Welcome to the Frogs O' War Weekend Warzone. It was an odd week for the Big 12- perceived contenders struggled, perceived easy wins rolled up impressive victories and the Big 12 had its first conference game of the season (involving our very own TCU Horned Frogs, no less!). The Big 12 went undefeated outside of the conference this week, which makes the writeup a lot more fun to write.
Louisiana-Lafayette 24, Oklahoma State 65- A big win for the Cowboys but one that came with a price, as starting QB Wes Lunt went down in the very early going with a knee injury. That didn't stop the Cowboys offensive efficiency though, as once redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh got into a groove he proved every bit as unstoppable as Brandon Weeden looked last year. The Ragin' Cajuns' defense probably has something to do with that, and the Cowboys will face their first stout defense in two weeks when Texas comes to town, but in the meantime the offense is not a source of concern. About that defense, though... The Cowboys are having issues all over their defense apart from tackle Calvin Barnett, so if they can't match their turnover margin from last year they'll have a hard time defending their title. Best staff pick: HawkeyedFrog picked Oklahoma State 71, Louisiana-Lafayette 14. Next week: Bye
James Madison 12, West Virginia 42- Dana Holgorsen stirred up the Mountain state this week by saying that he expected that FCS team James Madison would give his team a test- a test that the team didn't receive during their win against their in state little brother, the Marshall Thundering Herd, in week one. The margin of victory was smaller, but it seems unlikely that Coach Holgorsen feels that his team is truly tested after racking up the first 28 points. West Virginia didn't coast through to the end, as Geno Smith played just about the whole game, but that was more to pad his numbers for eventual Heisman consideration than out of any sense of danger. The Mountaineer defense is still a question mark, as the Dukes were able to make some hay on the ground before the mounting scoreboard deficit forced them to attempt to keep it close through the air. The defense will face a slightly tougher test this week, but if it's not up to snuff by the 29th the Mountaineers will be on upset alert when Baylor comes to town. That said, if the defense finishes in the top third of the league, West Virginia will likely be your Big 12 champion this year- the offense is that good. Best staff pick: Trey made it close, but we'll give it to Purple Wimple who predicted West Virginia 60, James Madison 19. Next week: Maryland
Western Illinois 3, Iowa State 37- Could Iowa State actually be a good team? The Cyclones have blown through their early season opposition, racking up three wins against a good non-AQ team (Tulsa) , an average AQ team (Iowa) and a beatdown of a decent FCS team. Quarterback Steele Jantz put together a solid performance with 3 TDs and the Cyclone offense churned out over 500 yards, but he contributed two turnovers (an interception and a fumble). Iowa State's defense seems to be the real deal as well, holding the Leathernecks to 178 yards on 2.7 yards per carry and 3.9 per pass attempt. Iowa State even appeared to pull off the magical feat of de-popularizing the backup quarterback, as the hero from the Oklahoma State game, Jared Barnett, completed less than 50% of his passes and threw a pick. We'll find out a lot more about the Cyclones as the Big 12 season opens up, as their best win (Iowa) may still turn out to be awful (and man that game was ugly). Best staff pick: Angry Trey picked Iowa State 28, Western Illinois 3. Next week: Texas Tech.
Check in with the rest of the Big 12 and TCU's two remaining non-conference opponents after the jump!
New Mexico 14, Texas Tech 49- The Raiders put up Leach-ian numbers on Saturday, over 700 yards of total offense but they did it with more balance than the pirate would care for, with 377 through the air and 325 on the ground. Seth Doege looked particularly great, throwing for 6 TDs on 35 attempts, with only eight incompletions. Tech's defense held up its end of the bargain as well, holding the Lobos offense to fewer yards than Texas did the week before- but with somewhat less efficiency, not registering a turnover and giving up a long touchdown drive. The Raiders had miscues on special teams as well, giving up a 93 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and had two fumbles, losing one. Like Iowa State though, Tech has put together great performances against a typical Tech non-conference schedule (no games against AQ teams since 2003) so we'll just have to see if this is an illusion like last season's 4-0 start, or if this could be Tuberville's best season in Lubbock. Best staff pick: HawkeyedFrog picked Texas Tech 51, New Mexico 9 (so close!). Next week: @ Iowa State.
