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). Week five has come and gone and 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 some downright ugly. Keep in mind that Texas and West Virginia were off this past weekend.
TCU (Beat Kansas 51-14)
I’ll start by saying this, I have no idea how bad Kansas really is, but it was nice to see TCU start and finish a game this impressively. TCU didn’t have to throw the football much in this one because they completed 19 passes between Alex Delton and Max Duggan who both had good games. But it was the run game that dominated this one for the Horned Frogs as they ran for a tune of 319 yards on the Jayhawks led by Darius Anderson who had 115 yards and a score. Although WR Jalen Reagor just had one catch in this game, he had a great punt return for a touchdown. While the running attack was impressive, the defense did just as well if not better. The Frogs held Kansas to just 159 total yards of offense and held them to go 1 for 11 on third down. In fact, the Jayhawks points all came late in the fourth quarter in garbage time. Maybe the most interesting stat of all was the time of possession where TCU held the ball for a total of 39 minutes and 35 seconds. Next up for TCU is a trip to Ames, Iowa to take on the Cyclones.
Oklahoma (Beat Texas Tech 55-16)
This game was essentially a track meet for the Sooners offense. Stop me if you have heard this before but Oklahoma put up over 600 yards of offense which they have done in EVERY GAME THIS SEASON. QB Jalen Hurts threw for over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns along with 70 rushing yards and a score. Wide outs CeeDee Lamb and Charleston Rambo each went over 120 yards and Lamb also had 3 receiving touchdowns in this game. Hell, even backup quarterbacks Spencer Rattler and Tanner Mordecai got playing time in this game and this is a conference game for crying out loud. I know Tech’s quarterback situation played a factor but still, Oklahoma looked impressive as hell on Saturday. The defense held Tech to 314 yards and a total of 16 points. Sooners fans will take that all day long when you compare that to previous years. Not to mention, they held the Red Raiders to just 1 for 14 on third down which was an area they really struggled in the last few years. Right now, Oklahoma is the best team in the Big 12 and I don’t see how ANYONE could make a case for them not to be. Next up is a trip to Kansas.
Baylor (Beat Iowa State 23-21)
I’ll be honest with you; I was at this game and this was a snooze fest in the first half. I mentioned in my write up that it felt like a Big Ten game not because the defenses were holding each other scoreless for the most part but because how bad the offenses looked. The run game for Baylor was basically non-existent but the offensive line got better in the second half when they gave Charlie Brewer time in the pocket. Brewer threw for 307 yards and 3 touchdowns and wide outs Denzel Mims and Tyquan Thornton combined for 247 yards and 3 scores. The Bears defense held Iowa State scoreless for three quarters as Baylor took a 20-0 lead heading into the final quarter before collapsing allowing the Cyclones to put up 21 in the fourth. I’ll give some credit to that Baylor defensive line for shutting down the Iowa State run game and for sealing the game with the big sack that caused a turnover at the end there. It seemed like Baylor did everything they could to give this game away but when it counted the most, Charlie Brewer led a nice final drive for kicker John Mayers to boot in a 38-yard field goal to put the Bears up by 2 with less than 30 seconds left in the game. A win is a win here and the Bears head up to Kansas State next weekend 4-0.
Oklahoma State (Beat Kansas State 26-13)
QB Spencer Sanders didn’t have his best day throwing the ball although WR Tylan Wallace went off with 145 yards. It was all about the Chuba show going on in this game. Chuba ran for a whopping 296 yards and a touchdown as he helped the Cowboys rack up 373 rushing yards against a good Kansas State defense. This helped the Cowboys jump out to an early lead which forced Kansas State to throw the football. The defense did a good job not allowing big plays and shut down any threat of a passing game. Not to mention they held the Wildcats to under four yards a carry which is key as well. It certainly wasn’t the best game offensively for either team but give Oklahoma State credit for beating a ranked Kansas State team. After this, it is clear to me that Oklahoma State is the third best team in the Big 12 right now behind Oklahoma and Texas. Next up is a trip to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech.
The Tailgates in Waco
I went to Waco on Saturday to cover the Baylor/Iowa State game at McLane Stadium and while the views on the Brazos River are always beautiful, it was the tailgates there that really made my experience great. Thanks to Barry who runs DFW Cyclones, I was invited to a wonderful Iowa State tailgate that had hundreds of people that included BBQ and drinks. It was awesome to get a chance to speak with Cyclone fans and the passion from that fan base is always top notch. After visiting the DFW Cyclones, I stopped by the always great SicEm365 tailgate to enjoy some good conversation before heading into the stadium. If you are a Baylor fan, be sure to check out what those guys are doing over there. They are by far the best Baylor site on the web. I just wanted to say thanks to both tailgates for the hospitality and it is just one of the many reasons that I love what I do here on Heartland College Sports.
