Kliff Kingsbury to USC? Here’s what we know about Texas Tech’s former HC

Kliff Kingsbury

Former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury could be headed to Los Angeles as the USC Trojans’ offensive coordinator, but other teams could also be in the mix.

When former Texas Tech head football coach Kliff Kingsbury was fired following the Red Raiders’ loss against Baylor to close the season, it was pretty much guaranteed he would not be returning to Lubbock as its head coach in 2019. The following day, in a somber tone, Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt made the official announcement, and shortly thereafter, rumors of Kliff Kingsbury sightings in Los Angeles started to emerge. What’s more interesting is that despite the up and down news cycle in the past five days, there have been no other rumored sightings of Kingsbury elsewhere.

A USC Annenberg Associate Professor of Professional Practices, Jeff Fellenzer dropped this bomb on Twitter earlier today:

The news began Thursday afternoon when this started making the rounds:

This source has been wrong in the past, and in any event, we should always take caution when news breaks, especially if it’s not a primary source or corroborated by secondary outlets. Moreover, While the NFL season is still ongoing, according to many sources, Kingsbury has “firm offers” from several NFL teams, and NFL analysts such as Ian Rappoport have cautioned against any conclusive moves involving USC and Kingsbury.

In a Tweet by Bruce Feldman, Kingsbury’s agent said this in response to the news, “Pump the brakes on the Kliff Kingsbury to USC talk. His agent Erik Burkhardt just told me. ‘It’s premature to say that any decision (by Kliff) has been made.'” This could mean a number of things. It could very well mean that the in-principle deal outlets are reporting as factual are not true, or parties are still negotiating. It could also be a method agents employ when they want to drum up more leverage, considering Kingsbury will take a pay cut by going from making just north of $3 million a year at Texas Tech, to somewhere in the ballpark of $1.5 million. When former USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin was signed to an extension this past February, the details of his contract weren’t disclosed, but considering USC just wiped most of its staff, I’m sure Kingsbury and Burkhardt are being very meticulous about this.

Regardless of if or when terms are met, it’s important for USC to find its next coaching staff, especially with early National Signing Day on December 19.

We’ll be sure to update this as more information becomes available.

Want More? Check Out: Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 14: CFPlayoff Chase

Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 12: Chalk for Now…

College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 12

The Rules: No Bias, No Bull

There has been no more unbiased ranking out there than the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 12. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. However, if you go back and look at the rankings for each week, I guarantee you would now agree that I have been 100% right and accurate along the way.

The Unafraid Show College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11 are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. The college football top 10 teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. Only the games have played matter.

I re-rank the top 10 every week from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information.

Before we get to College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11, you can reference the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings for Week 10.

Leave a comment or shoot an email: ImMad@unafraidshow.com… Yes, that is the real email address.

1.  Alabama (10-0) Last Week: #1

Watching Alabama play this year is like watching Mike Tyson in the early years. If you tune in 5 minutes late, you will miss the knockout. They were up 14 zero on Mississippi State before you could blink. Alabama did see the best defense they have seen all season. Tua Tagoviloa only finished with 164 yards with a touchdown and an interception. And the offense struggled to put points on the board. Even though this was Alabama’s most competitive game of the season, it still wasn’t close. Their defense has not allowed a single point in consecutive weeks. Very impressive.

As long as Alabama doesn’t look past Auburn and Georgia, they will cruise to the SEC championship and College Football Playoff.

2. Clemson (10-0) Last Week: #2

There are so many similarities between the #1 and #2 teams. The Clemson defense matched Alabama’s defense this week. They pitched a shutout. The only points they allowed were on a punt return. Alabama gave up a touchdown this week as well, but a phantom penalty called it back. The Tigers defense has locked it down for the last month, while their offense has been steady and high powered. Clemson’s true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence is growing up fast, but his play will be the difference between a trip to the College Football Playoff and a National Championship.

It feels like Clemson and Bama are on a collision course for the national championship.

3. Notre Dame (10-0) Last Week: #3

Any doubt Notre Dame had coming into the game without their starting quarterback Ian Book was quickly forgotten. The Fighting Irish jumped out to a commanding 32-6 halftime lead. It was a 26 point lead, but it felt like 100 points. Brandon Winbush had a couple of interceptions in the 3rd quarter.  It is clear that Notre Dame Book back in the lineup if they hope to beat Syracuse and USC to finish the season undefeated.

Chaos always happens in the rankings in November. Notre Dame will be looking to make sure they are not the victims who miss out on a top-four spot.

4. Michigan (9-1) Last Week: #4

Michigan’s offense is not explosive, but they are efficient. They lean on the defense, don’t make mistakes, and don’t turn the ball over. Then you look up and realize they scored 42 points. And the Wolverines defense is like a boa constrictor. They just squeeze and squeeze the offense until they break and turn the ball over. The #1 defense in college football has only gotten better since their week one loss to Notre Dame. This is an impressive football team.

