With the first November in the books, a wide-open conference is starting to have some 2014 vibes to it. And just as all Big 12 media predicted, Baylor is tied for second with just three weeks remaining in the season. The team at the top just continues to win. But what other Big 12 week 10 takeaways are of significance as the end of the season is unfortunately quickly approaching?
Big 12 Week 10 Takeaways
It’s The Horned Frogs Conference
College football had some seismic results across the landscape this past week. As a result, style points won’t be a factor for TCU if they keep winning. Was TCU looking ahead a bit to a showdown with the Longhorns? Maybe. Because this high-flying offense was held in check for basically three-and-a-half quarters against Texas Tech. Down 17-13 heading into the fourth quarter, TCU did what it has done all season. It made the winning plays when it matter most. And with their 34-24 defeat of Texas Tech, TCU now is only one of four remaining teams in college football that remains undefeated.
The health of Horned Frogs’ stellar play-making wide receiver Quentin Johnston will be critical. Johnston was unable to play against Texas Tech due to an ankle injury. While the Horned Frogs were able to finally get the offense rolling at the end of the game, it is very apparent the passing attack of TCU is very limited without him.
Good And Bad Surprises In The Sunflower State
Congratulations to the Kansas Jayhawks are in order. Thanks to a dominating performance en route to a 37-16 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys, the Jayhawks are going bowling for the first time since 2008. TCU head coach Sonny Dykes is likely going to win Big 12 coach of the year. And all it will take is likely just an appearance in the Big 12 title game. But outside of maybe Tennesee, there has not been a more stark turnaround in the last two seasons than what Lance Leipold has done in Lawrence. Coming into the year, there was not any universe this intrepid Last Word author thought for the Big 12 week 10 takeaways would include talking about the Jayhawks going bowling. But even with their starting quarterback out, Kansas continues to prove that Jason Bean can still keep this offense operating at high levels.
Meanwhile, about 85 miles down the road from a joyous celebration in Lawrence, the scene was not so fun for the home team. The Longhorns jumped out to a 31-10 lead at the half. But in typical Texas fashion, had to hold on in the second half. Thanks to a game-sealing fumble on the final drive of the game, Texas moved to 6-3 on the year. This 34-27 win for the Longhorns keeps their Big 12 title hopes alive. Kansas State has been one of the more confusing teams in the conference this season. Any opportunity they have had to establish themselves as the clear-cut second-best team in the Big 12, they have stumbled. And now, they are in a three-way tie for second with losses to any team in front of them. The Wildcats have one last chance to get back in it this week.
Other Notable Action
Defending Big 12 champion Baylor took down Oklahoma by the score of 38-35. It was just the second time the Bears have ever won in Norman. The Bears’ rushing attack, which had recently been gaining steam behind Richard Reese, had another back do the heavy lifting on Saturday. Craig “Sqwirl” Williams ran for a career-high 192 yards and two touchdowns, and the team ran for 281 yards and five touchdowns. Baylor head coach Dave Arranda knows that the path back to Arlington is as simple and as difficult as it gets. Win out and they will be back in the conference championship game. The issue; they are about to play three consecutively ranked teams. Kansas State, TCU, and at Texas are what lies between Baylor and an opportunity to defend their crown.
Iowa State has been much maligned this year. A top-tier defense that has kept them close all year, but still had zero wins to show for it. That all changed as they defeated West Virginia by a score of 31-14. The Cyclones got their first Big 12 win of the season. It likely secured the Mountaineers’ position at the bottom of the conference for the year. The calls for head coach Neal Brown to be removed will undoubtedly continue to grow louder by the week.