2011 Big 12 Report: Week Eleven

While the story to date has been the Cinderella Oklahoma State University Cowboys, this season has been a wreck for marquee players and the resulting effect on their respective teams. Lost to injury are:

Christine Michael
Henry Josey
Ryan Broyles
Dominique Whaley
Captain America (a.k.a. Foswhitt Whittaker)

And all the other players who have suffered injury.

Substantial contributors all and sorely missed by Big12 college football fans. But the risks of the game are known. Each player faces the potential of injury. It is unfortunate that the injuries are severe and our thoughts go out to each and every player whose career and playing time has been diminished.

On to the news and notes.

Game of the Week:

#14 Kansas State

LAST WEEK: Collin Klein had five touchdown runs and tossed another to lead the Wildcats over Texas A&M in a four-overtime thriller. It wasn't the prettiest game at times, but Kansas State has proven that they can score points when they need it, minus their destruction at the hands of Oklahoma. They actually struggled to run the ball during stretches of the game but were able to hit some big passes against that weak Aggie secondary. Klein got a little lucky that his endzone fumble in the first overtime was recovered by his teammate, but still, that guy is proving to be a heck of a leader for his team.

THIS WEEK: KSU visits Austin to take on a now hurting Texas Longhorn team. With so many Texas playmakers struggling with injuries, this game just got a less scary for the Wildcats. Still, despite their recent ownage of Texas, it is far from an easy win. Klein's mobility can cause some problems for Texas and his legs will likely have a lot to do with the outcome.

SEASON OUTLOOK: Kansas State is solidly the #3 team in the conference, which is nothing to be ashamed of in this year's Big 12. A win over Texas will most likely get them to ten wins with only Iowa State left after that, and while I'm sure there are Wildcat fans disappointed that they probably can't go to a BCS bowl because of OU and OSU, this has undoubtedly been a successful season for them.. - TheElusiveShadow

Texas A&M

LAST WEEK: The Aggies actually won the third quarter (7-0), but that didn't stop them from losing two double digit leads during the course of the game and then ultimately falling against Kansas State in quadruple overtime. It was quite the game, and it again showcased the problems in the Aggie defense. Statistically, they actually didn't do that badly considering that the game went into four overtime periods, but the fact of the matter is that they were unable to get a stop when they needed it. Gray had a strong game but Tannehill struggled despite three touchdown tosses.

THIS WEEK: Texas A&M faces Kansas, who just watched a great chance of a conference win slip away against Baylor. As much as we'd like to believe that the Jayhawks have a chance, there's just no way they will beat the Aggies.

SEASON OUTLOOK: Kansas should make the Aggies bowl eligible, but although Texas is now hurting on offense, that game looks like a toss-up at this point. The Aggies haven't lost to bad teams, but 5-5 is far, far away from what their dreams were for this season. Regardless of how they finish, this season is already a disappointment for them. - TheElusiveShadow

Other Games:

#22 Baylor

LAST WEEK: The Bears ran into a buzz saw barely escaping with an overtime win over the lowly Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence by a score of 31-30. Baylor trailed 24-3 as late as 3:45 remaining in the 3rd quarter. Robert Griffin III threw two fourth quarter touchdowns and ran for another to tie the game and send into overtime. Baylor took an early touchdown lead in OT and only won the game when Kansas failed on a 2-point conversion try in the extra period. This would have arguably been the upset of the year had Baylor lost. Instead, the Bears become bowl eligible for the 2nd time in as many seasons.

THIS WEEK: The Sooners visit Waco after a tough bye week in which they have had to come to grips with losing their All-American wide receiver Ryan Broyles.

SEASON OUTLOOK: Now that bowl eligibility has been established, the Bears have a big opportunity to cherry top their season in beating the Sooners. While that is a mountain of whipped cream to climb, they certainly appear to be in good shape to pad their regular season record with games against both Texas Tech and Texas who both appear to be limping to the finish line. - TXStampede

Iowa State

LAST WEEK: Did not play.

THIS WEEK: The Cyclones welcome the #2 ranked OSU Cowboys to Jack Trice Stadium in a prime time game Friday night.