Iowa State (Lost 23-21 to Baylor)
I will start by saying this. I thought the defense was good enough to win this game. They had their moments sure but giving up just 23 points in this conference on the road should be good enough to win. Now, on to the offense. Well, in the first three quarters this offense did their best disappearing act because they were non-existent for three quarters. Then out of nowhere, Brock Purdy looked like Brock Purdy who made big time plays to put his team in a position to win at the end there. Purdy ended up throwing for 342 yards and 2 touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to get the job done. It would be hard to say that it was too little too late for Iowa State considering they took a one-point lead after their last score late in the game, but you can’t play like that for three quarters and expect to win on the road.
The running game was bad along with the offensive line play that continues to make me scratch my head. Not to mention, I have no idea what they are doing on offense sometimes. I know Brock left the pocket early some and he ran way more than I would like to see (Ran 13 times and the next closest person had 6 carries) but there were times where it looked like the play call was “Let Brock get outside the pocket and make a play”. In the end, the Cyclones put themselves in a position to win the game which is great but I still left Waco thinking that Iowa State may have been the better team but they didn’t really do a good job of showing that with all the mistakes that were made in this game. Next weekend, the Cyclones will host TCU in Ames.
Kansas State (Lost 26-13 to Oklahoma State)
I think it would be foolish of me to put this one on the Kansas State defense considering they held a very good Oklahoma State offense to just 26 points on the road. Sure, they gave up like a thousand rushing yards but the held the Cowboys to under 30 points which is never easy to do. However, due to the early lead the Cowboys had, it forced Kansas State do something on offense that they aren’t comfortable with which is throw the football. QB Skylar Thompson had his first truly bad game of the season completing less than 50% of his passes on the night and for whatever reason, the running game wasn’t very effective either. While the score doesn’t look as bad as it was, Oklahoma State led Kansas State 23-3 heading into the fourth quarter. Kansas State got dominated in this game and to make things worse, this performance came off a be week in which they had two weeks to prepare for this game. Next up, they will host Baylor next weekend.
Kansas (Lost 51-14 to TCU)
This game was ugly to say the least for Kansas. They had to play catch up the entire game. The offense had 8 drives that went for four plays or less to sum things up here. QB Carter Stanley was awful completing less than 50% of his passes and the run game was practically nonexistent due to the score. The offense had a total of 159 yards on the day and held the ball for just 20 minutes and 25 seconds in this game. I know the offense didn’t help at all, but the defense gave up over 600 yards to a mediocre TCU offense and let the Frogs complete 14 of their 19 third downs. I wasn’t sure what to make of this Kansas team, but this now looks like a team that might not win another game all season long. To make matters worse, RB Khalil Herbert sat out this game for “personal reasons” and from what has been said, it appears he will transfer out of Kansas. Oh yeah, the Jayhawks will host Oklahoma next weekend. Yikes.
Texas Tech (Lost 55-16 to Oklahoma)
To my surprise Texas Tech started Jackson Tyner over Jett Duffey but it really didn’t matter who started between the two because neither guy was effective at all in this game. Tech only threw for 122 yards in this game off 26 attempts which tells me that head coach Matt Wells was trying to control the clock. Why? Because they had 37 rushing attempts in this game. While the offense did hold the ball longer than Oklahoma, it didn’t matter because Oklahoma practically scored at will in this game. The only thing all those rushing attempts did was keep that Sooners offense from scoring 75 plus. Defensively, the Red Raiders did nothing well here. They let Oklahoma rack up over 600 yards of offense and at times, it looked like the defense was helpless. This game was just bad all around and if you were a Red Raider fan watching this game, I hope you had a drink in your hand. This is going to be a tough season if Alan Bowman is on the sidelines. Next week, they host Oklahoma State in Lubbock.
We may have to officially change the name to ESPN- after that Oklahoma State/Kansas State game. There was a lightning delay and after the delay, this horrible camera angle was used for a bit before the feed cut out on me completely. The funny thing was how they were advertising all these ads for ESPN+ when it was cutting in and out. I paid five bucks a month for a game that should have been nationally televised and instead I got a screen that told me that they were having technical difficulties. Bravo ESPN. Bravo.
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