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12 Thoughts on this Week in the Big 12: Who exploited OSU tragedy, is OU the new Clemson, + Baylor’s QB dilemma

1) Wow, I know I speak for all of us when I express sympathy and compassion for the Oklahoma State community. In a tragic turn of events at homecoming, a car plowed into a crowd watching the parade, killing four and injuring dozens.

There’s never a rhyme or reason to explain something like this; something that seems to have happened far too often for the Oklahoma State family in recent years.

A couple of thoughts on the aftermath: 1) The father of the woman who’s accused of crashing her car into the crowd, came out and defending his daughter saying she’s “not a bad person, not an alcoholic, and wasn’t drinking.” I understand defending one’s child to the grave, but how can he say that? How about just a simple “this is a horrible tragedy, my thoughts and prayers go out to all the families.” Defending her for not being a bad person is really irrelevant at this point.

The other thought: I tweeted about this last night… Linda Cavanaugh of KFOR in OKC tweeted, “If you have video of the Stillwater tragedy, please send it to us so it can be given to Stillwater police. [email protected]”. Really? Screw her. Totally. Screw her. I’ve worked in the media my entire career, but this is despicable. All she was trying to do is get the video for her nightly news show and then send it off to the PD. At least be honest with the public. If not, why not just tell the public to send it to the PD themselves? That is what is wrong with today’s media and politicians, they treat us like we are morons and incapable of doing/thinking for ourselves. What an embarrassment.

2) Back to the field, it was a huge blow for Baylor when QB Seth Russell left with a fracture in his neck. One could argue that Russell should no longer have been in the game with 5:00 minutes left in the 4th quarter or at least should not have been running the ball!

While we don’t yet know the status of Russell’s injury and how much time he could miss, anyone who is counting Baylor out of the College Football Playoff doesn’t know this team that well. They have a 5-star back up in freshman Jarrett Stidham, who I believe could step right in and the offense wouldn’t drop off a whole lot. Ironically, Stidham de committed from Texas Tech because he wanted a chance to play sooner rather than later. Stidham has seen plenty of playing time in mop up duty and now he might become one of the most intriguing players in college football down the stretch as he tries to keep the Bears undefeated.

3) One thing to note about the Bears from Saturday, their schedule has just been so damn easy to date. Of course, their November schedule is loaded and will determine whether or not they remain undefeated. But, I wonder if playing limited competition for the first two months of the season will affect them when they start playing really good teams over the final few weeks. Can they just turn on the switch? I think it will be tougher than people realize.

4) I feel bad for Iowa State QB Sam Richardson, but he has to get adjusted to working the sidelines with a clipboard. Richardson appears to have lost his job to Joel Lanning, and it’s well deserved. It’s been bizarre to watch Richardson, who competently led the team the past three seasons, seemingly lose his touch and ability as a 5th year senior. But, Richardson has just looked lost and incompetent under center.

The staff gave Richardson every chance, in fact more than many fans would have liked, this season. Saturday, Lanning came in and threw 3 touchdowns with no interceptions, compared to two picks for Richardson. There should be no question who starts for Iowa State for the homecoming game this Saturday.

5) To parlay on that for Iowa State, I respect and admire the way this team fought for head coach Paul Rhoads. The team was down 35-0 and the cover for Baylor (-37) looked like a lock. Then the defense started playing really solid ball and Joel Lanning led the offense in a way Sam Richardson could not. I know many Iowa State fans will want Rhoads fired after this season, which could end up with just two total wins. But, when evaluating a coach, one needs to look at whether or not a team quits on him. To their credit, the ISU players haven’t … yet. Maybe they will, but as of today, I’m going to let Rhoads continue to try and dig this program out of the basement and back to mediocrity (which is likely their ceiling).

6) Here is our tweet of the week, courtesy of ESPN’s Danny Kannel. I know we are hard on ESPN for their #SECBias … but Kannel is one of the few who calls it like it is. Props to him.

10-25-15 tweet of week

 

 

 

 

 

7) Let’s give some major props to Texas QB Tyrone Swoopes. He lost his starting job this season, but has become Texas’ version of the ‘Bell-dozer’ that Oklahoma used a couple seasons ago with backup QB Blake Bell. He has become the wildcat option for the Texas offense and has done a fantastic job doing it. It doesn’t appear that he has sulked since his demotion. In fact, he’s flourished in his new role. Swoopes has done a great job being patient on his runs and finding holes. Kudos to Swoopes and the staff for creating this role that has worked out for all parties involved.

8) As for Kansas State, it’s just getting hard to watch. It’s the old cliché, “when you have four quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks”. That’s the best way to describe Kansas State. I can’t imagine how Joe Hubener continues to be the best option at QB, but I guess it says just as much about the other options as it does about Hubener. Kansas State’s defense is definitely capable of keeping this team in contention for a bowl game, but the offense is such a mess, I don’t see how they end up above anyone other than Iowa State and Kansas in the Big 12 standings.

9) Speaking of defenses … my goodness, Texas Tech’s looked like the Red Raiders defense from 2014. Watching them try to stop the Oklahoma running game was beyond frustrating. OU racked up over 400 yards on the ground and literally looked like they were the varsity playing the JV squad. If Texas Tech is going to take that next step as a program and try to become Baylor, they need the defensive pieces. The offense will always be great, but you can’t win a Big 12 title with this defense. Kliff Kingsbury and DC David Gibbs have to hammer the recruiting trail for bigger, faster, and more athletic guys in the coming months and years. The recruiting pitch is an easy one based on what Baylor has built both offensively and defensively. They can do it. But as long as this defense is as bad as it’s been, Tech just can’t win more than 8-9 games in a season.

10) As for the bright spots on offense for Texas Tech, every time I watch Pat Mahomes I continue to be more and more impressed by him. Granted, he had a tough game yesterday, throwing 4 interceptions, but the team was playing from behind all afternoon and he did try to force some throws. But, his pocket awareness is so smooth and he seems to feel the pressure as well as NFL QB’s.

11) As for Oklahoma, watching this team the past two weeks, it actually becomes more frustrating for OU fans, wondering how this team lost to Texas earlier this month. It’s fair to wonder if Oklahoma is becoming the new “Clemson”. Instead of “Clemson-ing”, it’s going to become “Oklahoma-ing”. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but on paper it is starting to work and make sense. While Clemson really hasn’t had that total letdown in the past couple of years, in fact they haven’t lost to an unranked team since 2011, Oklahoma has had more and more of those moments in recent seasons.

OU looks like a team that can legitimately compete (although I think will lose) to TCU and Baylor. But, for sake of discussion, does a one-loss OU (to Texas), with no conference championship game, get them into the CFB Playoff? Of course, there is no way of knowing, since there’s too many external factors involved. But that Texas loss could be an eyesore. Ironically, OU fans should be cheering for the Longhorns the rest of the season!

12) I was due for an average week, and got one, going 2-2. I’m mostly disappointed in myself for believing in Bill Snyder and K-State this week. That last INT by Joe Hubener, which led to Texas going up 14 and covering the spread, was infuriating. So for the season I’m now 25-15-2 on the season.

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