Well, that was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad weekend for the Big 12, wasn't it? Basically if you're a fan of a team not called the Texas Longhorns you wish you could have at least one do-over and we're only two weeks into the season. Let's look at just how bad things got for the Big 12 this week.
Central Michigan Chippewas 30, Oklahoma State Cowboys 27
Let's get this first bit out of the way- Yes, Central Michigan shouldn't have gotten a play at the end of the game. Yes, the referees screwed up in awarding an untimed down. Yes, it would be nice if they could review things like that. Now, all that said... holy damn that was a hell of a play. And despite the freaky and illegal nature of the last play, Oklahoma State let the Chippewas hang around all game and it wasn't even their first lead of the fourth quarter. CMU quarterback Cooper Rush carved up OSU completing passes at a 71% clip for eight and half yards per attempt, significantly outplaying OSU's own Mason Rudolph. Throw in OSU's sub 100 yard rushing effort and the bigger surprise seems to be that OSU "Won" the game in the first place, This... does not bode well for Oklahoma State this year.
Check out the shock and bewilderment at Cowboys Ride for Free, but be nice.
West Virginia Mountaineers 38, Youngstown State Penguins 21
So, Bo Pelini is a pretty good coach. That said, Youngstown State was not expected to be a particularly good FCS team this year, and the fact that they led West Virginia at all in this one is not a great sign for the Mountaineers (We all know about FCS harbingers of doom after last week). Still, West Virginia did win, and that's saying something in the Big 12 this week. The good news is that West Virginia found a groove in the second half, finally putting together some big plays to go with an effective running game, and the defense actually held up reasonably well, holding the Penguins to less than 50% completions, though the run defense was a bit more suspect than West Virginia fans would probably feel comfortable about. West Virginia still has the second best set of wins in the Big 12- a statement nobody thought they'd hear two weeks ago.
The Mountaineers are relieved to escape with a win at The Smoking Musket here.
Ohio Bobcats 37, Kansas Jayhawks 21
Last week's resounding victory had the Jayhawks feeling good about themselves, and many of our respected pundits also fell into the very mild hype train of thinking that Kansas could pull off consecutive victories for the first time since 2011. That... did not happen. In fact, not only did Kansas not win against the mid-tier MAC squad, they kind of got their butts handed to them, with the Bobcats ripping off the first 25 points that would provide more than enough cushion to stifle any hopes of a Jayhawks comeback. The Bobcats did the majority of their damage on the ground and on defense, rolling up 300 rushing yards with big plays and sustained drives in virtually equal amounts. Combined with a Jayhawks offensive effort that managed 29 yards on the ground, even another decent performance from KU QB Montell Cozart, there was simply no way that the Jayhawks were going to be in this one. How does that mesh with last week? Well, Kansas may well still be one of the worst teams in the FBS, but when they play one of the very worst teams in the FCS, even they can look pretty darn good. It's going to be another long wait until basketball season for the Rock Chalkers.
For further analysis of a disappointment, check of Rock Chalk Talk's piece here.
Baylor Bears 40, SMU Mustangs 13
Sometimes, even in a situation that is has the outside appearance of being sure to be terrible, you try to look on the bright side. Sure, two of our hated rivals are playing, and sure sometimes one thinks it would be nice if a meteor struck at kickoff and wiped out Baylor football forever (and SMU football as well, but it would be a long time before anyone would notice it was missing), but you console yourself with the thought- "Hey, at least I'll see a fun offensive game with a lot of fireworks!". You talk yourself into that silver lining so much that you can almost forget the dark cloud for a while... and then at halftime it's 6-6, and you realized you've spent hours of your day watching some of the most inept offensive execution you can remember outside of 2013 TCU. Fumbles, passes off the fingers, bad interceptions and inexplicable playcalling. Baylor's normally deadly offense managed to register a 55% completion rate and less than six yards per attempt and no plays of 40 yards or more. SMU on the other hand, managed a herculean 38.6% completion rate... that still almost matched Baylor's yards per attempt rate. The teams combined for nine turnovers, and generally made everyone who tuned into the game less fortunate for having memories of it.
The folks over at Our Daily Bears feel at least okay about this one, but it's hard to imagine why.
Oklahoma Sooners 59, Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 17
Oklahoma beat the stuffing out of a very bad sun belt team, and... I find it very hard to care. Oklahoma did the things that they should've done to Houston the week before, pounding them on the ground and complimenting it with a competent passing game- and not having Baker Mayfield run with the ball repeatedly. Still the issues were also there, as the secondary made ULM Quarterback Garrett Smith look much better than he probably is. This is generally the time of year where Oklahoma starts making everyone think "It was just a bad game that week, they're still OU" but... I still don't see it yet.
OU's blog Crimson and Cream Machine put up a recap which you can check here.
Texas Longhorns 41, UTEP Miners 7
The Longhorns are still the only team in the Big 12 with legitimate reason to feel pretty good about themselves through two weeks as they crushed the visiting Miners without mercy. UTEP managed just barely over 200 total yards, and one quarter of them came from one play where UTEP's Aaron Jones scored the Miner's only points of the game. The Longhorns on the other hand managed a completion rate greater than 80%, a yards per attempt average of almost nine and a very easy 400-ish yards of total offense, despite a slow first half. Texas' two game revenge tour against the teams that defeated them in infuriating fashion starts next week- Cal, OSU, you'd both better get good, and fast.
Burnt Orange Nation is about one week away from being bored of domination again, but for now they'll take it.
Arkansas Razorbacks 41, TCU Horned Frogs 38
I actually wrote the recap on this one, so I don't know what else to say about this game. All right, get it together Hawk, people expect things of you. Um... I also considered titling the postgame thread "A Pigheaded Loss", which would have also been accurate. TCU is a very talented, but not very disciplined team, and the offensive playcalling has honestly been a bit vanilla so far this year. I was really expecting something big and new this week that they'd held aside for this one, and... nothing. It may not have made the final difference on the scoreboard, but it would've made me feel better at least.
Frogs O' War is probably your favorite blog, and for good reason.
Iowa Hawkeyes 42, Iowa State Cyclones 3
Two QBs, both with 40% completion rates and less than 6 yards per attempt. One run of greater than ten yards. 42 points given up to an Iowa team that seems to hate blowing teams out almost as much as they hate showing up in the Rose Bowl. The Matt Campbell era has a long, long way to go, as even the defense that I thought was showing promise last week appears in utter disarray.
Wide Right and Natty Lite is patient, but sad.
Arizona State Sun Devils 68, Texas Tech Red Raiders 55
Taking the over on this one may be the easiest money I'll ever make. On the road for a bit of Pac 12 after dark, the Red Raiders learned a few valuable lessons. First, if you're going to base your defense around forcing turnovers over actual sound defensive play, you will need to actually force some turnovers to be successful. Secondly, if you're not going to get stops or turnovers, you have to score just about every time- and Mahomes misfired just a little too often for the Raiders to close the gap to less that 10 in the fourth quarter. Arizona State didn't really have more than just the one huge play, a 75 yard touchdown run that put the game permanently out of reach in the fourth quarter. Tech's running game was nonexistent outside of Mahomes' occasional forays past the line of scrimmage, which they had to do too many times for it to be truly effective. 73 yards rushing generally isn't enough, but if Mahomes hadn't thrown two picks it might well have been a different story.
After staying up for Pac 12 after dark, the Raiders over at Viva the Matador went to bed without a postgame! Here's the gamethread to tide you over though.