Big 12 Football Notes and Picks: Week Five
Trying to get a bead on the Big 12 football race is like trying to corner a jackrabbit on the open prairie. That makes for some pain in these picks, but a great deal of enjoyment and entertainment on Saturdays. We’ll take it.
Oklahoma was held to a Big 12 record-low of 15:19 in time of possession against the triple-option attack of Army, but still pulled out the 28-21 OT win. The Sooners are the only FBS team since 1996 to win a game with that low of a time of possession.
This one falls in the category of it’s not how long you have it, but what you do with it that counts.
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Iowa State’s makeup game with Incarnate Word is the only non-conference outing left on the Big 12 schedule, and that doesn’t show up until Dec 1. For the next nine weeks, it’s all conference head-to-head matchups.
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Texas Tech is likely a bit bent out of shape that it routed Oklahoma State on the Cowboys’ home turf, yet is still 11 spots behind it in the Amway Coaches Poll. Granted, Tech’s loss to Mississippi State wasn’t pretty, but the SIDs or staffers doing the actual voting might need to explain that gap.
Mike Gundy and Kliff Kingsbury both vote in this year’s poll, as do fellow Big 12 coaches Tom Herman of Texas, Gary Patterson, of TCU and Dana Holgorsen of West Virginia.
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Big 12 coaches will wear a logo patch in this week’s games to support Coach to Cure Muscular Dystrophy. The national charity project raises awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy — the most prolific genetic killer of young men.
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A player from the Big 12 has earned a national honor from the Walter Camp Football Foundation in each of the first four weeks of the season. WVU’s Will Grier (Sept. 2), OU’s Kyler Murray (Sept. 9) and TTU’s Alan Bowman (Sept. 18) were tabbed National Offensive Players of the Week, while Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray earned Defensive honors this past week.
Oklahoma State at Kansas
Sat Sep 29 12:00 PM* FSN
Kansas, Kansas. The Jayhawks might have played their worst game of the year at Baylor, and that includes the home loss stinker to Nicholls State. The requisite “Oklahoma State will be mad” after its loss last week will be in play, but that extra motivation probably won’t be necessary. The Cowboys get back on track in Lawrence.
West Virginia at Texas Tech
Sat Sep 29 12:00 PM ESPN2
Shootout coming, right? Well, both teams have also shown defensive chops this year, so it’s not an automatic 51-50 game just yet. But if the wind isn’t howling, it might be. There is a ton of offensive talent on both squads, and it’s difficult to see this game staying in the 20s. Or 30s. West Virginia is the shakiest of selections in this one.
Baylor at Oklahoma
Sat Sep 29 3:30 PM ABC
The Sooner figure to rebound from their scare against Army quite nicely, as they play at home for the fourth time in five outings this year. OU’s defense might have a few bugs that could be exploited, but there’s not enough ability on the Bear sideline to do so.
Texas at Kansas State
Sat Sep 29 3:30 PM FS1
Texas has gotten on a very good roll, knocking off rankesUSC and TCU in back-to-back weeks. Maybe they just need to play teams known by initials? This has the makings of one of those letdown games, and one where the home team can spring a trap, but this hasn’t been a typical K-State squad so far. Alex Delton sparked the Wildcats late in their loss to WVU, but is that enough to elevate what appears to be a downtrodden team? Why not, it’s been a weird season so far.
Iowa State at TCU
Sat Sep 29 7:00 PM ESPNU
TCU has been on a downward scoring trend this year, seeing its total output fall from 55 in the opener to just 16 against Texas last week. Iowa State, however, might be even more challenged. The Horned Frogs are the pick in their first home game in four weeks.
* All Times Eastern