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). The last week of regular season 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 questionable calls, there was some good some bad and some downright ugly.
Texas (Beat Kansas 24-17)
Texas got off to a slow start in the first half. They were able to just score one touchdown and Sam Ehlinger threw his first pick since week one. It was a complete mess offensively but luckily the defense was able to shut out Kansas in the first half. Texas led 7-0 at the break. But give the Longhorns credit in the second half because they came out swinging in the third quarter scoring twice extending their lead 21-0 and I thought they would coast their way to a Big 12 title appearance. But, in typical Texas fashion they made things interesting allowing Kansas to score two touchdowns and even recover an onside kick. However, in the end Texas held on 24-17 and got the big win to make their first conference title appearance since 2009. Texas didn’t do a ton offensively and to me, it looked like QB Sam Ehlinger was still a bit shaken up from the week prior. His health will be something to keep an eye on moving forward. Defensively, allowing 14 points on the road isn’t bad even if they let Kansas RB Pooka Williams Jr. run wild at times. On to Jerry World!
Oklahoma (Beat West Virginia 59-56)
Another Oklahoma shootout? I must say I didn’t see this coming. HA! Obviously by the score, it was a shootout. It was a good one at that. Kyler Murray and his crew absolutely rocked once again and just keep on rolling on offense. Kyler threw for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns and added 114 on the ground along with a rushing score. The dude is UNREAL and deserves the Heisman. Meanwhile, RB Kennedy Brooks rushed for 182 yards and a touchdown. WR Marquise Brown caught 11 passes for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns as well. The Big 3 for Oklahoma was awesome and even though the defense gave up 56 points and 704 yards, the somehow managed to score 2 defensive touchdowns. That pretty much sums up the Oklahoma defense in 2018. Anyways, Oklahoma gets the victory and will have a shot to win the Big 12 title against their rival Texas next weekend. On to Jerry World!
Baylor (Beat Texas Tech 35-24)
QB Charlie Brewer had a fantastic game throwing for 308 yards and 3 scores. He found WR Denzel Mims for 2 touchdowns and hit WR Chris Platt plenty as well in this game. RB John Lovett got the run game going and this was by far the best the Bears have played offensively in a while. On defense, they were able to get 2 turnovers and really control the Tech offense especially in the second half. Hell, they outscored Tech 21-7 in the final two quarters and with bowl eligibility on the line for both teams, Baylor got it done. After finishing 1-11 last season, the Bears are going bowling. What a HUGE program win for Matt Rhule and this team. Congrats Baylor.
Iowa State (Beat Kansas State 42-38)
Farmageddon! Yes! The curse of Bill Snyder is over for Cyclone fans. For 10-straight years, Iowa State has been on the short end of this rivalry. Well, not anymore! This game was tied at 21 early in the third quarter and before I knew it, Iowa State was down 38-21 with 12:27 left to play. I thought Iowa State was done and Kansas State would go bowling getting their sixth win. But somehow, someway this team found a way to come back and win with a couple offensive scores and a defensive touchdown. QB Brock Purdy had a decent game and made a few mistakes, but the stars of the show were RB David Montgomery and WR Hakeem Butler. Each had over 140 yards and Montgomery had 3 rushing scores. Defensively, this wasn’t one of their best performances, but that scoop n score was a huge momentum swing late in the game. Iowa State will host Drake next weekend and will look to get their eighth win of the season.
TCU (Beat Oklahoma State 31-24)
With a score of 7-3 at halftime, this looked like a Big Ten game to me, but in the second half it turned back into a Big 12 game as TCU started rolling and found themselves up 24-3 late in the third quarter. Sure enough, they let the Cowboys crawl back into to it and in the end had to seal the deal with a late first down to win 31-24. Don’t let anyone fool you, this was the Jalen Reagor show. He caught 5 passes for 121 yards and a score along with rushing for 121 yards and a score. What more can you ask from a wide receiver? Heck, I’ll give third string QB Grayson Muehlstein some credit too because he managed the game well outside of the fumble. Defensively, I thought they played well especially in those first two and a half quarters. The Horned Frogs are going bowling!
Kansas (Lost 24-17 to Texas)
I don’t have much to say here. RB Pooka Williams Jr. was the offense rushing for 103 yards and a touchdown. The defense played well enough to keep them in the game, but they didn’t have enough offense to win it. The David Beaty era is officially over and it’s now Les Miles’ time to shine. Brighter days are ahead.
West Virginia (Lost 59-56 to Oklahoma)
Man, this was tough for Mountaineer fans. QB Will Grier threw for 539 yards and 4 touchdowns in his final home game. His favorite target? WR Gary Jennings Jr. who caught 7 passes for 2224 yards and 2 touchdowns. The downfield passing game was the answer but unfortunately, two Will Grier turnovers proved to be costly, and by costly, I mean 14 points. The defense gave up 668 yards and never could really slow down the Oklahoma offense. Giving up over 300 yards on the ground is unacceptable. This team had Big 12 title aspirations and instead will finish fourth in the Big 12.
Texas Tech (Lost 35-24 to Baylor)
Texas Tech was spotty on offense all game long. With McLane Carter in at quarterback, that was expected. He seemed injured a bit and the offense just wasn’t able to stay in any sort of rhythm. Tech let Baylor control the game and eventually the defense bottomed out. There wasn’t much I could take away from this performance and with the loss Tech drops to 5-7 and will be staying home during bowl season. Also, as most of you probably know, Kliff Kingsbury is out as the head coach. 2018 is certainly a year most want to forget for Tech fans.
Kansas State (Lost 42-38 to Iowa State)
I am still scratching my head on how Kansas State lost this game. They were up 38-21 with 12:27 left to play and after some offensive miscues and defensive lapses, they ended up losing 42-38. This was the best offensive performance the Wildcats had in Big 12 play scoring 38 points. QB Skylar Thompson managed the game and outside of a fumble, played well. RB Alex Barnes was on a different level though. He rushed for 184 yards and a touchdown and was the focus on offense. The defense was solid for three quarters before the ship started to sink. They gave up way too many big plays in the passing game to Hakeem Butler and let RB David Montgomery run wild at times. Still, I am not sure how they lost this one, but they did. Kansas State will wrap up the 2018 season finishing 5-7 and more importantly, could this be Bill Snyder’s last game as a head coach?
Oklahoma State (Lost 31-24 to TCU)
The Cowboys showed little to no fight for the first three quarters. In fact, I believe they had 61 total yards of offense in the first half. By late third quarter, they were down 24-3 and then they finally decided to wake up on offense. But by then, it was too little too late because of their no show earlier in the game. QB Taylor Cornelius completed less than 50% of his passes and the run game never got going rushing for 99 yards. The offense for the most part was pathetic. In fact, TCU third string QB Grayson Muehlstein outplayed Taylor Cornelius. On defense they couldn’t stop the one man that could hurt them in Jalen Reagor. How about this, they held the ball for just 20:54 compared to TCU who held the ball for 39:06. I don’t understand this team at all. They show up one week and look interested the next. This team will finish 6-6 and with tiebreakers, finish ninth in the Big 12.
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