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Weekend Warzone: Big 12 Roundup Week 9

The gap between the top tier teams and the lower echelons in the Big 12 continues to grow, but who's in best position as the late season gauntlet is about to start?

Woo, Scoreboard!
Woo, Scoreboard!
Trey Fallon

TCU Horned Frogs 40, West Virginia Mountaineers 10

It could've been a lot uglier, it could've been a lot tighter.  In the end, none of it mattered too much as the Frogs simply choked the life out of West Virginia on defense and Trevone Boykin put on the performance of a lifetime through the air and ground to simply decimate the Mountaineers.  Even Boykin's stellar numbers don't tell the entire story, as both TCU and West Virginia's offenses seemed to have an issue with the dropsies, and there were at least two occasions where the quarterbacks for both teams dropped passes into the waiting arms of receivers either heading into the end zone or with enough green in front of them where it was just about a sure thing that a score was imminent, but the score is a fairly accurate barometer of the current difference between these two teams.  Boykin threw for more yardage through the air than West Virginia was able to gain in total yards- pass, rush and even punt/kick return, and scored all four of TCU's touchdowns himself, putting on a dazzling display on a night where all the nation's eyes were on Fort Worth, fitting balls through impossible windows and performing such athletic feats on the ground evading the Mountaineers pass rush that even WVU coach Dana Holgorsen tracked Boykin down to give him a high five, and declared after the game that Boykin is the best player in all of college football.  Leonard Fournette is a damn fine running back, and may be a much better pro prospect than Boykin, but arguing that he's a shoo-in for the Heisman when Boykin is performing absolutely miraculous feats is ludicrous.  Take Fournette off LSU, they're 7-1 at worst, and still in the driver's seat in the SEC West and an incredibly dangerous team. Take Boykin off of TCU and with the injuries we've suffered, we're 5-3, who do you think is more valuable?  Moving along, TCU's defense continued its season of growth and improvement, keeping the Mountaineers off the scoreboard for three of the four quarters and playing tight enough coverage that WVU QB Skyler Howard had to be absolutely perfect in his placement if they were going to pass on TCU, and he was not- completing less than half of his passes for a measly four yards per attempt and tossing a pick as well.  Things on the ground were a little better for West Virginia, but it was never consistent enough to keep WVU in the game, so you have to come out of the game feeling a bit more confident as TCU moves into the grinder part of the schedule, starting with a road trip to Stillwater.  And, for those fans that enjoy comparing victories- West Virginia played has played all four of the Big 12 title contenders, including road games with TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma, and TCU had the biggest margin of victory despite putting up just three points in the final frame.  I'm just saying.
Staff Picks: Picking TCU makes us all look good, but Simone looked the best being just one point off the final margin of victory. 
The Smoking Musket:
Woes continue in Fort Worth
Frogs O' War: Welcome home.

Oklahoma Sooners 62, Kansas Jayhawks 7

If any coach in the nation loves blowouts as much as Art Briles, it's Oklahoma's Bob Stoops- I recall one game where UNT went up to Norman and OU ran up something like 82 points on them that stands out in my memory as a particularly unsporting occasion- and nobody in college football knows how to play the poll game quite like Bob- In a road game against Mizzou, Bob was down 10 points with about four minutes left and chose to punt rather than go for it on fourth down, because he thought not that losing by 17 was more important for OU's poll position than to actually take a risk and attempt to win the game.  Now, with all of that said... there really wasn't much he could've done differently to stop this one from getting out of hand other than just taking knees after the second half kickoff.  Kansas was wholly noncompetitive with the Sooners on every position on the field, and when that happens, things like this happen.  Sometimes your third string running back will run for 7 yards per carry, and in those circumstances there's not much to learn from the game other than OU is so much better than Kansas that if they played 100 times OU still probably wins all of them.
Staff Picks: Yep, we're all good again.  Damn you Mason for just sneaking in with a higher Margin of victory than me!
Rock Chalk Talk:
Oklahoma Blasts Kansas
Crimson and Cram Machine:
Sooners Dominate Jayhawks- The most interesting thing about these articles is that they both picked the same picture as their post header.  Not to decry the content on either blog (which are both great), but I just haven't seen that happen before.

Oklahoma State Cowboys 70, Texas Tech Red Raiders 53

I watched all of this one, so I'll be a bit more clear on my thoughts.  Winning in Lubbock is hard, but Oklahoma State did it with aplomb, exploding in the second half to rally from a deficit that was 17 points for much of the first half and 10 at halftime.  There were three big difference makers for the Cowboys in the second half that contributed to a final margin that looks much more like a beating than the game I actually watched- first was a punt return touchdown by the Cowboys that pulled them within 3 after the start of the second half- a huge momentum changer as the Cowboys first two second half drives resulted in a total of 6 yards.  Then Tech turnovers absolutely crippled the Raider effort, as a fumble in OSU territory on the next drive gave the Cowboys their first lead of the game, followed by a pick that made it a two score game for the Cowboys, another fumble that allowed the Cowboys to run off some clock and finally a pick 6 ended the game.  Finally, OSU worked a two QB system expertly, alternating the starter (and passer) Mason Rudolph and the runner J.W. Walsh to put different sorts of pressure on the Raider defense and ultimately conquer Tech- something that TCU is going to have to keep a close eye on.  For the fourth time on the season OSU escapes from a situation where people had them written off for dead to maintain their undefeated status heading into next week's huge home clash with the Frogs.  Part luck, part scheme, and part opportunist, the Cowboys aren't going to be easy for anyone to beat, particularly getting each of the conference's current "Big 3" at home.
Staff Picks: Melissa, Scott, Swayze and myself were suckered in by Lubbock magic, resulting in another proof that Tech winning is never a good thing.  Everyone else was correct, particularly Samantha though- Kudods!
Cowboys Ride for Free:
Oklahoma State Vs. Texas Tech Recap- these guys need thread naming courses.
Viva the Matadors:
Second Half Turns into Horror Show

Iowa St. Cyclones 24, Texas Longhorns 0

Yeaaaah, I don't think any of us saw this coming.  Yes, ISU has only played (and lost) against some really good teams so far this season, but Texas came into this one hot and the Cyclones just crushed the Longhorns in Ames behind a serviceable game from new QB Joel Lanning, a nice game from Mike Warren and a defense that had absolutely no respect for Texas passing on them- which turned out to be for very good reason, as Texas' two QBs combined for less that 100 yards passing, letting the defense creep up and feast on the running game that has been Texas' main weapon in their winning streak.  A huge win for Paul Rhoades in the effort to keep his job, but probably an overall loss for the Big 12, as Texas was a bit more likely to make a bowl than ISU- though they would likely be in for a world of pain if they made it, as currently their offense is entirely one dimensional.  Great win for ISU!
Staff Picks: I think this our first unanimous strikeout.  No kudos as we're all losers this time.
Burnt Orange Nation: Horns Lay Egg
Wide Right and Natty Lite: ISU Embarrasses Texas