Welp, that move to the top for the Wildcats was again very short lived. TCU is still the odds-on favorite to win the Big 12 and be one of the two participants in the Big 12 conference championship game, but there’s still a solid question yet of who will join them.
Oklahoma State may not be healthy enough to rebound from two straight losses, Texas still has to face the Horned Frogs and has two losses, and the Wildcats just picked up their second loss and still has Baylor left to face. The Bears are also still mathematically alive, despite derping away a game to West Virginia earlier this year.
And somehow, someway the Jayhawks are also mathematically still technically alive for a berth. Yeah, seriously. Let that percolate for a while.
The Horned Frogs continue to roll right along in 2022, and have firmly established themselves as the clear favorite for the Big 12 crown (if they weren’t already before). Of course, they started slow again, and needed a resounding 21-point effort in the 4th quarter to prevent the upset, but they stayed undefeated on the season. Good teams overcome, and the Frogs did just that on Saturday. They need to keep that going, because they have two straight road trips against solid teams these next two weeks. This weekend it’s a trip down I-35 to Austin, and the Longhorns would just love to play spoiler.
(6:30pm CT, ABC)
The Green Wave also continue to roll right along in 2022 after that hiccup against Southern Miss the week after beating K-State. This time it was a steady effort that saw a comfortable win on the road in Tulsa. And despite a decently tough AAC schedule already, it’s about to get a lot tougher for Tulane. This week they host UCF, the same Knights that knocked off Cincinnati a couple weeks ago. Win this one, and they should be a lock for the AAC Championship.
(2:30pm CT, ESPN2)
The Longhorns ran out (literally) to an early lead, and managed to hold off a K-State comeback to steal a win in Manhattan and insert themselves back into the picture for the Big 12 title game. Of course, they still need some help to get there, but they can basically secure their spot with a win over TCU this weekend. The Horns have struggled against TCU in the Big 12 era, but did manage to beat the Frogs last season in Fort Worth after TCU released Gary Patterson. This should be a good one.
4. Kansas State
Despite the setback to the Longhorns, K-State is still firmly in control of their own destiny at this point. The Cats struggled in the first half, but held their own the second, but just didn’t quite have enough left to pull it back and get Chris Klieman’s first win over Texas. But he’ll have another opportunity for a first win this weekend, as Klieman has also yet to beat Baylor while in Manhattan. The Bears have a strong rushing attack, but the Cats should be well prepared after dealing with Robinson and Johnson.
(6:00pm CT, FS1)
The Bears confuse me. This is still the same team that lost at West Virginia a month ago, a game coming off a bye. Since then they’ve defeated KU, Texas Tech in Lubbock, and most recently OU in Norman for their sixth win of the season. The Bears did struggle with OU’s Dillon Gabriel, especially on the ground, but also forced three INTs of the experienced signal caller. So yeah, it could be interesting. Bears win, and they are, somehow, back in the discussion for a Big 12 championship game berth, but they’ve got to get through K-State, TCU, and Texas to get there.
6. East Carolina
The Pirates took a bye week after their winning trip to Provo, but get back at it early this week with another road game. ECU would love to play spoiler to Cincinnati this Friday, and extend their win streak to four games. But the Bearcats are tough, especially at home.
(Friday 11/11, 7:00pm CT, ESPN2)
If I’m going to bag on the Knights for not playing well outside of Florida, I better give them plenty of credit for beating Memphis at the Liberty Bowl for their first win (in just their second game) outside the Sunshine State this season. However that joy may not last long, as they have an incredibly tough road game this week in New Orleans. Though if they can win this one, their path to the AAC championship is almost locked up.
Congratulations, Jayhawks. After 13 years of abject futility (and we don’t use that term lightly around here), KU has finally qualified for a bowl game, their first since their Insight Bowl win over Minnesota in 2008. Even after their 3-game skid, the Hawks are somehow in the cluster of five teams in the Big 12 at 6-3 overall, and there is probably a way the math works that could get them in the Big 12 championship game, though it would likely require winning out. They start that path with a trip down to Lubbock this weekend to face a Tech team that would love to keep their own bowl hopes alive.
(6:00pm CT, ESPN+)
The Bearcats have been kings of holding a mediocre position. Sure, they have just two losses, but they haven’t seemed particularly powerful this season. They did bounce back from their first conference loss of the season two weeks ago to beat Navy 20-10 this past weekend. And they’ll get a good chance to move up this week if they can take down a pesky ECU team at home on Friday night.
10. Oklahoma State
Quite the rebound even after a loss? Nah, just putting them back up where they really should be — they only had to sit in the corner one week. But the Cowboys are literally falling apart right now, with injuries running rampant through the expected starting lineup. They managed just 16 points on offense against a mediocre KU defense, but were starting essentially the second string across the board, including a true freshman at QB that threw two TD passes, but also three interceptions. When healthy, the Pokes can be very good. But at this rate, they just need to be happy that they’re already bowl eligible. And it could get ugly this week as well, as Iowa State visits Stillwater.
(2:30pm CT, ESPNU)
The Cougars sure do like to put on a show. Houston’s three-game win streak came to an end with an epic 77-63 shootout loss to SMU. Both scores were higher than Houston’s last basketball win over SMU — a 75-61 affair back at the end of February. At 5-4, the Cougars are still one win away from bowl eligibility, but have a couple very-winnable games left on the docket. This week it’s a visit from Temple to Houston, which might just end up being another shootout.
(2:00pm CT, ESPN+)
OU just doesn’t want to be good this year, and we’re all perfectly fine with that. After their 38-35 loss to Baylor that pushed them to 5-4, it is now the latest in the season the Sooners have gone without securing bowl eligibility since 2009, when it took them to the 10th game of the season to attain the 6-win mark (they went on to finish 8-5). They have a good chance at repeating that feat this season, as they head to Morgantown to take on the listless Mountaineers this weekend.
BYU ended their 4-game losing streak with a very surprising win over Boise State on the blue turf last weekend. It was a very even game, but a 3rd quarter field goal by the Cougars proved to be the difference in the upset bid. The win puts BYU at 5-5 on the season as they head into their bye week. After the break, they have two very winnable games left to get to bowl eligibility.
14. Texas Tech
The loss was expected, but certainly not the 17-13 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter. But it was all Frogs from there to end the upset bid in Fort Worth, and the Red Raiders have now lost four of their last five and are just 2-4 in Big 12 play. They are still 4-5 overall headed into their final three, which means they are still in contention for a bowl bid, but they’ll need to beat two of KU, Iowa State, and OU to do it. But at least two of those are at home. That starts this Saturday with a visit from the Jayhawks.
15. Iowa State
Congratulations, Cyclones. Welcome to the winner’s circle, you’ve finally joined the rest of us with a win in Big 12 play, and get to avoid joining the 2014 Iowa State squad with zero Big 12 wins. Though there’s still work to do just to join the 2015 and 2016 squads with two Big 12 wins. At 4-5 they are still alive for a bowl berth, but they finish the season with two road games in their final three, with the final game a visit to Fort Worth. They have a realistic shot at win #5 this weekend on their visit to Stillwater with as banged up as the Cowboys are right now.
16. West Virginia
The Mountaineers aren’t technically eliminated from bowl contention, but at 3-6 they have no room for error. They earned the bottom spot this week as they became the first team to lose to Iowa State this season, and the first team with six losses. Things are not good in Morgantown right now, and it feels more like a matter of when, not if, Neal Brown gets fired at this point. They might have a chance at an upset this weekend against the visiting Sooners, because strange things happen in Morgantown.
(12:00pm CT, FS1)
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