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Big 12 Road Trip: Week 5

Taking a look around at the conference mates after week 5 of the regular season.

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Another week with just a few Big 12 conference games and another week with a big surprise.  The highest ranked team in the conference loses to a team that was ran off the field just last week.  Another ranked team had a fairly impressive performance against a ranked opponent.  The other two teams in the conference took steps to keep their hopes for successful (relative) seasons alive.  It was also the last week of the conference season the Jayhawks were inactive, time to strap it up men.

Before getting to the conference though, USC did can Lane Kiffin early this morning following a 62-41 loss to Arizona State.  Kiffin doesn't have many supporters and I'm not one of them but following the sanctions he inherited, this seems a little desperate to me.  However, this is an example of a program that does not appear to be heading where the administration expects.  Better to get it done now than sit around and let the program continue to falter.  When it's not working, waiting longer does not seem to be the best way to fix the problem.  Kudos to USC...maybe?

West Virginia 30 Oklahoma State 21

Oklahoma State just has not impressed me this year.  They started the season beating Mississippi State 21-3, impressive defense but the offense was definitely off.  I'm also unsure of how much credit that win should get, Miss. State is 2-2 and with wins over Troy and Alcorn State.  Anyway, West Virginia was pretty much left for dead after being curbstomped by Maryland in week 4 and this shows a bit of life for the program.  Lets go to the victors first, from The Smoking Musket:

The defense was nothing short of spectacular, creating a trio of turnovers (2 int, 1 fumble) that became 13 points for the Mountaineers, including an electric 58 yard interception return for a touchdown by Ishmael Banks that provided a needed energy jolt in the first quarter. The numbers weren't spectacular - Oklahoma State had 433 total yards - but the staunch rushing defense was notable as it only allowed 111 on the ground on 40 attempts for a 2.8 average. Cowboy tailback Jeremy Smith, who entered the game with 176 yards and a 4.8 average per carry was held to 1 yard on 15 carries. Yes, you read that correctly.

And they keep it in perspective, always enjoy the wins:

but for now let's bask in the best effort we've seen from WVU in nearly a year. The sun's a little brighter, the birds are chirping and there's cold beer in the fridge.

And how are the guys doing at Cowboys Ride for Free?

Yurcich's play calling sucked.

Walsh's passing sucked.

The offensive line sucked.

Our secondary gave up so many deep balls I got dizzy watching.

Kip Smith shanking punts. Ben Grogan missing FG's.

And a gem of a comment:

im drunk betobd measire. Pissed off and hatibg life, bit god damnit I just went outside and punted a ball farther thank 16 yards.

Oklahoma 35 Notre Dame 21

Oklahoma impressed me with their speed on offense and defense yesterday.  Notre Dame might not be a Big 10 school but they sure as hell looked as slow as one yesterday compared to the Sooners.  Crimson and Cream Machine was impressed with the defense:

When the dust settled at Notre Dame Stadium we had the answers that we needed. Oklahoma's defense is fast. They are powerful up front and have a knack for getting to the ball. Six different defenders were credited with making plays in the Notre Dame backfield and the group was particularly good at tormenting Tommy Rees. The Irish quarterback was sacked once, hurried five other times, had six passes broken up, and was forced into three interceptions.

But Sooners can't be pleased with everything, there is concern about the playcalling and the vertical passing game.  Not sure what they expect, when the QB is nicknamed "Belldozer" it's probably a good hint that passing isn't the forte.

TCU 48 SMU 17

SMU took their second beating at the hands of a Big 12 Texas school, they're probably as ready for conference play to get going as I am.  TCU only allowed 16 total rushing yards in the game, SMU's not a strong team on the ground but it's still impressive.  TCU did trail going into halftime, 10-7.  41 points in the second half though made sure the pregame expectations were accurate.

The first half from Frogs O' War:

TCU was getting the same stupid penalties, the same stupid playcalling and the same stupid turnovers that have forced TCU to try to win games with one arm behind their backs.

and the second half:

The key to the offensive success: the threat of the run opened up the play action passing game, and suddenly Boykin was feeling the passing game too, with play action screens turning into huge gains

Iowa State 38 Tulsa 21

Not a lot to say here, Tulsa is very bad.  Iowa State is better than very bad. From the guys at Wide Right Natty Lite:

While Tulsa looks to possibly be the worst team on the Cyclones' schedule in 2013, the visible progress shown on the field yesterday certainly saved Iowa State from a complete dumpster fire of a season.

Reading the comments, there was a complaint about the officiating.  Must be part of the Iowa State schtick these days, they're giving our neighbors to the west some competition in terms of deflecting blame to the stripes.