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Big 12 Football Report, v 1.10

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The week in Big XII football.

THE RUNDOWN

  • Texas Tech 39  Texas 33  [Box / Recap / Blog Coverage]

    Longhorns fans are sick of talking about the details of this game, so we'll wrap the look back with a macro perspective, from Chris at Smart Football:

    In the end, I'm not sure if you can really emulate Leach's offense per se. The current BYU staff has lots of ties to Leach and they are having great success and Sonny Dykes is the offensive coordinator at Arizona with mixed results. There are others. But Leach is just plain a "different" guy, so he could care less whether his offense looks like other offenses -- and in fact I'm sure he wants it to be different -- and this allows him to always push football's boundaries in ways other coaches cannot.

    So the season is long, success in football is always ephemeral, but for now, in Leach's ongoing case against the football traditionalists (Leach has a law degree), his argument against the "geometry of the game" looks pretty persuasive.
    Maybe, but I'm not sure that's the right takeaway from Saturday's game. The Red Raiders didn't score a second half offensive touchdown until their final play; the victory in many ways was won by the defense, which scored a touchdown and, for the first time in eight years, held the Texas offense to fewer than 30 points.

    That unit will need to be good again this Saturday, when Oklahoma State and the conference's most balanced offensive attack visit Lubbock. The Cowboys this year average 273 yards rushing (5.7 ypc) and 238 yards passing (Zac Robinson's 192.5 QB Rating leads the Big 12); a year ago their 49-45 win over Tech--behind 610 total yards (366 on the ground)--led to Mike Leach firing his defensive coordinator. Ruffin McNeal will have to do significantly better for Tech to get to 10-0.

  • Missouri 31  Baylor 28  [Box / Recap / Blog Coverage]

    Baylor freshman quarterback Robert Griffin threw an interception. What a loser.

    Oh, right: Saturday's pick was his first in some 200 attempts as a collegiate quarterback. Despite the streak-snapping INT, Griffin had another marvelous game, picking up 283 yards through the air on 26-35 passing, including 2 touchdowns. His 36-yard scoring strike to Jay Finley in the 4th quarter tied the game at 28, and though Missouri would subsequently kick a winning field goal, the Bears showed how much better they are under first years Griffin and Art Briles.

    One might also interpret Saturday's game as another data point supporting the South Division's superiority. Not only did the Division's 5th or 6th best team nearly take down the North's top team, but the Tigers lost in Columbia to Oklahoma State and were throttled in Austin. Other data points include Tech's 42-point beatdown of Kansas and Oklahoma's dismantling of Nebraska (don't click through the jump, Huskers fans). Even the Aggies are on a two-game winning streak, courtesy of Iowa State and Colorado.
  • Oklahoma 62  Nebraska 28  [Box / Recap / Blog Coverage]

    Fact #1: At the end of the first quarter, Oklahoma led this game 35-0.
    Fact #2: There are no typos in Fact #1.

    Peruse the recap, box score, or blog coverage if you need more.

  • Kansas 52  Kansas State 21  [Box / Recap / Blog Coverage]

    The Jayhawks win their third straight Governor's Cup, yes, but the big victors may have been KSU fans, who from the loss received the good news today that Ron Prince will be stepping down as head coach. You gotta give a little to get a little, right?

    Though Ronaldinho has been a favorite punching bag of this column in 2008, let the record show that Mr. Prince walks away a perfect 2-0 against the Longhorns, and joins Stephen McGee as a 2006-07 nemesis who will disappear before revenge can be had. He can hold that particular banner high, I suppose.

  • Texas A&M 24  Colorado 17  [Box / Recap / Blog Coverage]

    It took him a half to get going, but Jerrod Johnson heard the rooster's call in time to wake up and lead the Farmers to victory over the tailspinning Buffaloes. Johnson's touchdown strikes of 32, 59, and 10 yards highlighted a 21-0 third quarter run by the Aggies, enough to propel the Agros to their second-straight conference win. With Oklahoma coming to town this Saturday, the winning streak likely ends at two, but the Fightin' Farmers need to stay sharp, their battle with Baylor for "fourth best team in Texas" looming a week later in Waco.

  • Oklahoma State 59  Iowa State 17  [Box / Recap / Blog Coverage]

    The Cowboys averaged 10.5 yards per play, which... wow. If Texas Tech is at all less than fully prepared for Mike Gundy's high-flying offense, the Cowboys will light up the Red Raiders for 49 again. For Texas fans, this game is now enormously important, of course; assuming the Longhorns can take care of Baylor Saturday morning, it's gonna be fun to spend the evening watching another potential classic in Lubbock. Go Pokes!

WEEK 10 AWARDS

BEST WIN: TEXAS TECH, OVER TEXAS  Biggest win of the week? Yes. But also biggest win in program history. Congratulations to the Red Raiders. A win this Saturday and they'll win this award again.

WORST LOSS: KANSAS STATE, TO KANSAS  Colorado gets a reprise since Ron Prince's 31-point loss to a state rival wound up costing him his job.

TOP PERFORMER, OFFENSE (TEAM): OKLAHOMA STATE   Ten and a half yards per play? Really? Against a BCS opponent? Forget Iowa State's suckitude--that's just obscene.

BUM STEER, OFFENSE (TEAM): COLORADO  The worst offense in the conference lays another egg. To A&M. Oof.

TOP PERFORMER, OFFENSE (INDIVIDUAL): GRAHAM HARRELL AND MICHAEL CRABTREE, TEXAS TECH  For his part, Harrell was nearly perfect, making one tough throw after another, including the game winner. And Crabtree? Curtis Brown made him work for it all game, but when it mattered most the nation's best receiver made an absolutely incredible play--not just making the catch, but staying in bounds, able to turn up field to score. Ugh.

BUM STEER, OFFENSE (INDIVIDUAL): TYLER HANSEN, COLORADO  HThe Colorado quarterback's final line? 11-23, 89 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT.

PB'S POWER RANKINGS

Last ranking in parentheses.

1. Texas (1) - Staying in the top spot after a loss? For now, yeah. Credit to the Red Raiders for Saturday's win, but the disastrous first quarter and vastly improved second half was enough to convince me the Longhorns deserve this spot for now. The emergence of Malcolm Williams and Fozzy Whittaker make this team better down the stretch.

2. Oklahoma State (2) - Prove it time once more for the Cowboys, who if they win in Lubbock on Saturday might deserve the top spot in these rankings.

3. Texas Tech (4) - This is going to piss off Red Raiders fans, but I'll urge patience: Win this week and up you go. Win again in two weeks and you'll be alone atop these rankings. Cool? Cool.

4. Oklahoma (3) - The Sooners are enjoying the soft stretch of their schedule, before the Tech-OSU showdowns to end the year. Sam Bradford is just phenomenal.

5. Missouri (5) - A narrow win in Waco isn't what Mizzou fans wanted to see as the team tries to regroup for a run at a BCS Bowl, but... Baylor's improved. The Tigers will take it.

6. Kansas (7) - One of college football's most inconsistent teams, looking great one week and mediocre the next. They need to win in Lincoln to stay alive for the North title.

7. Nebraska (6) - Playing the Big 12 South sucks this year.

8. Baylor (8) - Likely losses Texas and Tech await, but a home win over A&M would be an impressive notch on Griffin's and Briles' first-year belts.

9. Kansas State (10) - Good night, Prince.

10. Texas A&M (11) - Movin' on up!

11. Colorado (9) - Total. Disaster.

12. Iowa State (12) - Could they win in Boulder on Saturday? The ultimate cripple fight awaits.