The disjointed schedule of the week threw off our usual picks post, but I made my picks in an email before the Iowa State/WVU game and Trey got his in before Saturday's action so we'll compare with those as I look over the week that was in the Big 12.
TCU 20, Texas 13- Hahahahahahahaha. This one didn't feel as close as the score indicated, as TCU smothered the Longhorn offense throughout the game, holding the Longhorns to exactly 300 yards, 90 of which came on Texas' lone touchdown drive, and forcing three turnovers from quarterback David Ash. The dominance by the defense made one part of my game prediction eerily accurate, as Case McCoy came in late in the fourth and led Texas on a late touchdown drive- a move sure to reignite debate among longhorn fans in advance of their season finale with Kansas State. The TCU offense was far from a thing of beauty, as there were a large number of wasted carries featuring Catalon attempting to do the job of Tucker/Dean running up the middle, while Tucker had an excellent and consistent game. TCU got excited about the Brandon Carter reverse pass scoring a TD against West Virginia so we tried it twice more in this game to no effect (the reason trick plays work is because you only see the same one once, guys. Otherwise you'd put them in your base offense), and Boykin threw a bad interception, but for the most part the passing game did what little it was asked to do- move the ball on third down. Boykin picked up several key third downs with his arm and legs when rolling out of the pocket and the frogs did a great job of keeping the frog defense fresh until the fourth quarter, where the conservative playcalling really started to bite. Still... we beat Texas. In Austin. I'll never not like it when that happens. Best Staff Pick: I was not alone on the TCU branch this week, as the whole staff apart from Fungo homered up, but while Jamie had TCU's points perfect, I had the winning margin and was only four points off in my final prediction. HawkeyedFrog wins this week, woo! Next week- TCU: Oklahoma. In "Big freaking deal" week part two, TCU has a chance to do something that I would be shocked if any member of the Big 12 has done before- knock of UT and OU in consecutive weeks. The defense will bring it as usual, but the offense is going to have to step it up to stay ahead of the Sooners. I like our chances again, though... Texas: @ Kansas State. Texas heads to Manhattan to play the team that absolutely has their number, hoping to win and... clinch a shared Big 12 title and BCS bid for their most hated rival? Color me shocked if UT goes down hard this week and the fanbase isn't relatively okay with it.
West Virginia 31, Iowa State 24
Riot Bowl I- was a good one as West Virginia ended up on top of a game that would have been most thrilling of the week... most weeks. The Mountaineers jumped out early, but their defense reverted to their old ways a bit, letting Iowa State roll up over 200 yards on the ground and trade the lead with West Virginia twice in the second half. Still, Tavon Austin showed why he was the real best player on West Virginia this year, as he owned the fourth quarter. Austin returned a punt for a TD (it was called back due to a block in the back, but Austin was already past the guy), scored on a 66 yard catch and run from Geno Smith and ran in the two point conversion that provided the winning margin. It's going to be a very different Mountaineer team without Austin next year, so we'll really get to see Holgorsen's coaching skills at work. Iowa State, to their credit, was in it until the end but just didn't have an answer for Austin on defense. Still QB freshman Sam Richardson gives Iowa State a great shot at a big season next year after locking up a bowl bid last week, as he is a far better quarterback than any Iowa State has had since Seneca Wallace. Best Staff Pick: HawkeyedFrog. Well... I did pick West Virginia to win and Tavon Austin to go nuts, so it's not entirely a win by default. Next week- West Virginia: Kansas. Senior day for Geno Smith and Tavon Austin against the worst team in the Big 12. What more could you want? West Virginia may hang 70 one more time. Iowa State: Done until bowl.
Texas Tech 45, Baylor 52 (OT)
Of all the games to Doege it up, Seth. Tech was rolling in this game, but Doege threw three awful interceptions and gave Baylor life each and every time it seemed Tech was about to put the game out of reach. Finally in the fourth quarter Baylor took the lead as Doege got pick 6'd and Tech struggled to stop Baylor the rest of the way. Both secondaries will have to plunge themselves into ice baths after this due to the frequency with which they were burned, and Tech finishes another season in a tailspin after a strong start. Tech lost four of its last five, with the lone win coming over 1-10 Kansas (and it was a tight one at that), which takes Tuberville from the Arkansas/Tennessee coaching wishlist and keeps him on the Tech "we still don't really like him" list. Baylor is bowl eligible for the third year in a row for the first time ever, and as much as I hate them they deserve it. Did HF guess right?: Nope! I had Tech by 5, and was looking absolute prophetic... until the fourth quarter and OT. Next week- Texas Tech: Done until Bowl. Baylor: Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State 48, Oklahoma 51 (OT)
Allow me to quote Cool Runnings for our Cowboy friends. "You choked. It was yours for the taking, and you choked. You were ready, and ya choked. You have all the skills, you know what to do, and you choked." Oklahoma State trailed for 0 seconds during regulation. They had 14 point leads twice, and an eleven point lead late in the third quarter. They were great on the ground, going over 200 yards. Still, they lost Bedlam and this one will sting in Stillwater for years to come. Why? Landry Jones had 500 yards passing, and when they got to OT State had no chance. They passed on first and ten, got nothing, passed on second and ten, got three, and passed on third and seven and got nothing. Why they didn't put the ball and the game in the hands of Randle is beyond me, as he was the only consistent thing on offense for the cowboys late in the game, and OU came out fired up after it held the cowboys to a field goal. The Sooners ran it up the gut twice and it was all over. OU hasn't looked as good as the record has indicated all year, but somehow they're in the drivers seat for an at-large BCS bid, and TCU may actually hurt its bowl position by knocking OU out of it... still, we're going to give them all they want on defense, I'm sure. Best Staff Pick: Trey was the champ in this one, picking OU by four. Well done! Next week- Oklahoma State: @ Baylor. The Cowboys will have to pick themselves up to keep one loss from becoming two, as the Bears will be fired up in Waco after the past two weeks. Oklahoma: @ TCU. The two Oklahoma schools are playing the two private schools this week, as OU faces its toughest defense since the Notre Dame game. OU will be trying to lock up at least a share of the Big 12 title, but they've been known to come out flat the week after a hard fought game. This one will be close.