#12 Oklahoma 44, @ #6 Baylor 34
One of the most anticipated games this year in the Big 12, Oklahoma survived a trip to Waco with a 10-point win that belies how hotly this matchup was contested. It was a complete effort by the Sooners, and CCM noticed:
On a day when the offenses were supposed to shine and points were to come in bunches, the Sooners defense was up to the task. Baylor finished with 159 yards rushing, but it took the Bears 44 carries to reach that total. They held the Baylor Bears to 416 yards (250 below their season average) and created 3 turnovers. True freshman Jarrett Stidham never felt completely comfortable, even though he flashed some moments of greatness. The Sooners defense never really allowed him to get going, as he ended up only completing 50.8% of his passes and was intercepted twice.
Our Daily Bears noticed as well:
That team came out, took our best shot, rebounded, and then gave us a few shots back that we simply couldn't withstand.
When you really boil it down, this game was about two things: 1) our offensive line getting outplayed by OU's defensive line, and 2) our defensive weaknesses getting exposed earlier in the season and then taken advantage of tonight. I could probably include a third related to conservative play-calling designed to protect Jarrett Stidham, but that same conservativism, if truly a problem in this game, also proved justified considering Stidham actually got hurt. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention OU completely shutting down Corey Coleman.
Gone, probably, is any real chance Corey Coleman had of winning the Heisman Trophy.
#8 Oklahoma State 35, @ Iowa State 31
The Cowboys found themselves in a dogfight all night long, even trailing by 10 going into the fourth quarter. It wasn't until ISU's Joel Lanning threw an INT with 1:38 left that Oklahoma State could feel sure of anything.
That makes Oklahoma State the last remaining Big 12 unbeaten, and even CRFF is confused. After all, OSU has a running quarterback problem ...
In eight of the Cowboys 10 games this year, the opposing teams quarterback has gotten past the 40 rushing yard mark.
... and the Cowboy rushing attack isn't exactly a strong part of their game:
It's not good. Chris Carson had his first touchdown and best day since the Cowboys played UTSA. That isn't acceptable.
This has been the theme all year long for CRFF:
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are 10-0 and it doesn't make that much sense.
At WRNL, you know they like to have fun. They were hopeful of a 2011 repeat, but no such luck.
All week long, the national media trumpeted the parallels that this matchup held with the two overtime victory Iowa State had over No. 2 Oklahoma State in 2011. On that fateful night in November, the Cyclones rallied from a 17 point deficit to overcome a Cowboys team that just had to beat ISU and Oklahoma to secure their spot in the National Championship.
However, Coach Gundy's squad avoided the same fate they succumbed to in 2011, as they rallied back from a 17 point Iowa State lead today to remain undefeated with a 35-31 victory.
Kansas 17, @ #15 TCU 23
Oh, what could have been. The Jayhawks took it to the Frogs all day long, but KU football kept doing KU football things, and lost yet again. Things like back-to-back false starts after a timeout. Things like Ryan Willis' first career interception 50 yards and 3 minutes away from what would have been the biggest upset ever in terms of the point spread.
The Kansas defense was playing well even before Boykin went out with an injury, and the Jayhawks gave TCU everything they wanted.
Coming into the game, everybody expected Kansas to get demolished. I mean, ESPN's Game Predictor gave Kansas only a 0.4% chance of winning this game. And it sure looked after two quick TCU stops and a punt return touchdown that Kansas was well on its way to being blown out.
While the injury to Boykins obviously limited the ability of the Horned Frogs to move the ball, the Jayhawks still played an inspired game and nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the college season.
I'm extremely interested to see the reaction to the game from Frogs O' War. Right to it:
Playing Kansas at home shouldn't have been a heart attack. But naturally, it was.
PA system didn't work. The video board was shorting out. The crowd was disinterested at best. And Trevone Boykin has an as yet unidentified ankle injury that is being speculated as a high ankle sprain. It was a tough day at Amon G., but we got the win, and that has to be enough for now.
... after the game, Patterson said he was waiting for a game where the defense was going to have to win it for them, and on Saturday afternoon, that is exactly what they did. Yes, the Kansas O isn't exactly world beaters, but the TCU D stepped up and stifled them on the ground and through the air for the most part, and gave the Frogs a chance to win on the shoulders of a third string QB.
