Another week, another set of storylines. UT managed to garner a road win, but don't tell their fans that. Texas Tech is like any college dudebro - don't expect them to get up early, but they will party in your home long past curfew. TCU and OU took the conference back a decade and a half, and Baylor did us the favor of returning us to the present (or maybe the future, I can't tell). On to the games!
Texas Longhorns at Iowa State Cyclones (W, 31-30)
You've undoubtedly already heard what happened in this one, but let me refresh your memory. ISU rode their best offensive performance of the season to a 30-24 lead over Texas with 3:40 left. With the help of several penalties on ISU, UT "drove" down the field, fumbled twice once on the ISU one-yard line and recovered, and then scored on a Case McCoy touchdown run with 51 seconds left in the game. I don't have a strong opinion on the non-fumble that many think cost ISU the game, but I will say that there is likely much more fervor over the referee's decisions than there would be if they had refrained from saying "down by contact" and had instead said that the runner's forward progress was stopped. Regardless, I think the video evidence was close enough that whatever was ruled on the field was going to be upheld, and ISU should lament the penalties and UT's successful end of half Hail Mary more than they should that particular call.
Stats of note: 463 yards of offense, 50% conversion rate on third down, 9.7 yards per pass, and 200 yards rushing. ISU had by far their best offensive showing of the season, and it was almost enough to win. That's a great sign for them, especially after the season started out looking like it was going to be a very long and painful one.
Also of note: 10 penalties for 118 yards. That was highly out of character for ISU, and highly detrimental to their chances of winning. And while some of the calls were also highly questionable, most were not.
KU jumped out to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter, prompting the disappearance of a lot of Kool-Aid in Lawrence. After that quarter, though, the natural order of things reasserted themselves. Kansas was incompetent on offense after their first two drives (aka, after the list of plays you have programmed out in practice is all used up), and their defense was unable to deal with continually being put back on the field, especially once Tech figured out that they were much easier to run on than to pass on. It's looking like another long season in Lawrence.
Stats of note: 53 yards rushing, 1.4 yards per carry. A supposed strength for KU going into the season has disappeared, probably leaving with the competent offensive linemen that graduated last year.
Also of note: Baker Mayfield injured his knee late in this one, and while he hasn't set the world on fire it will be interesting to see if he makes it back for their next game, if Davis Webb has to start in his place, or if Michael Brewer is sufficiently enough recovered from his back injury to take his expected place as the starter.
This game was ugly. If you're a Big Ten fan, you probably enjoyed the plethora of short runs, check down passes, and smothering defense (can you really smother an offense that isn't alive in the first place?) in this one. If you are used to watching Big XII football, however, you probably switched over to see if Baylor was going to succeed in breaking the scoreboard, and I don't blame you. This game was essentially won on the one huge play that occurred, when Brennan Clay went 76 yards late in the 4th to put OU up 10 with less than 5 minutes remaining. Take out that run, and OU rushed for 127 yards on 37 carries, or 3.4 yards per carry. That's technically enough to keep the chains moving, but not enough to keep me watching.
Stats of note: 44 yards rushing, 1.6 yards per carry. TCU's numbers almost makes it seem like OU had a good day on the ground, but the reality is that TCU's offense is so limited right now that you can just sit on the run, and OU did. This is the result.
Also of note: 10 first downs for TCU. To me, this makes their defense even more impressive, as their offense wasn't able to sustain many drives to help them rest. Maybe that had something to do with the 76 yard run by Clay...
RECAP BROKEN, DOES NOT COMPUTE
Stats of note: 864 yards of offense. 12 yards per pass. 7.5 yards per rush. 38 first downs. 11-15 on third down. I mean, what the hell. Also, in case you were wondering, WVU scored 21 in the 4th, when the game was well out of hand and in fact all the way out the door.
Also of note: Baylor plays K-State next, so you might want to take up a different sport for this week.
And now, time for the flavor of the week! The Baylor Bears continue to be everyone's favorite, coming in last week with 56% of the vote. The upshot of Okie Lite losing to WVU seemed to be that everyone thought their team had a shot again, even UT and TCU fans. Interested to see how that looks this week. Finally, OU is becoming a pretty solid #2 choice, with 21% last week and likely more this week.