With Halloween finally upon us, TCU football finishes the month of October having received far more tricks than treats. The Horned Frogs did not any of their games this month, sending them to their first three-game losing streak in five years.
And perhaps those woes are even more of a reason for us to venture outside of Fort Worth as the action heats up across the Big 12 entering the stretch run of the 2018 season. With Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Iowa State and Texas Tech all at two losses or fewer in conference play, we’re bound to have a dramatic finish in determining who will play at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Dec. 1.
Here are some of the latest rumblings from across the conference as we prepare to enter the month of November in less than 24 hours.
Mike Gundy isn’t here for your tweets
Oklahoma State recorded its biggest win of the season last Saturday as the Cowboys recorded a 38-35 upset victory over No. 6 Texas — the first top 10 victory for the Pokes since knocking off No. 8 TCU in November 2015. And at the center of it all: quarterback Taylor Cornelius, who threw for 321 yards and accounted for 5 total touchdowns after an enduring a season-full of ups and downs prior to the win over the Longhorns.
And had it not been for Cornelius’ best performance of 2018, we may not have ever learned about Mike Gundy’s true feelings towards everyone’s favorite social media platform during his postgame press conference.
When asked about previous criticism Cornelius had received during the season over platforms such as sports talk radio and Twitter, Gundy had this to say about the latter.
“I don’t give a rat’s ass about Twitter. It’s a platform for people that are sitting home drawing unemployment checks sitting in front of a keyboard. I just kind of feel like social media and Twitter is kind of what’s destroying this country anyway. That’s how I feel about it. It gives people a platform to bitch, and then other people are needling it and they’re sitting at home and they’re late on a payment.” - Mike Gundy
Mike Gundy has a message about Twitter criticism: pic.twitter.com/kOBzr9xaWM— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) October 28, 2018
Was it Gundy’s best presser since he declared himself a 40-year-old man 11 years ago? You be the judge. That was also centered around quarterback criticism, so maybe we shouldn’t have been so surprised by the way the man with the mullet responded Saturday night.
Is Lincoln Riley’s time in Norman limited?
Don’t let that subhead fool you. Lincoln Riley is the last man on the hot seat as No. 7 Oklahoma continues to put up video game-like numbers on offense in the Sooners’ second season under his direction. The problem with Riley, rather, is that his success may ultimately lead to NFL franchises attempting to poach him.
Alas, rumors began swirling on Monday when it was announced that the Cleveland Browns had fired head coach Hue Jackson. If offered, would Riley dare depart from Norman to rejoin his former quarterback — Baker Mayfield — along the shores of Lake Erie? And let’s not forget the Dallas Cowboys, who may very well decide to move on from Jason Garrett at the end of this season if the desired results aren’t seen on the football field.
Well, you might as well call it all outside noise. Riley told reporters on Monday that while he wouldn’t say never (one can only look so far into the future) that he currently has no desire to venture away from the Palace on the Prairie for the NFL anytime soon.
Oklahoma has only lost two regular season games since Riley was named head coach in June 2017, posting an overall mark of 19-3. The Sooners are undefeated in true road-games in the Riley era as they head to Lubbock for an primetime showdown with Texas Tech on Saturday.
Is it time Bill Snyder to call it quits?
Everyone loves Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder. And how could you not admire the 79-year-old figurehead in Manhattan — known for his handwritten letters, customary cups of coffee and more — who is now in his 27th season with the program across two tenures?
Well, a 3-5 start for K-State hasn’t exactly been encouraging, and based on recent recruiting trends and more, the long-term outlook isn’t exactly encouraging for the Wildcats if major changes don’t arrive soon. The Wildcats haven’t reached 9 wins or more since 2014, and could endure their first losing regular-season under Snyder since 2005 — the final year of his first run in Manhattan — if the tides don’t turn in the coming weeks.
As the saying goes, adapt or die .... even if it means parting ways with the author of one of the greatest turnarounds the sport has ever seen.
“It’s time for Bill Snyder to retire. This is a job for a younger man with fresher ideas and the same fire in his eyes and boundless energy Snyder possessed when he arrived in Manhattan in December of 1988.” — Tim Fitzgerald, GoPowercat.com
Snyder’s absence on the sidelines would certainly take some getting used to if somebody else does indeed fill his shoes next season. Snyder, for one, has now plans to retire as he prepares to turn 80 next season with a contract extension that runs through 2022.
Nonetheless, it appears that Snyder may be running out of wizardry — if recent results are any indicator — and that’s something which undoubtedly must be addressed before the hole is too deep for Kansas State to climb out of.
Playoff rankings are here!
Before I get all of you any more excited, I have some bad news: The TCU Horned Frogs were not featured in the initial College Football Playoff rankings of the 2018 season on Tuesday.
But that’s alright, because four Big 12 teams did crack the top 25 that once again featured a pair of SEC teams in the first top four of the year (surprise, surprise). That included a relatively surprising but encouraging appearance from Iowa State, who checked in at No. 24 amid a three-game win streak. The Cyclones have now been featured in the opening playoff rankings in back-to-back seasons, and for a program that was winning just three games a season as recently a 2016, hats off to coach Matt Campbell.
Here’s a rundown of how the Big 12 as a whole fared on Tuesday:
No. 24 Iowa State
No. 17 Texas
No. 13 West Virginia
No. 7 Oklahoma
So could any Big 12 team outside of the top 25 play spoiler? Well, the Horned Frogs only have one of those teams left on their schedule, as TCU travels to Morgantown to take on West Virginia in just over a week. Of course, the Mountaineers first half to take care of business against Texas in Austin on Saturday if they are to remain a realistic player in the College Football Playoff picture by the time TCU heads to easternmost outpost in the Big 12.
Below are the full rankings as we head into the first weekend of November: