For once this season, TCU had a marquee primetime game. The Frogs — along Arizona State-Oregon — had the attention of the entire country Saturday night in their loss to Oklahoma.
There are plenty of words that can, have been and will be written about that game, but you’re not going to find them here. Instead, we’re taking a trip around the rest of the Big 12 in what was a pretty entertaining weekend of football. And hey, let’s start with the most entertaining part!
No. 14 Baylor (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) 24, Texas (6-5, 4-4 Big 12) 10
Any TCU fan entering this week had a moral dilemma. Pull for Baylor or pull for Texas? The answer, as is always the case in times of moral dilemmas, is to pull for the funniest possible outcome, which was for the Bears to absolutely wax the Longhorns.
And lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened. Texas didn’t score a touchdown until the last play of the game. Sam Ehlinger had 200 yards passing and an interception for a QBR of 24.9. From every standpoint, the Longhorns were outclassed by Baylor. That shouldn’t be a surprise based on this season, but in a historical context, it’s pretty astounding.
The folks at Orangebloods, you understand, aren’t taking it so well.
Texas now has to beat Texas Tech in order to finish above .500 in the regular season. Baylor, meanwhile, gets to end its season against Kansas and has locked in a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game against Oklahoma.
These are wild times we live in, y’all.
No. 21 Oklahoma State (8-3, 5-3) 20, West Virginia (4-7, 2-6) 13
The Mountaineers led this game 10-7 at the half and 13-10 heading into the fourth quarter. Oklahoma State was without starting quarterback Spencer Sanders, so take that with a grain of salt, but West Virginia’s defense limited OSU running back Chuba Hubbard to 106 yards on 26 carries. Perhaps most impressively, Hubbard’s longest run was only 13 yards.
The Mountaineers have been a much better team since inserting Jarret Doege at quarterback ahead of Austin Kendall. Doege went 28-38 for 307 yards and a touchdown, and threw no interceptions. West Virginia had a chance to tie it up at the end of the game — the Mountaineers had first and 10 from the Cowboys’ 17 with 2:42 left on the clock, but couldn’t convert on fourth down.
Oklahoma State will end its season with Bedlam against Oklahoma, a game that routinely proves to be the wildest game on either team’s schedule all season (and then routinely ends with Oklahoma winning). West Virginia will play TCU in Fort Worth Friday.
No. 22 Iowa State (7-4, 5-3) 41, Kansas (3-8, 1-7) 31
Like Oklahoma State-WVU, this was a game that made you do a double take entering the fourth quarter. The Jayhawks led Iowa State 24-21 after three quarters before Iowa State woke up and scored 20 points in the final 15 minutes.
Kansas actually out-gained Iowa State 493-488, and the Jayhawks didn’t turn the ball over all game. Les Miles has Kansas on its way up out of the cellar, and while the Jayhawks probably won’t be perennial Big 12 title contenders soon, they’re headed toward respectability quicker than anyone thought. This isn’t the same Kansas team that got its doors blown off by TCU in the first game of Big 12 play.
As for Iowa State, it’s hard to be too concerned about the Cyclones. They most likely were overlooking Kansas ahead of their game against Kansas State next week, and when they needed to, they came through with a win. Brock Purdy threw for four touchdowns and ran for another. Iowa State is just fine, and Matt Campbell is still a very good coach.
As mentioned, Iowa State gets Kansas State next week, while Kansas will play Baylor.
Kansas State (7-4, 4-4) 30, Texas Tech (4-7, 2-6) 27
The Red Raiders stayed feisty in this one. Kansas State needed a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Joshua Youngblood and a 48-yard fourth-quarter touchdown from Skylar Thompson to Chabastian Taylor (great name) to stave off Texas Tech.
The Wildcats let Jett Duffey throw, which was the right decision. Duffey was inefficient, completing 28 of 49 passes for 338 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, including a pick in the fourth quarter. Matt Wells has his team fighting, but the Red Raiders are still a year or two away from winning these games.
Chris Klieman, meanwhile, has a chance to win eight games in his first season jumping up from FCS. Kansas State made a great hire bringing him in from North Dakota State, and that shows in close games like this.
Kansas State ends its year against Iowa State at home, while the Red Raiders get to play a down-and-out Texas bunch in Austin.