1. We said in our podcast last week that Baker Mayfield would use the game against the Baylor Bears to launch himself in the Heisman discussion. Mayfield was outstanding against BU, using ‘backyard football’ to keep plays alive and keep the Bears off balance. Mayfield threw 3 touchdown passes, while rushing for 76 yards.
Also, helping out Mayfield’s candidacy was the fact that LSU RB Leonard Fournette continues to look average in recent weeks and TCU QB Trevone Boykin is now banged up and on a team that no longer looks like a Playoff contender. Mayfield has a great chance to continue to boost his profile this Saturday against a very mediocre TCU defense.
2. Sticking with the OU – Baylor game, what was with Baylor faking injuries? Not only that, Kirk Herbstreit, rightfully so, called Baylor out on it. Then, someone convinced him that Baylor was not faking injuries, and he actually bought it and issued an apology. Weak sauce, Herby! Terrell Burt went to the sidelines to “sell it”, but ultimately returned 3 plays later.
Enough with the PC nonsense! Herbstreit did the right thing calling BS, and had to go back and apologize … for whatever reason. Totally ridiculous.
3. Is Oklahoma State good or lucky? I’d say both. I never buy into pure luck. People, teams, group, etc. create their own luck. That being said, Oklahoma State has been playing with fire all season long. Most recently, having to overcome their second 17-point deficit to get by an average (at best) Iowa State team. Still, they’re undefeated, they’ve beaten a lot of solid teams on their schedule … if I’m on the playoff committee, I’m putting the Cowboys in at #4 Tuesday night.
4. By the way, as you watched the game in Ames on Saturday, how many Cowboys fans had flashbacks to a Friday night in 2011? I sure did. I was working in Oklahoma at the time and the Oklahoma State game was a cliff note to a busy Friday night of High School Football Playoffs. No one even thought twice about really locking down for OSU, assuming they would roll to a win as they inched closer towards the BCS National Championship. Luckily for OSU, the same did not repeat itself on Saturday. If it would have … I would’ve had to make a few calls to my Oklahoma State friends to check up on ‘em!
5. Lastly, on Iowa State … props to Paul Rhoads. He almost pulled off another miracle, which would have solidified his return in 2016. That being said, Rhoads has proven, since the firing of Mark Mangino, he has not lost this team. In fact, they have played better since Mangino’s departure. They shut out Texas, got blown out at Oklahoma (the best team in the Big 12 right now), and played Oklahoma State tight. Some might look at it and say they blew a big lead, I take the opposite stance: they hung for 4 quarters with a team and program that has far superior players and athletes. Barring a couple of embarrassing loses the next two weeks against K-State and West Virginia, Rhoads should be back next season.
6. As for coaches that may not return in 2016, it’s getting harder and harder to defend Charlie Strong. Granted, I still will continue to do so, and believe no matter what, he should be back next season. But, he’s not doing himself any favors. For a coach that preaches the basics and fundamentals, Texas can’t even get that right. They had another 7 penalties and 5 turnovers on Saturday. Things like penalties and turnovers are things that a coach should be able to fix immediately. They should not take nearly two years to figure out. I understand Strong needing time to recruit his guys and get more talent into the program. But the mental mistakes are absolutely inexcusable.
7. Here is our tweet of the week… thanks, Chris! Well done!
8. How about TCU?! My goodness. I am embarrassed to say I picked the Horned Frogs to cover the 45-point spread against Kansas (more on those later). But, TCU is toast. Sure, they can still technically win the Big 12. But, they didn’t do themselves any favors with that horrible game against KU. I know Boykin left the game with an injury, but TCU should be able to win by at least 3 touchdowns, with one hand behind their back! The Horned Frogs have no shot at making the CFB Playoff. To make matters worse, Boykin and WR Josh Doctson are questionable for Saturday against Oklahoma. Unfortunately, we can put the knife in the Horned Frogs.
9. So, there are still some pundits out there who continue to question the strength of the Big 12 Conference. Naturally, they all love the SEC. This despite the fact that the SEC is continuing to show it’s holes, like LSU, who has now lost two straight games. Or how about Arkansas? 4-2 in the ‘mighty SEC West’, coming off wins over Ole Miss and LSU. Yep, the same Arkansas that lost to Texas Tech, who is in the bottom half of the Big 12, and who most talking heads dismiss. Hm… when will this bias be revealed?
10. Speaking of Texas Tech, they picked up their 6th win on Saturday so the Red Raiders are now bowl eligible. This is a big relief, as the only game left on the Red Raiders schedule is Texas in two weeks (Tech is on a bye this week). Kliff Kingsbury and his staff desperately need the extra month of practice to improve the defense and get some good vibes heading into 2016. Next season will be a make or break for Kingsbury. It will be his 4th season in charge of the program and he will have to show he can compete at the top of the Big 12. He has the QB in Pat Mahomes, but can David Gibbs get that defense trending in the right direction? That side of the ball will ultimately determine Kingsbury’s fate.
11. After starting the Big 12 schedule with the best 4 teams in the conference and going 0 for October, West Virginia has quietly put together a couple of nice games, leading to two wins over Texas Tech and Texas. With three games left against Kansas, Iowa State and Kansas State, it’s entirely possible that the Mountaineers could end the Big 12 with a 5-4 conference record and in the top half of the standings. That should buy Dana Holgorsen time with WVU fans. But, like Kingsbury, these two coaches will be ones to watch on a short leash next season.
12. Once again, we had a 2-3 week, putting us at 32-23-2 on the season. Disappointed with back to back 2-3 weeks. Most annoyed I took the Horned Frogs with the 45 points. I just really didn’t think a Gary Patterson coached team would come out so flat after a loss. On to next week..!