TCU 20, Kansas 6- You'll have our TCU thoughts in the Monday Morning Quarterback, so here we'll focus on the Jayhawks. Kansas looked like a team in its first year of a new offense, as there were some things that they did- bouncing runs outside- that picked up pretty consistent yardage, and the passing game worked well as a compliment to the running game... until the running game went away (either by scheme or design) and suddenly the passing game was dreadful. Weis wants to be a strong passing team as his years at Notre Dame showed, but he doesn't have the personnel for it yet, and Dayne Crist is just not made to be an all conference level QB- he's a capable game manager, but when the game turns into a pass fest he will be left behind in the high flying Big 12. On defense the Jayhawks were passed over and run through all day, only managing to put together a single stop on TCU's offense outside of the Frogs shooting themselves in the foot, but the Jayhawks did do a decent job covering all-world receiver Josh Boyce- at the expense of the rest of their coverage. The Jayhawks may develop as the year goes on, but it's looking like it will be a long rebuild for coach Weis. Best staff pick: Angry Trey picked the smallest blowout out of all of us, 35-13, but we all have some re-evaluating to do. Next week: @ Northern Illinois.
Sam Houston State 23, Baylor 48- Looks like a beat down, doesn't it? Nope. Sam Houston State led by double digits at the half, and the illusion that Baylor wouldn't miss a beat without Robert Griffin took a hit as Baylor QB Nick Florence chucked two interceptions, was sacked three times and completed just over 50% of his passes. The Baylor secondary was hit and miss as the Bearkats moved the ball well through the air despite completing just over 50% of their passes themselves, and the Baylor defense recording three interceptions is a bit deceiving as all came when the Bearkats were in catch-up mode in the fourth quarter, which resulted in two score padding TDs and a field goal. The Bears are going to get their first significant test this week as they travel to Louisiana-Monroe, who has already upended Arkansas and taken Auburn to Overtime. If the Bears beat the warhawks without much effort it may be time to start taking the Bears seriously as bowl contenders in year 1 After Griffin. Best staff pick: HawkeyedFrog picked Baylor to win 31-21. If it weren't for those points off turnovers in the fourth I would have had it, darn it. Next week: @ Louisiana Monroe
Texas 66, Ole Miss 31- Sound the sirens, because the Longhorns have an offense. The horns were able to do absolutely everything they wanted in this one, gashing the rebels through the air as well as on the ground as David Ash solidified his hold on the starting position going 19-23 for over 300 yards and four touchdowns, while the Longhorns stable of running backs ground out 350 yards while averaging six and a half yards per carry. If the Longhorns offense can maintain this frightening pace the Big 12 may have another national title contender on their hands. Watch the special teams though, as Ole Miss had a hundred yard kickoff return for a touchdown (though when you give them eleven attempts there's always a chance). Best staff pick: Purple Wimple picked Texas to win 43-6. The margin was about right, but the Rebels did a better job of moving the ball than expected. Next week: Bye
North Texas 21, Kansas State 35- I told those guys that North Texas wasn't bad. If the Mean Green had kept the ball in the air they might have pulled this one off, as Kansas State's defense was pummeled through the air with UNT quarterback Derek Thompson doing a fantastic Casey Pachall impression in going 25-28 with no picks. North Texas and K-State had almost equivalent yardage, with the Wildcats slightly outgaining the Mean Green 373-353, but the difference was the K-State special teams as the Mean Green's poor starting field position meant they got less points out of their yards (and K-State also had a kickoff return touchdown). What does it mean? Probably not a lot, as K-State did win and were entitled to a bit of a let-down game after the absolute dredging they gave Miami last week. Collin Klein ended up accounting for almost all of Kansas State's yards again though, and keeping him healthy will be absolutely key for Kansas State to be a Big 12 contender this season, and the Wildcats could make a big jump toward the top of the polls with a win next week. Best staff pick: HawkeyedFrog picked Kansas State to win 38-14. I feel good about that one. Next week: @ Oklahma