But seriously, Ranthony will have a tough challenge Friday, likely against Denzel Mims, while Raleigh is still trying to make a name for himself.
At TCU, Texada has started every game this season, recording an interception and a career-high 12 pass breakups, plus a forced fumble. He had two interceptions as a freshman, but a knee injury limited him to three games as a sophomore.
He is part of a senior class for the Frogs that enters Friday’s game with a 38-12 record, including Peach and Alamo bowl victories and a Big 12 co-championship. A victory Friday would also get these seniors their third double-digit victory season in four years and go undefeated at home for the third time in four years.
“We’ll have to take care of business this weekend, but over the years, it’s been a fun ride at TCU, and I’ve enjoyed it a lot,” Texada said. “I think we’ve definitely shown over the years that we can compete at the highest level and against any conference.”
Hopefully, Shawn Robinson is able to play, and we see this battle materialize on the field.
In the Class 6A Division I title game last year, Brewer threw for 361 yards and four touchdowns to lead Austin’s Lake Travis to a 41-13 victory. He was the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors Class 6A player of the year.
Robinson was the 2016-17 Gatorade Texas Player of the Year after accounting for 4,855 total yards and 47 touchdowns at DeSoto. One of his teammates in the Class 6A Division II title game was Baylor starting freshman offensive guard Xavier Newman.
Brewer’s first Baylor start was at Kansas on Nov. 4, when he completed 23 of 29 passes for 315 yards and three TDs in Baylor’s only win this season. He was 43-of-63 passing, both school records, for 417 yards against Texas Tech the next week, a game when the Bears’ four turnovers included an interception in the end zone and a handoff exchange inside the 10.
It sounds like GP has served as a mentor in some fashion, to Rhule, and it’s clear there is a real mutual respect there. Very different from the previous regime.
“We’ve had a lot of growing, and this is one last opportunity for us to look and see how far we are from getting where we want to be,” he said. “We’d like to be TCU at some point, in terms of where they are. We’d like to be Oklahoma. We’d like to be in contention for the Big 12 championship game. . . . We’ll play our hearts out and we’ll let the chips fall where they may.”
Statistically at least, TCU has the top-rated defense in the conference and a top-15 unit nationally, allowing just 310.6 yards and 15.1 points per game. The Horned Frogs have posted four straight second-half shutouts and haven’t allowed a second-half touchdown since a 31-24 win over West Virginia on Oct. 7.
“What they do is they just play football. There are no gimmicks,” Rhule said. “There’s no, ‘How do we figure it out?’ They just have really good players at every level of the defense – the d-line, the linebackers, the secondary. . . . It’s beautiful to watch. It’s just football. They have wrinkles, and they attack what you do.
“To me, you have to line up and run your best stuff and go make plays. Don’t turn the ball over, try to convert on third down, find a way to run the football. And if you have a chance, if it’s a one-on-one ball, go up and catch the ball. Go make the play.”
Well this seems to favor the Frogs.
Offense - TCU. Hill reportedly sat last week with a concussion. Coach Gary Patterson said Monday he is "closer to probable" this week against Baylor. Shawn Robinson made his first start in Hill's sted, and the first for any true freshman at TCU under Patterson. He was only 6-of-17 passing for 85 yards but threw a TD pass in the third and ran for 84 yards.
Defense - TCU. The Horned Frogs lead the Big 12 in rushing (91) and scoring (15.1) defense. They're third nationally in run defense and seventh in scoring. DE Ben Banogu is second in the league with 6.5 sacks and DE Mat Boesen (6) is third. Banogu boasts 13 tackles for loss. The Bears are surrendering 458.7 yards per game, which ranks 116th in the country.
Special teams - TCU. Punters Andrew David and Adam Nunez averaged a combined 42.8 yards on five punts against Texas Tech. Baylor's Connor Martin averaged only 27.6 yards on five punts against Iowa State. Martin did convert two field goals, however, sending him to 18-of-21 on the season, with four straight makes. TCU's Cole Bunce also hit a pair of FGs last week.
Huh. I don’t think TCU beating OU in the Big 12 Championship game is a disaster, but THAT’S JUST ME.
Dream: One-loss Oklahoma wins the league and finishes in the top four. This is as good as it gets, as OU would finish the season with wins over West Virginia and a ranked TCU team in the Big 12 title game. With a No. 4 spot already in hand, there wouldn't be any reason for the committee to exclude the Big 12.
Disaster: Oklahoma loses to Iowa State again, this time in the conference championship game. The Sooners have already clinched a spot and will play either TCU or Iowa State. ESPN's FPI gives TCU a 99.8 percent chance to reach the league title game, but should four-loss Iowa State pull off a miracle and win it all, the Big 12 is finished. Even a TCU win over OU would likely doom the Big 12, a crushing result considering that the conference resurrected its title game this season for the sole purpose of getting a team in the top four. FiveThirtyEight gives TCU a 30 percent chance to reach the playoff if it wins out -- behind both Auburn and Ohio State as potential two-loss champs.
GP isn’t bothered by much these days, especially behind a veteran-laden team.
“As long as everybody else is playing 10 or 11 straight weeks — as long as they’re having to do the same thing, I don’t care,” Patterson said.
The return of the Big 12 title game eliminated a second open weekend for member schools. Regular-season games previously concluded in December as other conferences hosted their title games.
“In 2014 we had two off weeks early and then we played 10 or 11 straight weeks,” Patterson said.
Patterson added that breaks do little in terms of team development late in the season.