CRFF - Big 12 football: Updated predictions, superlatives after Week 12

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Greenhorn
Feb 17, 2018
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Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Oklahoma pulled off a historic comeback to take control of the Big 12.

Baylor was so close but couldn’t quite pull off the upset. Baylor has been so good in close games all year long but Oklahoma wouldn’t allow the Bears to win. The whole conference was in action for the first time in a while and every game was close except for the Kansas-Oklahoma State game.

Standings

No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners (9-1, 6-1)

No. 14 Baylor Bears (9-1, 6-1)

No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-3, 4-3)

No. 22 Iowa State Cyclones (6-4, 4-3)

Texas Longhorns (6-4, 4-3)

Kansas State Wildcats (6-4, 3-4)

TCU Horned Frogs (5-5, 3-4)

West Virginia Mountaineers (4-6, 2-5)

Kansas Jayhawks (3-7, 1-6)

The Wildcats lost to WVU at home by four after the Mountaineers brought in a new quarterback. This is similar to ISU introducing Brock Purdy to college football against OSU last year and throwing the Cowboys’ game plan out of whack. Of course, OSU gets WVU next but at least they have some film to work with.

OU

The Sooners looked dead in the water. Jalen Hurts was turning the ball over and Baylor was playing downhill. The Bears took a 31-10 halftime lead then Hurts started to look more like the Heisman candidate he is. Aside from a fumble in the red zone, Hurts played a nearly perfect second half of football.

Hurts finished with 297 yards passing and 114 yards rushing with four passing touchdowns and an interception. He also fumbled twice. OU might have lost that game because of Hurts, but they definitely won the game because of Hurts. Kennedy Brooks finished with 93 yards on the ground. Lee Morris stepped up in the absence of CeeDee Lamb with 86 yards and Theo Wease had 31 yards and a touchdown.

OU needs to win out and get some help to make the College Football Playoff. If Georgia wins the SEC Championship Game, LSU and Georgia will both get in and likely leave OU out. OU should get in over a Pac 12 Champion Oregon or Utah, but the committee might not see it that way. The Sooners need impressive showings against TCU and OSU, as well as a convincing Big 12 Championship Game victory. Even then, it might not be enough.

Prediction: OU wins.

Baylor

Baylor fell short against OU after blowing a 25-point lead. It wasn’t so much that Baylor was bad as OU just controlled the football in an unprecedented manner. OU doesn’t win this game without its defense. Baylor would have won had its offense been able to sustain just one lengthy scoring drive.

Charlie Brewer passed for 194 yards and two touchdowns to go with the game-sealing interception he threw. He was also the Bears leading rusher with 65 yards and two touchdowns. JaMycal Hasty had 42 yards on just three carries. Denzel Mims was the leading receiver with 92 yards and two touchdowns.

Baylor has to pick itself up and find a way to beat a desperate Texas team at home. That might not sound like a tough task, but morale usually isn’t too high after losing a game like Baylor just did. The Bears were thinking of a possible CFP bid at halftime and now they might have to depend on getting an at-large bid just to make an New Year’s 6 bowl.

Prediction: Baylor wins.

OSU

OSU was able to cruise last weekend against KU. The Cowboys held a 24-0 halftime lead and eventually won 31-13. Spencer Sanders exited the game due to a thumb injury and he will be out for the Cowboys last two regular season games, but could possibly return for a bowl game in late December.

Sanders passed for 168 yards and a touchdown and didn’t turn the ball over for the first time since Week 2. Chuba Hubbard rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns and is officially a Heisman candidate. Dillon Stoner has become the clear No. 1 receiver in the absence of Tylan Wallace with 150 yards receiving and three touchdowns. Also, Dru Brown threw for 70 yards and a score in relief of Sanders!

OSU visits WVU, which is coming off its best win of the year. The Mountaineers made a switch a quarterback against KSU last week and pulled off an upset. OSU will have some film to look at but should be weary of this game. WVU’s rush offense is basically dead and the Mountaineers don’t even really try to run the ball anymore, so the Cowboys will need to focus in on the passing attack.

Prediction: OSU wins.

ISU

I was lucky enough to be driving when Connor Assalley attempted the game-winning field goal against Texas. I heard the call thanks to Sirius XM radio and Learfield IMG College (no, this isn’t an ad). The call was incredible, to say the least.

Brock Purdy and the Cyclones have been so close to winning the last few weeks and they finally got it done. Purdy passed for 354 yards and a touchdown to go with an interception and led the final drive to get Assalley in field goal range. Breece Hall rushed for 101 yards. Deshaunte Jones had 144 yards receiving and a touchdown.

ISU takes on KU at home this weekend after a string of tough games. The Cyclones will likely improve to 7-4 on the season before finishing the season on the road at KSU. All things considered, an 8-4 finish for ISU is still a pretty good season.

