Big 12 Review – Week 8

Hundreds, possibly thousands of Oklahoma State University students attended a candlelight vigil outside the school's Student Union on Sunday following a tragic accident at the Sea of Orange Homecoming Parade on Saturday. (csmonitor.com)

Hundreds, possibly thousands of Oklahoma State University students attended a candlelight vigil outside the school’s Student Union on Sunday following a tragic accident at the Sea of Orange Homecoming Parade on Saturday. (csmonitor.com)

Football didn’t matter Saturday.

Some might argue it still doesn’t matter, and they could be right.

Oklahoma State University is home to America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration.  But, on Saturday, tragedy struck the Cowboys again.

Around 10:30 a.m., Adacia Chambers, 25, allegedly drove her vehicle at a high rate of speed into the crowd at the end of the parade route, at the intersection of Main Street and Hall of Fame Avenue, just two blocks from Boone Pickens Stadium.

Four are confirmed dead, including a two year-old boy.  About four dozen more are hurt, several of whom are in critical condition.

There was talk to cancel the game.  Sure, both teams are off on Dec. 5, but who cares?  Football doesn’t matter.

Emergency responders were already at the parade and responded immediately.  On-lookers in the crowd helped and according to Twitter, one volunteer when asked by an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman how long he could stay replied, “I’m here until we’re done.”

Football didn’t matter.

What mattered is how one community came together at a time in which it needed to more than ever before.

Oklahoma State has been struck by tragedy before.  On Jan. 27, 2001, one of the men’s basketball team’s planes crashed in Colorado following a game against the Buffaloes, killing 10.

In November 2011, the night before the Cowboys lost to Iowa State to end their National Championship hopes, another plane crash killed four, including women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke.

The difference this time, it was in OSU’s back yard.  This time, when tragedy struck, it was right there in Stillwater.

This time, when tragedy struck, it was at one of the most beloved events during the OSU school year.  It was a time for celebration and a time for gathering with friends, family, loved ones, anybody.

Then it turned into a time of grieving.

The game was somber.  What had just happened was lingering in the air.

“We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again,” public address announcer Larry Reece said over the PA system.  “Because THIS IS OUR HOME.  THIS IS OUR FAMILY.  THIS IS OUR TEAM.”

Then there was a football game, but it didn’t matter.

 

Week 8 Results

No. 2 Baylor 45, Iowa State 27

Texas 23, Kansas State 9

No. 17 Oklahoma 63, Texas Tech 27

No. 14 Oklahoma State 58, Kansas 10

Week 8 Record: 3-1

2015 Record: 40-10

 

Week 9 Schedule & Picks

No. 5 TCU over West Virginia

No. 12 Oklahoma State over Texas Tech

No. 14 Oklahoma over Kansas

Texas over Iowa State

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Big 12 Review – Week 7

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder wrote a letter to the Kansas State University students, apologizing for the Wildcats' embarrassing loss to Oklahoma. (Kansas City Star)

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder wrote a letter to the Kansas State University students, apologizing for the Wildcats’ embarrassing loss to Oklahoma. (Kansas City Star)

Bill Snyder is arguable the classiest man in college sports.

After Kansas State got shelled against Oklahoma on Saturday, Snyder send the above letter to the K-State students via an email from the athletic department.  Snyder’s letters have become a trophy of sorts in college football.

Kansas State isn’t bad, and Snyder’s recruiting tactics are working as they always do.  Snyder is one of the top coaches in college football history.  Remember, he did bring Kansas State back from its label as the worst program in college football in 1988.

With a chance to rebound against Texas, now, the Wildcats are on their way back to being at the top of the Big 12.  If you’re a K-State fan reading this and saying, “Yeah, right,” just give it a couple years.

 

Week 7 Results

Texas Tech 30, Kansas 20

No. 2 Baylor 62, West Virginia 38

No. 19 Oklahoma 55, Kansas State 0

No. 3 TCU 45, Iowa State 21

Week 7 Record – 4-0

2015 Record – 37-9

 

Week 8 Schedule & Picks

No. 2 Baylor over Iowa State

Kansas State over Texas

No. 17 Oklahoma over Texas Tech

No. 14 Oklahoma State over Kansas

Big 12 Review – Week 6

Charlie Strong and Texas beat Oklahoma in the 2015 Red River Rivalry, to the surprise of many. Some in the media were arguing that had the Longhorns lost, Strong would be out in only his second year of a dire rebuild in Austin. (WFAA)

Charlie Strong and Texas beat Oklahoma in the 2015 Red River Rivalry, to the surprise of many. Some in the media were arguing that had the Longhorns lost, Strong would be out in only his second year of a dire rebuild in Austin. (WFAA)

If you picked Texas to beat the Sooners last week, email me.  I need your help making picks this year, apparently.