SEASON OUTLOOK: The Cyclones end the season facing the top three teams in the conference. A win over one of them would be quite an accomplishment. As it stands, they would need to win at least one of these games to gain bowl eligibility. A very tall order from this fan's perspective. - TXStampede

Kansas

LAST WEEK: Sickening. A week after Kansas almost upended Iowa State's season, they strapped on their cleats and took a swing at Baylor narrowly losing in overtime 30-31. Coach Gil made a decision to attempt a 2-point conversion after Jayhawk quarterback Jordan Webb threw a 25-yard touchdown strike to match the Bears in the first OT period but came up short on an incomplete pass. KU had built what appeared to be a comfortable lead with three minutes plus to play in the 3rd quarter up 24-3. But the Jayhawks Achilles heel proved too much as the defense allowed Baylor's quarterback Robert Griffin III to strike for three touchdowns in the fourth period.

THIS WEEK: Kansas travels to College Station in their last match up with Texas A&M as Big12 competitors.

SEASON OUTLOOK: A week after an impressive showing against ISU, the Jayhawks almost pulled off the upset of the year. But alas, it was not to be. With games against A&M and rival Missouri remaining, I can't see a way in which they finish with a single conference win. - TXStampede

Missouri

LAST WEEK: Bitter rant: Whoever keeps up with the field at Missouri should be ashamed. Not only did it prevent the use of Bergeron and Brown, it claimed Fozzy Whittaker and Missouri's own Henry Josey, who was having a great year (though not a great game).
Anyway, the Tigers got a big win that all but guarantees a bowl game. The defense wisely realized that the Longhorns were severely handcuffed without their playmakers and forced the young quarterbacks to try to beat them, even with their weak secondary, and the Longhorn QBs proved they could not. Offensively, Missouri made just enough plays against a feisty Texas defense to put the necessary points on the board to win. Franklin showed great toughness despite absorbing multiple hits and he made a couple of big throws.

THIS WEEK: The Tigers host Texas Tech. After Tech's win over OU, one would probably be inclined to pick Tech in this matchup, but now, the Red Raiders look like they've fallen apart. Missouri might very well blow them out unless Tech can somehow piece together their shattered psyche.

SEASON OUTLOOK: With a big win over Texas and games against a tumbling Texas Tech and a horrible Kansas team, Missouri may very well finish on a three game winning streak. The loss of Josey hurts, but Lawrence is a solid back-up and they'll be dangerous as long as they have Franklin. - TheElusiveShadow

#5 Oklahoma

LAST WEEK: Did not play.

THIS WEEK: The Sooners travel to Waco in a Big12 South matchup with RGIII and his good ‘ol Baylor Line. Baylor is undefeated at home this season but this is will be their sternest test yet. Can they lay a bear trap against OU? Tuning in.

SEASON OUTLOOK: All roads to Big12 title and beyond lead to Bedlam at this point. This showdown was wisely moved to conference championship weekend last season by Not The Real Dan Beebe. Good move there, commish. - TXStampede

#2 Oklahoma State

LAST WEEK: Um, wow. The Cowboys just annihilated Texas Tech, who looks like they gave up on their season. There's not much more to say; it was 66-6, and after a 49-0 halftime lead, it was obvious the Pokes could have scored 100 if they wanted.

THIS WEEK: Okie State faces ISU, and it's hard to imagine how the Cyclones can take them out. The Cowboys should roll.

SEASON OUTLOOK: If they defeat Iowa State, as they should, they'll walk into Bedlam with an unblemished record and the inside track to the national championship. The defense still isn't great, but they make the necessary plays to get the ball back to their offense who is putting up a massive amount of points. - TheElusiveShadow

#16 Texas

LAST WEEK: I was actually fairly confident during the week leading up to the Missouri game. Then I heard Jaxon Shipley was still out on Friday, and then right before the game everyone was informed that Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron wouldn't play. After that, my rapidly decreasing confidence went down the tubes when I saw Fozzy Whittaker hurt his knee on that pathetically bad turf at Missouri. Our quarterbacks were clearly not ready to carry the offense without our top four playmakers, and the result was three measly offensive points. The defense played valiantly, but it's hard to win with five total points. It was a weird day, with multiple injuries, massive wind, and a particularly bad call on Vacarro that helped Missouri build a two score lead.

A lot of fans are upset with Harsin about the deep shots, and while I understand, I can see why he tried. The opportunities were there; we left about 14 points on the board because our quarterbacks missed open guys.

THIS WEEK: The Longhorns face the bane of our existence, the Kansas State Wildcats, this Saturday. The last three times we've faced them, we have had a young quarterback, and this is what KSU has done:

2006: Injure freshman Colt McCoy on a successful first drive and derail a national championship/Big 12 title run.