I’m hesitant to pick Michigan to make the final top four because they have a huge mental hurdle to overcome in two weeks named Ohio State. It does look like the stars are aligning for Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan faithful.

5. Oklahoma (9-1) Last Week: #5

I am still bullish on the Sooners and their offensive prowess. I am also terrified by their defense. This defense hasn’t been much better since they fired Mike Stoops as defensive coordinator. However, the stats and dominance show that Oklahoma’s offense is even more unstoppable than Alabama’s. And that is saying a lot. They put up an eye-popping 702 yards against Oklahoma State. Kyler Murray is the only player that may give Tua Tagoviloa a run for his money for the Heisman trophy.

The Sooners have only been held under 37 points once this season. And that was against Army who had the ball for literally three-quarters of the game.

If you answered 0-20, it only shows your bias. There is not a team in college football that could keep the Sooners under 20 points. I’m not saying they would beat Bama, but damnit their offense will make it competitive.

6. Georgia (9-1) Last Week: 7

The cream has risen to the top in the SEC. Georgia is playing so well right now that there is a lot of “what if Georgia beats Alabama” talk starting. The Bulldogs are dominant running the ball. They have rushed for over 300 yards in back to back weeks. Kirby Smart and the crew have smartly gone all-in on pounding the football. They likely would never have lost to LSU if they had kept running the football. As long as Georgia can run the ball at that pace and isn’t turning the ball over, they cannot be beaten.

If the Bulldogs have an Achilles heel, it is the passing game. If their running game gets slowed can Jake Fromm have 300+ three-touchdown performance to win the game?

7. Washington State (9-1) Last Week: 7

Washington State needed a dominant win after playing a close game against Cal last week. They easily disposed of Colorado on the road. Gardener Minshew has to be on target to take home some postseason hardware for the best passer in college football. He was below his season average, but nobody can complain about 335 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. By the metrics, the committee uses it seems unlikely the Cougars will make the playoffs. But, if a few things break their way, don’t be surprised if they slide in the back door.

8. West Virginia (8-1) Last Week: #8

The Mountaineers dominated TCU in every way possible. West Virginia had two rough weeks in the middle of the season, but it fair to say they are peaking at the right time. Will Grier had another performance that validates his 1st round draft pick hype. He finished with 343 yards passing and three touchdowns. The Big 12 is often criticized for not playing defense because their offenses are so explosive. However, this West Virginia team has allowed 17 points or less in five of their nine games.

If the Mountaineers do win the Big 12, I wonder if the committee will hold the fact that they will have one less win than everyone else against them (NC State game canceled due to hurricane).

9. Central Florida (9-0) Last Week: #9

Last week I said Central Florida had played too many close games against inferior competition to warrant significant #CFBPlayoff consideration. They took that criticism and put up a good performance against Navy. Ultimately the Knights will not make the playoffs. But I do believe missing out two years in a row will create enough momentum for the Group of Five schools to take action and put themselves in a better position to make the playoffs.

10. Ohio State (9-1) Last Week: #10

Another uninspiring victory by the Buckeyes. Michigan State has a tough defense, but Ohio State’s offense continued to struggle. They only converted 33% on 3rd down, and only averaged 2.7 yards per rush. And the Buckeyes only managed two offensive touchdowns. All of these struggles will be erased if they take care of business against Maryland and win the big one against Michigan.

Ohio State is a team that was projected to make the playoffs until about a month ago. They will need some better performances to propel them up the rankings.  If it comes down to the Buckeyes and another one-loss team like Oklahoma they may be on the outs unless something changes.

Next Up:

LSU– (a two-loss team that didn’t score a point against Bama and struggled to put Arkansas away)

Syracuse, NC State, Florida, Texas

I know some of you are steaming mad right now because your team is ranked too low or is unranked. Take a breathe and realize that your fandom is causing irrational thoughts. The College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 12 is accurate, unbiased, and unafraid.

Big 12 Football Power Rankings Week 11: Upsets, and Beaty is OUT

Big 12 Football Power Rankings Week 11

There is certainly a lot to unpack in this week’s Big 12 Football Power Rankings Week 11. Unfortunately, it was one riddled with injuries and coaching moves we all saw coming. There’s a lot to get through, so without further ado, here’s how Big 12 Football teams stack up through 11 weeks of play.

10. Kansas

3-27 loss against Iowa State 

Kansas is now 3-6 following its 3-27 loss against No. 24 ranked Iowa State, and that’s not even bad part. Athletics director Jeff Long announced on Sunday that head coach David Beaty was OUT as head coach for the Jayhawks, but he will continue his role throughout the rest of the season. Kansas would need to defeat Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Texas in order to be Bowl eligible, but that’s unlikely at this point.

It’s hard to find a silver lining in this. And scoring just three points isn’t a highlight to write home about, which paved the foundation for social media to erupt with calls to cancel the program in its entirety. While nobody knows exactly what the future has in store for Kansas Football, there’s already chatter that Beaty could have a home as an assistant receivers’ coach in the Big 12. Stay tuned.

