Week 11 of the Big 12 football season is in the books in what had Big 12 Title Game implications all over the place. The games started at 11:00 a.m. CST in Lawrence, Kansas and ended well after midnight CST in Provo, Utah. The week began with Texas and Oklahoma State having a clear path to a Big 12 Championship appearance in Arlington, but that was upended after Saturday’s games. Now, there’s plenty of potential chaos on the horizon.
So with another great week in the books, here are the five biggest takeaways from Week 11 in the Big 12 Conference.
Oh, Oklahoma State
Oh my, that was hideous in Orlando from the Pokes. Oklahoma State lost to UCF 45-3 in a game where they were never competitive.
Now, there is some history here as Brian Brinkley noted on Twitter, Oklahoma State has lost every game following a Bedlam win dating back to 1995.
The #OkState loss today continues a frustrating trend for the Cowboys. Since 1995, when #OkState plays the week after a win over the #Sooners, OSU is 0-5.— Brian Brinkley (@BrianBrinkleyOK) November 12, 2023
Losses in 1995, '97, '98, '21, and '23.
Bedlam wins in 2001, '02, '11, and '14 came in the last game of the regular season.
But this was different. OSU was taking on a UCF team that was 1-5 in league play, had barely beaten Cincinnati last week, and had three games against the new Big 12 teams to guarantee a spot in Arlington for their second Big 12 Championship Game in three years.
But the Cowboys just didn’t show up in any facet of the game. Coaching. Offense. Defense. It didn’t matter, it was all awful. The Cowboys are still frontrunners to get to Arlington (along with Texas), but after this performance, nothing can be taken for granted the final two weeks of the season.
Texas Almost Blew Another One
For the third time in four weeks, Texas nearly blew a game, but ended up hanging on for the victory. Texas led TCU 26-6, but the Longhorns had to sweat out a 29-26 win on the road on Saturday night. But go back to October 21st, when the Longhorns led Houston 21-0, before having to hang on for a 31-24 win. And then last week vs. Kansas State, UT had a 27-7 lead, but then went to overtime against the Wildcats and won 33-30.
The Longhorns hang on and move to 9-1, which is their best start since 2009 when they started 10-0. They’re in the driver’s seat in the Big 12 and if they win out and are 12-1, with only a loss to Oklahoma, they should be in a College Football Playoff.
But this will be the toughest three-game stretch of UT’s season going to Iowa State, playing Texas Tech, who will treat this game like their Super Bowl and then a Big 12 Championship, assuming they get there. It won’t come easy.
Things are Ugly in Waco
This is getting bad for Dave Aranda. The Bears got blown out at Kansas State 59-25 and the Bears are now 2-8 in their last 10 Big 12 games. This is a team that won the Big 12 Championship back in 2021 and looks like a shell of what it was just two years ago. And it’s also the second-straight season the Bears have woefully underachieved.
Baylor is now 3-7 and is guaranteed to miss a bowl game for the first time since Aranda’s first season when he went 2-7 in the shortened COVID season. The Baylor head coach was blunt during his post-game press conference saying, “This is the bottom, you can’t get any worse than this. With the score and just the feeling you have, these are games you remember for a long time. You just feel gutted. I feel like that now and I know our guys do.”
This is certainly rock bottom during the Aranda era. Now the question is, “What’s next?”
Sooners Bounce Back
If there was any concern that Oklahoma would mail it in the rest of the season after a tough Bedlam loss, that was anything but the case. Oklahoma blasted West Virginia 59-20 in a chippy game that saw the Sooners play with the kind of energy that was lacking, at times, each of the past two weeks against Kansas and Oklahoma State.
The Sooners had 664 yards of total offense, with 423 passing yards on the night. OU’s defense was also stout against Garrett Greene and the Mountaineers, who had come in with two wins in a row.
But with Oklahoma State losing, the Sooners are still in the thick of the Big 12 race.
The Big 12 Race
Now as for that Big 12 race, well it’s damn interesting, and likely to only get more interesting in the next two weeks.
Our managing editor Bryan Clinton wrote about the tiebreaker scenario on our Heartland College Sports forums, which you can join for free, to chat with other normal Big 12 fans, just just weirdo Twitter trolls, and the HCS staff.
Here’s the top five as things stand on Sunday morning:
1. Texas (9-1, 6-1)
T-2. Oklahoma State (8-2, 5-2)
T-2. Oklahoma (8-2, 5-2)
T-2. Iowa State (6-4, 5-2)
T-2. Kansas State (7-3, 5-2)
As of right now, we have what the Big 12 conference calls a multi-team tie, which has different tiebreaker rules than a two-team tie.
Here’s what the conference rules state in this case, courtesy of the Big 12 Website:
In the event of a tie between more than two teams, the following procedures will be used. After one team has an advantage and is “seeded”, all remaining teams in the multiple-team tiebreaker will repeat the multiple-team tie-breaking procedure. If at any point the multiple-team tie is reduced to two teams, the two-team tie-breaking procedure will be applied.
1. Head-to-head (best cumulative win percentage in games among the tied teams). If not, every tied team has played each other, go to step 2.
2. Record against the next highest placed common opponent in the standings (based on record in all games played within the conference), proceeding through the standings.
EDITOR’S NOTE: While Bryan posted on our forums how we think the tiebreakers work, there appears to be massive confusion on this right now. We will hang tight and reach out to the league to get more information this week. In the meantime, join our free forums if you can help interpret this from the league! Crazy times.
Let’s have some fun these next two weeks!