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Around the Big 12 in Week Four: Bye, Bye, Bye

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With three of the 10 teams in the Big 12 on a bye week, there was only one surprise in the conference (and, yeah, it came in Fort Worth).

Oklahoma State v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Before we launch into this week’s Around the Big 12 recap, let’s first look back at the final part of the most recent article I wrote for this fine website:

Oops!

The TCU-SMU game has been written about at length on this website and others, so I’ll skip the hand-wringing and move along to the remainder of the Big 12. Three of the 10 teams in the conference were on a bye week, and there were two in-conference games, so this recap might be a little shorter than normal.

Texas 36, Oklahoma State 30

So Texas won this game, and probably deserved to do so. But the Cowboys made it close, and the Longhorns needed a double-reverse-flea-flicker-wheel-route touchdown in the fourth quarter to pull away. That obviously doesn’t de-legitimize the win, but it does mean that Texas couldn’t run its standard stuff against Oklahoma State well enough to secure victory.

Sam Ehlinger went 20-28 passing for 281 yards and four scores, and added another 70 yards on the ground. Was it “Heisman-worthy,” as ESPN called it on the thumbnail of the highlight video? No, especially not in the context of the current quarterback climate, in which Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts and Taylor Lawrence are thriving. But it was a very good game for Ehlinger. Texas has a bye next week before playing West Virginia.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State’s quarterbacks didn’t throw a single touchdown. As best as I can determine, that’s only happened for the Cowboys 20 times since 2005. Spencer Sanders didn’t have a bad game — he was 19-32 for 268 yards, but he threw three picks in the process. Oklahoma State hosts Kansas State Saturday.

West Virginia 29, Kansas 24

These teams aren’t good, let’s be clear. The Mountaineers gave up three touchdowns to Kansas’ Carter Stanley and didn’t have a passing touchdown of their own. Kansas turned the ball over twice and didn’t force any turnovers from West Virginia.

This game shouldn’t mean anything in a bigger context, and I’m certainly not smart enough to see if it does. So let’s just move on.

Kansas travels to TCU next week. West Virginia has a bye before hosting Texas.

Iowa State 72, UL-Monroe 20

Good lord, what happened here? Iowa State scored on four passing touchdowns, four rushing touchdowns, a pick-six and three field goals. The Cyclones had 714 total yards of offense! This game was 27-13 at the half, and then ISU led 48-20 after three quarters, and then the ‘Clones just kept going, winning the fourth quarter 24-0.

Per the invaluable sports-reference.com, that’s the highest point total for Iowa State since 2000. (The program high of 87 points was scored against something called Simpson College in 1904, per the ISU media guide.) It’s also the highest yardage output in Cyclone history. This was an evisceration, plain and simple.

Iowa State travels to play Baylor for what should be a very, very interesting game that should have a big impact in the final Big 12 standings.

Baylor 21, Rice 13

Baylor won this game, and that’s really all that matters — avoiding an SMU-like upset was the only thing the Bears cared about.

It’s probably not a good sign that the Baylor offense was blanked in the second half, however. Charlie Brewer threw for 303 yards and a score on 20-27 attempts and added another rushing TD, but outside of the dynamic junior, the Bears didn’t do much on offense. The defense did exactly what it needed to against Rice, holding the Owls to just 242 yards. There probably aren’t many lessons to be taken from this game, but I’m guessing Baylor fans would’ve liked to have seen a more dominating performance.

The Bears get (an apparently red-hot) Iowa State in Waco next week.