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Big 12 football: Predictions, superlatives after Week 3

A wild week shakes up the conference standings.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 Oklahoma at UCLA Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A wild Week 3 in the Big 12 leaves half of the teams on the outside of the Fun Fort and shakes up my power rankings. Kansas and West Virginia showed some fight while Texas Tech showed the exact opposite. Kansas State and TCU impressed as well. Here are my Big 12 predictions and superlatives after Week 3.


No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners (3-0)

No. 12 Texas Longhorns (2-1)

No. 25 TCU Horned Frogs (2-0)

Iowa State Cyclones (1-1)

Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0)

Kansas State Wildcats (3-0)

Baylor Bears (2-0)

West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1)

Kansas Jayhawks (2-1)

Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-1)

To recap, TCU was a big riser after its win against Purdue. Texas Tech fell to the very bottom of the standings after a loss against Arizona. Kansas and West Virginia each rose a spot after wins over Power-5 Conference schools.

No. 5 Oklahoma

Another week and another dominating win for Oklahoma. Jalen Hurts proved once again that he is the best rusher on this team. Hurts started the game with four carriers for 99 yards and a touchdown, and would finish with 150 yards on the ground. Hurts also passed for 289 yards and three touchdowns.

This wasn’t a super impressive win. UCLA still looks washed, but OU did exactly what they were supposed to do and still look like strong candidates to make the College Football Playoff.

OU has a bye week next week before opening conference play at home against Texas Tech in Week 5. The most important thing for OU will be keeping everyone healthy moving forward. Assuming OU can accomplish this over the bye week, it should be a good week.

No. 12 Texas

Texas bounced back from its loss against LSU with a 48-13 win over Rice. Like OU, Texas’ two wins don’t say much, but the loss to LSU was impressive.

Sam Ehlinger was his usual self, passing for 279 yards and three touchdowns. Keaontay Ingram had his best performance of the season with 74 yards on 13 carries for two touchdowns. Ehlinger spread the football around to plenty of receivers, but freshman Jake Smith led the way with 75 yards and two scores.

Texas gets Oklahoma State at home this week to open Big 12 play. The Longhorns haven’t defeated OSU at home since 2008 and have lost the last four meetings. This year, Texas has the experience and the athletes on its side. I can only imagine the chaos that would ensue if Texas starts 2-2 after Ehlinger planted a flag in New Orleans and told Longhorn nation “we’re back” eight months ago. I expect Texas to win and cover the spread.

Prediction: Texas wins by at least seven points.

No. 25 TCU

TCU came out of its bye week hot with a nice win over Purdue. The 34-13 win was good enough to sneak TCU into the top 25. Although the quarterback play still hasn’t been great, it looks as if TCU will be moving forward with Max Duggan.

Duggan completed seven of his 18 attempts for 70 yards and a score. Like I said, not great, but much better than the line Alex Delton posted. Delton completed 1 of 6 attempts for five yards and an interception.

TCU got most of its offensive production from the running backs. Darius Anderson led the way with 179 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Sewo Olonilua rushed 18 times for 106 yards and a touchdown.

TCU returns home this weekend to face a surprisingly good SMU team. The Mustangs are 3-0 and have beaten North Texas and Texas State. SMU is led by Texas transfer Shane Buechele at quarterback. This is a game TCU should win, but the Horned Frogs can’t treat this game like they might have in the past.

Prediction: TCU wins

Iowa State

Iowa State fans had their hearts ripped out once again. This time ISU lost to bitter rival Iowa 18-17 on a muffed punt.

It should be pretty easy to get up for a big rivalry game such as this one. It gets a little harder after an hour rain delay a few minutes into the game. Then there was a second rain delay that lasted two hours. That presents challenges of its own.

Brock Purdy passed for 276 yards and a touchdown. Tarique Milton led the way in receiving with 144 yards and a touchdown.

ISU hosts UL Monroe for its last non-conference game next weekend and should handle ULM easily. If not, the Cyclones don’t enter Big 12 play with much confidence after a 1-1 start and a near loss to FCS Northern Iowa.

I also want to recognize ISU fan Carson King, who was in attendance last week at “College GameDay.” He made a sign asking viewers to Venmo him beer money. King raised more than $50,000 dollars with a match from Anheuser-Busch and Venmo, but instead of buying out the state’s supply of Busch Light, he’s donating the money to Iowa’s City’s University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

What started as a joke to help raise enough money for a case of beer ended in one of the better feel good stories of the month.

Oklahoma State

OSU looked for three quarters and pretty bad for one against Tulsa. Despite trailing 21-20 at halftime, OSU scored 20 unanswered points to beat Tulsa 40-21. Chuba Hubbard looked like a Heisman candidate, posting 256 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Spencer Sanders completed 12 of his 22 passes for 169 yards, a touchdown and his first interception. He threw the deep ball early and often, however, he was letting the ball hang in the air too much.

OSU travels to Texas to play the Longhorns. Texas’ defense will surely key on Hubbard and make Sanders beat them. That isn’t to say Hubbard won’t still have a big day, but Sanders will need to play better against Texas if OSU wants a shot to win.

