Iowa State Cyclones

Postscripts: Bad Big 12 Week and It’s Always About the Quarterback

What’s going on in the Big 12 and beyond? I expand and explain every Sunday in Postscripts at Heartland College Sports, your home for independent Big 12 coverage.

This week, the Big 12 did not have a good week, but let’s get some perspective. Does anyone know what that yellow thing was at the end of the Kansas State game? And, um, you want some quarterback troubles? You got ‘em.


This Was a Bad Week, But …

Look, there’s no way around it. The Big 12 had a bad week from a football standpoint.

In games in which a Big 12 team was playing a Group of 5 or FCS team the conferences was 6-3. Ok, well that’s not bad.

Now, take out the FCS teams. Ok, it’s 3-3. Hmmm…

Now, take out the two teams that are leaving after this season — Oklahoma and Texas.

The record? It’s 1-3, with Kansas having the lone win.

Yeah, that’s not great. Not to mention that two of those losses were at home — Cincinnati (to Miami OH) and Oklahoma State (to South Alabama).

At least give Iowa State and Kansas some credit. They went on the road. You never know what’s going to happen on the road. I mean, ask Texas Tech about that one (hello, Wyoming, which gave Texas fits for three quarters on Saturday).

But, hey, there is some good news. In games in which Big 12 teams were playing other Power 5 teams they went 3-1 (we’ll include TCU’s win over Houston in the Big 12 opener). BYU won on the road in Arkansas and West Virginia did the Backyard Brawl thing and beat Pitt at home. Only Kansas State failed to win, and that was probably the most compelling game of the day outside of Cincy-Miami. And K-State could have easily flipped that around.


Plus, there’s this — no conference’s reputation is built on its ability, or inability, to beat Group of 5 teams or FCS. In other words, the only team behind the eight ball when it comes to winning the Big 12 is Houston, which is the only team in the league with a loss.

A bad look? Sure. But that doesn’t mean the Big 12 is down or won’t be a competitive conference this season. I truly believe we’re about to watch one of the most interesting conference races in the Big 12’s history and I can’t wait to see it start this Saturday in Cincinnati when I’m at Nippert Stadium as the Bearcats host the Oklahoma Sooners.

Then, it’s on to Provo (after a Reds game and a Bengals game, of course. I’m mean I’m there, I might as well, right?).

Was There a Flag?

I have no idea if there was a flag at the end of Kansas State-Missouri game. But I know these things:

Mizzou’s Harrison Mevis made a helluva kick and probably got himself on a few NFL team’s radars after that. I mean that’s one of the best clutch kicks I’ve ever seen, especially considering Mizzou nearly blew it with horrible clock management and a complete lack of game awareness.


I’m not soured on K-State winning the Big 12 a bit. (this assumes Will Howard is healthy).

Kansas State and Mizzou are not arch-rivals, SEC Network. I checked with our K-State guy. No. They’re not.  

Announcers calling this a “signature win” for Mizzou shows you just how much that Missouri program has eroded since Gary Pinkel retired.

Eli Drinkwitz is still likely to get canned after this year. I see that team getting rolled a lot in SEC play. That K-State game might be their high.

It’s Always the Quarterback

Alabama bounced back from losing to Texas to beat USF … checks score … 17-3. Ugh. Awful day in Tampa from a weather standpoint. But coach Nick Saban changed quarterbacks during the game.

There’s an old football adage — if you have two quarterbacks, you have none.

No team in the Big 12 embodies that more than Oklahoma State right now. And they have three quarterbacks.


OSU has played all three of its quarterbacks through three games. Alan Bowman has thrown 52 passes. Gunnar Gundy has thrown 34 and Garret Rangel has thrown 29.

Do you know who’s thrown the most touchdown passes? Rangel. The most interceptions? Bowman and Rangel. Taken the most sacks? Gundy. The best quarterback rating? Rangel, followed closely by Gundy.

I can understand the idea of giving each playing time during non-conference, especially if you’re trying to determine who your starter should be in Big 12 play, which starts on Saturday.

But, do you know who should start? Because I don’t. Each has been the leading passer in one game. The Cowboys have won two games by double digits but haven’t cleared 30 points in either. South Alabama — albeit a 10-win South Alabama team a year ago — went into Stillwater and rolled the Cowboys. Rolled. Them.

The Cowboys go to Ames next Saturday to face Iowa State. The Cyclones are coming off a loss to Ohio. ISU hasn’t looked great, but at least it knows who the starting QB is — Rocco Becht. Like it or not, the Cyclones committed to him in non-conference. That puts them ahead of the Cowboys.

It’s somewhat rare that OSU doesn’t have its head wrapped around the QB situation by this point. That’s why it’s pretty startling to see them struggle offensively. And the fact that none of the three quarterbacks has really risen to the top at this point leaves me wondering what Mike Gundy will do.

I don’t know the answer to that. But I know what he should do — just play Gunnar. You’ve got a lifetime contract and you only get one chance to coach your kid. For better or for worse, that’s where I think the job ends up anyway.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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