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). Another week of football is in the books. In the Big 12, there is never just a normal weekend and that once again proved to be true this past weekend. From good games, to eye sores, there was some good, some bad and PLENTY of downright ugly.
West Virginia (Beat Baylor 58-14)
What a beatdown the Mountaineers put on Baylor. This looked like the Mountaineer team we all thought would look like all season long. I wasn’t sure how this team would respond after a devastating loss to Iowa State a few weeks ago but boy did they make a statement on Thursday night. The score was only 10-0 after the first quarter and West Virginia had a couple missed opportunities but they punched their foot on the gas pedal and never looked back after that. The Mountaineers scored 4 touchdowns in the second quarter alone and before you knew it, they were up 41-0 at halftime! After that, West Virginia let up a bit and even backup quarterback Jack Allison got some time in the fourth quarter where he threw a touchdown pass. Overall, the offense rushed for 172 yards and QB Will Grier went 21/31 for 396 yards and 3 touchdowns. Also, both David Sills and Gary Jennings combined for 8 catches for 239 yards and 4 scores. The offense was red hot and the defense was able to come away with 4 turnovers and absolutely shut down the Baylor offense from start to finish. Even with backups playing later in the second half, the defense held Baylor to just 287 yards of total offense. This was a much-needed confidence boost for Dana Holgorsen’s team before they travel to Austin next weekend.
Iowa State (Beat Texas Tech 40-31)
Speaking of being red hot, how about this Iowa State team? They started out going 1-3 after the TCU game and I think just about everyone (Including myself) wrote them off. Three games later they sit at 4-3 and have won 3 straight over teams like Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Texas Tech. The Cyclones started the game a bit sloppy as they found themselves down 10-0 but then the offense came alive in the second quarter. The were able to put together two nice scoring drives in the second quarter thanks to a few Texas Tech penalties and some nice runs by RB David Montgomery and QB Brock Purdy.
Even though Tech led 17-14 at the half, you had to feel good about the Cyclones chances considering how rough that first quarter went. I am not sure what this team drank at the half, but it worked because this team played with their hair on fire in the second half as they outscored Texas Tech 26-14 in the final 2 quarters. LB Marcel Spears had a pick six to and the defense even got a late game safety putting pressure on Tech QB Alan Bowman forcing an intentional ground call in the endzone. This game had an odd feel to it but most importantly Iowa State go the win. It wasn’t always pretty at times but Iowa State’s big 3 (Brock Purdy, David Montgomery and Hakeem Butler) stepped up and made key plays when they needed to. By the way, did I mention that Iowa State held Tech to just 30 yards rushing on 24 attempts? That’s pretty good too huh? This is a dangerous team that is finding ways to win, and nobody should want to see this team right now.
Kansas (Beat TCU 27-26)
KANSAS WON A BIG 12 FOOTBALL GAME! WHAT? Yes, what you are reading is true. The offense struggled to run the football but give credit to QB Peyton Bender as he went 19/29 for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns. RB Pooka Williams Jr. only had 33 rushing yards rushing but he was the Jayhawks best pass catcher on Saturday as he hauled in 7 catches for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns. There is no doubt that Pooka is the best offensive player on this team because he can do it all. Sure, the defense gave up some yards, but they were able to get 2 turnovers and recover a late fumble that sealed the win for the Jayhawks with their backs against the wall. This victory gives Kansas their first Big 12 win since November 19th, 2016 when they knocked off Texas at home. The Jayhawks move to 3-5 on the season and is it possible that if Kansas can win one more game that David Beaty can save his job? Again, congrats to Kansas for pulling this one off.
Oklahoma (Beat Kansas State 51-14)
There isn’t too much to say about this game besides the fact the Oklahoma crushed the Wildcats in every aspect of the game. This game was never close, and the Sooners never looked back once. QB Kyler Murray went 19/24 for 352 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had another rushing touchdown too. Overall, the Sooners had a field day not just through the air, bur on the ground as well with 322 rushing yards with Kennedy Brooks and TJ Pledger leading the way. I also must mention WR CeeDee Lamb who caught just 4 passes but had 160 yards receiving with 2 scores. This game was a huge mismatch as the score was 34-7 at halftime for crying out loud. Defensively, the Sooners once again had a great game holding Kansas State to just 245 yards of offense. Just like Iowa State, this is a team that NOBODY in the country should want to see right now.
Oklahoma State (Beat Texas 38-35)
Just a couple weeks ago, I thought this was the ninth best team in the Big 12. Well, I was DEAD WRONG about this football team because they came to play on Saturday. They came out swinging in the first half and wore down a bit in the second half, but it was still enough to knock off Texas on the big stage. How about Corndog? After all the criticism, he came out and played one hell of a game going 23/34 for 321 yards and 3 touchdowns along with adding 2 rushing touchdowns. RB Justice Hill had a nice game and how about WR Tylan Wallace? Wallace had 10 receptions for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns and right now, he should be in some award talks at the wide out position. He is a rising superstar in the league and he put on a clinic on Saturday. I thought the defense played a lot better too. They gave up some points but didn’t give up too many big plays and I thought the secondary did a great job covering those big Texas wide outs. The offensive line looked night and day different from a few weeks ago and overall, this took a full out effort from this team and they gave it their all and it paid off big time. Side note: Mike Gundy doesn’t give a rat’s ass about twitter.
