Frogs O' War looks at the week that was in the Big 12, as the conference race is thrown into chaos once more.
Welcome to the Frogs O' War Big 12 Roundup, where we recap the goings on in the rest of the league. It was a big week for the Big 12 as for the first time this season the entire conference was in action in the same week. One front runner bit the dust while another clawed out an impressive road win, four teams stated their unwillingness to be dismissed from the conference race with big wins, and four teams are left scratching their heads and wondering just what happens now.
Texas 21, Oklahoma 63 @ Dallas
Oh Texas, every year you sucker me in and just about every year OU pulls your pants down and spanks you on national television. A costly loss for the longhorns as they lost starting quarterback David Ash for at least a few weeks to a broken wrist as well as any realistic chance of a conference title, but what's more is the Longhorns may have lost faith in their revamped coaching staff. In the offseason there was talk of Manny Diaz being a hot name for SEC head coaching jobs and optimism abounded about the power running game that Mack Brown and OC Brian Harsin had been extolling, but despite the absence of Greg Davis it was another frustrating offensive performance with Case McCoy tacking on two TDs in garbage time (one with five seconds left) to make the score seem slightly less humiliating. On the OU side- holy crap, Blake Bell threw a pass! In fact Bell threw two of them, but Landry Jones turned in a big (if not particularly efficient) performance putting up over 300 yards passing to pair with an absolutely blistering OU running game that was every bit as efficient as Texas was supposed to be. The OU defense contributed two picks of Ash, held the UT offense below 300 yards and shut the horns out in the first half, at which point the Sooners already had a 34 point lead. OU may have crapped the bed against KSU, but they looked like the national title they were supposed to be this week. Best staff pick: Jamie Plunkett was the only staff member to pick OU, the rest of us are hanging our heads in shame. Next week- UT: Baylor Bowl hopes are on the line in this one, Oklahoma: Kansas. Bring a body bag sized XXXXXL.
Kansas State 27, @ Iowa State 21
It was a dog fight, but Kansas State did everything that you're supposed to do to win on the road- they kept it close, they didn't turn the ball over and pulled it out. Iowa State is better than any of us gave them credit for at the beginning of the season (their wins against Tulsa and @ Iowa look pretty darn impressive, and their loss to Tech looks infinitely more understandable), but Barnett struggled again, completing less than 50% of his passes and the clones were stymied on the ground picking up less than three yards a carry. That's a recipe to getting beaten if you're not getting gifted turnover after turnover by a generous offense like some weeks. Kansas State definitely looks like the cream of the crop so far and has the offense and defense needed to be a national title contender. That's a good thing because the Big 12's other national title contender didn't do quite so well on the road. Best staff pick: Angry Trey had the closest Kansas State win, picking the cats to win 38-30. Next week- Kansas State: @ West Virginia for a significant portion (if not all) of the marbles, Iowa State: @ Oklahoma State The cyclones revisit their greatest hit in Stillwater.
Oklahoma State 20, @ Kansas 14
TCU fans around the country saw a lot more of this game than they wanted to, as lightning delays in the Midwest meant that this game went over time slot and cut a quarter from the TCU broadcast. Oklahoma State didn't make any friends in Fort Worth by almost choking away the lead at the end which meant that the networks couldn't even cut away because the results were settled- screw you Cowboys. Onto the actual game. It's hard to maintain rhythm win you have to sit for an hour, but Okie State was inefficient throughout as when Dayne Crist was finally pulled from the game KU managed to get some offense going and made it a near miss in Lawrence. A not good, but almost good enough performance from replacement Michael Cummings is likely to give him the start next week against OU, as the Jayhawks actually outgained the Cowboys in this one thanks to his fourth quarter antics. Oklahoma State, yeah you guys won, but... really? Best staff pick: Fungo Frog picked Okie State 21, Kansas 12. It doesn't get much closer than that. Next week- Oklahoma State: Iowa State. The cowboys will try to exorcise their demons against Iowa State (but my money says they go down at home). Kansas: @ OU. On second thought, maybe Crist will start again. Don't want to ruin a kid by getting him shellacked in his first start.
West Virginia 14, @ Texas Tech 49
I feel like Krusty the Klown after he watches the "Worker and Parasite" cartoon. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? The answer is that this is what happened to West Virginia last year as well and got swept under the rug by their offense hanging 70 on Clemson and Baylor and getting 48 against Texas. The thing is that... the teams that West Virginia has hung a ton of points on aren't actually very good at defense, and West Virginia's defense was shown (repeatedly) to be no great shakes itself. Tech won this game by 35 points and was -2 in the turnover department. That's how bad this loss was for the mountaineers, as Tech rolled up almost 700 yards of offense while holding the high flying West Virginia offense to about 400 (a moral victory) and just one touchdown while the game was close. Tech coming to Fort Worth is shaping up to be one hell of a game, but you have to like TCU's chances in Morgantown better after this week- the Mountaineers run a very similar offense to Baylor (and play about as well on defense, too). Best staff pick: We all blew it, but Fungo blew it the least by predicting just a 3 point West Virginia win. This is the first time we've all missed on a game this season. Nest week- West Virginia: Kansas State. If Kansas State wins this one they'll have the scalps of all but two of the teams still in contention for the Big 12 title, if West Virginia wins... Chaos. Texas Tech: @ TCU. Go Frogs.
TCU 49, @ Baylor 21
Ahahahahaha. Best Staff... Oh, you want analysis? The Frogs choked Baylor out, soaking up time of possession with highly efficient efforts on the ground and in the air. As a result the Baylor defense was absolutely gassed (and they're not fantastic when they're fully rested) and TCU could have scored 60+ if they had wanted to. The most important stat of the night for the future though is turnovers: the TCU offense had none. If we can stop turning the ball over on offense there is not a game on the schedule that we won't be in. On the defensive side I caught it like hell from Baylor fan sites who linked to my Video rewind about not giving Nick Florence enough credit. They said I was grasping at straws in my criticism of Florence's decision making, that Baylor's run game would be ruthlessly efficient against TCU's defense, and they flat out laughed at the thought of the TCU defense holding Baylor in the teens-low twenties. To those fans: 4 interceptions (that should have been five), 106 yards on the ground on 3.3 a carry. It turns out that without Robert Griffin's run threat the TCU 4-2-5 doesn't have much of an issue shutting down the Baylor ground game with just the front four, and they got significant pressure on Nick Florence. Florence responded by making bad decisions, as I predicted. That's all there is to it. TCU gave up almost half of the total yardage they surrendered in this game on three plays- and though you certainly can't remove those plays, I think that if TCU and Baylor played again tomorrow the score would be a lot more likely to read 49-0 than 49-42. Best staff Pick: FungoFrog and I picked the Frogs to win on the road, bow down to our optimism. Next week- Baylor: @ Texas. This is a must win for the Bears to keep bowl hopes alive, as apart from Kansas there isn't a sure thing left on their schedule. TCU: Texas Tech. The west Texas championship is upon us. You'd better believe we'll be fired up.
Big 12 standings:
1. Kansas State (6-0, 3-0)
2. TCU (5-1, 2-1)
2. Texas Tech (5-1, 2-1)
2. Oklahoma (4-1, 2-1)
2. West Virginia (5-1, 2-1)
6. Oklahoma State (3-2, 1-1)
7. Iowa State (4-2, 1-2)
7. Texas (4-2, 1-2)
9. Baylor (3-2, 0-2)
10. Kansas (1-5, 0-3)