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). It was another crazy weekend in the Big 12 and there was plenty of jam-packed action throughout Saturday to get through.
Texas (Beat Kansas State 69-31)
Where in the heck has this performance been all year? It took Tom Herman this long to put together a great game when his butt was on the line. While Sam Ehlinger played a good game, the star of the show was freshman running back Bijan Robinson who rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns. Also, running back Roschon Johnson had himself a day with 139 yards and three scores as the Longhorns put up a whopping 334 rushing yards on Kansas State. The defense was not perfect by any means, but luckily the offense was so spectacular that it did not matter. In fact, this was this highest point total for Texas since the 2005 Big 12 championship game against Colorado.
TCU (Beat Oklahoma State 29-22)
It was a tale of two halves for TCU. The Frogs got down 13-0 early and then really hit their stride in the second half. Despite four turnovers on offense, Max Duggan made some splash plays with his feet as he rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns. But the bright spot of this game was the TCU defense. Even though the offense put them in tough spots throughout the game, they bended but rarely broke. And when the game was tight, they got a red zone turnover and a turnover on downs to end the game. After a 1-3 start, TCU is 4-1 in their last five games with just one game left against Louisiana Tech.
Iowa State (Beat West Virginia 42-6)
Make that five-straight victories for the Cyclones who will finish the regular season as the Big 12 leader with an 8-1 conference record. This game was over at halftime as the defense suffocated West Virginia’s offense all game long. They held West Virginia to just 263 total yards and did not allow a single touchdown.
Brock Purdy was fantastic as he went 20/23 for 247 yards and three passing touchdowns. Meanwhile the ground game racked up 236 yards led by Breece Hall who had 97 of those yards. It was also great to see wide out Xavier Hutchinson continue to get better as he had eight catches for 89 yards.
This team is red hot right now. Going into the game, West Virginia was allowing just 17.8 points per game and 112.5 rushing yards per game. And Iowa State put up 42 points and rushed for 236 yards. As for the defense, they have allowed just a total of 26 points in their last three game.
Now let’s talk about Brock Purdy. After a slow start to the season, since the second half of the Baylor game he has completed 76.9% of his passes throwing for 903 yards and ten touchdowns while not throwing a single interception. It was quite a performance for Iowa State who is now officially playing for the Big 12 title in two weeks. This team has got it rolling.
Oklahoma (Beat Baylor 27-14)
Oklahoma’s offense was asleep in the first half. The offense line was as bad as they have been all season and Spencer Rattler struggled early. The loss of tight end Austin Stogner hurt but some of these guys on offense looked like they slept all day and then woke up five minutes before kickoff to try and play a football game.
Luckily for the offense, the defense carried them to a victory. The Sooners defense got a couple key turnovers and held Baylor to just 25 rushing yards on 26 carries. When is the last time Oklahoma could say the defense picked up the offense to lead them to a victory? It has been a while, but with that said, this defense is for real and if the offense can get back up to speed, this team is dangerous. With the win, Oklahoma will play Iowa State for a Big 12 championship in two weeks to try and avenge their loss in Ames earlier in the season.
Texas Tech (Beat Kansas 16-13)
I am breaking my own rule of “You win, you are in my good column”. Almost losing to Kansas in BACK-TO-BACK years is embarrassing! Four turnovers on offense kept the offense from gaining any sort of momentum. Despite racking up nearly 300 yards on the ground, the turnovers kept Tech from pulling away along with missing three kicks. But hats off to Xavier White who played a great game and was the MVP of that offense. Defensively, they played well enough to win but this game was all about turnovers and special teams.
Also, wide out Erik Ezukanma had some interesting words to his coaches during the game that he discussed to the media. He wants the football more and I agree. Give the ball to your best players. It was not pretty at all, but Tech squeaked by and got lucky. With that said, I do wish Matt Wells a speedy recovery so he can get back to work.
Kansas (Lost to Texas Tech 16-13)
Kansas played their tail off on defense as they forced four Tech turnovers. However, their offense simply could not get anything going. Miles Kendrick struggled to find receivers, but it would be hard to blame him considering Kansas had so many players out on Saturday. This was by far the best game the Jayhawks have played this season as their closest game was a 15-point loss to Coastal Carolina earlier in the year. Kansas has one more chance at winning a game this season against Texas next week at home.
Oklahoma State (Lost 29-22 to TCU)
Some people will point to the score and the fact that TCU racked up 501 yards offense, but this game falls on the shoulders of the offense. The defense got four takeaways and what did the Cowboys offense do with them? A total of nine yards and three points. It is hard to win when you cannot capitalize off turnovers. And I understand that Tylan Wallace was hurt late and Chuba Hubbard was out, but Spencer Sanders simply cannot win a game with his arm. He needs help. I believe the defense is finally starting to wear out and I am not sure if the offense can pick up the slack. Over their last 26 Big 12 games, Oklahoma State has a 13-13 record.
Baylor (Lost to Oklahoma 27-14)
This defense played their butt off. They kept the Sooners in check on the ground with just 76 rushing yards and ended Oklahoma’s 60 game streak of scoring at least 28 points. The effort and game plan were solid, and I thought the Bears executed well. However, the offense once again disappointed. The run game was non-existent, and Charlie Brewer struggled throwing the football and had two costly interceptions. It is just a shame that this defensive performance did not result in a victory.
Kansas State (Lost to Texas 69-31)
I am not sure where to begin here. Kansas State is on a downward spiral and it will stop due to their season being over, unless they get a bowl game. But at this point, I would call it a year. After winning their first four Big 12 games, the Wildcats are on a five-game losing streak. They had no chance at stopping the Texas ground game and they gave up 334 rushing yards and 69 points. It really did not matter what their offense did because they could not stop Texas. It was quite the tale of two halves this season for the Wildcats and I am not sure how Kansas State fans feel, but I think it is best that the season comes to an end after this.
West Virginia (Lost to Iowa State 42-6)
Not a whole lot to say here but embarrassing. Iowa State has now beaten the Mountaineers three years in a row, and this was by far the most lopsided game of the three. The offense was pathetic as Jarret Doege could not get the passing game going and due to the score, it was pointless to run the football. And defensively, they looked like they were ready to mail it in and call it a season. I expected West Virginia to at least put up some sort of fight in this game and they did not. They fell flat on their face and I do not understand why. This feels like the Texas Tech no show game all over again and this time they did it against a much better team who embarrassed them on national tv.
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