Week 6 Big 12 football rankings and reactions. What does the Texas shocker really mean? What did TCU prove with its win over Kansas State, and is everyone overlooking Oklahoma State?
Big 12 Player of the Week
TCU QB Trevone Boykin completed 20-of-30 passes for 301 yards and two scores with two picks, and ran 11 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Kansas State.
Week 6 Big 12 Football Rankings
1. Oklahoma (4-1)
L, Texas 24-17: No, there will be no direct quoting of any pop tarts, but Oklahoma, shake it off. This loss stinks, but Texas isn’t a factor – it doesn’t matter. Losing at Kansas State next week though, after what happened in Dallas, would be a true disaster. Beat the Wildcats, and then it’s Texas Tech, Kansas and Iowa State – the Sooners will be right back on track before going to Baylor for a November that’ll make or break the playoff hopes. There’s still time – go 11-1, go to the playoff. But to do that, the running game has to work. This Air Raid stuff is fun, but Samaje Perine can’t be running for 36 yards on just ten carries, and there’s no reason Joe Mixon should only get six carries for 24 yards. At some point, OU has to commit to the run again – really commit to it.
2. Baylor (5-0)
W, at Kansas 66-7: Okay, yippee, you had your fun, Baylor. You got your easy win over Kansas, you put up a ton of yards and you toyed with the backups seeing time in the second half. There’s no way a team can be more ready to face someone good, with the Bears as tuned up as can possibly be with West Virginia up next. Seth Russell was sharp – hitting 18-of-27 passes with three scores, backup Jarrett Stidham was sharper – hitting 9-of-10 throws for 117 yards and two scores, and the Bears did whatever they wanted with the lowly Jayhawks. It’s not like KU has any type of attack, but at least the Bear defense rose up and came up with an easy game – it’s been a while since the D came up with a big performance.
3. TCU (6-0)
W, at Kansas State 52-45: That was the TCU offense doing what the TCU offense does to overcome a rocky day from the D. It was a tough night game on the road in Manhattan, and Trevone Boykin was magnificent, throwing for 301 yards and two scores and running for 124 yards on the way to the tough win. The defense is going to be a problem all year, and Kansas State kept fighting, but TCU came up with its fifth game in a row with more than 50 points as it bombed its way to the win. There’s a little bit of a break up next with Iowa State and a home date with West Virginia to follow, but as each week passes, the inexperienced new cogs in the defensive system will figure out what they’re doing. The D will get better, and the O will be the O.
4. West Virginia (3-1)
L, Oklahoma State 33-26 OT: This one is going to really, really sting. The four turnovers and 11 penalties were enough to make West Virginia kill itself, especially in the first half. The defense did a great job against the Oklahoma State running game, and Wendell Smallwood and the ground attack were terrific, but the Mountaineers couldn’t take control of the game and had a nightmare of a time dealing with a passing attack that spread the ball around to 12 different receivers. The team fought back and appeared ready to pull the win off in overtime, but didn’t. Now comes a road trip to Baylor, and followed up by a trip to TCU. The Mountaineers desperately needed this.
5. Texas Tech (4-2)
W, Iowa State 66-31: This was probably a more dangerous game than it appeared. Iowa State had the running game, and it showed it off with a huge day from Mike Warren, and it had the receiving corps, and the Texas Tech defense came up big with three interceptions to slow things down. Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes was fantastic, throwing for 428 of the team’s 515 yards and five scores, with everything humming for an unstoppable day from the offense. Now, 4-2 with Baylor and TCU out of the way don’t seem so bad. With Kansas up next, the Red Raiders are going to get their fifth win before getting their shot at Oklahoma. With the way the passing game is working, Tech has more than a puncher’s chance.
6. Oklahoma State (6-0)
W, at West Virginia 33-26 OT: Just enjoy the 6-0 start. Mason Rudolph was awful at times, throwing three picks and getting benched, and the running game didn’t work – Rudolph led the way with 48 yards – but the team came through under pressure on the road. West Virginia rallied, it had all the momentum in the second half, and the Cowboys still left with the win. The run defense had a lousy day and was pushed a bit, but after struggling last season to go bowling, and with Kansas and Texas Tech up next, 8-0 is almost certain before facing the biggest of big boys in the conference. It’s a process, but this was a key piece of the puzzle, proving that OSU is truly in the upper part of the Big 12 pack.
7. Kansas State (3-2)
L, TCU 52-45: It’s the second straight week the Wildcats were beaten because the other team’s quarterback went off, and while it might be easy to chalk it up to simply having to face Trevone Boykin this week and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph last week, that’s life in the Big 12. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield is up next, Texas has a growing playmaker in Jerrod Heard, Baylor’s Seth Russell is coming up, and so is Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes. Kansas State doesn’t have the firepower to keep up the pace with all of these top-shelf attacks, so it has to hold on to the ball. It did that, keeping it for almost 40 minutes, but it didn’t matter. If there isn’t more to the offense than QB Joe Hubener, K-State won’t win these wild battles.
8. Texas (2-4)
W, Oklahoma 24-17: Let’s look at Texas in hindsight. It’s a young team that got blown away by an elite TCU team, and got ripped up by a nasty Notre Dame team at home – with Malik Zaire under center. Throw in the mistakes in the losses to Cal and Oklahoma State – two strong teams – and 2-4 looks a whole bunch better now. However, it took the win over Oklahoma to do it. Jerrod Heard was fantastic, and the offense played with a swagger from the start, but this was the day for a defense that rose up and took charge. The Longhorns were in the backfield on most key plays, came up with the big third down stops, and held the high-powered Sooner offense to 278 yards. More than anything else, the players went nuts celebrating with Charlie Strong after the game – yeah, right, he really lost his team. Now there’s two weeks to bask in the glow and enjoy the win before facing Kansas State. The program could use some fun time.
9. Iowa State (2-3)
L, at Texas Tech 66-31: Other than the three turnovers, the offense worked just fine with close to 500 yards, but the D wasn’t even close. The Cyclones aren’t going to be a brick wall, but they weren’t even close, allowing 776 yards, almost never coming up with a decent third down stop, and failing to come up with a takeaway. It’s possible Texas Tech is really that good – it looked the part against TCU – but now the Cyclones have to deal with the Horned Frogs and then Baylor. This was one of those games the team needed to somehow pull off to get into bowl range, but it wasn’t even close.
10. Kansas (0-5)
L, Baylor 66-7: The worst part about the loss wasn’t getting blown out; it was getting blown out and not being able to do anything against the backups. There was no way Kansas was going to hang with the Baylor offense, but the defense hasn’t been slowing anyone down, taking its foot off the gas with the games out of reach. This week, it didn’t matter. The Jayhawk offense just didn’t move, with no running game to slow things down and not enough pop down the field. The team needed to be perfect to make this remotely interesting, and the three turnovers didn’t help. The goal is to keep getting better week-in-and-week-out, and this week, Kansas didn’t. Next week comes the date with Texas Tech.