9. Kansas State

13-14 loss at TCU

With all that TCU has been experiencing in all three phases of the game this season, this was the game everyone thought could be the game Kansas State would win to get momentum into the final stretch. Unfortunately, in a battle between beleaguered teams, Kansas State came up short on a missed extra point to fall to 3-6 on the season. The Wildcats lost quarterback Skylar Thompson to an injury early in the game, but it didn’t take backup Alex Delton long to take command of the offense. Delton finished the day 15-25 for 155 yards and a touchdown. But defensively, the Wildcats just couldn’t hang on and allowed a third-quarter touchdown they couldn’t make up for.

Could this season mark the end for head coach Bill Snyder, who signed an extension this year? Perhaps, but Kansas State will have to win out just to become Bowl eligible, and with Texas Tech and Iowa State still on the schedule, it’s certainly anyone’s guess as to how the Snyder Legacy ends.

8. TCU

14-13 win against Kansas State

The TCU Horned Frogs finally got a win on account of defense and preventing a PAT following a fourth-quarter touchdown. Who knows, maybe if the Wildcats had gone for a 2-point conversion, these frames would look different, but in any event, it was a good “bounce back” win for TCU and certainly should give them some confidence as they prepare for West Virginia this weekend. The end of the season will decide whether a Gary Patterson coached team will make a 16th consecutive Bowl bid. But at 4-5 on the season, it’s going to be a tough uphill climb for the Horned Frogs, although, it is attainable.

One bright spot is quarterback Michael Collins’ cannon of an arm. He connected on a 67 yard touchdown pass to Jalen Reagor, so if TCU can improve on the consistency of throws, they should at least present a fight moving forward, but the key term here is “consistency,” which is kind of hit or miss in Big 12 Football, especially as injuries pile up.

7. Oklahoma State

31-35 loss at Baylor

Like TCU and Kansas State this season, things just aren’t going well for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State is now 5-4 on the season following its loss to a progressively improving Baylor team, and with Oklahoma next, followed by West Virginia and TCU, it’s still possible to become Bowl eligible, but Mike Gundy’s team has to become a more disciplined team and fast.

Against Baylor, the Cowboys amassed 12 penalties for 133 yards. Don’t expect to beat teams if you’re beating yourself up first. This cost them critical yardage in an already close game, where the Cowboys limited Baylor to just 158 passing yards. With Bedlam on Saturday against Oklahoma, it doesn’t give Oklahoma State much time to fix special teams issues, but Gundy has to adjust the game plan to more aggressive plays if they want a shot at another upset.

6.  Baylor Bears

35-31 win against Oklahoma State

Having won just one game in Matt Rhule’s first season with Baylor, the Bears are now just one game away from Bowl eligibility following their win over Oklahoma State over the weekend. But the Bears did receive some assists from an undisciplined Oklahoma State team, so it minimized the interception and missed field goals to start the game.

Against a team like Iowa State this weekend, those mistakes will be costly, so it’s important for quarterbacks Jalan McClendon and Charlie Brewer to get in a rhythm early, regardless of who starts or finishes. Remember that Brewer was in concussion protocol last week. Thankfully for the Bears, Brewer was able to come in late and manage two touchdown drives for the win, but if Rhule goes with it again, a two-quarterback set should make things interesting against Iowa State this weekend.

5. Texas Tech

46-51 loss against Oklahoma

It’s unfortunate that Texas Tech lost starting quarterback Alan Bowman at the half to a re-aggravated collapsed lung. The Red Raiders were rolling, and winning several key battles against Oklahoma on defense, which included a record night from Vaughnte Dorsey where he intercepted two passes in the first quarter. Texas Tech would score touchdowns on both of those turnovers. Texas Tech’s defense has shown tremendous resiliency in the last few weeks, which shows that David Gibbs’ unit should be in business next season, as several backups have seen game time this season. It really makes you wonder what would have happened if Bowman had stayed healthy.

Texas Tech was pretty successful throughout the night on screen passes. However, lack of success on third-down conversions (Tech was 3-13 on the night) hurt. The run game, in particular, wasn’t up to par. Tech finished with just 107 to the Sooners’ 323 total rushing yards. If they can make that adjustment, they’ll have a big advantage over Texas this weekend. And it goes without saying that the Red Raiders are hoping to have some good news on the Bowman and Dakota Allen injuries this week. They need a few days to get the offense back in sync before Tech closes out the season in Lubbock on Saturday against the Longhorns.

4. Texas

41-42 loss against West Virginia

Texas dropped a nail-biter against–arguably–one of the most improved and dynamic teams in the Big 12: West Virginia. Although the game did come down to a 2-point conversion on a keeper by Will Grier, it wasn’t without its share of built-up drama. There was even a polarizing unsportsmanlike call, where David Sills flashed “Horns Down” after a touchdown.

Texas sustained some injuries, including the loss of Davante Davis (neck sprain), and Breckyn Hager with a dislocated radius. UT isn’t providing further information on those injuries, but giving up 578 total yards of offense doesn’t look good for a team that still has to get through a tough Iowa State team for a shot at the Big 12 Football title game.

