1. Baylor had a chance to showcase themselves on Thursday night and dominate Kansas State. Despite leading by 11 points at the half, and going up by as many as 21 in the second half, the Bears seemed to give up. K-State came back to within 7 and actually made it a bit of a game. We’ve learned this much with the voters: they are human. A win is not just a win. There’s something to be said for how one wins. Baylor had a chance to blow K-State out on a night the entire college football world was focus on them. But, they didn’t.
2. By the way, if you thought Jarrett Stidham would wilt under the pressure as a freshman QB, you were wrong. I sure didn’t believe he’d look as good as he did, completing 23/33 for 419 yards and 3 touchdowns. But, I felt that Briles’ system combined with a veteran offensive line, along with some of the best skill position players in the country, would work out well for Stidham. He got out the road jitters in Manhattan, no easy place to play, and now he gets Oklahoma at home. It’s another chance for him to build confidence ahead of a road game against Oklahoma State, that could now become the defacto Big 12 Title game.
3. In Morgantown, Texas Tech LB Branden Jackson made one of the worst mistakes I’ve seen from a so called ‘leader’ and ‘veteran’ in a long time. With the Red Raiders trailing and trying to get the ball back in the final minutes of the game, Jackson was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to extend the drive. It was embarrassment and totally out of line. Just a few plays later a second personal foul against another senior LB Micah Awe sealed the win for WVU. This Red Raiders team gets harder to watch by the week. Kliff Kingsbury preached throughout the offseason that he would be focused on running a more disciplined ship. That hasn’t been the case lately. If this last month spirals out of control, his seat will heat up rapidly.
4. Meantime, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen was getting booed for much of the 4th quarter for not running the ball. And you know what, it was well deserved. There was no reason for Holgorsen to do anything but run, run, and run again. The Tech run defense was and is horrific. By passing he was stopping the clock and keeping the Red Raiders somewhat in it. It’s almost like Holgorsen is interested in the Miami opening … and just wants an easy out … maybe?
5. The box score won’t do it justice, but Oklahoma State’s defense was outstanding on Saturday. You’ll see they gave up 29 points and over 650 yards. But, that’s why you’ve got to watch the game. The Cowboys owned Trevone Boykin and the Horned Frogs in a way no team had since Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meachem stepped on campus before the 2014 season. OSU DC Glenn Spencer is starting to lobby for new defensive metrics such as points per possession. I’m all for it. All the national media will do it fawn over Alabama’s defense. But, when comparing the defense by these numbers, they didn’t perform all that different: OSU allowed 1.7 points/possession, compared to Bama’s 1.33, but TCU had 5 more possessions, in theory meaning OSU’s D was more tired.
6. As for the TCU defense, they were finally exposed. And it wasn’t pretty. Mason Rudolph torched the banged up and inexperienced secondary for 5 touchdowns. Mike Gundy realized that he had to open up the playbook and challenge TCU’s defensive backs, who had trouble against Texas Tech, K-State, and even early against Iowa State. TCU still has to play Oklahoma and Baylor… and with this secondary, the Horned Frogs could wind up with a 9-3 record.
7. To make matters worse for TCU, WR Josh Doctson left with what appeared to be a pretty serious wrist injury. As of Monday, Gary Patterson had no update, but I would be shocked to see Doctson back on the field this season. I hate to say it, but I think we may have seen the last of him in a TCU uniform. He’ll have a fantastic NFL career, it’s just a shame it might end this way.
8. Here is our tweet of the week. Fantastic. We have more coming in our next bullet point …
9. To parlay off the tweet of the week, my belief is that you will see the national pundits refer to Florida’s 9-7 win over Vanderbilt as “scrappy and hard fought” and refer to Alabama as the #1 team in the country. Meantime, Florida’s win was ugly, and Alabama beat an overrated LSU team that had a similar problem to some of the top Big 12 teams: they hadn’t really played the toughest part of their schedule yet. Also, Bama still has a loss, and that loss is now to a 3-loss Ole Miss team. Oh yea, but that’s a fluke… of course, I forgot.
10. The Big 12 is known for it’s talent at wide receiver, with Corey Coleman and Josh Doctson leading the way. But, James Washington put himself in the national spotlight Saturday. I believed he was always one of the most underrated wide outs in the conference and the nation. In addition, Iowa State’s Allen Lazard is also on that list. I respect Lazard, who was highly recruited, to stay in-state with the hometown team and be a good soldier. I hope that things turn around for the Cyclones and Lazard receives more of the conference-wide and national recognition he deserves.
11. The Oklahoma Sooners pass the eye test. They are one of the best two teams (along with OK State), I have watched over the past month. I just worry this is classic Bob Stoops in recent years … build up his fan base by beating some crummy opponents, before a major letdown game against stiff competition. We’ll get that answer this weekend at Baylor. My new hope is that Bedlam becomes the play-in game for the Big 12 Championship the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
12. It was a down week for the picks as we went 2-3. I’m annoyed I went with TCU and that defense in a tough road atmosphere, and I deserve a loss for trusting Iowa State against an OU team that seems to always blow them out. For the season we are now 30-19-2.
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