What where you doing when you got the text message that Oklahoma had tied up Baylor in the fourth quarter?
I’d wager that most casual college football fans, along with ardent fans that have a strong anti-Baylor streak, had flipped off the OU-Baylor game sometime around the second quarter. But once Jalen Hurts and company were well on their way to ruining the Bears’ undefeated season, every pair of eyeballs in the country turned back to ABC.
We’ll delve more into that game in a minute. First let’s take another journey around the Big 12 in Week 12.
West Virginia (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) 24, Kansas State (6-4, 3-4) 20
Whoa, what the hell happened here? Kansas State entered this game ranked No. 24 in the nation and West Virginia came in after getting its doors blown off by Texas Tech the week before. But the Mountaineers benched quarterback Austin Kendall and decided to start Jarret Doege, who threw for three touchdowns and 234 yards — at Kansas State — to deliver the win for West Virginia.
Kansas State out-gained West Virginia by more than 100 yards, 421 to 319. But Wildcat quarterback Skylar Thompson threw two interceptions and the Mountaineers didn’t turn the ball over once. That’s a recipe for a weird win, and that’s exactly what occurred.
Both of these programs are under new head coaches. Entering this week Chris Klieman looked as though he hadn’t lost a step moving from FCS North Dakota State to Kansas State, while former Troy coach Neal Brown was slowly but steadily implementing his scheme in Morgantown. But now Brown beat Klieman head to head. I don’t know what any of that means, but it sure is interesting!
West Virginia will host Oklahoma State Saturday. Kansas State travels to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech.
Oklahoma State (7-3, 4-3) 31, Kansas (3-7, 1-6) 13
This game went exactly as you thought it would. Chuba Hubbard had two touchdowns running, Kansas had three separate quarterbacks throw interceptions and the Jayhawks didn’t score until the fourth quarter. It’s a waste of my time and yours to talk about this game any more than that.
Oklahoma State goes on the road to play West Virginia Saturday, while Kansas travels to Iowa State.
Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1) 34, Baylor (9-1, 6-1) 31
Alright, let’s talk about it.
Baylor is a legitimately very good team that has had very fortunate breaks in multiple games this year leading to wins. Oklahoma is a box of firecrackers that has every fuse lit at all times. This game was going to be crazy, but I don’t think anyone expected just how crazy it would get.
Not all of Baylor’s first-half performance was smoke and mirrors. The Bears’ defense is for real, and OU quarterback Jalen Hurts has been wobbly in recent games. Everything broke Baylor’s way in the first two quarters, and — although Parker Fleming may kill me for saying this — the momentum was very real. This was the biggest game in Baylor history with the exception of the TCU game in 2014, and the crowd was on another level.
In the second half, everything regressed to the mean. OU’s offense woke up, while Baylor’s offense stopped doing everything perfect at every step. Charlie Brewer was human again — there’s a theory floating around that he’s hurt, and that’s why his passes don’t have any zip. It wasn’t zip that was the problem on the last drive for Baylor, though. Brewer made the same mistake two plays in a row, firing passes directly at Oklahoma’s Nik Bonitto. The first pass bounced off Bonitto’s hands; the second was intercepted.
Do you know how many plays Baylor ran in the second half? Sixteen. Sixteen total plays. The drive chart went one play (fumble), three-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out, six plays (pick on last drive). That’s not going to cut it against Oklahoma.
Now the Sooners are top of the heap in the Big 12 once again, and because they’re Oklahoma and their non-conference schedule (Houston, South Dakota, UCLA) was several orders of magnitude better than Baylor’s (Rice, UTSA, Stephen F. Austin), OU still has an outside shot at a playoff appearance if one or two things break right. Baylor probably has to hope for a Big 12 title and a Sugar Bowl slot.
Oklahoma will host TCU next week. Baylor will travel to play the Texas Longhorns.
Hey, speaking of Texas....
Iowa State (6-4, 4-3) 23, Texas (6-4, 4-3) 21
You know what time it is — time to check out the fine folks at Orangebloods.com.
Should I post the gif? I think I should post the gif.