Texas Tech (Lost 40-31 to Iowa State)
What a heartbreaker for Texas Tech. I thought the defense played a great first half of football. The defense blocked a punt for a score and gave up just 14 at the half. Meanwhile, the offense was only able to put together one touchdown drive late in the first half with 4:25 left in the second quarter. Even though Texas Tech led in the first half, I felt like Iowa State really had the momentum from the second quarter and for the rest of the game. Once again, the offense struggled to put points up with only one offensive touchdown thanks to a 31-yard TD pass from Alan Bowman to Antoine Wesley. The other only score Tech had in the second half was a fumble recovery in the endzone by LB Dakota Allen.
Again, I thought the defense helped keep Texas Tech in this game, but the offense wasn’t good enough for the Red Raiders to beat a team like Iowa State. Alan Bowman had 3 costly interceptions and one of them went for a pick six. Bowman also had a freshman mistake when he had an intentional grounding call in his own endzone that not only gave Iowa State 2 point for the safety but gave the Cyclones the ball back with under 5 minutes left to play. That play was crucial because Iowa State was able to capitalize from that safety as they scored and iced the game when Brock Purdy found Hakeem Butler for a late score to make it a 2-possession game. Overall, the mistakes by Texas Tech were the difference in this game.
Texas (Lost to Oklahoma State 38-35)
I am not going to lie, Texas got punched in the mouth in the first half. The defense couldn’t stop the OSU offense and they were gassed as the Pokes used the up-tempo offense to their advantage gashing the defense play after play. Starting senior corners Kris Boyd and Davante Davis were on the sidelines for the first quarter due to being late for team meetings multiple times. Did that hurt Texas? Yes, and their actions off the field ended up being costly not only for themselves but for their teammates as well. Two starting seniors should know better and I applaud Tom Herman for punishing them and keeping his word on that. As for the game, it did get better for Texas in the second half where they outscored OSU 21-7, but it just wasn’t enough to overcome the sloppy first half of football they played. Texas had to rely on throwing the football which isn’t what this offense is built for and I thought QB Sam Ehlinger had a heck of a performance throwing the football. I don’t think his receivers helped him much with the dropped passes and getting open. Texas isn’t at the point where they can play bad halves of football and still win games. You may be able to get away with that when you play bad teams but on the road against good coaches, Texas isn’t able to do that right now. Remember, football is a four-quarter game. While the loss stings, Texas still controls their own destiny reaching a Big 12 title game.
Baylor (Lost to 58-14)
This game was ugly from start to finish for Baylor. I don’t know if someone forgot to tell this team there was a game Thursday because I am not sure if anyone showed up for Baylor. This matchup was over in the second quarter and at the half, Baylor was down 41-0 with no life in sight. QB Charlie Brewer went 1/8 with 3 picks and had a QBR rating of 0.1 which is the lowest I have ever seen for someone who threw over 5 passes in a game. QB Jalan McClendon was a little better going 16/21 for 183 yards but even he didn’t really move the football well against backups. The running game was non-existent due to the score. Defensively, they couldn’t stop the Mountaineers at all and to be honest Baylor should be glad West Virginia didn’t try to put up 85 on the scoreboard. It’s probably best for both Baylor fans and players to forget about this one.
TCU (Lost to Kansas 27-26)
I can’t believe this, but TCU somehow lost to Kansas. This matchup has been close since 2014 but this time, Kansas pulled it off. I thought the offense didn’t play that badly. QB Michael Collins threw for 351 yards and the offense rushed for over 150. Not to mention, Jalen Reagor had a monster game catching 8 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown. TCU had a few offensive drives that stalled out and when they did get in scoring range, they couldn’t find the endzone. This was a game that lulled you to sleep and before I knew it, Kansas took control of the game late. The Horned Frogs had an opportunity to take the lead late, but a Darius Anderson butt fumble proved to be costly as Kansas was able to really bleed the clock out. TCU belongs on the ugly list simply because they lost to Kansas. Again, Kansas.
Kansas State (Lost to Oklahoma 51-14)
Much like the Baylor/WVU game, this one was over early. Kansas State did rush for over 100 yards but QB Skylar Thompson went 13/21 for 108 yards. That’s not going to get it done against a team like Oklahoma. The offense had 245 yards of total offense and a good chunk of that came in garbage time against Oklahoma backups. The defense for Kansas State never had a chance. They gave up over 700 yards of offense and were gashed all night long with big play after big play. At no point in time did I think Kansas State would be able to keep up. I truly believe that if Oklahoma would have left their starters in that they could have put up 75 points on the scoreboard. As I have said before, the Bill Snyder era is coming to a close.
**Sign up here for our HCS weekly e-mails for a chance to win FREE Heartland College Sports and Big 12 team gear!!**