2007: Beat around a sophomore Colt McCoy and intercept him four times. Oh, and Jordy Nelson is still running.

2010: Intercept sophomore Garrett Gilbert five times and, in my mind, permanently break him for Texas.
Thanks, Kansas State. We sure like you guys. The Wildcats aren't the flashiest team but they've proven they can score behind Colin Klein. Fozzy is gone for good, and if Texas can't get other playmakers back healthy, it will be extremely tough defeating KSU.

SEASON OUTLOOK: It is very frustrating that right when the offense seemed to be getting into a groove and establishing an identity, all of our best players drop with injuries. The staff deserves some blame too for needlessly running Brown and Bergeron in back to back blowout wins. Of all of them, the loss of Whittaker probably hurts the most; while Brown and Bergeron would receive most of the carries, Whittaker provides a unique contribution in the Wildcat (our best redzone offense), screens, and runs on the edge, not to mention in leadership and kickoff returns. It's a deflating blow, but we're not the only one in the conference who lost an important player to injury (as stated above, Mizzou's turf claimed one of their own too). The team will need to quickly put the offense back together if Texas wants to reach the goal of 8 wins. - TheElusiveShadow

Texas Tech

LAST WEEK: I'm running out of adjectives to describe the mounting losses this team is accruing. Through seven conference games, the Red Raiders are giving up 45.285714 points per game. That's a little over a touchdown and a field goal every quarter of play.
Last game's 6-66 loss occurred at the hands of #2 Oklahoma State in a game with too many football follie highlights. While losing was not a surprise in and of itself given the too numerous defensive starter injuries, the way in which they lost is comical. Have these guys just given up on the season? Sure seems like it.

The 60 point differential was the most lopsided loss in school history. Let that sink in.

The 49 points OSU scored in the 1st and 2nd quarters were the most given up by a Texas Tech defense gave up before halftime. Ever.

And to make matters worse, you have to go back to who knows when to find a game in which Texas Tech offense failed to register a touchdown and extra point.

When the old ball gets rolling downhill it is certainly hard to turn around. Ain't that right Coach Tuberville?
THIS WEEK: The Red Raiders get their shot at swiss cheese field in Columbia when they take on the Missouri Tigers.

SEASON OUTLOOK: What's amazing is that with two games remaining, the Red Raiders still have a shot at becoming bowl eligible. They only need to win one. Personally, I think they do it. This is the topsy-turvy Big12 we're talking about. - TXStampede

Players of the Week (courtesy of big12sports.com)

Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week
Collin Klein, Kansas State, QB, Jr, Loveland, Colo.
Collin Klein set two K-State rushing records and is approaching a Big 12 milestone following his performance in the Wildcats' 53-50 win over Texas A&M in four overtimes. Klein accounted for six total scores (the most in the Big 12 this season), including a school-record-tying five on the ground. He also finished with a career-high 281 yards passing and another score. He eclipsed 100 yards rushing for the fifth time this season after running for 103 yards, which also put him over the 1,000-yard mark for the year. Klein finished with 384 yards of total offense. He has a nation-leading 24 rushing TD's in 2011, which sets a K-State record and is three shy of Ricky Williams' (Texas) Big 12 record and Ricky Dobbs' (Navy) NCAA record by a quarterback.

Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
Elliot Coffey, Baylor, LB, Sr, Sugar Land, Texas
Elliot Coffey intercepted two passes and made 10 tackles (seven solo), including a tackle-for-loss in No. 25 Baylor's 31-30 come-from-behind overtime win at Kansas. After KU had driven to Baylor's 39-yard line in the final minute of the fourth quarter, Coffey intercepted his second pass of the game to keep the score tied at 24-24. He had a tackle for no gain earlier in the contest to force third down in the red zone that held KU to a field goal. The senior linebacker posted another tackle for no gain to force fourth down in the second quarter. He returned his first interception 33 yards to the Kansas one-yard line, also in the second period.

 

Upcoming Game of the Week:  Oklahoma at Baylor (7:00 p.m. ABC)

 

Rankings

1.  Oklahoma State

2.  Oklahoma

3.  Kansas State

4.  Baylor

5.  Missouri

6.  Texas

7.  Texas A&M

8.  Iowa State

9.  Texas Tech

10.  Kansas

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