Baylor Bears

What Every Big 12 Team is Playing for at the Halfway Point in 2022

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Texas Christian

As we get further into October, every team in the Big 12 has played at least six games. So here’s what every team in the Big 12 is competing for in the final six weeks.

College Football Playoff

TCU Horned Frogs (6-0, 3-0)

Other than Kansas, TCU is probably the biggest positive shock in the conference. It didn’t start great as they struggled early at Colorado before pulling away late. They played well at rivals SMU, and shocked OU. After wins over Kansas, with college gameday, and a massive win in the Big 12 race against Oklahoma State. It seems that a win against Kansas State this week could firmly cement them as Playoff contenders.

 

Big 12 Championship

Kansas State Wildcats (5-1, 3-0)

There’s an argument that they could still make the playoffs if they run the table. That argument has been aided by Tulane being ranked and looking like a good football team. The problem is with Clemson, and the races in the SEC and Big Ten, it’s tough to see Kansas State jumping them without chaos. So until that happens the focus is on making it to Arlington, and it’s a tall task. They sit at 3-0 in conference play but trips to Fort Worth and Waco loom, in addition to dates with Oklahoma State, and Texas. They likely need to win at least two of those and take care of business against Kansas and West Virginia to make it.

Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-1, 2-1)

Another team that could still make the playoffs with some chaos, but like the ‘Cats their focus is on the Big 12 until that happens. It won’t be easy as they’re home dogs to Texas this week, but a win puts them in a tie for second, with the loser of Kansas State and TCU. Even with a loss, Oklahoma State wouldn’t be out of it but they’d have to run the table and have Texas or TCU get to three conference losses.

 

Texas Longhorns (5-2, 3-1)

Boy has this team been something. After Bama, they were back. After a loss to Tech, they weren’t back. Then they slaughtered OU, and people were saying with Ewers healthy they’d be 6-0. After last week’s escape against Iowa State, I have plenty of doubts about that, but they took care of business to stay firmly in the Big 12 race in a trap game, sandwiched between OU and a trip to Stillwater. If they can beat the Pokes in Stillwater, they go into the bye week sitting alone in second.

Baylor Bears (3-3, 1-2)

This one was iffy for me but they still have it all in front of them. The Oklahoma State loss hurts in the tiebreakers. However, the Bears still get Texas, TCU, and Kansas State. These next three are absolute must wins, first they host Kansas before back-to-back road games in Lubbock and Norman. Falter once and they’d need to spring an upset just to go bowling. If they keep it together then they enter three straight games against conference title contenders, and would certainly have a chance.

 

Fighting For A Bowl Game

Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-3, 1-2)

Now the Red Raiders aren’t out of the Big 12 picture either, but they’d need some help. They have the tiebreaker over Texas but don’t with Oklahoma State and Kansas State, then still have a date with TCU. Fortunately for Texas Tech, they get West Virginia and Baylor at home before a trip to Fort Worth. If they can win both they’d enter the TCU game with a shot at the Big 12 title, but until then it’s about getting three wins. If they can sweep both the home games, they’d have three great chances to get the sixth win, with Kansas and Oklahoma at home, then a trip to Iowa State.

Oklahoma Sooners (4-3, 1-3)

Maybe just maybe there’s a path back into the title mix, but it’s doubtful. Not only do they have three losses but they also lose the tiebreaker against Kansas State, TCU, and Texas. Their defense is bad, and there are huge problems in Norman for Venables. They lost a lot of talent but according to 247 they ranked top 10 in talent, but aren’t performing like it. Things are obviously a mess and with trips to Iowa State, West Virginia, and Texas Tech, then home games with Baylor and Oklahoma State, two wins for a bowl berth won’t be easy.

Kansas Jayhawks (5-2, 2-2)

The positive surprise of the season after starting 5-0, is now hitting the meat of their schedule, and finding a sixth win won’t be easy. Should they come up short, a five-win season is certainly a success, but seven straight losses would be rough. This week they go to Baylor, and for one of these teams, their once-promising season’s cheese is about to slide off their teams’ cracker. One of their other road games is at Kansas State, and with that being a rivalry may just be winnable, the game at Texas Tech could be a tall task depending on both QB situations. But hope isn’t lost yet with home games to Oklahoma State and Texas, they can not only get that sixth win but play spoiler in the title race. I don’t know where they’ll get it, but my opinion is that they’ll find one more to go bowling.

West Virginia Mountaineers (3-3, 1-2)

They somehow kept their season alive by beating Baylor last Thursday night (which by the way please give me more night games in Morgantown), but a bowl berth is still a tall task. We knew with their non-con schedule getting to a bowl would be tough, but they’re yet to go away yet. It still feels unlikely but with home games to TCU, Oklahoma, and Kansas State, then road trips to Texas Tech, Iowa State, and Oklahoma state it is far from impossible.

Iowa State Cyclones (3-4, 0-4)

Well, things have gone downhill after finally beating Iowa, they sit 0-4 in conference play and get a much-needed bye. They certainly aren’t bad, as all four losses have been close but there are problems. Xavier Hutchinson did make play after play against Texas, but it also marked the second straight week he dropped a crucial pass. They’re young, and Hunter Dekkers has struggled. Now the program is on the right track, but this is very possibly a bowless season with a lot of close losses. To make a bowl game it feels like they need to win their next two at home against Oklahoma, and West Virginia. If they win those they have a good chance to get to six wins hosting Texas Tech.

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