The race for the Big 12 Championship gets more clear after week ten.
Every game was close in week 10, aside from Iowa State’s big win over Kansas. One team moved a game closer to bowl eligibility while two other teams scraped out one point victories. Let’s take a look at my updated power rankings after week 10.
1. #6 Oklahoma Sooners (8-1)
2. #9 West Virginia Mountaineers (7-1)
3. #19 Texas Longhorns (6-3)
4. #22 Iowa State Cyclones (5-3)
5. Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-4)
6. Baylor Bears (5-4)
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-4)
8. TCU Horned Frogs (4-5)
9. Kansas Jayhawks (3-6)
10. Kansas State Wildcats (3-6)
The state of Kansas will not be going bowling, ladies and gentleman. It isn’t official yet, but neither Kansas nor Kansas State will be running the table to do so. This may have seemed like a foregone conclusion the last handful of weeks, but after Kansas State lost to TCU last weekend, it really became set in stone. One of these two teams will get their fourth win of the season this weekend (if only because they play each other) but that will likely be the last win either of these teams get for the season. As for the rest of the league, a bowl game is still in play, although TCU’s chances aren’t looking good at all, and OSU will have to beat TCU to get in. Let’s recap week 10 and look ahead to week 11.
#6 Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma defeated Texas Tech inside the Tortilla Factory 51-46 in a great college football game. Tech lost quarterback Alan Bowman to injury after the first half. Tech led OU 31-28 at the half behind an impressive performance from Bowman, who would have to be hospitalized following the game. It was a slow start for Kyler Murray, who threw two interceptions, but he would rebound nicely to lead the Sooners to a five point victory on the road.
The Sooners will host Bedlam this weekend in what will be a trap game for Oklahoma. Lincoln Riley’s team will enter the game as huge favorites, however, the last two times OU has hosted Bedlam as big favorites, they’ve lost. OSU gets up for this game like Texas gets up for the Red River Rivalry. If OU can keep their emotions in check and play their football game, they’ll be just fine in this one.
#9 West Virginia Mountaineers
Dana Holgorsen asked Will Grier if he wanted to win the game and the rest was history. Will Grier ran for the corner and he got it ]for a two point conversion for West Virginia and sealed a 42-41 win for the Mountaineers. Will Grier had a great game at the right time for West Virginia, who needed the win to keep their Big 12 hopes alive. His name is back in the Heisman race, although Tua Tagovailoa is winning this award, so it really doesn’t matter. Grier will likely get to play in the Big 12 Championship game, barring an upset.
West Virginia will get TCU at home this weekend in a game that should be a big win for the Mountaineers. This game is a formality at this point as West Virginia gears up to play Oklahoma in the coming weeks. Will Grier will have another big day and the Mountaineers will roll a struggling TCU team at home.
#19 Texas Longhorns
Texas didn’t fall in my rankings last week after a tough loss at home. If West Virginia doesn’t go for two points at the end of the game, we might be talking about a completely different Big 12 race right now. Texas still isn’t back, but they are getting closer. The Longhorns played a really good West Virginia team and led for almost the entire game. Texas can still have a successful season if they can run the table in the Big 12. They can make the Big 12 Championship game if Oklahoma losses to West Virginia, or if West Virginia losses two of their last three.
Texas will go on the road to play Texas Tech in a game that will be crucial for the Longhorns to win. Tech can absolutely beat the Longhorns if Texas isn’t careful. If Texas has anything going for them in this one, it’s that Tech will likely have to start backup quarterback Jett Duffey. As of Tuesday night, Alan Bowman still hadn’t been released from the hospital. Duffey is a capable quarterback, though not quite as good as Bowman. Expect Texas to pull out a close one, but tune into this one to see a good football game. It will be a 6:30 p.m. kickoff on FOX.
#22 Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State got an easy win over Kansas last weekend 27-3. The Cyclones picked up their fourth straight win and will go for their fifth this weekend. They’re ranked for the second straight CFP rankings, which is an unprecedented feat after their 1-3 start. Iowa State is likely to continue their winning ways this weekend.
Iowa State will host the Baylor Bears at home this weekend in a game they should absolutely win. Jack Trice Stadium should be rocking as Iowa State has a chance to become bowl eligible with a win. Expect Iowa State to roll over Baylor at home this weekend and continue their momentum into the stretch run of the season.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech lost a close contest to Oklahoma last weekend after Alan Bowman was forced to exit the game early. The Tech offense looked handicapped at times in the second half with Jett Duffey at quarterback, but he was still able to keep Texas Tech in the game. Two early interceptions helped Tech stay in this one, but ultimately Oklahoma was too explosive for the Tech defense to contain.
Texas Tech will likely start Jett Duffey this weekend at home against a Texas team that has lost two in a row following their six game win streak. Duffey will be more prepared going into this game and hopefully the Texas Tech offense will flow better than it did in the second half last weekend. Tech has been a gritty team all year, not to mention that they’ve been much better than expected. This won’t be an easy game for Texas at all. Expect a close game that could go either way.
Baylor pulled out a win at home over Oklahoma State last weekend 35-31. There’s a big difference between the top five teams in the Big 12 vs the bottom five. Baylor moves within a game of bowl eligibility and still has a home game against TCU on the schedule. Charlie Brewer replaced Jalan McClendon late in the game and proved to be the better quarterback as he tossed the game winning touchdown.
