Big 12 Football Fan Reactions: Which teams are trending up, down?

Big 12 Football Fan Reactions: Which teams are trending up, down?

It’s hard to believe that the 2018 Big 12 Football season is halfway over. It’s been interesting tracking these teams since the season kicked off in late August, especially considering how extreme the conference has been with coaches on scalding hot seats, and others kicking the 2018 season off with Heisman, and national championship caliber talent, and expectations.

Teams with the lowest expectations coming in have seemingly had the most improvement, while others are right where they should be, making Big 12 Football one of the toughest conferences, with potential for the most unpredictable finales. With plenty of football left to play, it could be Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, or even one of the dark horse teams such as Texas Tech or Iowa State at the Big 12 Football Championship game. While writers get criticized often for their opinions, it’s always important to test the spectrum of the conference on social media to see what others think, too.

With teams still hitting their stride, anything is possible as we enter the final stretch, but the competition is only exploiting weaknesses that are difficult to recover from in the eyes of the CFB Playoff Selection Committee.

With that said, here’s what fans are saying about which teams are trending up, or trending down:

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell started teetering on the hot seat after losing to Oklahoma and a TCU team that’s been struggling. But after defeating No. 6 West Virginia, the Cyclones have proven they have the talent and the fight to make things interesting down the stretch. Quarterback Zeb Noland has shown a lot of promise this season, but with junior running back David Montgomery as the No. 7 ranked all-purpose player through Week 8, don’t expect the Cyclones to drop in consistency. It appears that several fans–even those outside of Big 12 Football agree:

Texas Tech’s defense is trending way up, and it’s showing that athletic director Kirby Hocutt’s 2018 gamble on staying the course with Kliff Kingsbury is paying off. What I mean by that is that three years ago when Kingsbury brought in Strength and Conditioning coach Rusty Whitt and Director of Speed and Power, Scott Salwasser, most people new it was going to take several seasons to recondition the Texas Tech players to become the prototypical athlete Kingsbury envisioned. With defensive coordinator David Gibbs having equal time to develop the defense, it’s fortified the expectations, compared to the turnover and inconsistencies players experienced before the culture was changed.

For some statistical measure, Texas Tech is No. 1 in third down defense, No. 1 in fourth down defense, No. 3 in forced turnovers, the No. 3 scoring defense, and the No. 3 ranked rushing defense. If Texas Tech can get its quarterback depth healthy, they could be morphing into a very lethal team.

Texas is absolutely trending up, and it’s hard to deny that head coach Tom Herman understands that “rebuilding” just isn’t an acceptable excuse when you’re guaranteed blue chips and have a national brand to maintain. While UT still struggles to truly establish an offensive identity, it’s one of those teams that always manages to come up with major defensive plays in critical games. So far, defensive back Kris Boyd is the third-ranked played in the conference in passes defended with 9 breakups and one interception, and safety Caden Sterns has also come up with four interceptions. Texas is allowing just 23 points-per-game, so if they can keep that momentum going, we might see a replay of the Red River Showdown in a few months.

For measure, Oklahoma has a 22 percent chance at making it to the College Football Playoff, but the Sooners will need to win out, bank on Notre Dame losing at some point, and hope the Pac-12 keeps weakening its odds one upset at a time in order to move on–but that’s the less complicated version of the multiple scenarios that could play out. But another point to consider is this: Just what will Oklahoma look like defensively, under interim defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill? Stay tuned.

Big 12 Football is notorious for upsets, high flying offenses, and plenty of coaches on hot seats, or on the non-stop carousel of reshuffling. But the good thing is that there’s still ample time to prove you’re the real deal or turn things around if you’re in a slump.

 

Want More? Check Out: Maryland Football: Booster Removed From Team Plane over Jordan McNair Comments

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