The ninth week of college football was filled with meaningful games in the Big 12 Conference and the two teams heading to Dallas is anyone’s guess right now. Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Iowa State all took care of business, while Texas fell in Stillwater to fall to 4-1 in conference play. The first week with all ten teams in play since week five had plenty of Good, Bad, and Ugly.
West Virginia’s Response – The Mountaineers’ coaches and players said that the Iowa State game was a mishap and that they were better than that. That statement had plenty of evidence in West Virginia’s dominant win over Baylor. It was a Thursday night game in Morgantown and Baylor might as well have just not showed up. Will Grier was electric from the start and the Mountaineers lead Baylor 41-0 at the half. The final score was 58-14 and West Virginia proved they still shouldn’t be taken lightly. The Mountaineers now have a clear road to the conference championship – win out and they will be in. If the Mountaineers bring the same energy as they did against Baylor for the rest of their season, winning out is likely.
Iowa State Is Sneaking Into Conference Contention – The Iowa State Cyclones gave the quarterback job to Brock Purdy against Oklahoma State and have gone 3-0 with two top 25 wins since that move. The big win was over number six West Virginia in week seven. Iowa State now controls their own destiny, despite their 1-3 start to the season. Of the top four teams in the conference, the Cyclones have the least likely way in, but out of those four teams, they do have the easiest remaining schedule. Win out – which will mean beating Texas in Austin, coupled with a guaranteed loss for either Oklahoma or West Virginia when they play each in late November, and the Cyclones get in. Whether they make it or not, the fact this Cyclones program has got into a spot where they regularly play meaningful games in November is impressive.
Oklahoma Continues To Take Care Of Business – The Sooners handily beat the Kansas State Wildcats 51-14 and continue to hang around in the College Football Playoff race. The Sooners now only have games against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Kansas, and West Virginia. After that, they could have a rematch with either the Mountaineers, Longhorns, or Cyclones. It’s hard not to see a loss in there but if there’s a guy who can get the job done it’s Kyler Murray, who continued his electric play this year. The Sooners still aren’t a favorite to get in to the playoff, but as long as they keep taking care of business, it’s very possible.
Texas Tech’s Outside Big 12 Title Hopes – The Red Raiders had Iowa State tied at 31 late in the fourth quarter. This was a prime chance to steal a road game and this would be one of the wins that the good teams get and the average teams don’t. Texas Tech proceeded to give up 9 points on a safety and touchdown and loose by that total. Bowman was average, he completed almost all of his passes – but three times to Iowa State defenders and only found pay dirt once. The defense still can’t seem to get that much needed stop late in a game.
The Longhorn’s Playoff Chances – The Longhorns emerged as the conference’s premier team before suffering a tough loss against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Texas struggled all night and the narrow three point final did not indicate how lopsided the game really was. Texas now has two losses and realistically doesn’t have a path to the CFP. They still have to play WVU next week, a game I think they lose, and if they don’t I see a loss in a conference championship game ahead.
Baylor’s First Half Against WVU – The Baylor Bears went into Morgantown facing an angry West Virginia team. West Virginia came out ready to play and… Baylor didn’t. The Mountaineers even gave BU plenty of chances by missing two field goals. Baylor thanked WVU by throwing three interceptions and giving the ball right back. It was a horrible start all around and Charlie Brewer got benched before the night was over. Being down 41-0 at the half on the road isn’t a recipe for success.
TCU, The Whole Team – TCU is a mess right now. Everything about last week was bad for TCU. The starting quarterback Shawn Robinson ended his season with a injury and star receiver KaVontae Turpin was arrested and dismissed from the team. TCU followed that up by losing in Lawrence against Kansas who had a 14 game conference losing streak heading into that one. The Horned Frogs chance at the six win mark and a bowl game appearance seems unlikely and they could very well sit around 4 or 5 wins this year. The Horned Frogs looked like they could be one of the conference’s better teams but since Big 12 play started it’s all gone wrong for TCU.