Well, the college football regular season is over for the Big 12.
It ended pretty much the way you thought it might — Oklahoma is your regular season champion. Maybe you didn’t see the rise of Baylor coming, and maybe you were one of those dumb-dumbs that thought Texas was actually back. (I secretly thought Texas might be back, to be clear.)
So for one last time before the bowls, let’s go Around the Big 12 and see what we can find. Don your protective goggles and make sure you’re wearing close-toed shoes, please.
Texas (7-5, 5-4 Big 12) 49, Texas Tech (4-8, 2-7) 24
In the first quarter, Texas Tech led this game 14-0. I was hightailing it up I-35 trying to get back from my hometown to Fort Worth to watch the TCU game, so I missed just how exactly that all happened. But whatever was working for the Red Raiders was short-lived. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger was 19-27 for 348 yards and two touchdowns (Is that good? That seems good.) while Texas Tech quarterback Jett Duffey mostly threw to nobody in particular. He slung it 58 times, completing 38 passes for 399 yards and two touchdowns.
It’s the type of win that, combined with a win over the Longhorns’ bowl opponent, could convince people that Texas will be back for real next year. Ehlinger will be a senior, the injury bug might not bite as bad as it did this season and Tom Herman might make some rumored coordinator changes. Be prepared to deal with the Longhorn Hype Machine once again in 2020.
Tech will likely start Duffey moving forward, unless Alex Bowman can stay healthy and win his job back in camp. This is Matt Wells’ first year with the Red Raiders, so let’s refrain from passing judgment just yet.
Baylor (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) 61, Kansas (3-9, 1-8) 6
The scoreline makes me physically ill when I look at it, so we won’t dwell too much on this game. Kansas had six turnovers — that’s all you need to know.
Baylor has an outside shot at a New Years Six bowl, which would be pretty impressive for Matt Rhule in Year Three of his tenure with the Bears. I have no mean things to say.
Kansas continued its tradition of embarrassing one Big 12 team per year, and for the first year of Les Miles’ time in Lawrence, that should be considered a success.
Oklahoma (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) 34, Oklahoma State (8-4, 5-4) 16
The Sooners continued their dominance on the ground, putting up 283 yards against the Cowboys and only attempting 17 passes. This was a bloodless win. Oklahoma did what it needed to do, didn’t embarrass Oklahoma State and really never looked in danger of losing, except perhaps when OSU cut it to 20-16 in the third quarter.
Which — of course Oklahoma was never in danger of losing! This is Bedlam, the most one-sided rivalry in college sports. Oklahoma State has won 18 times in 114 tries against the Sooners. OU has won 15 of the last 17 games. Can Bedlam be fun and wacky and close? Absolutely. Is Bedlam “unpredictable?” Absolutely not.
In order to make the College Football Playoff, Oklahoma needs to beat Baylor like a drum in the Big 12 title game, needs LSU to stomp Georgia in the SEC title game and probably needs Utah to lose the Pac-12 title game. All of those things are not necessarily off the table.
Oklahoma State will make a bowl. That is all the analysis about the Cowboys that I have at this time.
Kansas State (8-4, 5-4 Big 12) 27, Iowa State (7-5, 5-4) 17
This game was tied at the half and tied after three quarters, but the Wildcats were able to knock off a ranked Iowa State team by scoring 10 points in the final quarter and forcing the Cyclones to punt twice. In very Kansas State fashion, the Wildcats won despite quarterback Skylar Thompson going 5-12 for 57 yards and an interception. Iowa State was held to just 51 rushing yards.
I have no idea how Kansas State finished with a better record than Iowa State this season. The Cyclones were a solid third in the Big 12 in my mind entering the year, but they never beat any team they weren’t supposed to. Kansas State, meanwhile, upset Oklahoma, which proved to be huge in the final standings.
If anything, this might dull the hype for Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell to take another job. Big programs have been circling Ames like vultures ready to pluck Campbell away from the Cyclones, but this seven-win year might cool the heat and give him more time to work with quarterback Brock Purdy and other young talent.
Chris Klieman will make a Big 12 title game in the next five years at Kansas State. Mark my words.