3. Iowa State

27-3 win at Kansas

The Iowa State Cyclones keep rolling, and are now on a four-game win streak, and currently sit at  5-3 on the season. This team has had the biggest turnaround of all the Big 12 Football teams, and with weapons like quarterback Brock Purdy throwing for 263 yards and three touchdowns against a team that’s the best in college football in takeaways is impressive. Of course, the progressive improvement isn’t without continued speculation that head coach Matt Campbell could leave. Especially with his name being thrown around for head coaching jobs elsewhere. Iowa State still has a Baylor team that’s also improving, Texas, and Kansas State still on the schedule. The Cyclones need to stay focused on crashing the Big 12 Football Championship party.

2. Oklahoma

51-46 win at Texas Tech

Oklahoma wasn’t as aggressive against a Texas Tech team the Sooners were projected to defeat by double-digits in Lubbock. Instead, the Red Raiders held a halftime lead. Few Oklahoma fans will argue that if it hadn’t been for Tech quarterback Alan Bowman missing the second half of play, we might be discussing a very different position.

Running back Trey Sermon picked up where Rodney Anderson left off. He racked up 206 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. That was an area of the play-calling where head coach Lincoln Riley knew they’d have an advantage, especially with Tech linebacker Dakota Allen out with an injury. As I’ve said all season, Oklahoma has been the top team in the Big 12 Conference. But, with the way West Virginia is playing, the Big 12 Football Championship game might be a repeat of the Sooners’ finale on Nov. 23.

1. West Virginia

42-41 win at Texas

With West Virginia’s win over the Texas Longhorns in Austin last weekend, it pretty much elevated their shot at facing the Sooners’ in the Big 12 Football Championship game. Quarterback Will Grier threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns and was responsible for the keeper on the Mountaineers’ 2-point conversion attempt, which not only helped his Heisman credentials but also padded his abilities enough to have NFL people discussing which offense he’d plug into on Sundays.

Texas is always a tough opponent, but the WVU Defense allowing 520 total yards of offense is something they have to work on.


Want more? Check out: Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11: No Margin for Error

Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11: No Margin for Error

College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11

There has been no more unbiased ranking out there than the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. However, if you go back and look at the rankings for each week, I guarantee you would now agree that I have been 100% right and accurate along the way.

The Unafraid Show College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11 are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. The college football top 10 teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. Only the games have played matter.

I re-rank the top 10 every week from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information.

Before we get to College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11, you can reference the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings for Week 10.

Leave a comment or shoot an email: ImMad@unafraidshow.com… Yes, that is the real email address.

1.  Alabama (9-0) Last Week: #2

Alabama is the class of the SEC and College Football. After week 10 I believe we can all agree that Bama is a juggernaut and the rest of the SEC is just like every other conference. Anyone can get beat on any given Saturday (with Clemson as the exception).

Alabama heard all the people saying they would to lose to LSU and told them to have a seat and be quiet. The Crimson Tide’s schedule has been extremely light this season. Playing tougher teams multiple weeks in a week out does fatigue a team mentally and physically. And Alabama has not experienced that, but I’m not sure it would have mattered who they played this season.

It feels like a foregone conclusion that the Crimson Tide will win the National Championship, but remember the New England Patriots looked unbeatable at 18-0, then proceeded to lose the Super Bowl. So, you never know.

2. Clemson (9-0) Last Week: #1

This is the time of year that teams jockeying for playoff seeding are trying to make statements. Clemson clearly made a statement by unmercifully beating Florida State, NC State, and Louisville over the last three weeks.

Dabo Swinney made the correct move when he made Trevor Lawrence the starting quarterback. The Clemson offense has been more dynamic and consistent since then. Winning the ACC is a foregone conclusion for the Tigers. Gearing up for what feels like an inevitable matchup with Alabama for the title has to be priority number one.

3. Notre Dame (9-0) Last Week: #3

If Notre Dame wins their last three games, there is NO chance they get left out of the playoffs. Oklahoma, Michigan, Washington State, West Virginia, Ohio State, and Georgia all have to be rooting for the Fighting Irish to drop a game. Ian Book continues his solid play and feels like the new prototype college quarterback. He is a terrific passer, but also adds a lot of value extending playing and picking up first downs with his legs.

In an interview on College Football GameDay head coach, Brian Kelly was already talking about the playoffs and a potential rematch with Alabama. I have to wonder if Kelly and his team could be looking past games against Florida State, Syracuse, and USC.

4. Michigan (8-1) Last Week: #6

I officially believe in Michigan. The Wolverines did horrible things to Penn State. Their defense is smothering, and unquestionably the #1 defense in the nation. This defense could absolutely slow Alabama’s offense down. The only question is will their offense be able to produce against Bama’s notoriously stingy defense.

The “eye test” tells me that Michigan is a better team than Notre Dame, at this point. However, the fact that Notre Dame beat Michigan week one cannot be ignored. If it came down to the last playoff spot could anyone in good conscience put Michigan over an undefeated Notre Dame?