Prediction: ISU wins.

Texas

Losing on a walk-off field goal is never easy. The Longhorns dropped to 6-4 and still have to play Baylor. Texas won’t make the Big 12 Championship Game, although they haven’t technically been eliminated.

Sam Ehlinger passed for 273 yards and three touchdowns, including two four-quarter touchdowns to keep Texas in the game. The running game has dropped off significantly for Texas. Ehlinger led the Horns with 27 yards on 12 attempts. Keaontay Ingram had just nine yards on eight carries and Roschon Johnson had 18 yards on six carries. Devin Duvernay led with 107 receiving yards.

An upset win over Baylor and win over Texas Tech could put Texas at 8-4 heading into its bowl game. Winning two of the last three will be important for Texas. If Texas can win its last three, it would finish at 9-4, compared to a 10-4 record last season.

Prediction: Baylor wins.

KSU

KSU’s rollercoaster season continued with a home loss to WVU. The Wildcats had the good fortune of having to face a new quarterback who hasn’t played any meaningful snaps this season. All KSU needed was one fourth-quarter touchdown, but the offense couldn’t provide.

Skylar Thompson passed for 299 yards and a touchdown, but threw two interceptions. James Gilbert rushed for 60 yards and a score and Dalton Schoen led with 84 receiving yards and a score.

KSU is bowl eligible and plays a struggling Texas Tech team this weekend. The Red Raiders need to win their final two games to make a bowl.

Prediction: KSU wins.

TCU

TCU got a much-needed win at Texas Tech to bring the Horned Frogs to 5-5. TCU only needs one win to make a bowl, but they likely won’t get it this weekend.

TCU held off a Tech comeback after building a 17-0 first-half lead. Max Duggan passed for 323 yards and two touchdowns. Darius Anderson had 87 yards on the ground and Sewo Olonilua chipped in 75 yards and a score. Taye Barber finished with 137 yards receiving and Jalen Reagor added 83 yards and a touchdown.

TCU travels to Norman to play OU for the Horned Frogs first shot at becoming bowl eligible this season.

Prediction: OU wins.

WVU

WVU got a big win over KSU to keep its bowl eligibility hopes alive. The Mountaineers are 4-6 and need to win their final two games to make a bowl.

Doege passed for 234 yards and three touchdowns, and George Campbell had 92 receiving yards and two touchdowns for WVU. The Mountaineers rushed for 85 yards, including 62 from Leddie Brown.

WVU will host OSU, which will have Dru Brown start for the first time this season. Brown is an experienced graduate transfer from Hawaii, but it will be an adjustment. WVU could hang around in this game.

Prediction: OSU wins.

KU

KU struggled against OSU, but the Jayhawks gained momentum down the stretch thanks in large part to Carter Stanley’s play.

Stanley passed for 226 yards and two touchdowns, and threw an interception. Most of Stanley’s damage was done in the fourth quarter against the second team defense. Pooka Williams managed just 26 yards on the ground. Stephon Robinson had 68 receiving yards and a touchdown.

KU plays ISU and Baylor to close out its season and won’t be expected to come close to winning either game. It looks like Les Miles’ first season in Lawrence will end at 3-9.

Prediction: ISU wins.

Big 12 Championship Game

OU vs Baylor

Texas and OSU both technically have a chance, but I believe either Baylor or OU would have to lose out for this to happen. Baylor still has a game against KU, and OU hosts TCU this weekend. I am here for a rematch of last weekend’s game with OU winning again.

Offensive Player of the Year

Jalen Hurts: OU

OSU’s Chuba Hubbard is giving Hurts a run for his money. Hurts put up big numbers against Baylor and led a Heisman worthy comeback to keep Oklahoma’s CFP hopes alive.

Defensive Player of the Year

Kolby Harvell-Peel: OSU

Harvell-Peel had two more interceptions to increase his season total to five. He’s a big reason for OSU’s turn around this season and should be in consideration for national awards.

Big 12 Newcomer of the Year

Max Duggan: TCU

Duggan played well in a must-win game for TCU against Texas Tech. Sanders played well in a win against KU, but injured his thumb and will not play the last two games for OSU.

Big 12 Freshman of the Year

Breece Hall: ISU

Hall had another 100-yard performance and helped power ISU to an upset win over Texas. Hall has had a great freshman season, reviving the ISU rushing attack.

Coach of the Year

Matt Rhule: Baylor

Rhule and Baylor are 9-1. Rhule was gracious after the Bears’ loss to OU, but mentioned he thinks Baylor can beat the Sooners in a rematch. He will have another shot at it in a few weeks.

Breakout Player of the Year

Chuba Hubbard: OSU

Hubbard rushed for 122 yards and will likely own the second best rushing season in OSU history at the season’s end. Hubbard is finally beginning to get some recognition as a potential Heisman candidate and as the best running back in the nation.

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