quarterback passed for 273 yards and two touchdowns, and was also the team’s leading rusher with 72 yards and an additional score. Jalen Reagor had 55 yards receiving and a touchdown.
TCU travels to Stillwater this weekend to take on Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have played two of the Big 12’s three ranked teams in Boone Pickens Stadium this season, beating Kansas State and losing to Baylor. This game could go either way in my opinion but I will take the home team in a close game.
Prediction: OSU wins a close one.
KANSAS WON A BIG 12 FOOTBALL GAME! Cheers, Les! This game should have gone to overtime but one of the most bone-headed plays in college football this season allowed Kansas a second chance to kick a game winning field goal and the Jayhawks converted.
Beating Texas Tech 37-34 at home is a big win for this program, but this team is clearly trending in the right direction. Being competitive in the Big 12 is a big step for Kansas and the bottom dwellers are growing up right before our eyes.
Carter Stanley passed for 415 yards and three touchdowns. Andrew Parchment had 109 receiving yards and a touchdown to go with Stephon Robinson Jr’s 186 yards and two scores.
Kansas goes on the road to face Kansas State this weekend. The Wildcats are coming off a big win of their own and are always motivated to beat their in-state rivals. This could be a competitive game, but I don’t see Kansas State on the losing end.
Prediction: Kansas State wins.
West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia had a bye week last week along with Baylor. Those two teams play each other on Halloween in Waco.
The Mountaineers will need something spooky to happen in order to pull this off, but West Virginia needs a win. WVU hasn’t won a Big 12 game since its opener against Kansas. Baylor needs a win to stay undefeated. I think Baylor wins this one but West Virginia could hang around.
Prediction: Baylor wins.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech....biggest yikes. I know Kansas has improved under Les Miles but the Jayhawks aren’t quite ready to be winning Big 12 games yet. Not to mention an incredible effort to block the first field goal attempt was completely wasted and ended up costing Texas Tech the game.
Jett Duffey passed for 271 yards and three scores with Dalton Rigdon on the receiving end of most of his passes. Rigdon would finish with 76 yards and a touchdown. SaRodorick Thompson had 80 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Texas Tech has a bye week before traveling far north to West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers. The West Virginia game will be a must win for Texas Tech but the same will be true for a West Virginia team with only one conference win.
Big 12 Championship Game:
Oklahoma Sooners vs Baylor Bears
The only way I see Baylor missing out on this game is if the Bears lose to both OU and Texas at home and Texas runs the table and doesn’t lose again until a potential Big 12 Championship Game appearance. Either way OU is still a lock and Baylor likely is as well at this point. There’s still plenty of football to be played.
Offensive Player of the Year:
Jalen Hurts: Oklahoma University
The Sooners may have lost but Hurts still looked good in the win. Hurts passed for 395 yards and a score while rushing for 96 yards and three touchdowns. Hurts is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation but losing to Kansas State may have hurt his chances at winning the Heisman in such a loaded class.
Defensive Player of the Year:
Jordyn Brooks: Texas Tech University
I am sticking with Brooks after the loss to Kansas. Brooks finished with nine tackles and two QB hurries, similar to that of Garret Wallow of TCU in the Horned Frogs game against Texas.
Big 12 Newcomer of the Year:
Max Duggan: Texas Christian University
Duggan led his team to a big home win over Texas and was the team’s leading rusher in the process. I still like Roschon Johnson from Texas, but the Horns have gone back to giving Keaontay Ingram more carries. The return of Jordan Whittington may further affect how many carries Johnson gets.
Big 12 Freshman of the Year:
Breece Hall: Iowa State University
Hall had another good game against Oklahoma State, though he didn’t rush for 100+ yards this week. That might be due in part to Brock Purdy attempting 62 passes but hey, Hall was still impressive last week.
Coach of the Year:
Matt Rhule: Baylor University
Baylor didn’t play last week but Rhule distanced himself from the competition. Rather, the competition distanced itself from Rhule. Lincoln Riley didn’t have his best game as coach of the Sooners in OU’s loss to Kansas State.
Breakout Player of the Year:
Chuba Hubbard: Oklahoma State University
Hubbard had another game with 100+ yards and he should be getting more Heisman than a certain running back from Wisconsin. Oh well, neither will come close to winning the award but Hubbard is the nations best running back.