Big 12 storylines: Week 10
Here’s what I’m keeping an eye on this week across the Big 12.
Are you in or are you out? Oklahoma State’s been up and down all year, looking dominant late in games against Iowa State and Mississippi State, but suffering an ugly loss on the road at West Virginia. The Cowboys haven’t done much to prove themselves in Big 12 play yet, though, and are a step behind the league’s top four teams so far. Is this the week we figure out whether OSU is really serious about winning a Big 12 title?
Sharpen up that resume, boys. No room for O’Learys here. There’s no shame in losing by eight on the road at Oklahoma, but Texas Tech’s resume is still razor-thin so far. Its best win is … TCU? West Virginia? Texas State (5-3) actually has the best record of any team Tech has beaten. The Red Raiders would silence a lot of the skepticism with a win over a top 20 team at home, and be one step closer to a showdown with Baylor that may decide the Big 12 title.
“It’s not like Whitewright.” That’s what QB Tyrone Swoopes told Mack Brown about his first game experience late last week against TCU. Brown took off Swoopes’ redshirt and confirmed that David Ash would miss this week, but stopped short of declaring Ash out for the season. How much do we see Swoopes this week? How much will Texas get him involved as a spell for Case McCoy? You don’t take a redshirt off to make a guy a backup.
Musical chairs yet again? Kansas State pulled off the two-quarterback scheme last week, but everything looks good and every decision is right when your quarterbacks complete 18-of-21 passes. That snapped the Wildcats’ three-game losing streak in Big 12 play, but Jake Waters bounced back from an early fumble and completed 10-of-13 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns to remind us why Daniel Sams hasn’t taken total control of the job.
I mean, it’s pretty close to Halloween. There was no reason why Kansas nearly knocked off Texas a year ago. Nobody saw it coming before it just happened. Sound familiar? Everybody expects Texas to roll, and Kansas (losers of 25 consecutive Big 12 games) to roll over. Case McCoy played the hero last year and strung together a game-winning drive. He starts this year. At what point does KU get back to close calls in Big 12 play? KU hasn’t come within single digits of a Big 12 team this year, and are losing by an average of 27 points a game.
Snap out of it, guys. TCU and West Virginia have lost a combined seven consecutive games, and neither team’s been able to find anything resembling a reliable offense. In Big 12 play, West Virginia is eighth in the league in scoring. TCU is 10th. Somebody’s got to get a win, and both teams are holding on to slim bowl hopes. A loss for either team means they’ll have to win their final three games to reach a bowl game.
Flimsy without Wimberly. Running back Aaron Wimberly was a surprise scratch from Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma State with a hamstring injury. He’s unlikely to return this week, but Iowa State can’t beat Kansas State if it can’t find additional weapons. Guys like Quenton Bundrage and E.J. Bibbs need to step up in the passing game. ISU doesn’t have another players who averages more than 3.5 yards a carry. Wimberly averaged 4.73 per touch.