2011 Big 12 Report: Week Seven

So here we are half way through the season and the Big 12 teams are starting to separate wheat from chaff with the cream (and crimson) rising to the top.  Mixed in is a promising candy corn and, well, the top two teams in Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are head and shoulders above the rest of the members.

Both are slotted in the top four of the initial BCS ranking.  Both are ranked in the top 10 in scoring offense and OU is ranked number eleven in scoring defense.  OU has Landry and Broyles.  OSU has Weeden and Blackmon.  I ask you, can Bedlam get here fast enough?  Because this year, you have those teams and then you have everybody else.

And speaking of everybody else, the next four teams can get on you in a hurry if you're not taking care of business.  For OU and OSU to setup the surrogate Big 12 championship game, they must focus on the here and now.  Otherwise, they get stung like a bee and fall like a rock in the chase for the top spots.

The Big 12 is arguably the toughest conference top to bottom so far this season.  And what makes it so difficult to navigate is the quarterback talent as TheElusiveShadow touched on in last week's report.  The evidence?  Through seven weeks, the Big 12 has accounted for four Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week award winners (Griffin, Jones, Tannehill, and Weeden).  The Big 10 is next with two winners (Robinson and Wilson) along with Kellen Moore of Boise State. 

And don't discount the non-O'Brien winning Big 12 quarterbacks.  Texas Tech's Seth Doege is a pistol of a guy averaging 361 yards per game and holding the number four passer rating spot at 151.7 (right behind Landry Jones).  I'm pretty sure if he played on a better team we would be hearing a lot about him.  Not sure if a single conference has posted as many winners through seven games before but what a testament to the Big 12 quarterback coaches for their development skills.

Big 12 Weekly Conference Coaches Teleconference

#17 Texas A&M

LAST WEEK:  Texas A&M traded blows with Baylor for three quarters until a key goalline stop in the beginning of the fourth.  The Aggies promptly marched down the field, scored, and blew the game wide open for a 55-28 victory.  While Baylor put up a fight for much of the day against a suspect Aggie defense, the Bears defense was just too much of a liability as the Aggies converted third downs almost at will.  Tannehill finished with an impressive six touchdowns, and Ryan Swope had a field day with 206 yards receiving and four scores.  As a result of his tremendous day on the gridiron, he was honored with the Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week award which now makes.  As bad as the Aggie secondary has been, they've got nothing on that horrific Baylor defense.

THIS WEEK:  The Aggies travel to Ames to take on Iowa State.  The Cyclones will play hard, but it is difficult to see how they can keep pace with A&M's offense.  They will need a lot of help from Aggie mistakes to have a chance in this one. 

SEASON OUTLOOK:  The Aggies have an offense that is good enough to threaten anyone, and they have a pass defense that is shaky enough to be threatened by anyone not named Kansas.  At the least, that means that their games will be high-scoring, entertaining affairs. - TheElusiveShadow

Baylor

LAST WEEK:  If Swoped is not a verb, it should be.  Go ahead and add it to your WR beatdown vernacular.  Matter of fact, in the last game that Baylor will play A&M in arguably a very long time, they got Swoped by four touchdowns.  Only trailing by 6 points with 4:00 to go in the third, Bear's halfback sensation Terrence Ganaway plowed into the endzone to cut the lead to six points.  But A&M proved too much in the fourth quarter scoring three touchdowns to finish off Baylor 55-28.

RGIII, however, did not dissuade his fans as he threw for 430 yards and 3 touchdowns on the day.  Unfortunately those stats were accompanied by 5 Aggie sacks and an interception.  That and his Aggie counterpart won a little ol' Davey O'Brien quarterback of the week award.

THIS WEEK:  Bye.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  Baylor took a step back in their hopeful season especially since their defense has settled in and is woefully ineffective against top in conference offenses.  With that said, the Bears still have that quick strike potential and when they can give RGIII time, he will offer up the death nail and beat you like a drum.  If they don't beat themselves, the setup as the perfect bear trap, so to speak. - TXStampede

Iowa State

LAST WEEK:  The Cyclones ran into a rampaging Tiger taking on a Mizzou homecoming team coming off a loss to the KSU Wildcats a week earlier.  ISU proved no match as they lost in a big way 52-17.  Not a lot of positives in this one save for a 78 yard pick six by A.J. Klein.  Otherwise, this game was over at half with Missouri leading by three touchdowns.