Next weekend Baylor will play Iowa State on the road in a game they have no business winning. Iowa State is hot and playing in Ames is even worse when the Cyclones are actually good. Baylor will still need to play the best they can to build momentum heading into the TCU game the following week where the Bears will look to become bowl eligible following their disastrous 1-11 season last year.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State could have become bowl eligible with a win in Waco last weekend, but the Bears spoiled it for the Cowboys in the final seconds of the game. It was a rough game for the Cowboys, and a game they likely would have won if not for a stupid amount of penalties. Oklahoma State has been an inconsistent team this season, and this was one of those games that made Cowboy fans pull their hair out. It won’t get any better for the Cowboy faithful next weekend.
It’s Bedlam! It might be a long afternoon for Oklahoma State, but you know they’ll be fired up for this one. The Cowboys will travel to Norman and an upset would make them bowl eligible. It would also throw OU’s status for the Big 12 Championship game into question. Oklahoma State has nothing to lose in Norman, while the Sooners have quite a bit to lose. That doesn’t mean this one will be close. The Cowboys are prone to penalties and the offense struggles at times. OU doesn’t have a great defense, but their offense should torch the OSU secondary. Expect OU to win this one by two scores....or more.
TCU Horned Frogs
TCU barely beat a bad Kansas State team at home by a score of 14-13. It’s been a long year for the Horned Frogs after what looked like an impressive start. Shawn Robinson is still out and their offense is still inept. Except for Jalen Raegor. That man knows how to play some football. TCU will continue to build for next year, and they’ll have to win two of their last three to make a bowl game this season.
TCU won’t win this weekend in Morgantown. It just won’t happen. However, they will have a shot against Baylor and at home against Oklahoma State. Two of these three teams will likely make a bowl, but TCU has the most work to do. This weekend will be about building momentum for the next two weekends. Expect West Virginia to roll big at home.
Kansas lost to Iowa State 27-3 as expected. The Jayhawks struggled against a hot team at home. Head Coach David Beaty was fired after the game, though he will continue to coach the team until the end of the season. While Kansas won’t make a bowl game, they do get to play Kansas State in the “Kansas Bowl” this weekend.
The Jayhawks will be on the road for their game with Kansas State this year. They could feasibly win this game and that would be huge for Kansas. A win this weekend would give the Jayhawks four wins on the year, and two Big 12 wins. It’d also keep them out of last place in my power rankings, and in the conference rankings.
Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State lost a close game against TCU, but just short. A win would have been their fourth of the season with a chance to come within a game of bowl eligibility against Kansas this weekend. With the loss to TCU, it appears the Wildcats bowl dreams are all but dead. They’ll officially be eliminated with a loss this weekend.
The Wildcats host rival Kansas this weekend in a game that will only provide bragging rights in the state of Kansas. The Jayhawks have a chance to win this one for the first time in quite a while and they’ll be looking to take advantage of the opportunity. Kansas State will need to get their running game going and control the ball if they want to win this game.
Big 12 Championship Game:
West Virginia Mountaineers vs Oklahoma Sooners
West Virginia gets into this one after beating Texas in Austin last weekend. Even if they lose to Oklahoma in a few weeks, they’ll still hold the tiebreaker over Texas for the second spot in the Big 12 Championship game. At this point, Texas is hoping for West Virginia to lose two of their last three, or for Oklahoma to lose a game. I still have Oklahoma in this one.
Offensive Player of the Year:
Kyler Murray: Oklahoma University
Will Grier had a better week than Murray did, but Murray is still the Big 12 MVP. It was a slow start for Murray against Texas Tech, but he bounced back and finished strong. The Sooners quarterback won’t win the Hesiman, but he is the best player in the Big 12.
Defensive Player of the Year:
Joe Dineen Jr: Kansas University
Dineen led the Jayhawks in tackles once again with 14 against Iowa State. Dineen continues to be one of the best linebackers in the Big 12 and should get consideration for this award despite the Jayhawks record.
Big 12 Newcomer of the Year:
Brock Purdy: Iowa State University
Purdy propelled the Cyclones to their fifth straight win after tossing three touchdowns and passing for 263 yards against Kansas. The impressive freshman has the Cyclones in position to have an impressive season and make a respectable bowl game. This program is in good hands with him at quarterback.
Big 12 Freshman of the Year:
Caden Sterns: University of Texas
Sterns was third on the team in tackles against West Virginia with six. It was a rough day for the Texas defense, as is usually the case for defenses against West Virginia. Still, Caden Sterns continued to impress against one of the top teams in the nation.
Coach of the Year:
Lincoln Riley: University of Oklahoma
Lincoln Riley rallied the troops after Kyler Murray threw two early interceptions and led the Sooners to victory against Texas Tech last weekend.
Breakout Player of the Year:
Tylan Wallace: Oklahoma State University
Wallace had a passing and rushing attempt in the Cowboys loss to Baylor, but he also led the Cowboys in receiving once again with 122 yards and a score on eight receptions. Wallace is the leading receiver at Oklahoma State and next in a long line of great wide outs to play for OSU.