Week 10 of the Big 12 football season is in the books in what was the most-anticipated week of the Big 12 season thus far. There were great match ups in every time slot on Saturday, and more the most part, the games lived up to the hype, and then some. With a five-way tie atop the league standings coming into the day, there was going to be some shake ups in the standings by the end of the day, and that’s exactly what we saw.
So with another great week in the books, here are the five biggest takeaways from Week 10 in the Big 12 Conference.
Bedlam was Bedlam
It wasn’t just one of the best games of the Big 12 season, it was one of the best games of the college football season. Oklahoma State jumped out to an early lead over the Sooners, but then OU came back, took a lead, before OSU, after several drives that went no where, put together an 8-play, 97-yard drive to take a 24-21 lead with eight minutes left in the game. That was followed by a Dillon Gabriel fumble and OSU knocked through a field goal for a 27-21 lead.
There was plenty of chaos and close calls down the stretch. Yes, there was the missed PI on Drake Stoops. And yes, this was PI. No doubt about it.
Oklahoma State got away with one there. That should have been pass interference. pic.twitter.com/c2dmOU5U8j— Derek Duke (@DerekDuke25) November 4, 2023
But it never comes down to one call like that. Oklahoma had several missed opportunities to take control of this game. There were fumbles, drops, missed tackles and more that could’ve all played a role in OU picking up the win in Stillwater. They didn’t. And now, we will just have to have this game burnt into our memories for years to come, because Mike Gundy confirmed it’s not coming back in the regular season any time soon.
As someone who started my career and still has many friends in Oklahoma, I’m disappointed this game has come to an end. It’s the rivalries and tradition that make college football the greatest sport ever, and while I understand why the SEC wanted Oklahoma, why ESPN wanted Oklahoma in the SEC and why Oklahoma wanted to get into the SEC, it’s another example of how the sport is losing a part of what makes it great, in favor of just collecting a bigger check.
Texas Overcomes Underclassmen Mistakes
The Longhorns were rolling early, jumping out to a 17-7 halftime lead that could have been larger, while also taking control at 24-7 early in the third quarter. But then came the mistakes. There was the Maalik Murphy interception and then the Jonathan Brooks fumble that gave Kansas State the opportunity to get back into this game, which they did with two touchdowns off those back-to-back turnovers.
Murphy looked great in the first half, but then was missing throws, was behind receivers and was clearly more flustered in the second half. Murphy finished 19/37 for 248 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. If Texas wants to keep its hopes alive of reaching the College Football Playoff, it has to get more from the quarterback position. The good news for Texas is that Quinn Ewers is reportedly set to return, potentially as early as next week.
Kansas Gets 7th Win For First Time in 15 Years
The Jayhawks knocked off the first-place Iowa State Cyclones in Ames with an impressive 28-21 win. KU was potentially starring at a letdown game after upsetting Oklahoma last week in Lawrence, but there was no such thing for the Jayhawks.
Jason Bean had one of his most efficient passing games to date, finishing 14/23 for 287 yards and one touchdown pass, with no interceptions. The Jayhawks struggled to get their strong running game going, but Bean helped them out, along with a strong defensive performance, highlighted by Mello Dotson’s pick six that gave Kansas an early 14-3 lead it was able to hang onto as the game progressed.
The Jayhawks technically only find themselves one game back of first place in the Big 12 with three games to play. They will need some help, since their two losses are to the first-place teams in Texas and Oklahoma State, but still, it’s absolutely incredibly what Lance Leipold has done in Lawrence.
Bowl Eligible WVU
West Virginia head coach Neal Brown entered the season with the hottest seat in the Big 12 Conference. But now, he’s bowl eligible the first week of November and with three weeks to go, WVU is 6-3 (4-2 in Big 12 play) and one game back of first place in the Big 12 Conference. That’s far more than most WVU fans expected before the season began.
The Mountaineers have games left against Oklahoma, Cincinnati and Baylor. The latter two are arguably the worst two teams in the Big 12 Conference this season. So at worst, the Mountaineers are likely looking at 8-4. This is vastly improved by Neal Brown’s standards and is more than enough to save his job into 2024.
It’s been quite the turnaround for the Mountaineers and kudos to Brown, his staff, and his players for getting to a bowl game. And now, they get an Oklahoma team that has lost two games in a row next week in Norman.
Baylor’s Dumpster Fire
Credit to Houston, who won the game and is 4-5 with three to play and has a real possibility of getting to a bowl game. That would be a great accomplishment for Dana Holgorsen.
But this game was about what a dumpster fire Baylor has been this season and how Dave Aranda’s team has now underachieved mightily for a second-straight season. The Bears look unprepared in every game and unmotivated. On top of that, Baylor is starring down the barrel of a 3-9 season with K-State, TCU and West Virginia to wrap up the season.
The responsibility for this has to fall on the head coach, who is two years removed from winning the Big 12, but has overseen everything that could go wrong and has gone wrong the last couple of seasons.