I’m not saying Texas is bad, because they’re not.  The Longhorns are loaded with talent, but most of it is young and it didn’t appear as if Texas were playing cohesively enough to win big games, especially in Big 12 play.  More specifically, it looked as if Texas’ special teams was a train wreck.

First, Nick Rose missed a PAT – not even a chip-shot field goal, a PAT – against Cal which cost the ‘Horns the game.  Then, a week later against Oklahoma State, punter Michael Dickson dropped a snap.  Mind you, it is Dickson’s first year playing American Football after playing Australian Rules Football as a defender in prep school, however it wasn’t anything to do with the style of game.  He merely dropped the snap.

Then, TCU shellacked Texas in Fort Worth, and now the Longhorns are supposed to play Oklahoma?  Seriously?

But, they did.  Texas showed the nation what many in the nation, myself included, had forgotten.  That was that the Longhorns are in fact a good football team surrounded by a series of unfortunate events and circumstances.  It’s as if Lemony Snicket wrote this year’s Texas season to start.  Although I never doubted Charlie Strong’s abilities as a coach, I did forget that Texas has hands-down the roughest schedule in major college football.

Open the season on the road against a pretty decent Notre Dame team?  No thanks, I’ll pass.

Follow it with Rice as your home opener?  Yeah, maybe.

End nonconference play with a Cal team that is lightyears ahead of last year’s Cal team?  No thanks.

Open conference play with arguably the most underrated team in the Big 12?  Pass.

Follow that with the preseason favorite to win the conference ON THE ROAD?  Hard pass.

Hit the road again, this time to play your arch-rival on national TV?  I’m thinking no.

Texas is going to look bad at times this year, but those are just growing pains.  If you sport burnt orange week in and week out, just make it through this year.  I promise you, it will be worth it in the long haul.

 

Week 6 Scores

No. 3 Baylor 66, Kansas 7

Texas 24, No. 10 Oklahoma 17

Texas Tech 66, Iowa State 31

No. 21 Oklahoma State 33, West Virginia 26 – OT

No. 2 TCU 52, Kansas State 45

Week 6 Record: 3-2

2015 Record: 33-9

 

Week 7 Schedule and Picks

Texas Tech over Kansas

No. 2 Baylor over West Virginia

No. 19 Oklahoma over Kansas State

No. 3 TCU over Iowa State

IDLE: No. 16 Oklahoma State, Texas

Big 12 Review – Week 5

Bill Snyder and Kansas State led all game against Oklahoma State, until the Pokes took a lead midway through the fourth quarter. (Wichita Eagle)

Bill Snyder and Kansas State led all game against Oklahoma State, until the Pokes took a lead midway through the fourth quarter. (Wichita Eagle)

I think it’s safe to say Oklahoma State is a second half team.  In five games, the Cowboys have come from behind in three to win: at Central Michigan, at Texas and home against Kansas State.  The Pokes have struggled to wake up at the start of each game.  However, quarterback Mason Rudolph has looked incredible except for at Texas, especially in the second halves of games.

But, unless the Cowboys start playing four quarters, the latter seven games of this season could be a little rough.  Oklahoma State needs to figure out how to wake up before the game.  Only once have the Pokes done so – Sept. 19, against UTSA.  They didn’t even do it against FCS Central Arkansas.  Don’t get me wrong, the potential on this team despite the end of linebacker Ryan Simmons’ career, is there.  At this point, though, I’m not sure how high they finish.

Baylor proved me wrong last week.  I picked the upset in the BUTT Bowl and, man, was I wrong.  Although, Texas Tech has still showed that they’re lightyears better than last year.  Patrick Mahomes is still a very capable quarterback.  The Red Raiders have yet to peak, too.  The Bears, though, have reached their ceiling.