5. Oklahoma (8-1) Last Week: #5

We have learned two things about Oklahoma this season. Their offense is unstoppable, and their defense can’t stop nosebleed most times. Unless the Sooners lose another game, they will 100% be in the top four of the CFB Playoffs. Chaos always ensues in November and the Sooners will be the beneficiary. It will be interesting to see if a team like Michigan or Alabama who is so good defensively can stop the most potent offense in college football.

Kyler Murray has to be a Heisman Finalist and could possibly win the award if he has more heroics over the last month of the season. Oklahoma is what Washington State would be with 4-5* athletes all over the place, except Washington State plays better defense.

6. Georgia (8-1) Last Week: 7

We have to give Georgia credit for wins against Florida and Kentucky though neither team is nearly as good as the hype that surrounded them. The Bulldogs are in a tight spot when it comes to making the College Football Playoffs. They already have one loss and have to play Alabama in the SEC championship. Anything but a win will keep them out of the top 4, but a New Years Six bowl is surely in Georgia’s favor.

The Bulldogs only need to guard against a let down versus Auburn or Georgia Tech over the next three weeks.

7. Washington State (8-1) Last Week: 9

Something special is brewing in Pullman, Washington. Mike Leach has turned one of the worst college football teams into a playoff contender. No one expected their success after they lost their starting quarterback Tyler Hilinski to suicide during the offseason. However, graduate transfer Gardener Minshew II has shown up and thrown for nearly 400 yards per game.

If one of nations top defenses cannot stop the Cougars, they should be able to finish their Pac-12 schedule unscathed.

8. West Virginia (7-1) Last Week: #NR

It seems Will Grier and the Mountaineers are peeks at the right time. They had ugly games against Kansas and Iowa State in the middle of the season, but have bounced back nicely. We appear to be headed for an Oklahoma vs. West Virginia Big 12 championship game. Dana Holgorsen has his opportunity to deliver on the expectations of West Virginia fans if he can get 3 more wins out of his team.

Just like every other Big 12 team, the only question about this team is their defense. Can they get enough stops against teams that want to run the football to win in the playoffs?

9. Central Florida (8-0) Last Week: #8

Central Florida is the Rodney Dangerfield of college football. They do good things but get no respect. The Knights have won 21 straight football games going back to last season, but have no hope of making the top four. Their schedule has not been good, but until last week had been better than Alabama and other teams in the top 12.

Central Florida is not doing themselves any favors by playing close games against Memphis and Temple. Neither of those teams is as bad as some of the cupcakes on other top 10 teams’ schedule. However, the other teams in the Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11 have been dominating their inferior competition.

10. Ohio State (8-1) Last Week: #10

The Buckeyes are sitting at 8-1, but they do not look good right now. They have struggled both offensively and defensively in three consecutive weeks against Minnesota, Purdue, and Nebraska. There is no lack of talent with this team, so their play of late has to be concerning for Ohio State fans. A one-loss Big Ten champion will likely end up in the College Football Playoffs, so there is still time for the Buckeyes to pull it together. Michigan is hot right now, and the last thing Ohio State wants is to be playing poorly heading into their most crucial game of the season.

Next Up:

LSU, Texas,

I know some of you are steaming mad right now because your team is ranked too low or is unranked. Take a breathe and realize that your fandom is causing irrational thoughts. The College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 9 is accurate, unbiased, and unafraid.

Big 12 Power Rankings Week 10: Butt Fumbles, and Playoff Implications

Big 12 Power Rankings Week 10

There were several upsets and losses throughout the Big 12 conference that could shape things as we head towards the final stretch in November. But with teams like West Virginia back in sync, and Oklahoma State taking down Texas, the path to the Big 12 Championship is truly open hunting season–with the exception of Oklahoma. Without further ado… here’s the Big 12 Power Rankings Week 10:

10. Baylor

The Baylor Bears took a few steps forward in their loss to Texas a few weeks ago. But it’s hard to find strengths in this week’s 14-58 loss at the hands of West Virginia. Baylor was limited to just 287 total yards of offense and didn’t appear to be prepared to face a team looking to make a statement.

Early on, quarterback Charlie Brewer was replaced by Jalan McClendon after throwing three interceptions and throwing just 1 of 8 for 22 yards. To contrast, Brewer was 20 of 39 for 240 yards, a touchdown and an interception against Texas the week prior. With a struggling TCU on the schedule on Nov. 17, Baylor could become bowl eligible at five games. However, on all three phases of the ball, the adjustments need to be made fast–especially with an Oklahoma State team on the schedule this week.

9. TCU

With TCU’s 26-27 loss at Kansas, it’s safe to say there might be some job security volatility in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs knew how effective Kansas had been this season in forcing turnovers. Yet, TCU still fell prey to a disastrous one when quarterback Michael Collins butt fumbled during a critical drive. Head coach Gary Patterson attributed to the loss and mistakes as TCU being a young team. He continued by saying, “The bottom line is, we’re going to keep fighting. We’re going to keep getting better so we can move forward If we do that, we’ll have a chance.”

