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Pete’s 12 Thoughts on Week 10 in the Big 12

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1. After Saturday’s win on the road against West Virginia, there is no question TCU should be 4th in the College Football Playoff when Tuesday’s rankings come out. Other than Auburn (who should be #3 behind Mississippi State and Florida State), no one loss team in the country has better quality wins combined with a respectable loss. TCU now has two top-20 wins (Oklahoma, West Virginia), and a loss to #13 Baylor. Alabama has the loss to Ole Miss and no top-20 wins. Oregon has a case, with two top-20 wins (UCLA, Michigan State), but a loss to 2-loss Arizona. I understand it’s, more or less, all meaningless until December 7th. But give me TCU at #4 on Tuesday night.

2. I have no problem with Dana Holgerson’s play calling late in the fourth quarter. The crowd at Milan Puskar Stadium was booing for most of the second half of the 4th quarter after the Mountaineers kept running the ball, trying to run clock and hang on for the win. The Mountaineer offense had five turnovers Clint Trickett was too confused and uncomfortable to trust him through the air. Plus, the WVU defense had been having a solid afternoon. TCU took over on their own 24-yard line with 2:07 left, down 2 points. If not for one play, blown coverage, that allowed Kolby Listenbee to catch a 40-yard completion, WVU may have walked away with a win.

3. Between the complex travel schedule for road teams (minimum 800 miles travel), along with a raucous crowd, the Mountaineers fans are quickly turning Milan Puskar Stadium into the best home field advantage in the Big 12 Conference.

4. Oklahoma offensive coordinator Josh Heupel finally unleashed QB Trevor Knight on the ground. Knight was the definition of a dual threat QB, throwing for 230 yards and 3 TDs, and running for 146 yards and 3 TDs. With Blake Bell switching to tight end, and Baker Mayfield ruled ineligible, it seems the coaching staff was hesitant to let Knight run too much earlier in the season. But, it completely changed the offense for the better, and is hopefully going to be implemented more in future game plans.

5. As for that Sooner offense, they had 510 yards rushing, 3 runners over 100 yards, and a triple option play, that right out of the old wishbone offense. I’m sure for many fans it triggered memories of Barry Switzer, Steve Davis, Joe Washington, J.C. Watts, and Billy Sims era. An absolute throwback performance.

6. Saturday’s 60-14 loss to Baylor was a bit of a blow to interim Kansas coach Clint Bowen’s resume. No one expected him to leave Waco with a win. But, it was the mistakes that were alarming and disappointing. They lost the turnover battle 3-0 (3 fumbles lost), including a Michael Cummings dropped snap, and untimely penalties. I believe Clint Bowen can remove the interim tag without winning a game this season, but his team needs to play cleaner games to prove he’s worth to keep around.

7. Oklahoma State’s opening drive, highlighted by Tyreek Hill, made me think twice about my Kansas State -12 pick. But, the Wildcats answered with a Morgan Burns 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and all was right in Manhattan.

8. The Cowboys offense continues to look horrendous. Kansas State scored 48 points … Oklahoma State had 48 yards of offense in the second half.

9. Unlike his predecessor Collin Klein, it’s unlikely Jake Waters gets an invite to Manhattan (New York not Kansas) for the Heisman Trophy presentation. But, each week I watch Waters, he impresses me more than Klein. Waters has better touch on his deep throws and higher accuracy. Waters has completed 55.3% of his passes thrown 15-yards or more, best in the Big-12 and third amongst Power 5 Conferences.

10. It’s been that kind of season for Kliff Kingsbury and the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Tech had plenty of momentum in the first quarter, but kicker Ryan Bustin missed an extra point (only his 3rd miss in 144 career tries), and after going 7/8 on FG’s this season, missed a 29 yarder late in the first quarter. The Red Raiders were never able to overcome them.

11. Photo of the day… too funny with Tyrone Swoopes losing this ball in the first half that resulted in a Tech touchdown. But, Swoopes made drastic improvements from last week’s shutout against Kansas State. After Tech regained the lead, Swoopes’ pass to John Harris, resulting in a 68-yard gain, was the kind of throw that makes you believe “this guy’s got it”.

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12. Is there an #SEC Bias? 6 of top 7 stories on ESPN’s NCAA Football page, and 7 of the 11 were SEC related. Or just SEC fatigue? Too much?

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12a. My picks were 3-2 last week. I’m kicking myself for the Kansas pick, but oh well. Still just one losing week this season. 27-11-1 overall.

 

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