Prediction: Texas wins.

Kansas State

Kansas State proved me wrong last week. I thought Mississippi State would win, but the Wildcats came out with a seven-point road win. KSU received the most votes of any team to not make the top 25.

KSU didn’t have a ton of yards on offense. Only 269 for the game. The defense forced three turnovers and defensive back Denzel Goolsby was named Big 12 defensive player of the week. Skylar Thompson passed for 123 yards and a touchdown, but the defense was the star of the show against Mississippi State.

KSU has a bye week next week to prepare to play the following week at OSU. This could be a great opportunity for a KSU team that has beat OSU the last two years to open Big 12 play with a win and a 4-0 start to the season.


Baylor had a bye week last week but a recap of the first two weeks wouldn’t take long. The Bears played lesser opponents and destroyed them. We won’t really know much about this team until conference play begins.

Next week Baylor takes on an 0-3 Rice squad. The Bears will win big and we’ll see what they can do in two weeks against ISU.

Prediction: Baylor wins.

West Virginia

Huge props to West Virginia for not rolling over. It would certainly be easy after a close win over FCS James Madison and a blowout loss to Missouri. WVU pulled away from North Carolina State in the second half, winning 44-27.

Austin Kendall passed for 272 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Most of his targets went to freshman Sam James, who caught nine passes for 155 yards and a touchdown.

WVU opens conference play at Kansas. I have no clue what to think about either team. Last week both looked left for dead, but they picked impressive wins.

Prediction: West Virginia wins a close one.


KANSAS BEAT A POWER-FIVE TEAM ON THE ROAD! Yes, that is a big deal! Kansas defeated Boston College 48-24 after trailing 17-7 early. This is a great win to bounce back from a loss to Coastal Carolina and once again the Les Miles era provides some hope at KU.

Carter Stanley passed for 238 yards and three touchdowns on the day. Andrew Parchment led in receiving with 100 yards and two touchdowns. The KU running backs had a good day as well. Khalil Herbert rushed for 187 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries, while Pooka Williams Jr. had 121 yards and a touchdown.

What world would we live in if KU starts 3-1 and 1-0 in Big 12 play? I think the Jayhawks will give WVU all they can handle but will come up just short.

Prediction: West Virginia wins.

Texas Tech

I certainly didn’t expect to be putting Texas Tech in last place but here we are. It’s worth noting quarterback Alan Bowman will miss the next handful of weeks with an injury suffered during the Arizona game.

Bowman did finish the game, completing 30 of his 55 passes for 307 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Armand Shyne had 68 yards on the ground and T.J. Vasher had 96 receiving yards.

It was a disappointing loss for Texas Tech, who had aspirations for a big year with excitement around Bowman. Instead, he’s out for the foreseeable future and Texas Tech is coming off a 14-point loss to a bad Arizona team.

The silver lining for the Red Raiders is they have a bye to prepare for Big 12 play and get a jump start on Bowman’s recovery. Tech will travel to OU in two weeks, so it’s safe to say the Red Raiders need the bye to prepare.

Last week, I had WVU, KU and KSU losing and all three teams won. I also had ISU and Tech winning. It was a bad week. I did pick TCU, OU, OSU and Texas to win, and all four teams won. My record for last was 4-5. Big yikes.

Season record: (20-7)

Big 12 Championship Game:

Oklahoma vs Texas

This weekend will say a lot about how Texas’ season goes. The Horns don’t want to start 2-2 and 0-1 in Big 12 play with OU still in from of them. OU won’t have much of a real test until it plays Texas in a few weeks. I have OU winning and defeating Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game.

Offensive Player of the Year:

Jalen Hurts: OU

Hurts completed 15 of his 20 passes for 289 yards and added four total touchdowns. The dynamic playmaker is also the leading rusher for the Sooners. Expect Hurts to be at the top of Heisman conversation all season long.

Defensive Player of the Year:

Garret Wallow: TCU

TCU will need to lean on its defense this season with such shaky quarterback play. Wallow is the Horned Frogs’ best player on defense. Against Purdue, he had 10 tackles, including a sack and three tackles for loss. His 10 tackles led the team.

Big 12 Newcomer of the Year:

Spencer Sanders: OSU

Sanders didn’t have a great game against Tulsa. He’s a gamer and he will look better at Texas. He knows he has things to clean up, and OSU will need him to do so this week. We will learn a lot about him at Texas.

Big 12 Freshman of the Year:

Jadon Haselwood: OU

Haselwood gets the most looks of OU’s freshmen receivers, but he is buried on depth chart. If he can break through and get more looks, Haselweood should be a look for this award. He caught just one pass for nine yards against UCLA.

Coach of the Year:

Lincoln Riley: OU

If Miles can win three or four Big 12 games this season he is getting the award. I don’t see that happening, but KU sure did look good at Boston College. For now, Riley takes home the award again.

Breakout Player of the Year:

Chuba Hubbard: OSU

Hubbard is getting a little Heisman talk after his big game against Tulsa. There is no chance Hubbard wins the Heisman, but at this rate, he should at least get an invite to New York. Hubbard leads the nation in multiple rushing statistics, including total rushing yards.