Baylor, Oklahoma play on ABC; other teams seek bowl eligibility
By Krista Pirtle
The Big 12 is on the national television stage once again as No. 22 Baylor battles No. 5 Oklahoma at 7 p.m. on ABC in Waco. Other things at stake for conference teams include bowl eligibility and national title game aspirations.
No. 2 Oklahoma State (10-0)
The Cowboys went to work against Texas Tech in Lubbock last weekend, dominating in a 66-6 victory.
Senior quarterback Brandon Weeden continued to impress as he threw for 423 yards and five touchdowns.
Both senior wide receiver Josh Cooper and junior wide receiver Justin Blackmon surpassed 100 receiving yards with 106 and 103 respectively.
Friday, Oklahoma State travels to Ames, Iowa, to take on Iowa State. A victory would clinch at least a share of the Big 12 title for the Cowboys.
A matchup against instate rival Oklahoma on Dec. 3 could tempt OSU to look beyond this weekend’s matchup. But with a bye week between now and the game against the Sooners, OSU should capitalize on the opportunity to practice in game situations.
No. 5 Oklahoma (8-1)
The Sooners come off a bye week ready to finish out its conference schedule without senior wide receiver Ryan Broyles.
Because Stanford and Boise State were defeated last weekend, Oklahoma has re-entered the conversation for the national championship. All the Sooners have to do is end their season 3-0 against Baylor, Iowa State and Oklahoma State.
Before two weeks ago, this might not have seemed to difficult a task, but without Broyles, things look different. However, Oklahoma has depth.
After the week off, Oklahoma should be prepared for the end of conference play.
No. 13 Kansas State (8-2)
The Wildcats edged out Texas A&M last weekend through four overtimes, 53-50, in Manhattan, Kan.
Junior quarterback Collin Klein continued to impress with his running game rather than his arm. Klein threw for 28 yards and a touchdown, while his feet brought him 103 yards and five touchdowns.
This weekend, Kansas State travels to Austin to take on Texas.
Offensively, Klein should continue to dominate on the ground. Defensively, the Wildcats should look to defend the run game as the Longhorns’ passing is not a big threat.
No. 22 Baylor (6-3)
After a 31-30 win at Kansas in an unforeseen overtime, the Bears are bowl eligible for the second straight season, the first time since the 1991 and 1992 seasons. Junior quarterback Robert Griffin III led the attack in the air and on the ground with 312 passing yards with three touchdowns and 103 yards rushing with a touchdown.
Sophomore wide receiver Tevin Reese continued to lead the way for the Baylor receivers with 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Bears better step it up from last week’s performance as Oklahoma comes to town. Baylor has never defeated Oklahoma.
With Broyles out, this could be the season, but the Bears have to play defense and finish their offensive drives.
No 23 Texas (6-3)
The Longhorns were upset on the road last weekend by Missouri, 17-5.
Freshman quarterback David Ash continued to throw more interceptions than touchdowns with one interception and no touchdown passes against the Tigers.
This weekend against Kansas State, Texas needs to focus on two big issues: containing the Wildcats’ quarterback and making something happen offensively through the air.
Yes, Texas is bowl eligible, but more is expected of it as the conference season comes to a close.
Iowa State (5-4)
Fresh off a bye week, the Cyclones look to stun Oklahoma State in Ames on Friday.
Iowa State has improved its ground game, rushing for 619 yards in the last two games.
The Cyclones rank second in the conference with 217.3 passing yards allowed per game. Oklahoma State’s Weeden will definitely put the secondary to the test, though.
Unfortunately for the Cyclones, OSU has only strengthened since the beginning of the season, with few imperfections visible to the eye of the average fan.
After blowing a 24-3 lead in the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Jayhawks took the defeat by Baylor last weekend in Lawrence, Kan.
Kansas’ pass game was shut down as sophomore quarterback Jordan Webb threw for only 108 yards with a single touchdown and three interceptions.
The ground game was what put the Jayhawks ahead with a total of 296 rush yards.
The only chance Kansas has on the road this weekend is if A&M overlooks them and becomes too confident.
Other than that, Jayhawk fans looking toward basketball season are still upset about the 10-point loss to Kentucky at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.
The Tigers came back from a road loss at Baylor to upset Texas.
Sophomore quarterback James Franklin threw for 186 yards with 74 of them to junior wide receiver T.J. Moe, but none of his passes resulted in a touchdown.
Franklin’s feet got Missouri one touchdown while junior running back Kendial Lawrence added another and 106 yards.
Missouri returns home this weekend to host the unpredictable Red Raiders, who haven’t been on their A-game since the big upset over Oklahoma.
If Texas Tech continues to get run over through four quarters, the Tigers could very well be bowl eligible.
Texas A&M (5-5)
Through four overtimes, the Aggies fell short to Missouri.
Senior quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for only 210 yards, a trio of touchdowns and an interception.
The loss of junior running back Christine Michael presented senior running back Cyrus Gray with more opportunities as he accumulated 218 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Despite preseason hype, A&M has yet to be bowl eligible. That will probably happen this weekend as it hosts Kansas.
If the Aggies aren’t careful, though, the Jayhawks could pull an upset in College Station.
Texas Tech (5-5)
With its only score coming in the beginning of the third quarter, Texas Tech got humiliated at home 66-6 by Oklahoma State.
Junior quarterback Seth Doege threw for only 169 yards and an interception on the evening.
With only two games left in conference play, the Red Raiders need to get a win to see the light of a bowl game.
If its current sloppy state has become the style of play, Texas Tech might miss bowl eligibility for the first time since 2000. The Red Raiders travel to Columbia, Mo. to face Missouri at 2:30 p.m. on ABC.