The always highly anticipated TCU-Baylor week is upon those in both Fort Worth and Waco as the Horned Frogs and Bears prepare for what is merely a fight of bowl eligibility, but we should never overlook what is happening outside of the 90 mile stretch between the two Big 12 arch-rivals in the Lone Star State.
As we dive into the second to last weekend of the college football regular season — with a boatload of fantastic Thanksgiving week matchups to be thankful for right around the corner — here are some the latest happenings from across the Big 12 Conference.
The Snowflake generation
Is it too easy for college football players to transfer when things don’t go their way these days? Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy would like to think the answer is yes — or so it appears — after rambling on during his Monday press conference about the state of today’s society, one which he claims is plagued by a “snowflake” generation and a lack of general commitment.
Here’s a full transcription of what Gundy had to say, ironically, as a snowstorm passed through Oklahoma State’s campus that same day.
Where are we at in society today? We’ll let you decide (extra points if you got that reference).
The wonderful world of TV contracts ... and the Longhorn Network
If you already weren’t a fan of the Longhorn Network, well, you have yet another reason to complain this Saturday as the Iowa State-Texas game — one with considerable Big 12 Championship Game implications — will be broadcast exclusively on the network to meet the requirement of two games shown per season.
Why Iowa State had to be the chosen opponent? Great question. To be fair the, Cyclones didn’t appear to be much of a match for the Longhorns in the early going of the season after a 1-3 start, but that quickly changed with the emergence of freshman Brock Purdy at quarterback for Iowa State. The Cyclones have now won five games in a row since he debuted vs. Oklahoma State, and as a result, a intriguing matchup featuring the No. 15 and No. 16 teams in the nation won’t be the easiest to access.
As for the national prime time games. You can watch UCF vs. Cincinnati on ABC, or Oklahoma vs. Kansas (not a typo) on FOX. And this perhaps might be the greatest irony of all:
Saturday night, rejected Big 12 expansion candidates UCF and Cincinnati will play in primetime on ABC while Big 12 incumbents Texas and Iowa State play in prime time on Longhorn Network.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 15, 2018
Kickoff for the Iowa State-Texas game is set for 7 p.m. CT Saturday at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. So if you have the Longhorn Network available, hey, count your blessings.
Oklahoma’s defensive “deficiency”
If No. 6 Oklahoma runs the table and still gets left out of the College Football Playoff, it shouldn’t be hard to determine what specific area the committee held against the three-time defending Big 12 champions.
It appeared as if Oklahoma’s continually maligned defense had perhaps finally turned a corner after the firing of Mike Stoops in October, as the Sooners held TCU to just 27 points in their first game under the direction of interim defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill on Oct. 20.
Except only that was a bit of fools gold, as we saw last each of the last two weekends en route to a combined 93-points surrendered by the Sooners in narrow victories over Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. CFP committee chair Rob Mullens was quick to label Oklahoma’s defense a “deficiency” in the latest rankings show on Tuesday.
As crazy as it might sound, you could even make a sound argument that dismissing Stoops from his post was the wrong decision. Per ESPN’s Jake Trotter — the Oklahoma defense has statistically been worse off, in terms of efficiency, since the changing of the guard that fans long demanded.
The Sooners have actually been worse defensively since firing Mike Stoops. In six games under Stoops, OU posted a defensive efficiency rating of 46.7. In four games under Ruffin McNeill, OU’s rating is 41.9.— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 12, 2018
Still not convinced Oklahoma’s defense is a problem? If that’s the case, this stat below might finally do the trick:
............— Kegan Reneau (@KeganReneau) November 15, 2018
Oklahoma has allowed more points this season (298) than Alabama has this season and last season (294).
Saban’s Tide have played 24 games in that stretch to Oklahoma’s 10.
Ouch. And with the prospect of facing Will Grier and West Virginia in back-to-back weeks — first in Morgantown and then a potential rematch in the Big 12 Championship Game — get ready for the Sooners to find themselves in at least one more shootout before the dust settles.