But fighting might be a bigger issue, especially with TCU having to replace KaVontae Turpin who was kicked off the team last week due to allegations of assault. Quarterback Shawn Robinson is also out. That forced a young Michael Collins to step up. Turnovers were an issue for Collins against Kansas, but Patterson has a point that he’s young, and he will learn.

8. Kansas State

Kansas State is now 3-5 overall and 1-4 in the Big 12 following a 14-51 loss to Oklahoma–yet another collapse in the season following Bill Snyder’s extension. While the Wildcats weren’t touted as a defensive team this season. It’s never a good day when your defense only forces one punt, regardless of how potent the opposing offense is. Another point of concern is that quarterback Skylar Thompson looked good against an Oklahoma State. But Thompson followed that up with 108 yards against the Sooners and amassed just 137 yards on the ground.

The schedule is full of offense and blooming defenses awaiting Kansas State the rest of the season. The Wildcats might find themselves ineligible for Bowl season of things don’t change, and fast.

7. Kansas

One thing people don’t realize about the Kansas Jayhawks is that they rank first in the nation in turnovers gained at 21. Through eight games they have 12 interceptions and nine fumbles. With TCU playing a sophomore quarterback, it was easier for the Jayhawks to turn up the dial and earn its first Big 12 win in 14 games. Kansas was able to snap the longest losing streak in conference losses in the nation. What’s more, in the past three seasons, the Jayhawks have just three conference wins in 33 games.

The defense was key against an unusually down TCU team. This could be David Beaty’s last season at Kansas even though it really shouldn’t be. It’s not all doom, and gloom like others who are already writing on his tombstone would tell you. This weekend, Kansas faces an Iowa State team that just defeated a very good Texas Tech team. So if Kansas wants a shot at inching one step closer to Bowl eligibility, this is definitely the weekend to pull out all the stops. Hopefully, they are playing in an empty stadium, which Beaty says he prefers.

6. Texas Tech

Texas Tech certainly didn’t play its best on offense, and it not only cost them a win, but it also exposed some serious areas of concern. The primary concern is whether quarterback Alan Bowman had his confidence shaken following his partially collapsed lung injury against West Virginia. He’s shown flashes that mirror the gunslinger Tech fans saw in the first part of the season. But, he showed trepidation against an Iowa State defense that Tech should have handled. Penalties were an issue for the Red Raiders, who finished the day with 10 for 85 yards. Most of those penalties were questionable, and this isn’t debatable. But in any event, when players are suspicious of inconsistent calls, it’s no excuse to pull up. And penalties are certainly no excuse why Tech could only amass 30 rushing yards.

Texas Tech blew a major opportunity to take control of a third-place spot in Big 12 standings. Tech gets Oklahoma and Texas at home in back-to-back weeks. Performance, discipline, and execution will decide whether this team truly can overcome adversity and retake their chaotic reign in the Big 12. Tech certainly has “Sunday” receivers and special teams that are making a mark this season. In any event, Tech is sitting at 5-3 overall and 4th in the Big 12. With Baylor and Kansas State still, on the schedule, head coach Kliff Kingsbury has all the tools to pull off his best season since taking the job in 2015.

5. Iowa State

Iowa State’s 40-31 victory over Texas Tech has the Cyclones undefeated through the month of October. Now, it’s one of those fringe teams that could be coming alive in the final quarter of the season. In an afternoon riddled by penalties by Tech, Iowa State was able to capitalize on the mind game. A costly safety by Tech quarterback Alan Bowman with 4:39 in the 4th quarter turned into the nail in the coffin for the Red Raiders. The Cyclones got the ball back and capped a well-played game with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Brock Purdy to Hakeem Butler to seal the game.

Iowa State’s defense could be what continues to swing the pendulum this season, especially with a schedule of top teams that have been caught unprepared throughout the season.  With a motivated Kansas on the schedule this weekend, Iowa State has to stay focused and keep improving.

4. Texas

We’ve posed the same question throughout the season for a reason, “Is Texas back?” While at times the Longhorns have shown that they deserve to be in the Playoff discussion. But following its loss to a struggling Oklahoma State team on Saturday, the bigger concern is whether Texas blew a shot to guarantee a trip to Dallas for the Big 12 Championship game.

Texas got quarterback Sam Ehlinger back following a shoulder injury he sustained against Baylor. Ehlinger wasn’t as effective in his return as many Texas fans feared. He connected on just 22 of 42 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns. Texas did manage to put up 119 yards rushing, which helped to extend drives. But the Cowboys limited star receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey’s production to just 69 receiving yards and 0 touchdowns. The loss sprung Texas from No. 6 to No. 15 in the AP Poll. And with a West Virginia team this weekend that put away K-State easily, Tom Herman certainly has his hands full.

