At the beginning of the year, I listed TCU as the third best team in the conference. Many national pundits felt the Horned Frogs were a dark horse candidate to win the Big 12 and Vegas gave them the thitd best odds to win the conference and were even given a fairly high 15/1 odds to make the College Football Playoff. It was all good just a few months ago, but now we sit here in November and look back and the sad state that TCU is in as we tilt our heads back and laugh.
This TCU fall is absolutely hilarious, given what we thought about this team. I, for one, had commended Gary Patterson’s defense all season, calling them “SEC caliber” and “the best defense in the Big 12.” My bad y’all. This team really walked into Lawrence, Kansas and took a loss. A defeat. A big fat L. Which in turn makes the rest of the conference L.O.L.
Sure there was plenty of other things that happened in the Big 12 last weekend. Iowa State proved that they are still contenders, Oklahoma and West Virginia flexed their muscles as the best in the conference, while Texas and Texas Tech showed they still have quite a bit of work to do to get where they need to be. All that being said, TCU still lost to Kansas in football.
1. Oklahoma (+1)
In just his second game as defensive coordinator, Ruffin Mcneil’s defense already tied a season low in points allowed, which was also the fewest points allowed against a non-Kansas conference opponent since 2015. This team can still smell the CFP and if they continue this hot streak will be right there in the end. However three tough match-ups still await them: A night game in Lubbock this weekend, a road game in Morgantown to end the regular season and the Big 12 championship in Arlington.
2. West Virginia (+1)
Look who’s got their swagger back. After three straight less than ideal weeks for West Virginia, nothing could’ve been better than the beat-down they lay on the Baylor Bears. The defense once again looked formidable forcing four turnovers while Will Grier looked like the Heisman candidate I once thought he could be. Now the Heisman is likely to be out of Grier’s grasp but there’s still plenty to play for. The Mountaineers are only 13th in the CFP rankings and control their own destiny in terms of the Big 12 championship. They’ll need to go through Austin to get there first.
3. Texas (-2)
Speaking of Austin, I’m sure the Longhorns are happy to be back home after that disappointing loss in Stillwater. Personally, I believe his game just brought the national media and local fans back down to earth. I was actually impressed by the Longhorns’ resilience to fight back in this game, but this is exactly who they are. No, they’re not a CFP caliber team nor are they “back”. But they are a talented team that plays up to their competition but also plays down to their competition. Unfortunately for them, the rest of the season isn’t easy with games in Morgantown, Lubbock and Lawrence (the place where they lost to Kansas in football in 2016). Not to mention a home game against the resurgent Cyclones, Texas will have to show how talented they actually are.
4. Iowa State (+1)
This past weekend’s game was the game that was going to separate the contenders from the pretenders and Iowa State answered the call as a contender. The Cyclones may actually have the best defense in the conference, and now have the quarterback to pair it with. The move to Brock Purdy changes everything for this team and with most of the top teams already out of the way, Iowa State could really make some noise. It’s truly not inconceivable to say that this team could run the table the rest of the way out which would likely put them in the Big 12 championship game. If that happens, then Iowa State needs to go ahead and start building Matt Campbell’s statue.
5. Texas Tech (-1)
This past weekend’s game was the game that was going to separate the contenders from the pretenders and Texas Tech answered the call as a pretender. Alan Bowman played probably the worst game of his life and made an absolutely terrible mistake with the game-losing safety. On the bright side, the defense, despite the other team scoring 40, did play well, and special teams once again flexed their muscles with a blocked punt for a touchdown and constant deep punts. Tech now just needs to desperately clean up the penalties and get their QB’s mojo back.
6. Oklahoma State (+3)
This is the Oklahoma STate team we were expecting to see this year. Okie State let their talented back Justice Hill control the run game which gave their quarterback the chance to let it air out and he did. The offensive line had arguably their best game of the season as Taylor Cornelius picked the defense apart and rattled off five touchdowns. As I’ve said all year Cornelius is and was never the problem for the Cowboys and Mike Gundy’s fortitude to stick by his starter is commendable and will benefit the team going forward. After what seemed to be a very bleak season, Okie State now only needs one more win to reach bowl eligibility and may be able to turn their entire season around.
7. Baylor (-)
Charlie Brewer went one for eight in the game on Thursday night. One for eight. That’s eight pass attempts, and only one of them were completed. Brewer threw three passes to the other team, but could only throw one to his own. In a conference that has Shawn Robinson, Michael Collins, Skylar Thompson, Jett Duffey, Zeb Noland and Peyton Bender, THIS was the worst quarterbacking I’ve seen all year. Jalen Mcclendon came in and cleaned it up a little but the damage was done. As bad as that night was, Baylor is still only two wins away from a bowl game and with home games coming up against Oklahoma State and TCU, that team that lost to Kansas in football, Baylor may still be able tor each their preseason goal.
8. Kansas State (-)
K-State really wanted to give Bill Snyder that contract extension before this year for some reason and I’m curious if they already have buyers remorse. Obviously Snyder is a living legend and rightfully so, but this season has been fairly embarrassing. The two biggest victories so far have been a home win to UTSA and an upset victory over an Oklahoma State team that looked abysmal before this past weekend. Skylar Thompson struggles to get 100 yards passing yards every game while they have a very limited running game. There’s no shame in getting beat by Oklahoma, but it didn’t seem like the Wildcats even put up a fight. I’m already hearing K-State fans sound like their in state counterparts, “When is basketball season again?”
9. Kansas (+1)
With all the commotion centered around how bad TCU looked, let me not overlook how good Kansas looked in their first conference win since 2016. Pooka Williams didn’t have any impact rushing yet the Jayhawks still won this game behind defense and the passing game. Williams is becoming one of my favorite backs in the league with his ability to make things happen in space and adapt when TCU took away one part of his game. Despite him only getting 33 rushing yards, he hauled in 102 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Peyton Bender was also able to protect the ball while the defense forced two TCU turnovers. I think David Beaty has earned himself at least one more year to see if he can ride the positive wave because another firing may just set Kansas back again.
10. TCU (-4)
Shawn Robinson, Michael Collins, it doesn’t matter, this offense is terrible and it’s looking like the defense has given up on the season. Gary Patterson must now find a way to win three of the next four games or else TCU will suffer just the third losing season in Patterson’s tenure and the first in five years.