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Weekend Warzone: Big 12 Roundup Week 11

The top and bottom of the conference is coming into focus as TCU and West Virginia stay on the very edge of bowl eligibility and Baylor and Texas Tech have very different reactions to having to play real teams.

It's Big.  There aren't 12.  Life goes on
It's Big. There aren't 12. Life goes on
Trey Fallon

Baylor Bears 41, Oklahoma Sooners 12

The Bears finally played a top 25 team, and for a while it looked like the magic was about to sputter out, as the OU defense clamped down tight around the Bears early to hold Baylor to just a field goal in the first quarter, setting up the Oklahoma offense to drive down to the Baylor 2 and take the biggest crowd of Baylor fans who were actually Baylor fans ever out of the game early, only to be held out of the end zone on two consecutive Belldozer runs.  Oklahoma got a safety two plays later and got a huge return all the way down to the Baylor 12, again in the perfect situation to take the crowd out of the game and make the Bears feel a bit of pressure that they haven't faced all year... and they got just three points.  The game continued with the teams exchanging punts, but the game was lost with those two squandered red zone opportunities for the Sooners, as the stands fired up the crowd and eventually the offense got on track, while the OU offense took aim at its foot and opened fire, throwing a bad pick to turn a 12 point or less halftime deficit into 19 points and the Sooners never got closer than that.  Baylor is simply too good a team to squander opportunities against, and full credit to the Bear defense for the job they did in shutting down the Oklahoma offense, frustrating Blake Bell and stopping the run game.  Now do it again- this was just the start of your real season, not the end, and a bit of complacency will get you killed against Oklahoma State.  Meanwhile the Big 12 title and BCS dreams end here for the Sooners, but they get a chance to bolster a Cotton Bowl shot with ISU next week.
Staff Picks: HawkeyedFrog was the only Baylor skeptic, as the rest of the crew each picked Baylor to get a 21 point win.  That's some weird consistency.
Next week: Baylor- Texas Tech @ Dallas, Oklahoma- Iowa State

Kansas State Wildcats 49, Texas Tech Red Raiders 26

Texas Tech slowly drove down the field on their first drive before stalling out on the K-State 6 yard line, settling for a field goal.  Two runs later Kansas State's John Hubert was celebrating in the end zone.  Texas Tech got the ball back and slowly worked down the field in about five minutes, mixing the pass and run as best they could before capitalizing with a three yard touchdown pass.  Kansas State got the ball back and went entirely caveman ball on the Raiders, refusing to stop running until Texas Tech stopped them.  Ten running plays and two Tech Penalties later, the Wildcats were back in the end zone and you could see a bit of the wind leave the stadium in Lubbock.  Tech went three and out and the Wildcats ran on seven of the next eight plays before ending up back in the end zone again, and it was plain to see that this one was going to end up ugly.  Another Tech three and out, another K-State drive with only one pass and another touchdown.  From there on Tech may as well have been playing rock paper scissors while only able to throw scissors, as everyone in the stadium knew the runs were coming but nobody on the Tech defense knew what to do to stop it.  In the third quarter the Wildcats got a bit cute with it, trying (not particularly well) to throw the ball only to end up with incompletions and negative plays while Tech scored nine straight to get back into the game.  Until Kansas State remembered that Tech couldn't stop them on the ground, and the rout was back on.  Tech quarterback Baker Mayfield played well in relief of Davis Webb, but the Tech defense showed that they can be run on very successfully- something that TCU fans already knew, but a reminder that has to be rough for Tech fans given the matchup with Baylor next week.
Staff Picks: Both HawkeyedFrog and FroggieStyle called the upset, with my words of "Don't watch this game if you want to try feeling good about our performance against Tech" certainly ringing true.  Why didn't we run the damn ball?  Arrgh
Next week: Texas Tech- Baylor @ Dallas, Kansas State- TCU

Oklahoma St. Cowboys 42, Kansas Jayhawks 6

Oklahoma State has continued to grow into a very, very good team.  Kansas... has a very nice basketball team.  The Cowboys will get a chance to show how much they've improved next week when they take on a Texas team that just did what OSU could not- win in Morgantown.
Staff Picks: Everyone picked Oklahoma State by a ton.
Next week: Oklahoma State- @ Texas, Kansas- West Virginia

Texas Longhorns 47, West Virginia Mountaineers 40 (Overtime)

A disastrous start on the road for the Longhorns, as after a quick three and out Texas had their first punt attempt of the game blocked for a safety, and West Virginia capitalized on the ensuing free kick with a touchdown to take a quick 9-0 lead and kick a blue and gold striped crowd into a frenzy.  Lesser teams might have collapsed in that sort of disaster, but this Longhorns team is pretty darn good it turns out, as Texas forced five(!) turnovers while holding both West Virginia quarterbacks to 50% completion rates while only once giving up the big play that West Virginia lives by.  Sadly for them that one big play was enough to send the game into overtime, where the Texas offense continued to grind down the West Virginia defense and score a TD, while the Longhorn defense collected an interception on West Virginia's series to quickly put an end to the drama.  I think if Mountaineer fans could flip the outcome of their two back to back overtime games they might, but that line of thinking won't do them or us any good, as they need to win each of their last two games against the bottom feeders of the Big 12 to get a bowl bid.
Staff Picks: Patrick was the only Mountaineer true believer this week, as the rest of the pickers picked the Horns by comfortable margins.
Next week: Texas- Oklahoma State, West Virginia- @ Kansas

TCU Horned Frogs 21, Iowa State Cyclones 17

Has there ever been a game that brought about more depression in both fanbases as it was played?  If so, I don't want to hear about it.  TCU almost blew it against the Cyclones numerous times, then looked to be blowing it for sure, only to have Iowa State prove (incredibly) to be the more inept team.  Trevone Boykin ran for three touchdowns and TCU actually went to the running game in this one, leading me to think that Jarrett Anderson and Rusty Burns may not hate all running backs- just Waymon James and B.J. Catalon.  Still, good to see Boykin bust out of his slump and not turn the ball over, I really hope that next year's offensive coordinator can salvage the shellshocked mess that Boykin has become this season.
Staff Picks: FroggieStyle and Patrick both picked TCU for some reason, but their faith was rewarded!  Each somehow though that TCU was going to win by two scores though, which is kind of tragic at this point in the season.  Still, kudos to FroggieStyle for a week of perfect picks!
Next week: TCU- @ Kansas State, Iowa State- @ Oklahoma