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Weekend Warzone: Big 12 Roundup Week 4

Conference play started for much of the Big 12 this week, and we pick up the pieces and draw conclusions- as well as gloat over who was right.

Riff Ram
Riff Ram
Trey Fallon

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 27, Kansas Jayhawks 14

This was a game that everyone knew was going to be a disaster going into it, and for the most part it lived up to the billing.  Both programs are absolute wrecks, but the difference is that Kansas' ship has already gone down and they're attempting a salvage operation, while Rutgers is like the Titanic just after it hit the iceberg- still afloat, but it's taking on water fast and is going down.  If you need a win right now, you're better off on the S.S. Rutgers, but in a couple of years Kansas will be afloat again, while Rutgers will be mired at the bottom of the Big Ten standings for a long time to come.  
Staff picks: Most of us are in the clear, but Jamie, Melissa, Scott and Sam believed in Kansas a few years too early.  Warrior was closest!
Rock Chalk Talk:
Kansas falls
Next week: @ Iowa State Cyclones

Baylor Bears 70, Rice Owls 17

Baylor played a football game against a non-conference opponent that wasn't very good and won by a lot.
Staff picks: Melissa had the biggest margin of victory, but we all got the pick.  
Our Daily Bears:
Baylor Bears 70, Rice Owls 17- great title guys.
Next week: Vs. Texas Tech (@ Dallas)

West Virginia Mountaineers 45, Maryland Terrapins 6

Maryland isn't a very good football team, while West Virginia not only looked good, but got the breaks as well.  When the Terps were knocking on the door and endeavoring to make it into an actual football game in the second quarter, the Maryland RB fumbled on the West Virginia goal line, turning a touchdown into a touchback and making the game even more of a laugher than it would have been otherwise.  The Mountaineers picked of Maryland QBs five times in this contest, which is just not something that any team is going to be able to overcome- but you have to take some of these things with a grain of salt as you'll see in our next game.  Things are about to get real for the Mountaineers in a hurry, with three consecutive contests the teams picked to finish at the top of the league this year, so they'll show in short order just how threatening they're going to be when they head to Fort Worth.  
Staff picks: Melissa is on a roll, two in a row with the closest margin.
Smoking Musket:
WVU Dominates Maryland
Next week: @ Oklahoma Sooners.

Oklahoma State Cowboys 30, Texas Longhorns 27

This is a game that really showed the contrast in the non-conference scheduling philosophy of the two programs- Texas challenged itself with a tough non-conference slate and ended up bloody and bruised, while Oklahoma State coasted through a few games against some lower tier teams with a spotless record and sporting a top 25 ranking.  When they were on the field together we learned that they're at about the same place in terms of being an actual good football team- After forcing a ton of turnovers last week and making people think "The OSU defense is back!" the Cowboys got one turnover out of the Longhorns this week while giving up three of their own, resulting in a game that seemed sure to head to overtime... until the Longhorns blew it on special teams for the second week in a row, giving OSU the chance to kick a short game winning field goal without even needing to pick up a first down- and just like that, Charlie Strong's tenure as Texas coach takes another hit.  Particularly of note is that Jerrod Heard looked much more mortal this week, completing less than half of his passes and failing to record a touchdown through the air or on the ground, but he still is going to be an absolute handful when the Horns come to Fort Worth this weekend.  As for OSU, they moved the ball well, but QB Mason Randolph was picked off twice and was brutalized by the Longhorns pass rush- bad signs as they enter conference play.
Staff picks: Rusty and Swayze made the Strong choice and were burned for it, while the rest of us got it right- Simone was closest though.
Cowboys Ride for Free:
What just happened?
Burnt Orange Nation: Another special teams Mistake
Next week (Texas): @ TCU Horned Frogs
Next week (OSU): Vs. Kansas State Wildcats

TCU Horned Frogs 55, Texas Tech Red Raiders 52

Let's get this out of the way- yes, the last play of the game was a fluky way to win, and Boykin's two point conversion was improperly called good..  Am I even remotely sorry for it?  Not even close.  After 2013's Tech official voodoo (and one of the most baffling overturned fumble rulings I've ever seen this year) we were due a break in Lubbock and we got it from the arm of Trevone Boykin, off of the fingertips of Josh Doctson and into the hands of Aaron Green.  Speaking of our TCU triplets, let's start our review there- Boykin had a superlative game that was worthy of him being the Heisman frontrunner, accounting for over 500 yards of offense while throwing 4 touchdown passes and collecting a pass for a two point conversion that was apparently too close to overturn, and he did it with his once stacked receiving corps reduced to backups and one single shining light.  Josh Doctson was absolutely incredible today, tying the TCU and Big 12 record for receptions in a single game with 18 for 267 yards and three touchdowns- while also guiding the game winning touchdown into the hands of Aaron Green- I'll say it right now, if Doctson isn't the frontrunner for the Biletnikoff award at this point, they should stop giving it out.  Finally, Aaron Green was superlative, he did a great job following his blocks and staying low to squirt free for first downs, while also delivering the play of a lifetime in the back of the end zone.  That's the good- now let's turn to the bad.  TCU's O-line held quite a bit and was called on it just about every time.  The defense showed some growth from last week's performance, but continued to bail Tech out of punt situations with stupid penalties, and Corry O'Meally will be targeted the first pass play of every game from now on- but given the current depth chart and where we were playing, it was an incredible win for the Horned Frogs and a heartbreaking loss for the Raiders.  We'll see how both teams respond from an incredibly emotional game this week- whether Tech comes out angry and determined, or is prepared to lose the TCU game twice in a row, and whether TCU can marshall the resolve for an interesting date with the Longhorns.
Staff Picks: Everyone picked the Frogs, moderate shame on Warrior for not taking the Vegas over of 84 points though.  Rusty had the margin perfect though.
Frogs O' War: Is great, especially that Hawkeyed guy.
Missed opportunities.
Next week (TCU): Vs. Texas Longhorns
Next week (Tech): Vs. Baylor Bears (@ Arlington)

And because the horse is still dead- James Madison Dukes 48, SMU Mustangs 45

Remember what I said last week about SMU being really terrible, but getting really up for one game a year to make us look bad?  Yeah, that.