Maybe TCU was looking forward to Oklahoma, much like FOW was:
TCU's vulnerability level in Norman is way high. With the Frogs' best players on the sideline, it's very possible TCU will struggle big time when they take on Oklahoma next week unless the backups and defense step up. Or a miracle happens.
Texas 20, @ West Virginia 38
Texas had a first quarter lead, but then, well, things changed. Texas had their third-highest offensive output of the season, but gave the ball away five times. Not all Texas fans are convinced that Charlie Strong needs to go, though.
Overall, the inability to avoid mistakes is a sign of a bad football team and just aren't good at football right now. Even so, ignoring the clear signs of progress should remain the provenance of those who remain willfully ignorant of those positives because they've already decided that Strong needs to go.
In all likelihood, the young players won't be able to benefit from 15 extra practices and a bowl game and recruiting efforts will have to succeed despite little offseason momentum as Strong faces continued questions about his long-term future in Austin.
Will that be as unpleasant as continued road disasters of varying terrible degrees?
Guess we'll just have to find out the hard way.
Smoking Musket is pleased with the win and are hopeful of another victory to get into a bowl game. However, they do wonder "what could have been" this year:
When the final story of this season is written, it will be how our defense was capable of winning a conference championship, but they had an offense that was unable to score points. Imagine how much better a well-rested defense would've performed this year? One of these years we'll hopefully have both during the same season. It just won't be next year, as we will lose linebackers Kwitkowski, Barber, Pettaway, Dillon, Bruce, not to mention the Great Karl Joseph. Ugh.
They also took the opportunity to take a few shots at Texas:
Javon Durante: His 53-yard touchdown catch was good to see. When we get a 4-star prospect, I'm excited when we make good on getting them significant playing experience their first year. It's what WVU has to offer compared to the UT's of the world.
Texas. They are the MIAMI of the BIG 12 and Midwest in general. Where they have fallen from is sad. All that history. All that arrogance. All that attitude. Football Karma is a bitch.
Kansas State 44, @ Texas Tech 59
This one looked like a blowout early as Tech raced out to a 28-7 lead, but K-State fought back. Tech then went on another run, building a 52-28 lead, but K-State crawled back within 8 points with 3:38 to go.
Viva The Matadors was, of course, happy with the win, and happy with all of the points scored - on their side, anyway.
Don't talk about the defense. Its shy and you'll scare it away.
We just can't put someone down. If we could end games we'd have at least a couple more wins at this point, and would probably be ranked in the Top 25. We aren't a bad team. For whatever reason, we just can't step on the throat. We give teams life, and it's frustrating.
We're bowl eligible. And right now, that's all that matters.
Bring on the Cats is concerned not only about what happened this season, but about the possibility of even making a bowl game.
Joe Hubener had 289 yards passing and two touchdowns, which would be pretty awesome if not for the fact that he completed fewer than half his passes.
The real problem though was the defense. Woof. Tech running back DeAndre Washington had 248 yards and a lot of that was due to lack of penetration from Kansas State and a criminal failure to tackle well after the first contact. It's hard to say what ails the defense but giving up over 7 yards/play isn't going to cut it even against the dregs of the conference schedule.
Things have gone horribly awry for Kansas State this season. The Wildcats have now lost six games in a row and going winless in the Big 12 is a very real possibility. But the players are still determined to turn things around and reach for that elusive brass ring of bowl eligibility.
They're also beginning to question Bill Snyder's position:
Nobody wants Bill Snyder to retire. And he can still coach. But the question is whether he's actually doing the coaching, and whether he has the will to make changes in order to set the program on the right path.
Let's be frank: the staff is old. One might even call some of them complacent. Tom Hayes is rumored to want to retire. Only the younger coaches seem to be scoring points with recruits, Snyder himself excepted.
Decisions like these are not just for next year. They're for the long term. We're not calling for Bill Snyder to retire. That's a decision only he can make, and one he should be allowed to make on his own.
But it has to be mentioned now. This may actually be the necessary time, even if it costs Snyder 200 career wins, even if it means Snyder doesn't get to coach what should be a much more talented team in 2016.
Those words aren't written in anger. Sadness, yes. Profound sadness. Make no mistake, Bill Snyder is and may always be the most important person in the history of this entire university, save Isaac Goodnow. Not just the football program, the university itself. If he wants to stay, then so be it. He's earned that. But he has to be cognizant of the potential risks in doing so. And at some point, his famous loyalty to his staff needs to be tested -- not necessarily in terms of removing people, but in terms of accountability.