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Keeping Up with the Conference: Week 7 Edition

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We know OU lost (48>45), but what else happened in the Big 12 this past weekend?

Tulsa World

It’s another week down in what’s shaping up to be a refreshingly optimistic season for the Texas Longhorns. The past few years, around this juncture of the season, most news and projections would be asking whether the Longhorns would be able to secure a bowl berth and make it to six wins.

This year, Texas can achieve that same mark in just a few days.

However, in order to get to six wins, you have to have a five in the win column. Texas got it’s fifth win in big fashion. Gus Johnson exclaimed the win through our tv screens on Saturday, declaring it to be a “program-defining victory” for the Longhorns, who took down the Sooners by a score of 48-45.

And oh yeah, did I mention OU lost at the hands (or foot) of this guy?

Everyone knows Texas is and always will be the DBU, but is it too early to start calling Texas Special Teams U? I don’t know, just an idea.

In case you unfortunately missed the game, inexplicably forgot what happened, or just want an excuse to spend the next six minutes reliving what was easily the best game in college football this season, here’s one of the better highlight reels I could find.

So, we know what’s been going on with Texas. But... what else happened in the Big 12 this past week?

BIG 12 STANDINGS (through Week 6)

  1. (6) West Virginia (3-0) (5-0)
  2. (9) Texas (3-0) (5-1)
  3. (11) Oklahoma (2-1) (5-1)
  4. Baylor (2-1) (4-2)
  5. TCU (1-1) (3-2)
  6. Texas Tech (1-1) (3-2)
  7. Iowa State (1-2) (2-3)
  8. Oklahoma State (1-2) (4-2)
  9. Kansas (0-3) (2-4)
  10. Kansas State (0-3) (2-4)

BIG 12 BREAKDOWN

West Virginia

Week 6: W vs Kansas, 38-22

Highlight: Will Grier’s up-and-down day (4 TDs and 3 INTs) allowed Kansas to stay somewhat in this game, but WVU was able to pull away from Kansas in the second half for its fifth win on the season. The highlight of the game has to be this WVU D-Lineman proposing to his girlfriend at midfield right after the game — because nothing says “will you marry me” like beating Kansas at home in football.

Trending: UP. Aside from an oddly erratic showing from Grier, WVU played their brand of football Saturday — quick offense that puts their best players in space, and a defense that’s hunting for turnovers and loss of yardage. The Mountaineers will travel to Ames, Iowa to take on Iowa State in their next contest.

Oklahoma

Week 6: L vs (9) Texas, 45-48

Highlight: Despite falling behind 45-24 just before the start of the third quarter, Oklahoma mounted a furious comeback throughout the fourth to pull even with Horns before being Dickered’ into the loss column. This tantalizing run by Kyler Murray brought the Sooners to within a score, but ultimately wasn’t enough as the Sooners became another victim of the growing Texas is Back tour.

Trending: DOWN. Texas was the first true test for Oklahoma this season. After allowing Army to play it close and go to OT, and giving up over 400 yards passing and 33 points to Baylor just a week ago in Norman, the wheels finally fell off the wagon as the OU defense allowed Texas to do literally whatever it wanted. The trend is down for Oklahoma, not just because of a potentially CFP-hopes-killing loss, but because after surrendering the most points ever allowed in the Red River Showdown, OU decided to part ways with DC Mike Stoops. It’s no joke to say he will truly be missed, at least on this side of the Red River.

Baylor

Week 6: W vs Kansas State, 37-34

Highlight: In what escalated to a shootout, Baylor came back, lost the lead, came back, lost the lead, and then ultimately won the game... all in the fourth quarter. Our I-35 brother Bears also shared in the joy of a game-winning field goal, as Baylor’s Connor Martin avenged three missed field goals by making the most important one.

Trending: UP. Baylor’s defense = not so good. But Baylor’s offense is really rounding into something surprising, as the Bears were able to put up 557 total yards against the usually low scoring and always slow paced Kansas State. The Bears were led on offense by WRs Jalen Hurd and Denzel Mims, who each totaled a respective 135 and 90 yards receiving. Lookout for these two in their matchup against Texas this weekend at DKR.

TCU

Week 6: BYE

Highlight: TCU will be coming off of a bye, as the Horned Frogs stumbled out of the gates to a 3-2 start. While the offense has sputtered all year long, TCU boasts the No. 1 defense in the Big 12.

Trending: NEUTRAL. Nothing changes in Fort Worth, but Thursday’s game against Texas Tech should be a great contest between two seemingly even-matched teams. TCU will most likely need to win out on the season in order to make the Big 12 title game for the second consecutive year.

Texas Tech

Week 6: BYE

Highlight: The Red Raiders were on bye last week. The highlight will be whether the starting QB will be given to incumbent (and potentially one-lunged) Alan Bowman, or Jett Duffey, who replaced Bowman in Tech’s near comeback victory against West Virginia.

Trending: NEUTRAL. Attention shifts towards a Thursday night trip down to Fort Worth to take on the TCU Horned Frogs. This should be a good game as offense meets defense in a “who wants 5th in the Big 12 more” game.