THIS WEEK:  Iowa State travels to College Station to take on the Aggies for probably the last time.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  The Cyclones appear to be battling Kansas for the race to the bottom of the conference.  That designation will be decided when they face off on November 5. - TXStampede

Kansas

LAST WEEK:  The Jayhawks were the mouse to OU's cat in the first half of their matchup in Lawrence in which KU found itself trailing the #3 ranked Sooners by only ten points heading into halftime.  Not sure what happened in the Sooner locker room but the defense turned their motor on in the second half and held Kansas scoreless. Final score was 47-17.  One of the bright spots on the day for the Jayhawks were the two fumbles and one interception gained against the Sooners.  But unfortunately for KU they were only able to net three points on the OU mistakes.  Another bright spot was a 56 yard scamper by Jayhawk running back on a fourth and one play late in the first quarter.

THIS WEEK:  Kansas again will try to rebound from a drubbing at the hands of a top conference team as their cross-state rival Kansas State Wildcats come to town.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  The thing you need to know about Kansas is they do not have a way to keep teams from putting up points.  They are in last place in scoring defense among all FBS teams. That's plain awful.  My prediction of zero conference wins still looks doable is safe. - TXStampede

#11 Kansas State

LAST WEEK:  What's new with this team?  They keep finding ways to win.  In the first half, their offense wasn't doing much, but they had contributions from special teams in the form of a 100 yard kickoff return and two blocked field goals.  In the second half, they were able to run the ball well, and they also started forcing turnovers, with Seth Doege finishing with three picks, and they ultimately held Tech to only two field goals after intermission.  After all that, they won by a grand total of seven points, and that is only after stopping Texas Tech after the Red Raiders recovered an onside kick.  Snyder is seriously working some magic.

THIS WEEK:  KSU plays in-state rival Kansas this week for a free win.   

SEASON OUTLOOK:  Get a load of these scores:  10-7, 37-0, 28-24, 36-35, 24-17, 41-34.  Take out that Kent State game, and their average margin of victory is 4.4 points.  Heck, they might even only beat the Jayhawks by 14, but at the end of the day, they keep winning, and that's all that matters.  It's a testament to their coaching and toughness to be able to pull off so many close wins. - TheElusiveShadow

Missouri

LAST WEEK:  Missouri took out some frustration on the Cyclones in 52-17 whipping.  Franklin threw two picks but accounted for five touchdowns, and the Tigers nearly amassed 300 yards rushing.  It was a much needed win to put Mizzou back at .500.

THIS WEEK:  The Tigers host Oklahoma State and will need a huge effort from their defense to give them a chance.  Franklin is going to have to be extra careful with the football against an opportunistic Cowboy defense or else the Pokes can make this ugly.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  They have a slew of tough games ahead against ranked teams or teams that are just outside the Top 25 up until they face Kansas.  A .500 record by the end of the year wouldn't be something to be ashamed of. - TheElusiveShadow

#3 Oklahoma

LAST WEEK:  Coming off their best performance of the season against the obvious overmatched Texas Longhorns, the Sooners traveled to Lawrence to face the Kansas Jayhawks.  After a lackluster first half, the Sooner turned it on and won going away 47-17.  Ryan Broyles had a career day, catching 13 for 217 yards (an OU school record).  His touchdown catch in the second quarter vaulted him to the number one slot on all-time NCAA receptions at 317 and finished the evening at 326 total career catches.  Walk-on running back Dominique Whaley added to the Sooner offensive output rushing for 165 yards.  However, the Sooners struggled putting touchdowns on the board through 2/3 of the game and settled for four field goals on the night.

THIS WEEK:  Texas Tech visits Norman in a high-powered offensive show. 

SEASON OUTLOOK:  The last few weeks have shown the nation the Sooners are just not about scoring.  They have limited the last two teams faced to less than 20 points a-piece.  Maybe not hard against a young Texas team and mediocre Kansas squad but saying and doing are two different things.  And the Sooners continue to get it done.  Coach Stoops number one objective at this point is to keep his team focused on the next opponent like it is their last.  Do that and this team is about as poised as the next to play for all the marbles. - TXStampede

#4 Oklahoma State

LAST WEEK:  The Cowboys traveled to Austin and had their worst offensive output of the season in terms of yardage, but they made just enough big plays to keep the Longhorns at bay.  It wasn't the prettiest win for the Pokes, but they have to be encouraged that they were able to win even though Weeden had a pedestrian day and their time of possession was about half of ours.  The defense ceded yards on the ground but tightened up in scoring position.

