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Pete’s 12 Thoughts on Week 13 in the Big 12

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1. Samaje ‘bleepin’ Perine. 427 yards rushing. One week after Melvin Gordon broke the NCAA rushing record, Oklahoma RB Perine officially puts his stamp on the College Football landscape. While everyone in the Big 12 knew Perine’s name, there are likely many casual fans in other conferences who didn’t. Now they know. And since he’s only a true freshman, you’re looking at a Heisman contender in 2015 & 2016.

2. With the 44-7 shellacking the Kansas Jayhawks took yesterday by the Sooners, some of the good will from the past two weeks likely wore off for interim coach Clint Bowen. Yes, he beat Iowa State, and nearly upset #4 TCU, but getting manhandled by OU was an ugly sight. I still think Bowen deserves the job. He’s gotten more out of this team in two months than Charlie Weis did in over two years. But, those on the KU search committee that were anti-Bowen, just started to crow a bit louder.

3. The only downside to the Sooners dominating win: we still don’t know what freshman QB Cody Thomas is. With the team racking up 510 yards on the ground, Thomas was 3/13 for 39 yards. Pretty abysmal. If you’re an optimist, then maybe it’s just a chance for him to get acclimated to the next level. Either way, if OU is going to get back to contending for National Titles, they’ll need to figure out the position ASAP.

4. Despite being on a bye week, TCU had a good weekend. Those around them in the hunt for the final CFB playoff race didn’t do enough damage to pass in the rankings. Baylor beat Oklahoma State by 21 (TCU beat ‘em by 33), Ohio State struggled with Indiana, and TCU’s best non-conference win, Minnesota, will stay in the top 25 after beating #23 Nebraska.
Also, if you’re thinking, well, #4 Mississippi State blew out Vanderbilt, 51-0. Correct, but I think the chink in the SEC armor is getting softer. After Ole Miss got hammered by Arkansas Saturday, Mississippi State’s potential win over the Rebels next week won’t be a top-10 victory. Their other best wins? Vs. 3-loss Auburn, 4-loss LSU, and 4-loss Texas A&M. Time to reevaluate putting Miss. State, or any SEC West runner up, in the Final 4.

5. … to parlay off #4, Baylor won’t jump TCU in the standings these final two weeks. Despite winning the head-to-head, the Bears were not impressive enough in a win over Oklahoma State on Saturday. They have games left against Texas Tech and Kansas State, two teams that TCU smashed 82-27, and 41-20, respectively. On top of that, the committee doesn’t want the Bears in because of their weak non-conference schedule. Committee chair Jeff Long has stated the desire to value non-conference competition. If they put Baylor in, they lose all credibility, and every year teams will schedule cupcakes in September.

6. As for the Big 12 as a Conference, can we stop seeing the stupid commercial with all 10 coaches touting the company line of “One True Champion”? There is currently a three-way tie atop the Big 12 standings, and if it ends up as such, we all know each University and coach will likely sell themselves as “having a share” of the Conference Title.

7. Here is our anti-SEC/pro-Big 12 tweet of the week. Great job by Jimmy, and so true. (see aforementioned #4 regarding Mississippi State schedule/quality wins).

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8. Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph appears to be the real deal. His poise and touch for a freshman were beyond impressive on Saturday night. Granted I thought his predecessor, Daxx Garman, had a chance to be the “real deal”, and I bombed on that one. But, Rudolph looked great against a legitimate Big 12 defense in Baylor. Garman looked good against Missouri State, UT-San Antonio, Texas Tech, and Iowa State. Big difference. Now, considering Rudolph lost his redshirt in the second to last game of the season, he should start the finale against Oklahoma. What’s the point in removing the redshirt for one game in week 13 if you’re not going to play him going forward? Let’s find out if he can be the guy in 2015.

9. Speaking of freshman quarterbacks … it looks like Texas Tech has found their guy in Patrick Mahomes. For whatever reason it seems that coach Kliff Kingsbury has soured on Davis Webb, and Mahomes, getting his third start for the injured Webb, was 22/35, 328 yards and 4 touchdown passes (OK, against Iowa State). But, in the postgame, Kingsbury gave Mahomes the ultimate compliment, while possibly taking a dig at Webb, when he said, “He’s got a lot of competitive spirit. He always thinks he’s going to win and he thinks he’s the best player every time he goes out there.” We’ll see how that plays out in Lubbock.

10. Kansas State had 1 rushing yard in a win against West Virginia on Thursday night. 1 yard. If you told me the Wildcats would have a single rushing yard, I would’ve guessed they’d lose by 25 points. It once again showcased the toughness of a bunch of under recruited and under appreciated players to pick up a Thursday night road win, despite rushing for 1 yard and committing 10 penalties for over 100 yards. Also, they can thank Jake Waters, who threw for a career-high 400 yards, and Tyler Lockett’s 196 receiving yards.

11. The final few minutes of the fourth quarter of Baylor-Oklahoma State on FOX was seen from only a couple of camera angles, the press box area, and the end zones. This was because there was lightning within 8 miles of the stadium, and as play-by-play man Gus Johnson pointed out, it is FOX policy to remove the camera men from their locations when lightning is that close. I found it very refreshing to view the game from far away, and see the entire field. It was a treat to watch the substitutions, and see the formations and plays unfold organically. Plus, we didn’t have to see witness the me-me, rah-rah, dopey end-zone dance moves by running backs and wide receivers. That was a real treat.

12. The picks against the spread were 2-2 this weekend, making me 32-17-1 on the season. Two more weeks of the regular season, and then we’ll also pick the bowl games, and start up with hoops as we get closer to the Conference schedule. I have limited interest in figuring out if TCU can cover a Monday night basketball game against Mississippi Valley State.

 

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