Kansas has clinched last in the Big 12, unofficially, after losing at Iowa State last week.  Somewhere in here I should probably mention that West Virginia shut down against Oklahoma.  Don’t expect the same out of West Virginia this week, at home against Oklahoma State.

 

Week 5 Results

No. 15 Oklahoma 44, No. 23 West Virginia 24

No. 4 TCU 50, Texas 7

Iowa State 38, Kansas 13

No. 5 Baylor 63, Texas Tech 35

No. 20 Oklahoma State 36, Kansas State 34

Week 5 Record: 3-2

2015 Record: 30-7

 

Week 6 Schedule and Picks

No. 3 Baylor over Kansas

No. 10 Oklahoma over Texas

Texas Tech over Iowa State

West Virginia over No. 21 Oklahoma State

No. 2 TCU over Kansas State

Big 12 Review – Week 4

Ben Grogan saved the day for Oklahoma State in Austin on Saturday.  Grogan hit field goals to tie the game at 27 and to win for the Cowboys. (Tulsa World)

Ben Grogan saved the day for Oklahoma State in Austin on Saturday. Grogan hit field goals to tie the game at 27 and to win for the Cowboys. (Tulsa World)

Week four was ugly.  Oklahoma State played to lose and still beat Texas down in Austin.  TCU survived the scare of a lifetime from Texas Tech, of course if you ask a Red Raider fan, TCU stole the game from the Raiders.

Baylor and West Virginia managed to beat up on two cupcakes, but WVU’s was more impressive to me.  Maryland is at least a Power 5 opponent.  Kansas was Kansas and lost to Rutgers on the road.

This week is quite intriguing.  First, West Virginia is in Norman to play Oklahoma in arguably the Big 12 Game of the Week.  The Mountaineers’ offense has been impressive this season, while I still don’t know what to think of OU.  I’m sold on Baker Mayfield.  He’s clearly a great fit at quarterback for the Sooners.  However, I’m still conflicted about the rest of the team.  This will be a great chance to see what Oklahoma is made of.

Kansas State will be in Stillwater on Saturday to open its Big 12 schedule at Oklahoma State.  The Cowboys are coming off a disgusting performance on the part of the entire offense.  K-State’s front seven will be the best OSU has faced yet, possibly the best this season if TCU doesn’t recover.  The Pokes will need to carry out a balanced attack against the Wildcats, but expect this game to play out like the 2013 game, also in Stillwater.

I’m not sold on Baylor.  Yes, they score in tons but they haven’t played anybody.  I know it seems as if everybody thinks Baylor could be God’s gift to football, but I fully expect them to lose this week.  Texas Tech has proved that they can hang with anyone.

 

Week 4 Results:

No. 3 TCU 55, Texas Tech 52

No. 5 Baylor 70, Rice 17

No. 24 Oklahoma State 30, Texas 27

Rutgers 27, Kansas 14

West Virginia 45, Maryland 6

Week 4 Record: 5-0

2015-16 Record: 27-5

 

Week 5 Match-ups and Picks

Iowa State over Kansas

No. 23 West Virginia over No. 15 Oklahoma

No. 4 TCU over Texas

Texas Tech over No. 5 Baylor

No. 20 Oklahoma State over Kansas State

Big 12 Review – Week 3

Jordan Sterns had an amazing game against UTSA. Sterns forced a fumble with 11 solo tackles and 13 total. (Pistols Firing Blog)

Jordan Sterns had an amazing game against UTSA. Sterns forced a fumble with 11 solo tackles and 13 total. (Pistols Firing Blog)

So I’m not sure whether Texas Tech proved me wrong, or if Arkansas is just bad this year.  Either way, the Bret Bielema vs. Kliff Kingsbury thing is funny.

Texas Tech will likely struggle this week, when it hosts TCU in both schools’ conference opener.  Although I don’t see the Frogs scoring 82 points again, two years ago the teams played a great game to open conference play in Lubbock.  The difference?  TCU’s entire offense returned this year from a team which rolled over Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl last year.

Oklahoma State looked GREAT against UTSA on Saturday and was the only team favored by 20 or more to cover.  Texas still looks disastrous against Cal, despite its comeback.  I guess you could say every Rose has its thorn.  I said before the season that while I expect the Pokes to win in Austin, I see them losing at either Texas or West Virginia.  Although, the last time a home team won in this series was 2008 in Austin.  A random fact, OSU’s entire nonconference schedule were Adidas schools.

