Much of the Big 12 Conference was on a bye last weekend, so you’ll notice a little change up with this week’s power rankings. While just four teams played last weekend, the result was what we expected, with Texas Tech defeating an improved Kansas team, and Oklahoma defeating a beleaguered TCU. So for this week’s Power Rankings The Remix, we’ll be bringing you recap of which teams are trending up or down, and reports from around the Big 12 conference.
Texas Tech is trending up and in a big way. After defeating the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday, a major statistic emerged, that through four games of Big 12 conference action: Texas Tech has allowed the least amount of points at 89. What’s more, teams that were lauded for their defenses headed into the season in West Virginia and TCU have allowed 92 and 114 points, respectively. More interesting statistics about Texas Tech’s defense, are that the Red Raiders have surrendered 20 or fewer points in three of their four conference games thus far, all of which have ended in victories.
Offensively, Texas Tech has proven why head coach Kliff Kingsbury is heralded as one of the offensive geniuses of this era. During the preseason, most (if not all) media outlets were drawing concern to several key areas on the offense, including how Texas Tech would perform with unproven quarterbacks, and whether those quarterbacks could even come close to comparing to the Patrick Mahomes era, which has had a lasting hangover on Texas Tech fans since his departure to the NFL two seasons ago. It’s safe to say that true freshman quarterback Alan Bowman has quashed those sentiments, as he’s already broken Mahomes records set as a freshman, and even through Bowman’s partially collapsed lung, backup Jett Duffey has made tremendous plays when they mattered.
This is Texas Tech’s best start since Kingsbury’s first season as Tech’s head coach, where he became the first, first-year coach to win his first seven games in Big 12 history–a record he still holds. Tech is certainly showing it has the fortitude to truly be competitive this season, and that’s largely in part to the consistency they’ve had since the arrival of Strength and Conditioning coach Rusty Whitt and Director of Speed and Power Scott Salwasser four years ago.
Texas Tech had a touchdown wiped on a holding call on the offensive line, which isn’t surprising as Tech is one of the most penalized teams in the nation at No. 114, with 59 penalties for 525 yards. Those yards have proven costly through several games, so if Tech is to continue to trend upward, discipline is a major issue that must be fixed.
Also trending up…
Texas Tech faces Iowa State this week, and it’s a team that others only really starting respecting until two years ago. On other sites, I warned that the Cyclones had become one of the more improved teams, and it wasn’t until Texas Tech faced the Cyclones in 2016 that the warning was truly heeded when the Red Raiders were blown out at home, 66-10.
Iowa State is that team where once you feel confident that they’re not as good as the stat sheets tell you, they attack and make you regret everything you ever wrote or said badly about them. In other words, they’re silent but deadly, and you feel their sting long after they’ve left you and your coordinators scrambling for answers.
This season didn’t start out the strongest for the Cyclones, but since defeating Oklahoma State 48-42, and No. 6 West Virginia, 30-14, the Cyclones have come alive, and just in time to face the Red Raiders, which are now tied for second place in the Big 12 Conference, and looking in on a potential trip to Dallas if things pan out.
If history repeats itself, however, any trips to Dallas for the Big 12 Championship will be through Ames, and the Cyclones are already a -3.5 favorite according to ESPN.
Reports from the League:
TCU already faced some serious issues having lost two of its last games to Texas Tech and Oklahoma, but the Horned Frogs are now without leading wide receiver and return man, KaVontae Turpin. Turpin was arrested and charged with assault on a woman earlier this week and dismissed from the TCU program on Tuesday. The woman who alleges the assault says she was romantically involved with Turpin for several years. She claims that Turpin assaulted her after he suspected she was sending photographs of herself to people. She was able to break free and find help. The Star-Telegram reported that a similar incident occurred in March, and according to TCU officials, Turpin hid that from them. According to the Star-Telegram, ” if convicted, Turpin could face up to one year in prison and a $4,000 fine.”
In the March incident, a bench warrant was issued to Turpin who failed to appear to a July 16 pre-trial. He was participating in the TCU Program the entire time, apparently, unbeknownst to anyone at TCU.
According to Anwar Richardson, quarterback Sam Ehlinger is on schedule and progressing with his shoulder injury rehab he sustained in the first quarter against Baylor.
Texas football coach Tom Herman said QB Sam Ehlinger is on progressing on schedule. He threw a Nerf football 10 times on Sunday and a real football 20 times. He’ll try to throw a real football 30 times today. Herman will know more after Tuesday’s practice.
— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) October 22, 2018
According to Richardson, Texas head coach Tom Herman also said, “It is easy to plug-and-play quarterbacks in his offense. Does not believe Texas needs to change its offensive game plan if Shane Buechele has to.”
In the Longhorns’ 23-17 victory over the Bears two weeks ago, Buechele threw for 20-34 for 185 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The Longhorns were able to make some noise on the ground with freshman running back Keaontay Ingram, who carried the rock 19 times for 110 yards. Texas was just 9-18 on third down conversions, so if Buechele is a go on Saturday against Oklahoma State, those conversions will be critical, as this is a night game, and we all know how weird those get in the Big 12 conference.
Want More? Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 9: Chaos is Coming
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