Iowa State

Week 6: W vs Oklahoma State, 48-42

Highlight: Well that was a Purdy win! QB Brock Purdy took the starting job and ran with it this past weekend, having the game of his life at OSU. Purdy threw for an impressive stat line of 18/23, 318 yards passing, 4 TD, and 1 INT, but also led the Cyclones in rushing with 19 carries for 84 yards and a TD. His entire highlight reel is just a ton of fun to watch, but this throw to Hakeem Butler was especially great.

Trending: UP. Avoiding an 0-3 conference start was huge. But if Purdy’s performance was legit for ISU, then that changes the outlook for the Cyclones going forward more than anything else. This offense was rolling, and with a more than competent player at QB, Iowa State’s offense could present some serious problems to the rest of the Big 12.

Oklahoma State

Week 6: L vs Iowa State, 42-48

Highlight: Oklahoma State played catch-up all game, as the Pokes’ defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed. RB Justice Hill was contained well in this game, so most of the scoring was done through the air. QB Taylor Cornelius ended up with 4 TD passes on the day, but his TD pass to Tyron Johnson late in the second was his best pass of the game.

Trending: DOWN. A devastating loss at home for the Cowboys drops OSU to 1-2 in the Big 12. It’s also the Cowboys’ second home conference loss of the season. Cornelius ended with a good final stat line, but was inconsistent on the day. He’ll need to be better if OSU wants to win, because the defense hasn’t shown it can stop many teams.

Kansas

Week 6: L vs (6) West Virginia, 22-38

Highlight: Kansas was able to keep it interesting by winning the turnover battle — something much easier said then done against a stout WVU team. The final score is a bit deceiving, as the Jayhawks scored with no time left to make it a 16-point loss. But credit to the Kansas defense, who kept this a seven-point game against a heavily favored opponent for much of the third quarter.

Trending: NEUTRAL. Again a game no one expected Kansas to win, the Jayhawks mildly surprised in their loss at WVU. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see them pick up a conference win somewhere down the line this season. They’ll have to wait for their next chance, though, as the Jayhawks will be on bye this weekend.

Kansas State

Week 6: L at Baylor, 34-37

Highlight: Kansas State may not have won the game, but the Wildcats finally provided some kind of life on offense that was assuredly refreshing to all 200 of their fans. RB Alex Barnes had himself a day, with 22 carries for 250 yards and three scores — the longest of which was this one from 55 yards out.

Trending: DOWN. Ultimately, that offensive performance wasn’t enough for K-State, as the team fell to 2-4 on the season and a paltry 0-3 in conference. Kansas State will host fellow disappointing starter Oklahoma State in what has somehow amounted to a must-win game for each school.

Out of Conference Observations

Maryland (3-2)

Week 6: L at (15) Michigan, 21-42

Highlight: Maryland had a tough time in all aspects of this game, as Michigan handled the Terps with ease. The Terrapins briefly held a lead after this kickoff return TD from RB Ty Johnson, but the rest of the game was all maize and blue.

Trending: DOWN. An extremely poor performance from the offense, but even Maryland’s defense was worn out in this game as well. That isn’t to say this game was an upset or a shock, as Michigan was heavily favored, at home, and just flat out a much better team. However, Maryland amassed only 220 total yards and 11 first downs, as the team just isn’t equipped to play from behind. They’ll look to get back on track against Rutgers.

Tulsa (1-4)

Week 6: L at Houston, 26-41

Highlight: Though the score looks ugly, the game was much closer than it seems. Tulsa’s offense was able to drive the ball on a bad Houston defense all game, as the Golden Hurricane racked up 426 total yards of offense. RB Corey Taylor II had a particularly great game on the ground, leading all rushers with 152 yards and a score.

Trending: DOWN. Tulsa actually led this game 26-17 with 13:10 left in the 4th quarter. However, Houston quickly scored 24 unanswered points in just six minutes of game time to bury Tulsa to a 1-4 record. The inability to finish drives doomed Tulsa, as they had to kick four FG from within their own 25-yard line. Tulsa will look to play spoiler as Charlie Strong and USF come into town Friday night.

USC (3-2)

Week 6: BYE

Highlight: USC had their bye week last week that followed two high scoring victories over Pac-12 opponents Washington State and Arizona.

Trending: NEUTRAL. Nothing new for the Trojans, as they’re set to get back to playing with a big home game against No. 19 Colorado. Pac-12 After Dark should have big implications for the Longhorns, as the September win against USC would look much better after a Trojan victory.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

Texas Strength of Schedule — 37-28 (.569)

Strength of Opponents Played 17-15 (.531)

Strength of Remaining Opponents — 20-13 (.606)

LOOK AHEAD

Week 7 Schedule (ESPN FPI projected winner in BOLD)

Texas Tech at TCU (Thursday night)

Baylor at (9) Texas

Oklahoma State at Kansas State

West Virginia at Iowa State

Oklahoma — BYE

Kansas — BYE

Rutgers at Maryland

(23) South Florida at Tulsa (Friday night)

(19) Colorado at USC

PARTING SHOT