3. Oklahoma State

Things came alive for the Oklahoma State Cowboys last weekend in Stillwater. A 38-35 victory over Texas was impressive. Texas was being discussed as a fringe team into the College Football Playoff just two weeks ago. Well, the Cowboys might have ended that talk last weekend, as quarterback Taylor Cornelius connected in 23 of 34 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns. Oklahoma State put up 502 total yards of offense, even managing 181 yards rushing. Penalties were pretty limited to just 4 for 52 yards, and the Pokes controlled the time of possession for almost 10 minutes longer than the Longhorns.

One area of concern, however, was that the Cowboys’ defense allowed the Longhorns to put up 402 yards of offense. While they managed to hold on to the win, a second-half comeback was in full swing, and Texas might have earned a dub if it weren’t for Cornelius turning on the jets on 3rd & 10 for the go-ahead score and an aggressive 4th & 1 approach throughout the game. At 5-3 currently, Oklahoma State still has the potential to pull off a very good season, and it’s entirely possible to keep the momentum up with Baylor this weekend.

2. West Virginia

Two weeks ago I wrote that “every game matters,” and took some flack about where West Virginia was ranked. They are a team with tons of talent and potential, but I felt like their play wasn’t earning nods in a way that matched the caliber of talent. Well, this week, the Mountaineers shut everyone up, including me, and just in time. West Virginia has a real shot at taking Texas out this weekend… if they play with the same physicality they showed against Baylor.

Deficits are always tough to overcome. And West Virginia put up 31 points in a single quarter which gave Baylor a 41 point hole to crawl out of. Aside from the WVU defense allowing 14 points in the third quarter, they pitched a shutout through three. Will Grier threw 17 of 27, for 353 yards and three touchdowns. WVU put up 172 yards on the ground, which assisted in 22 first down conversions, despite having the football for 3:40 less than the Bears.  This week the Mountaineers draw the Longhorns. Texas is 24th in the nation in red zone defense, so two issues WVU needs to correct are third-down conversions, where they were just 1-10, and penalties last week.

1. Oklahoma

Throughout the season, I’ve said that it’s Oklahoma versus everyone, and through nine weeks, that’s still true. Incredibly enough, the Sooners have only seemed to improve throughout every phase of the game. Quarterback Kyler Murray is only inching his way higher and higher on Heisman radars. In OU’s 51-14 route over the Kansas State Wildcats last weekend,  the Sooners only punted the ball once, and even gave reps to backup quarterback Austin Kendall late in the fourth quarter’s “garbage time.”

Kyler Murray did Kyler Murray things, connecting on 19 of 24 passes for 352 yards and three touchdowns. He also made things happen on the ground, running for 46 yards and a rushing touchdown. His receivers hauled in 22 catches for 280 yards and three touchdowns, and CeeDee Lamb posted his seventh consecutive game with a touchdown catch. With the unveiling of the College Football Playoff Standings on Tuesday evening, Oklahoma knows there’s a marginal shot of being inside the Top 6, so every game–including style points–counts from here on out.


Want more? Check out: Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 10: New Sheriff in Town

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

Big 12 Football

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

Big 12 Power Rankings Week 7: OU fires Stoops, Texas is rolling

Big 12 Power Rankings Week 7

The Big 12 sustained quite the shakeup with the outcome of the Red River Showdown. And while that shakeup could have lasting results on the conference as a whole, it’s anyone’s guess how Oklahoma will battle through adversity. In any event, if the Sooners were looking for a potential competitor for the Big 12 Championship, the Longhorns stepped up in a big way, and we could be looking at a repeat in Dallas.

With Texas Tech and TCU having bye weeks, Week 8 should be set up for a more telling story as to how the Big 12 could play itself out for the rest of the season, but with Week 7 already in the books, here’s how the Big 12 Power Rankings Week 7 turned out.

10. Kansas

The Jayhawks might be looking at a 2-4 record, but that’s not the whole story. In their 22-38 loss last weekend at West Virginia, Kansas’ defense had the most significant impact, with five sacks, 10 tackles for loss, three interceptions, and one fumble recovery. The Jayhawks knew Will Grier was turnover prone and took advantage when they could.

While Kansas still struggles to establish a legitimate offense, scoring 22 points on a good West Virginia defense is an uptick in the right direction for David Beaty’s squad. With Texas Tech in Lubbock on 10/20, this bye week should help with their film study.

9. Kansas State

Following its 37-34 loss at Baylor last weekend, Kansas State is now on a three-game losing skid, and it might not get any easier. While K-State managed to tie the game against Baylor at 34-34 apiece and under 4:30 to play, the Wildcats just couldn’t get a critical stop, which allowed Baylor kicker Dalvin Warmack to kick a game-winning field goal.

While once again, the loss highlighted K-State’s continued deficiencies, the offense had a good game, with quarterback Skyler Thompson throwing for 149 yards and a touchdown, and running back Alex Barnes finishing the day with 250 yards on the ground for three touchdowns. It shows that despite terrible special teams play if K-State can continue scraping by, offensively, they could keep games close. Against an equally struggling Oklahoma State team at home this weekend, the Wildcats have to get it together this week.