THIS WEEK:  Oklahoma State visits Missouri.  Missouri has a dangerous passing game, but it is difficult to see how they can stop the Pokes' offense unless Weeden starts throwing picks again, which he hasn't been doing the past several games.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  While Okie State will most likely be favored in the rest of their games except against Oklahoma, the remaining teams can threaten the Cowboys on a bad day with the exception of Iowa State.  On paper, they should be undefeated by their last game, but the contests won't be easy.  - TheElusiveShadow

#24 Texas

LAST WEEK:  The Longhorns contained one of the most dangerous passing attacks in the country, held the ball for about 40 minutes, and rushed for over 200 yards... and still lost, as they gave up a few too many big plays.  It is not surprising Texas lost, but after controlling the pace of the game, it sure is disappointing the Longhorns couldn't pull it off.  David Ash got his first full start and looked that way, and Texas just could not take advantage of scoring opportunities to keep pace.    

THIS WEEK:  Off, before facing the Jayhawks.  It will be a very useful week for this young squad.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  It should not be a surprise that the Longhorns lost these past two games, and most people, if you were to ask them before the season, would have considered 4-2 a decent start.  There were many things to be encouraged about as Texas rebounded from that thrashing from OU with a solid performance, but there are also a lot of issues the team still needs to fix that should temper expectations.  If you were one of the many who predicted an 8-4 season, we're right on track, and it will be interesting to see how this team develops for the remainder of the year. - TheElusiveShadow

Texas Tech

LAST WEEK:  Seth Doege threw for 461 yards on 63 pass attempts against the Kansas State Wildcats in Jones Stadium but incredibly that was not enough to knock off the surprise team, and highly ranked, Kansas State Wildcats in which the Raiders faltered 41-34.  KSU came into the game with the conference's top ranked scoring defense and departed Lubbock at number two with a 19.5 point per game average.  Impressive that Tech managed to post that type of score against the Wildcats.  This was a game of opposites in which Tech threw the ball 2 out of every 3 plays and KSU ran the ball the same ratio.  The game was fairly close until the fourth quarter when Doege threw two interceptions and laid the ball on the field all coming in three successive possessions netting the Wildcats the seven point victory margin.

THIS WEEK:  The Red Raiders travel to Norman to tackle the Sooners in a primetime televised offensive shootout.   

SEASON OUTLOOK:  Tech has a formidable offense and are entertaining but unfortunately for them do not appear to have the talent on the defensive side to finish games.  They will continue to struggle as the top teams in the conference, save for a date against ISU, remain on their schedule. - TXStampede

Players of the Week (courtesy of big12sports.com)

Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week
Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma, WR, Sr, Norman, Okla.
Ryan Broyles had 13 catches for a school-record 217 yards and two touchdowns in No. 1/3 Oklahoma's 47-17 win at Kansas. His scoring plays covered 57 and 43 yards. On the 57-yard touchdown, Broyles set two career records - the NCAA mark for receptions (317), and touchdown receptions by a Big 12 player (43). The senior ended the night with career marks of 326 catches and 44 receiving touchdowns. Broyles also had 84 yards in punt returns for an all-purpose total of 301 yards. His longest punt return went for 33 yards.

Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
Jamie Blatnick, Oklahoma State, DE, Sr, Celina, Texas
Jamie Blatnick had a career-high nine tackles with two quarterback sacks and four tackles for loss in No. 6/7 Oklahoma State's 38-26 win over No. 22/21 Texas. He also broke up a pass. Blatnick's four TFL tied for the most by a Big 12 player this season. He has five sacks in 2011 after entering the year with eight for his career. OSU allowed 26 points against the Longhorns, but two came on a safety, seven on a kickoff return and seven more on a 15-yard drive after a turnover.

Upcoming Game of the Week:  Missouri vs. Oklahoma State (-7.5) (11:00 a.m. FX)

Rankings

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Oklahoma State
  3. Kansas State
  4. Texas A&M
  5. Missouri
  6. Texas
  7. Baylor
  8. Texas Tech
  9. Iowa State
  10. Kansas
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