Another big week for the Big 12 as the bowl picture for the conference starts to come into focus. Six teams are definitely going bowling, three are still awaiting their fate while just one is sure to be home for the holidays and the dogfight for win #6 is sure to make the last few weeks interesting for Big 12 fans.
Iowa State 7, @ Texas 33
It sure is good for the Frogs that our defense is really starting to find itself this season because all of a sudden the Texas offense has come alive just in time to give coordinators Brian Harsin and Major Applewhite a bit more job security heading into next season. The Longhorns racked up over 600 yards on what had been a fairly stout Iowa State defense, getting an excellent performance out of quarterback David Ash and a solid day on the ground from everyone apart from Malcolm Brown who may be the most disappointing Longhorn of the season. Iowa State continued its low octane ways on offense as Steele Jantz threw two interceptions to one touchdown and the Cyclones were forced to abandon a decent effort on the ground as the Longhorns piled up touchdowns early. The horns are 8-2 on the season now, but this is the third time this season that they've looked really good. Best Pick: Purple Wimple takes this one, as he had the largest Longhorn margin of victory, picking the Horns 35 to 17. Next week- Iowa State: @ Kansas. This one is one that Iowa State desperately needs for bowl eligibility, because after this their only shot is going to be a slugfest against West Virginia. What a time for Kansas to be playing its best football of the season, huh? Texas: Bye. The Longhorns take a week off before their Thanksgiving date with us. Let's hope that they feel really good about themselves all week, because nothing would be sweeter on Thanksgiving than a Longhorn team that thinks its going to win in a blowout.
Kansas 34, @ Texas Tech 41
Tommy Tuberville, you have confused me once again. At home- the last home game of the season for the red raiders mind you- you get the indisputably worst team in the Big 12. A team that absolutely, positively cannot pass (Michael Cummings averaged less than 2 yards per pass attempt- that's Army bad,) and yet they roll up over 400 yards of offense on you. The Jayhawks are not Georgia Tech, Raiders, but maybe they would be better served running triple option next year rather than continue to try and throw the football. The Hawks averaged a ridiculous 6.8 yards a carry on the ground, which is is sure to make the Big 12's number one (healthy) running back Joseph Randle salivate as the Raiders head to Stillwater next week. Fortunately the Tech offense had a good day through the air, as Seth Doege completed over 75% of his passes on senior day to ensure that Tommy Tuberville didn't face an all out riot. Best Staff Pick: FungoFrog and Angry Trey. It's a best of the worst award this week as we decide which of the staff who picked Tech to win by 25 to give the kudos to. A bad time for anyone who picked Tech to cover based on our predictions. Next week- Kansas: Iowa State. The Jayhawks have come agonizingly close to their first Big 12 win three times now, and with the Cyclones coming to Lawrence for the last home game of the year things should be very interesting. Right now I'm still leaning towards Iowa State, but check with me again on Thursday. Texas Tech: @ Oklahoma State. After getting gashed on the ground in consecutive weeks, the Raiders travel to Stillwater to take on the Big 12's leading rusher Joseph Randle. Have fun with that, guys.
West Virginia 34, @ Oklahoma State 55
For three quarters this game looked like it was going to be a classic, as Oklahoma State and West Virginia traded momentum and points freely and Geno Smith recaptured some of his lost mojo and the mountaineers trailed by a single score heading into the fourth. Then... nothing. The high powered mountaineer offense was shut down once again, gaining 73 total yards on three possessions in the fourth quarter while the Cowboys just ran the ball and the Mountaineers were totally powerless to stop them. The fourth quarter was a rock paper scissors match where someone has taped all but your index and middle fingers down- even if you know your opponent is just going to use Rock there's nothing you can do about it. With this win the Cowboys clinch bowl eligibility for the record seventh time in a row, while the Mountaineers will be left on the brink with three games to go, and a very real possibility of needing to beat Kansas at home in the last game of the season to lock up a bowl bid. Not exactly the season the mountaineers had in mind when they started 5-0. Best Staff Pick: Jamie Plunkett picks up this one with his pick of Okie State to win 42-24, well done Jamie. Next week- West Virginia: Oklahoma. The Sooners take the long trek to Morgantown this week hoping to stay high enough in the polls for a possible at large BCS bid, while West Virginia would be pretty happy with the Poulan Weedeater Bowl at this point. Oklahoma State: Texas Tech. The Raiders are looking ripe for a second half swoon once again, while Okie State is hoping for another win to make sure it doesn't end up in the Pinstripe bowl. It should be a good week for the Cowboys.
Baylor 34, @ Oklahoma 42
Man a lot of teams scored 34 this week, and Baylor makes teams who scored 34 0-3 after coming up short against the Sooners in Norman. The Bears actually had an excellent game on the ground, as Oregon transfer Lache Seastrunk averaged over 6 yards a carry and scored three touchdowns on the ground, but the Baylor passing game was downright awful. Senior Nick Florence completed 35% of his passes, which is a sure sign of disaster for an Art Briles team, but somehow the Bears managed to stay within a score of the Sooners all night long, as both teams only had back to back scores once. OU cleaned up on third down, going 9-13 against the awful Baylor defense, but lost the turnover margin by two and apart from one 55 yard scamper by Blake Bell the Sooners had trouble on the ground. This is a good, but not great OU team, and one that will be in tight games for all of its remaining three weeks. Best Staff Pick: Jamie Plunkett gets it again, picking OU 38 to Baylor's 24. Next week- Baylor: Kansas State. The bears bid an official farewell to their bowl streak this week as Kansas State looks to strengthen its hold on #1 by eviscerating Baylor. Fun for the whole family! Oklahoma: @ West Virginia. Another week, another high powered offense looking to test the OU defense. The Sooners will have to be better to win on the road, but not that much better as West Virginia simply can't stop people when they need to. Still, the Sooners had best be careful, as nothing would save the Mountaineer season quite like knocking off OU.
Kansas State 23, TCU 10
Man, that score makes it look a lot closer than the game we watched, doesn't it? The TCU offense sputtered, the special teams gave points to the wildcats and the defense... well the defense was awesome. That is definitely the kind of defensive performance that would win the Big 12 next year, so let's hope it wasn't a flash in the pan. Kansas State is every bit as good as advertised, and at this point I would be quite surprised if they don't end up holding the crystal football and the bronze stiffarm statue at the end of the season. There's not really much more to say about the game that wasn't said in the Postgame analysis and Monday Morning Quarterback posts, so we'll just try and move on as a fanbase and as a team. Best Staff Pick: FungoFrog breaks the Plunkett streak by picking Kansas State to win by 17, which would have been even more impressive had the Frogs not tacked on a garbage touchdown. Next week- Kansas State: @ Baylor. Kansas State is #1 in the BCS heading into Waco, and you'd better believe that Klein will be looking to put up big numbers against a dreadful Baylor defense. Klein will win the Heisman with how badly he beats Baylor this Saturday, mark it down. TCU: Bye. The Frogs rest up, giving a tired team a chance to hopefully get Boykin back to 100% before the most important game of the season, Thanksgiving @ Texas.