Texas Tech Red Raiders 42, Iowa State Cyclones 35
They can get their butts kicked by an FCS team, they can get pounded by their in-state rival before a mad rally makes the score look respectable, they can have victories unfairly ripped from their hands by incompetence but everyone knows that when a Paul Rhoads team hits the Big 12 schedule they're going to fight. Tech rolled up over double the yardage of Iowa State, had very solid rush numbers for the first time in Big 12 play and didn't seem to miss a beat in the transition to quarterback Davis Webb... and yet the Cyclones hung around, forcing turnovers, getting plays in the return game and never fell too far behind. I'm impressed by Iowa State for coming to play despite the incredibly deflating fashion in which they lost last week, but I'm also impressed by Texas Tech toughing out the adversity, never trailing and (most especially) the ground game against a Cyclone front that did pretty well against Texas. Call it one of those moral victories, like the ones TCU has been racking up this year.
Next week: Texas Tech- @ West Virginia, Iowa State- @ Baylor
Staff Predictions: All three of us picked Tech, but Jamie had the closest score, picking Tech by 11.
Baylor Bears 35, Kansas State Wildcats 25
Funny things happen to teams on the road, especially teams with young quarterbacks. After a thorough announcer lickfest of the Bears during the TCU/Kansas game, I'm sure that fans were dumbfounded as Baylor struggled mightily against the one dimensional wildcats- a team not particularly celebrated for their defensive prowess this season. Self proclaimed Heisman candidate Lache Seastrunk was a nonfactor, being solidly outplayed by K-State Quarterback/Running back/sole offensive weapon Daniel Sams, who rumbled for 202 yards and three touchdowns at 6.7 a carry. Announcer proclaimed Heisman candidate Bryce Petty looked fairly ordinary, not throwing interceptions but barely completing 50% of his passes, often finding either a home run ball or nothing at all. For the Wildcats, who led the game going into the fourth quarter, it's a frustrating loss to a team that they sorely wanted revenge on, and will be left needing to upset either TCU, Oklahoma or Texas Tech if they're going to make it back to a bowl this year. For the Bears it's a warning shot that things aren't going to be so easy for them once the schedule toughens, and though Baylor should be able to handle its business the next two weeks they are going to have an absolute gauntlet the last five weeks of the season- and a team that hasn't been battle tested to take it on. Baylor may still be the best team in the conference, but the belief that they're far and away the best died in Manhattan.
Next week: Baylor- Iowa State, Kansas State- Bye
Staff Predictions: Everyone picked a Baylor win, but HawkeyedFrog had the closest margin at 19- and predicted a two score margin in the fourth quarter that a K-State turnover would salt away.
Texas Longhorns 36, Oklahoma Sooners 20
Sometimes it's enough to just say the college football is really weird. OU went away from the power running game to their detriment, while Blake Bell made the mistakes that TCU could have really used him making last week, while the Longhorns displayed their skills at not screwing up when the pressure is off. The Horns seized control early, and OU never put them in the position where they would break- and as a result our friend Fungo is somewhat poorer this week. I'm not going to read too much into this win, other than it being good for Mach Brown, as the Longhorns did lose against Iowa State last week before being handed the game by the referees, but it does show that Greg Davis is a much better coordinator than Manny Diaz... which is kind of shocking.
Next Week: Texas- Bye, Oklahoma- @ Kansas
Staff Predictions: We all picked OU by lots (one of us even put money on it), so instead gape in wonder at Philly Frog and his prediction of Texas winning. What in the world inspired you predict that I have no idea... yet here we are.
TCU Horned Frogs 27, Kansas Jayhawks 17
The Frogs and Jayhawks must have checked out the tape from last years game (you can watch it here) and enjoyed it so much that they decided to stage a reenactment. Once again the Frogs had multiple inexplicable fumbles that made what would have otherwise been an absolute laugher of a game into a one possession game until late in the fourth quarter. Every Jayhawk point came off of a TCU turnover, Kansas was crushed on the ground (held below 1.5 ypc) and Jake Heaps completed exactly 50% of his passes with a pick (that should have been a couple were it not for some dropsies in the secondary) and a touchdown as it was foretold. The Frogs can't feel too good about the way this win came about, but I imagine it's a relief to have it in the bank and be out of the Big 12 basement. Now the climb out of the basement starts. Win against Oklahoma State and you know, based on what I saw today two losses doesn't necessarily put us out of the conference title race...
Next Week: TCU- @ Oklahoma State, Kansas- Oklahoma