This column returns after a few weeks of general ineptitude by its writer.
The Baylor Bears are atop the Big 12 with an unblemished record after beating TCU in triple overtime. I know that brings none of you any joy, so let’s move past that and talk about the rest of the conference, which is as murky as ever.
Oklahoma State has three losses in the Big 12, and had a bye this week, as did Kansas. The Jayhawks...well, they’ve got more than three losses in the conference.
Everyone else was in action, so let’s get to the games.
Texas (6-3, 4-2 Big 12) 27, No. 16 Kansas State (6-3, 3-3 Big 12) 24
The Longhorns needed a game-winning field goal from Cameron Dicker as time expired to beat Kansas State in Austin. Sam Ehlinger completed a high percentage of his passes, going 22-29 for 263 yards, one score and a pick, and Keaontay Ingram had 139 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
So how did Kansas State keep this game within reach? Two big plays. Texas won the time of possession battle, out-gained the Wildcats 477-304 and both teams had one turnover. But Skylar Thompson’s first pass of the game was a 70-yard touchdown to Malik Knowles, and in the fourth quarter, Joshua Youngblood returned a kick 98 yards to cut Texas’s lead to three. The Longhorns dominated this game on paper, but in typical Kansas State fashion, the Wildcats found a way to make it close.
I have no idea how to evaluate either of these teams. Texas lost to TCU and two of the best teams in the country in LSU and Oklahoma. Kansas State has a win over Oklahoma but also has losses to UT, Oklahoma State and Baylor. Both the Wildcats and the Longhorns should probably be hovering around No. 25 next week.
Texas travels to Iowa State next week, while Kansas State will host West Virginia.
Texas Tech (4-5, 2-4 Big 12) 38, West Virginia (3-6, 1-5 Big 12) 17
Texas Tech came out guns-a-blazin’, if you’ll pardon the pun. The Red Raiders led 21-3 at the end of the first quarter and 35-10 at the half. West Virginia quarterback Austin Kendall threw two interceptions and was yanked in favor of Jarret Doege, brother of former Red Raider quarterback Seth Doege. Meanwhile, Texas Tech had four rushing touchdowns and Jett Duffey was 24-34 passing for 354 yards and a score.
Tech has had a couple of games this year in which they’ve dominated the opening quarters en route to wins. The Red Raiders jumped all over Oklahoma State early, and did the same to West Virginia. I’m not going to dig into the ongoing stuff about Matt Wells at Utah State because I’m uneducated on the topic and don’t want to stick my foot in my mouth. I’ll just say this — I would not want to play Tech right now.
TCU, of course, will have to travel to play Tech in Lubbock next week. The Mountaineers play Kansas State on the road.
No. 9 Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) 42, Iowa State (5-4, 3-3 Big 12) 41
I was curled up in my bed asleep Saturday night, thinking Oklahoma had this game in the bag. The Sooners led 42-21 entering the fourth quarter. But Iowa State mounted a furious comeback, scoring three touchdowns in the final 15 minutes to pull within a point. Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell elected to go for two and the win with 24 seconds left, and Brock Purdy’s pass was intercepted to seal the win for Oklahoma.
It’s tough to read much from of this game. Iowa State is a very difficult place to play, and despite their middling record, the Cyclones are a solid team. But Oklahoma did not look good in that fourth quarter, and Jalen Hurts threw a disastrous pick late in the game to give Iowa State a chance to win. Who knows, man. If you watched this game, good for you — you had more faith in the Cyclones than me, and you were treated to a thriller.
Oklahoma will play Baylor in Waco, and College GameDay will be on the premises. Iowa State will host the Texas Longhorns.