Welcome back to “What We Learned”, the series where I explain one thing we learned about each team in the Big 12 previous week’s games. The teams are ordered based on record, so if your team is ranked lower it’s not because I hate them, it’s because they’ve lost a game or two and deserve to be shunned for it.
IOWA STATE (0-2)
We knew this season could be very difficult for Iowa State, and so far it has lived up to those expectations, as the offensively challenged Cyclones have struggled greatly in their first 2 games. Losing a rivalry game is always disappointing. Getting absolutely crushed in a rivalry game is far worse. Iowa State was dominated by Iowa all game on the way to a 42-3 drubbing in Iowa City. We learned that this will be a long rebuild for the Cyclones, and they need to make up a lot of ground with talent to catch up to the best teams in the Big 12.
KANSAS STATE (0-1)
Kansas State had a bye week this week.
TEXAS TECH (1-1)
Coming into the matchup with Arizona State, everyone knew that it would be a shootout, and it most certainly was. The two teams combined for 123 points. Texas Tech was unable to keep up with the Sun Devil’s scorching offense, even with a solid performance from the best quarterback in the Big 12, Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes threw for 540 yards and 5 touchdowns, with just 2 picks, which would be a lot if he didn’t throw 53 passes. The biggest thing we learned is that Texas Tech still has no semblance of defense, as they gave up 8(!!!) touchdowns to Kalen Ballage, who had 9 total touchdowns in his career coming into this game.
I expected TCU to win this game, and they didn’t, because I’m a giant dummy who doesn’t know how to pick the winners of football games. While the loss likely wasn’t my fault, it was certainly someone’s, and I think the blame falls to pretty much everyone on the team and coaching staff. TCU came out slow, was down big at the half, and played horrible defense when it mattered most. I would blame the kicker, Ryan Graf, but I like kickers, and he didn’t cause what would have been the game winning field goal to be blocked by a 6 foot 10 monster person. This week we learned that TCU is not a very good team when the pressure is on, at least not yet.
OKLAHOMA STATE (1-1)
“OH GOD OKLAHOMA STATE WHAT DID YOU DO”-me, after casually switching to FS1 and to see a directional Michigan team lateral all over Oklahoma State’s dead body. If any of you ever become a college football coach and decide that calling a prevent defense is a good idea I’m going to personally murder you before you can get off the field. The play shouldn’t have happened, but it did, and Oklahoma State played hilariously terrible defense and lost in the funniest, worst way they possibly could have. This week we learned that Oklahoma State is cursed by the football gods.
Oklahoma bounced back this week, beating up on Louisiana-Monroe a week after their tough loss in Houston. While the Sooners looked far better this week, Bob Stoops doesn’t think Oklahoma is ready for Ohio State, and frankly, I don’t either. We learned that Oklahoma is still a good team, but we still don’t know exactly how good, though we will likely know very soon.
Even powerhouses like Kansas get tripped up by an average MAC team sometimes. Kansas looked overpowered against Ohio last week, and that’s because they were completely overpowered talent-wise. We learned that Kansas has likely won their last game this year (that’s just what they want you to think, I’m still at the forefront of the Kansas bandwagon, and we’re running out of space, you better hop on quick before the Jayhawks dump every team in the Big 12 and win the national championship by 50 points).
West Virginia avoided a trap game that came in the form of Bo Pelini’s mighty Penguins from Youngstown (I’ve been to Youngstown, there are no penguins). The AP poll came out Sunday and West Virginia remained unranked, even though they’re one of just 3 remaining undefeated Big 12 teams, and almost certainly deserve to be ranked in that poll. We learned that West Virginia is likely going to be one of the best teams in the Big 12 this year, and that Youngstown State is falsely advertising the wildlife diversity in Youngstown.
Texas looked impressive for the second straight week on both sides of the ball, albeit against lesser opposition. UTEP is not Notre Dame, but they’re still a D1 team, and beating any D1 team as dominantly as Texas did is encouraging, regardless of the team. Texas has plenty more tests left this season, but through week two, we’ve learned that Charlie Strong’s rebuild is working, and the Longhorns are a better team this year.
Baylor took care of a rowdy SMU team and continued to look very good heading into a week 3 matchup with Rice. Baylor’s first difficult game comes in week four, against Oklahoma State, so until then it’s really hard to judge how good the Bears are. I don’t think they’re the best team in the Big 12, but this week we learned they’re at least in the top 3 or 4.