This week featured the top four teams in the Big 12 all taking care of business. The road to the conference championship game is now a complete mess, and possibilities galore remain with two weeks left in the regular season. In week 11, despite no real upsets, there was plenty of good bad and ugly.
West Virginia Can Clinch A Championship Game Appearance This Week – West Virginia’s can complete a major preseason goal this week, and they are the only team able to do it. They can clinch a conference championship game berth. The Mountaineers need a win at Oklahoma State and an Iowa State loss at Texas to punch their ticket.
If not, then their matchup with Oklahoma next week could very well be the difference maker between an appearance in Dallas or sitting on the couch at home.
Texas, Coming Off Heartbreak, Delivers Some Of Their Own – Two weeks ago, the Longhorns lost a heart-breaker to West Virginia. Last Saturday, they dished out some heart break of their own to Texas Tech. The Longhorns blew a 34-17 lead, but with the game tied up, Sam Ehlinger found Lil’Jordan Humphrey on a Michael Crabtree-esque catch for a touchdown. Texas now has their biggest game of the year against Iowa State and hopes to use that magic to get a huge W. Coming off of two straight losses Texas really needed this.
Bedlam Was Bedlam! – The showdown between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State never disappoints, and this one especially didn’t. The Sooners and the Cowboys went toe to toe all game, and a late Cowboy score made it a one-point with just a minute left in the game. Cowboy’s coach Mike Gundy tried to pull a little Dana Holgorsen magic, and, well, it didn’t work, and the Sooners survived Bedlam.
The Sooners defense continues to struggle, but makes big plays when necessary and these games continue to be must watch TV. Oklahoma now has Kansas before the West Virginia showdown and Oklahoma State gets their shot at West Virginia next week.
Iowa State Will Be Without David Montgomery For First Half Against Texas – The Cyclones will need everything they can get for their matchup against Texas this weekend, so losing David Montgomery for the first half is not good. One of the conferences best running backs, was ejected last week for throwing a punch during a fight in the third quarter. Which means, he will be out for the first half of this meeting, and Coach Matt Campbell said that he will not argue the suspension.
Iowa State has never really been in the position to compete for the conference title before, and won’t have one of their best players to open the game. It was a bone-headed, in the heat of the moment action, and for Montgomery’s part, he knows it. He issued an apology, and recognized that he’s a leader on the team and he shouldn’t lose his head. Especially, when there’s so much on the line.
The Cyclones will have to rely on Kene Nwangwu, who has just 31 carries on the season and averages 3.6 yards per carry. It’s not ideal, but the Cyclones have overcome plenty of challenges this season, this is nothing but another roadblock.
The Sunflower Showdown – The rivalry between Kansas and Kansas State had the least amount of implications in its recent memory and that’s mostly because of Kansas State’s struggles. Kansas held a 3-0 lead in what was a nap of a game at the half. The action picked up in the second half, and the Wildcats won on Alex Delton’s late touchdown with a final score of 21-17. It wasn’t pretty, but not many games between teams that combined for 2 conference wins by November are.
TCU Suffers Worst loss In Gary Paterson Era – To the surprise of most, The Horned Frogs were hanging around with West Virginia late in the first half. However, a 21-point burst gave the Mountaineers a big lead at the half. West Virginia started the second half like they finished the first and won 47-10. It is TCU’s worst loss since Patterson took over.
TCU Mental errors and gaffs blew this game wide open. Just after giving up the first touchdown to West Virginia, TCU let a 40-yard kickoff turn into an onside kick as no one fielded it. In the blink of an eye the Mountaineers had scored again. Then, later in the game, TCU committed a safety on a intentional grounding call. It was an embarrassing performance for TCU, and bowl eligibility seems unlikely.