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Weekend War Zone: TCU and OU stand alone atop the Big 12

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Separation Saturday cleared up the conference title race and set up an elimination round of sorts next week.

NCAA Football: Texas at Texas Christian Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

The wheat and the chaff are separating with just three weeks left in the regular season, as TCU and OU stand alone at the top of the Big 12 standings with their face-off looming Saturday in Norman. It was a wild weekend in America’s Best Conference (trademark pending), and is sure to be a crazy finish.

Texas 7, TCU 24

Was it pretty? No. But it didn’t need to be. Once TCU went up 7-0 (which was almost instantly) over the Longhorns, Gary Patterson turned up the heat on D and Sonny Cumbie took his foot off the gas. When the tally climbed to 10-0, this game was all but over. While the Texas defense is certainly one of the best two or three best in the conference, the offense might be one of the two or three worst. With Sam Ehlinger sidelined once again, Shane Buechele was terrorized on all but one drive by a defensive front that took advantage of the injury-ravaged UT offensive line to the tune of seven sacks, 12 tackles of loss, and three hurries, while also breaking up nine passes. The Horns got one good drive - which was basically comprised of three successful jump balls, but rushed for just nine total yards and never made it into the red zone. Kenny Hill had a mediocre stat line, but he didn’t turn it over, made several key third down conversions with his legs, and took ownership of a game plan that was very vanilla - because it could be. The Frogs got the bounce back game they needed, and have restored their confidence heading into a big battle for first place. For UT, bowl eligibility is still (barely) in play, and the people are trying hard to withhold credit from TCU, who won the season matchup for the fourth straight year. Burnt Orange Nation is unimpressed, while we have plenty to like about Saturday’s win.

Next Up:

TCU travels to Norman for a de-facto regular season title game, while the Horns have a chance for revenge against Kansas, LOL.

Oklahoma 62, Oklahoma State 52

Bedlam more than lived up to its name once again, as Butcher Junepasture set multiple offensive records on one side of the ball and the Sooner defense did the same on the other - though theirs weren’t much worth celebrating. It was a back and forth affair with a couple of possibly controversial calls, including a big overturned fumble that swung momentum away from the Pokes (and was probably the right call). Mayfield threw for just shy of 600 yards and added five touchdowns, Rudolph 448 and five scores himself, as the two teams combined for 1,446 yards and 114 points. Defense was optional in this old school shootout, as there were just five punts all day. Oklahoma State is now behind the eight ball when it comes to the Big 12 Championship game, as they will need TCU to lose twice and to beat Iowa State to make it in. Their playoff dream is all but shattered as well. Crimson and Cream Machine is celebrating their Bedlam win and Playoff dreams staying alive, while Cowboys Ride For Free is bemoaning missed opportunities.

Next Up:

Oklahoma will put its high-powered offense against TCU’s top-rated defense and their duct taped defense against the Frogs struggling offense in a battle for first place. The Cowboys travel to Ames for an elimination game against Iowa State.

Iowa State 16, West Virginia 20

The Clones defense continued its strong play, as Will Grier had a strong bounce back performance but couldn’t lead his team to any points in the second half. Unfortunately for ISU, they scored just once in the first half, settled for field goals twice inside the ten yard line, and looked overall lackluster on the road coming off of their big win over TCU the week prior. WVU became bowl eligible with the victory, while Iowa State fell out of first place in the conference and will now need some help to make it to Arlington in December. Wide Right and Natty Lite is wanting a couple plays back, while The Smoking Musket has a recap as well as some potential title game scenarios for the Eers.

Next Up:

The Cyclones get Oklahoma State at home in what basically serves as an elimination game, while WVU heads to Manhattan to take on a Kansas State game that is starting to figure things out on offense.

BayLLLLLLLLWor 38, Kansas 9

Baylor did a thing and beat what is now, certifiably, the worst Power Five team in America. At least the Bears have continued to look like a team that could feasibly be competent in the near future, while the Jayhawks look more and more like a program that is looking towards basketball season. Our Daily Bears are excited about true freshman Charlie Brewer’s big day, while Rock Chalk Talk decided against a recap. But who can blame them.

Next Up:

Baylor is a home dog against Texas Tech, while Kansas will likely get destroyed by a Texas team hell-bent on revenge.

Kansas State 42, Texas Tech 35 (OT)

In one of the most entertaining games of the season, the Cats overcame a fourth quarter deficit to tie things up against that supposedly improved Red Raider defense, and put things away in the first OT. Alex Delton looked good early for Bill Snyder’s squad, but went down late in the second quarter with an injury and was replaced by freshman Skylar Thompson, who was effective and efficient enough to get the win. Nic Shimonek put up a ton of stats, but couldn’t get enough done late, as Tech was out-scored 18-7 in the fourth quarter and OT. Viva the Matadors is calling for Kliffy’s head, while Bring on the Cats likes the way their team responded during gut-check time.

Next Up:

The Red Raiders will try and bounce back against Baylor, while K State has a tough one at home against WVU as they try and get to six wins.