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Random Thoughts On The Big 12: Week 9

Some thoughts on the Big 12 following week 9.

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It was a wild week in the Big 12 with three of the conference’s five games ending in an upset, and the Big 12’s two undefeateds going into Saturday are no longer unscathed. I had some thoughts on the games, so I decided to put them down.

K-State 31 – Iowa State 26

It took three quarters, but Iowa State finally figured out they were allowed to play too, and were able to make things interesting at the end.

K-State QB Jesse Ertz rushed for a career high 106 yards on just 9 carries, and led all rushers. …on both teams. Wow.

Jacob Park handled most of the quarterback duties for the Cyclones and finished 19 of 35 for 301 yards and two touchdowns. He had a pick, and failed to find a wide open receiver for a crucial touchdown late, but he seem to be the guy in Ames.

The Wildcats got it done on the ground with 247 yards rushing, as is their way.

K-State is one win away from bowl eligibility and still have Kansas on the schedule. So, there’s that.

Gundy reached the 100 win milestone this week, but coach Snyder won his 198th game! If the Wildcats beat the Jayhawks, Snyder’s 200th win could come in a bowl game, if not before.

WVU 20 – OK State 37

The Big 12’s best hope at the playoff is no longer undefeated. However, they are still the most complete team in the Big 12.

Turnovers changed the game. Oklahoma State scored 17 points on turnovers, which is also the margin of victory. Two of those turnovers came when the Mountaineers were in control of the momentum.  On those three turnovers, OSU took over on WVU’s 8 yard line, 9 yard line & 10 yard line. OSU went 21 yards for 17 points. That changed the game, but credit to Oklahoma State for making plays.

Skyler Howard is back. And that’s not a good thing for the Mountaineers. The mistakes that have plagued him in season’s past, came roaring back against the Pokes. Moving forward he’ll have to put this game behind him, and focus on the season he had been having up to this point.

Mason Rudolph played to his potential. Against WVU, he was sharp and showed how good he can be when he’s dialed in.

Speaking of Rudolph, he’s thrown 17 touchdowns to just two picks. Can’t ask for better than that.

If Vincent Taylor isn’t leading the Piesman race, then I don’t know. What more can the big guy do? He’s lateralled his way into Top 5 Plays more than once, and against West Virginia he added a forced fumble, 2.5 sacks, and three tackles for a loss to his resume.

WVU outgained the Cowboys 421 yards to 358, and the defense held OSU to just 85 yards rushing. However, the Mountaineers were only able to put up 20 points. Although, three turnovers is a big reason why, since each turnover came when WVU was driving.

Texas Tech 27 – TCU 24

OVERTIME!!!!

This was a game I thought Texas Tech could win, so I wouldn’t call it an upset per say. TCU’s offense has not been as efficient as their total yards would lead you to believe.

This game was never going to be the shootout OU-Texas Tech was, but I expected more points than this.

TCU’s defense gave Mahomes some problems, but he stepped up when in mattered most, and his touchdown run in overtime was incredible. He’s a gamer. Mahomes finished 24 of 39 for just 206 yards and two touchdowns. TCU didn’t want to give up the deep ball, and it gave the Red Raiders some fits.

TCU was all in on stopping the Texas Tech passing machine, but that did something a bit odd. All of a sudden, Tech had a run game. Da’Leon Ward burst onto the scene with 98 yards on 23 carries.

Kenny Hill hasn’t been overly great, and he struggled against a defense known for making average QB’s look like Heisman contenders. Which is why he got benched. Kenny Hill got benched against Texas Tech’s defense, let that sink in.

Moving forward Foster Sawyer has to be the guy. Even if he makes mistakes, he has more upside. Get him the experience and at least get something out of this season.

Baylor 34 – Texas 35

There’s Texas DB that’s going to have a hard time showing his face in the film room this week after getting hurdled by Seth Russell, but oh my, that was incredible!

D’Onta Foreman is a beast, and has to be a lock for first team All-Big 12. He surpassed 1,100 yards on the season with 32 carries for 250 yards and two touchdowns! 250 yards is a season high, but he’s rushed for over a hundred yards in every game this season except against UTEP when he didn’t play.

The Longhorn offense has struggled at times this year, but they managed to come up big when they needed to.

Seth Russell had an average day through the air, completing 14 of 28 for 226 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. However, he added another 138 yards to his total output with 21 carries, including a 50-yard touchdown run.

How many close games did Texas lose last season? It’s good to see them win one, even if it can’t save Charlie Strong’s job.

Strong is 4-0 against the last four top 12 teams Texas has played. How?

Texas showed that they are capable of winning, but you have to wonder how much fight this team will have as talk of Strong’s impending termination heats up.

Kansas 3 – Oklahoma 56

That was a bloodbath. Kansas just isn’t the same team on the road.

The Sooners are averaging 61 points in their last two games.

Dede Westbrook is a game changer, x-factor, and whatever other cliche you want to throw at him. He’s all of it.

The Oklahoma defense played well, but it’s Kansas. The Jayhawks have struggled on offense all year. When we’re talking about the OU defense playing well against ULM and Kansas, and that’s it, that’s a huge problem.

Are you a student at Oklahoma? There’s a chance coach Stoops would want to talk to you about playing on the defensive line. Injuries and suspensions have decimated the group.

OU may now be the team to conference beat record wise, but because of the defense, and the amount of attrition on that side of the ball, I don’t think they can be considered the favorite, yet.

Big 12 Playoff Chances

Back away from the ledge. Baylor and West Virginia losing weren’t great for the conference, but let’s be real, no one in the Big 12 is elite this year. That’s what you need to be in order to realistically expect to run the schedule. So simply put, that doesn’t change the outlook for the conference, because these were losses we knew were coming.

The fourth spot in the CFB Playoff will come down between the Big 12 and Pac 12, as it did last year. The Big 12 came out on top last season, and there’s no reason to think the conference can’t once again. Sure, if the season ends today, the Big 12 is out, but the season doesn’t end today. There’s a lot of football left to play, and the Big 12 has three teams in position to overtake Washington should they slip up.

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