I hear it all the time, “Who has the best conference in college football?” SEC? Big 10? ACC? What about the Pac-12? Very rarely are you going to hear the words “Big 12” coming out of someone’s mouth in that conversation. Whether you do it or not, there are plenty of folks out there who love to bash the Big 12 conference (cough, Paul Finebaum, cough). After a bounce back week two, the Big 12 showed that they still have their work cut out for them this past weekend. Overall the Big 12 had a record of 6-4 on Saturday and there was some good, some bad and just some down-right ugly.
The Good (Oklahoma State beats Pitt 59-21)
What’s that? Oklahoma State had to play a power five team on the road? Mike Gundy could have gone snake hunting or combed his mullet the entire game because his Cowboys absolutely crushed the Pittsburgh Panthers on Saturday at Heinz Field. That Mason Rudolph guy? Yeah, he’s pretty-damn good. He went 23/32 for 497 yards and had five touchdown passes. The Cowboy offense reached new heights last Saturday because four wide receivers (Jalen McCleskey, James Washington, Marcell Ateman & Dillon Stoner) had at least 100 yards of receiving in this game. To summarize the Cowboys first half, they scored a touchdown on all seven first-half drives and led 49-14 at the half. The Oklahoma State offense didn’t punt the football until 1:21 left in the THIRD QUARTER. Give credit to the defense as well, they held Pitt (a run heavy offense) to just 103 yards on the ground. You could make an argument that the nation’s best offense resides in Stillwater, Oklahoma. So far, Oklahoma State looks like one of the best teams in the entire country.
The Bad (Kansas State losing to Vanderbilt 14-7)
I am not sure where to start, but the Wildcats had seven penalties and two turnovers in this football game which is very un-Snyder like. The Kansas State offense went 4-16 on third down and just could not finish their drives. If you would have told me that Kansas State would outgain the Vandy offense on the ground 201 to 65 and lost, I would have asked you to see a psychiatrist. Kanas State Quarterback Jesse Ertz probably had the worst game throwing the football in a Wildcat uniform going 10/28 for 76 yards and two interceptions. For those not counting, that’s a completion percentage of 35.7 %. While Ertz was disappointing, the receivers for the Wildcats were a complete no show as they were a non-factor for the entire game. Jesse Ertz led the team in carries with 24, while Alex Barnes and Justin Silmon combined for only 11 carries. To simply put it, the offense was put entirely on Jesse Ertz and he couldn’t carry the burden by himself. The Kansas State defense looks legit but if this offense doesn’t get going, the defense will have to bail the team out more than they should.
The Ugly (Kansas losing to Ohio 42-30)
If you are a Jayhawks fan, you may want to consider having a few cold ones before you watch the game on Saturdays (maybe enough to make you pass out before kick off). For starters, the Jayhawks defense is horrible. Kansas gave up 196 yards on the ground and 254 through the air to……Ohio. The offense sputtered until the fourth quarter (where they scored 16 points) and the defense gave up 39 points in three quarters. Kansas QB Peyton Bender didn’t have a bad game going 30/47 for 343 yards and 2 touchdowns, but like I said before, it was too little too late for Kansas and they couldn’t get out of the hole their defense created. To give you an idea of how this game wasn’t really all that close, Ohio led Kansas 39-14 heading into the fourth quarter. Luckily for Kansas, Ohio seemed to call off the dogs in the fourth quarter, preventing further embarrassment for the Jayhawks.