It's hard to peg the Big 12 on any given day. It features two of the top ten teams in the country, and also two of the worst teams, and sandwiched in between are a whole slew of solid teams with the potential to surprise, sometimes in bad ways.
In this feature, we take a closer and not-too-serious look at our conference brethren through the eyes of their own fans.
Without further ado...
Baylor was idle last week, leaving plenty of time for off-field shenanigans, which Baylor grows by the metric tonne apparently.
This week, it's #SIDELINEGATE! A Baylor assistant somehow totally by accident ended up on the sidelines at the Oklahoma-Tulsa game. This is a violation of NCAA rules, and Baylor received the gentle pat on the wrist the league reserves for teams not named Kansas State.
Meanwhile, Gary Patterson fired the first salvo in this year's edition of the pissing contest between TCU and Baylor. Speaking in defense of Mike Tuaua, Patterson deflected in the general direction of Waco:
Patterson on the Tuaua issue: "It's not even close to what happened south of here."— David Ubben (@davidubben) September 22, 2015
Baylor responded with a non sequitr that should tell you everything you need to know about the Bears in 2015:
September 22, 2015
That Iowa State lost to Iowa and Toledo is less surprising than the way the Cyclones lost those two games. Both contests were well within reach for four quarters, but Iowa State just couldn't get out of its own way. Losing two games that could have been won is the difference between a 3-0 season and a probable bowl game, and 1-2 and a quick slide to the bottom of the conference.
What did our Farmalliance friends have to say about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? Again?
The good news? Kansas did not lose last weekend. Of course, that might be because BYE doesn't usually put up much of a fight. The reprieve allowed our cousins at RCT to ponder the important questions, including their worst sunburn experiences.
Yeah, I don't know either.
If that wasn't entertainment enough, Kansas plays Rutgers next week. ALL THE LULZ.
Things that are not news: Baker Mayfield is amazing, Samaje Perine is awesome, and Sterling Shepard is out of this world.
Things that might be news: Oklahoma's defense is kinda terrible. Those of us familiar with Mike Stoops are holding back derisive laughter, but seriously, this could be a dire situation for an otherwise great team. Tulsa, a team that went 2-10 last year, had more than 600 yards of offense, including 160 yards for running back Zack Langer and this nifty grab by Keyarris Garrett on a Hail Mary to end the first half:
TCU and Baylor are probably licking their chops right now, which makes that Jeff Lebby situation so much worse.
Nobody is really paying attention, but the Cowboys are 3-0 and slowly creeping up the polls (currently up a spot to #24). The 69-point explosion against UTSA was partly due to a retooled offense with elements borrowed from Oregon, Auburn, and even the Green Bay Packers. But will it be enough to score 40 points against Texas at DKR, a thing Oklahoma State has done only once before? We'll find out soon enough.
Mike Gundy had a birthday recently. He's a man, he's 48!
The Horned Frogs may hate Baylor, but they save all their best rivalry stuff for SMU. Because tradition. Or something.
#tcu snuck up on the #smu on the schedule like... pic.twitter.com/vglEHX04eD— Riffy the TCU Gnome (@TCUgnome) September 13, 2015
A surprisingly game SMU squad gave TCU all it could handle for a while before sanity was restored. With the defense resembling the walking wounded, it was up to the offense and Trevone Boykin to save the day. And boy did they. Here's something that's bound to end up on Boykin's Heisman highlight reel:
This play by Trevone Boykin was pretty ridiculous: pic.twitter.com/hQBrR29pke— Mitchell Stehly (@StehlyMitchell) September 20, 2015
The Longhorns played Cal. The Longhorns lost to Cal. On a missed extra point by Nick Rose, whose 80-yard try in practice and other crazy shenanigans went viral this summer.
But there's a massive silver lining in front of that dark Longhorn-shaped cloud, i.e. quarterback Jerrod Heard. Despite the loss, the Cal game was Heard's coming out party, and he made the rest of college football sit up and take note. Be afraid, Big 12. Be very afraid.
Kliff Kingsbury became head coach at Texas Tech in 2013, and since then, he's been little more than a meme. Widely regarded as more style than substance, Kingsbury has struggled to be taken seriously. But now, with an epic road win over Arkansas, his career has finally had its defining moment.
But not content to just celebrate the win, Kingsbury called out Bret Bielema after the game.
He just got his ass kicked twice in a row, and probably next week by A&M, as well.
Of course, Bielema's not one to back down from a challenge, and has an interesting understanding of irony:
Was I shocked? Yeah, just because you know, in this profession, you handle certain things in a certain way. I've never really had that before.
And how does the rest of the college football world feel about all this?
The 'Eers beat up on something called Liberty 41-17 last week. Unusually for West Virginia, it's the defense that has really stood out, while the offense has struggled somewhat, especially in the red zone.
But it's hard for West Virginia fans to really focus on trivial things like the actual game on the field when there are much more important things to ponder, like the return of the Backyard Brawl!
West Virginia is already preparing for the contest with weekly culinary shipments to Pitt:
RT "@SmithFire13: Bye week in Morgantown, but the weekly culinary shipments to Pittsburgh continue regardless." pic.twitter.com/4yeaZSSVTY— Smoking Musket (@SmokingMusket) September 19, 2015