I’m intrigued by West Virginia’s match-up with Maryland and Steve Lebby’s “suspension” for the first half of Baylor’s game against Oklahoma.  Come on, the guy is from the Oklahoma City area and Phillip Montgomery who is now the coach at Tulsa after being the OC at Baylor gave him those passes, give him a break.

Look for Kansas to lose… again.  The same could go for Iowa State had the Cyclones not scheduled a bye for this week.

Week 2 Results

No. 16 Oklahoma 52, Tulsa 38

Kansas State 39, Louisiana Tech 33

No. 25 Oklahoma State 69, UTSA 14

Texas Tech 35, Arkansas 24

Cal 45, Texas 44

Week 2 Record: 5-2

2015 Record: 22-5

Week 3 Schedule & Predictions

Rutgers over Kansas

No. 5 Baylor over Rice

West Virginia over Maryland

No. 24 Oklahoma State over Texas

No. 3 TCU over Texas Tech

IDLE: Oklahoma, Kansas State, Iowa State

Big 12 Review – Week 2

Patrick Mahomes has won Big 12 offensive player of the week twice in the two weeks of 2015. Texas Tech is 2-0 entering their final nonconference game at Arkansas. (Dallas Morning News)

Patrick Mahomes has won Big 12 offensive player of the week twice in the two weeks of 2015. Texas Tech is 2-0 entering their final nonconference game at Arkansas. (Dallas Morning News)

Two weeks down, and two offensive player of the week awards for Patrick Mahomes.  Please excuse me as I rant to Kliff Kingsbury,

Coach Kingsbury,

Will you please fix your defense?  Whether it’s you or your defensive coordinator, David Gibbs, please fix it.  Although your defense is explosive and may be able to score with anybody with a true sophomore quarterback already having won two Big 12 Offensive Players of the Week awards, your defense is last in the Big 12 in rushing defense and eighth in passing defense – you share a conference with Kansas, one of the worst Power Five teams around.

Yes, it is true that I took way too much time to look that up, but coach, your offense would be more fun to watch if was thumping teams.  I mean, most people didn’t think you had a chance this season but in the third week you’ve received votes from the coaches as one of the nation’s top 25 teams.

 

Sincerely,

Everyone who follows college football

The Red Raiders have so much potential but the defense is clearly a problem.  Baker Mayfield just needs a half to warm up each game, Mason Rudolph looks great but Mike Yurcich is clearly keeping some tricks up his sleeve until conference play.

Kansas lost again (shocked face) and Iowa State lost to in-state rival Iowa.  Baylor is a one-sided team as always – offense.  Its defense seems nonexistent, letting up 31 to a bad FCS team.  TCU destroyed its FCS opponent, as it should have, and look for the Frogs to do same in this week’s Battle for the Iron Skillet.

Before I get in to this week, I want it to be known that what Baker Mayfield accomplished on Saturday is noteworthy and I probably would have voted for him to be the conference’s offensive player of the week after going in to arguably the most hostile stadium in the nation and bringing the Sooners back from down 17-0 in a thrilling, double-overtime instant classic.

Also, I’d like to take this time to announce that I make picks outside of the Big 12 in a weekly TV show I host, called The Poke Report, on OStateTV every Saturday.  Tune in this Saturday at noon to see who I take in games like Ole Miss-Alabama and Georgia Tech-Notre Dame.

 

Week 2 Results

Kansas State 30, UTSA 3

West Virginia 41, Liberty 17

Texas Tech 69, UTEP 20

No. 3 TCU 70, Stephen F. Austin 7

Iowa 31, Iowa State 17

No. 19 Oklahoma 31, No. 23 Tennessee 24 – 2OT

Memphis 55, Kansas 23

Oklahoma State 32, Central Arkansas 8

No. 4 Baylor 66, Lamar 31

Texas 42, Rice 28

Week 2 Record: 8-2

2015 Record: 17-3

 

Week 3 Schedule & Predictions

No. 16 Oklahoma over Tulsa

Kansas State over Louisiana Tech

No. 25 Oklahoma State over UTSA

Arkansas over Texas Tech

Cal over Texas

No. 3 TCU over SMU

Iowa State over Toledo

IDLE: West Virginia, Baylor, Kansas