8. Oklahoma State

The Cyclones showed, once again, that Oklahoma State is in trouble this season. The Cowboys show improvement one week, then go backwards the following week. And against Iowa State, that was proven once again.

Offensively, OSU was great, starting with quarterback Taylor Cornelius, who connected on 19 of 33 passes for 289 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception. Cornelius also scored a rushing touchdown and finished with 46 rushing yards. Six receivers got touches, and minus a negative play by senior punter Zach Sinor, the Cowboys had 126 yards on the ground.

Iowa State was struggling to find an identity, so this loss has to sting a bit, but with Cowboys looking for a rebound, an equally struggling K-State team this week on the road will present challenges. But if OSU can etch out a win before hosting Texas on the 27th, they’ll have forward momentum they desperately need in Big 12 play.

7. Iowa State

Iowa State pulled off a much-needed win against a ranked Oklahoma State team last weekend, and as previously mentioned, with struggles to establish an identity this season, this win couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

After the win, Cyclones’ head coach Matt Campbell said, “I’m really proud of our football team today.” With David Montgomery out with an injury, Brock Purdy stepped up in a big way, completing 18-23 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns. The performance certainly had the conference’s attention, and if the Cyclones can continue improving, it should make for an interesting season.

6. TCU

TCU made headlines during their bye week when news broke that they were allegedly preparing to face Texas Tech by watching film from the Kansas City Chiefs. The reason being, TCU head coach Gary Patterson wants to dissect the similarities between how Tech and the Chiefs utilize RPOs, which can only help its struggling defense prepare, and add some technique to its offense. With just a few weeks to prepare for Texas Tech’s continually reinvented offense, however, it’s anyone’s guess as to how this aggressive film study will go for the Horned Frogs.

Another story that came out of Ft. Worth this week, was within the quarterback position, where Patterson said injured quarterback Shawn Robinson would play, but not necessarily start. With that said, there are plenty of things to follow on Thursday, as TCU hosts the Red Raiders.

5. Baylor

Baylor kicker Connor Martin had a rough day, but after missing three field goal attempts and an extra point against K-State last weekend, with just: 08 seconds left in regulation, Martin split the uprights to give the Bears the win, and a 4-2 record.

The Bears showed a lot of promise and grit in this win, but if they want to continue to grind this season out on a positive note, they need to learn to finish drives. Thankfully, the were able to rely on their secondary to keep K-State out of the end zone, and more importantly, the offense was able to turn those takeaways into points. Baylor also controlled the time and tempo in its 37-34 victory, but converting on 10 third-down attempts, Baylor should have run the score up.

With Texas this weekend, that might be harder to accomplish, but then again, this is the Big 12.

4. Texas Tech

The Texas Tech Red Raiders dodged a serious bullet when quarterback Alan Bowman sustained a partially collapsed lung during a brutal hit against West Virginia. After spending a few days in the hospital, Bowman is back with the team and participating in practices. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury hasn’t specified whether Bowman will play on Thursday against TCU. However, it is suspected that all three quarterbacks will make the trip and suit up.

3. West Virginia

Quarterback Will Grier is back to throwing turnovers, and at some point, it’s going to catch up to him. In West Virginia’s 38-22 win over the Kansas Jayhawks last weekend, Grier had four touchdowns, and as many turnovers–including three interceptions. While 509 total yards of offense is impressive, the West Virginia defense only had one QB hurry and just three sacks against Kansas. Those are things Tony Gibson has to stress, especially in November.

2. Oklahoma

While Oklahoma lost last weekend, you can’t forget that the Sooners’ offense mounted a 21-point comeback in the 4th quarter, and was one defensive stop away from sending the Red River Showdown to overtime. Unfortunately, that defensive stop merely kept the Longhorns out of the end zone, not between the uprights.

The bigger issue for the Sooners is how they’ll respond following the abrupt firing of defensive coordinator, Mike Stoops. While the defensive leadership will be replaced by Ruffin McNeill on an interim basis, that doesn’t change the fact that OU defenders haven’t been successful this season on tackling in space, or limiting explosive plays. Moreover (and as Big 12 history will tell us), if McNeill isn’t chosen as the Sooners’ full-time defensive coordinator at the end of the season, could this mean an entire defensive rebuild in 2019?

There are plenty of questions that remain, but with the Sooners facing TCU after the bye, they have some time to try and figure some things out.

1. Texas

It’s hard to deny the Longhorns weren’t the best team in the Big 12 conference last weekend. Texas entered the Red River Showdown as a major underdog, and not only did the ‘Horns shut out Heisman frontrunner Kyler Murray from producing double-digit points in two quarters, “Dicker the Kicker” became a household name on a 40-yard field goal to give head coach Tom Herman his biggest marquee win, so far.

With the Longhorns’ 48-45 victory, it catapulted them from the No. 19 spot in the AP Poll to No. 9. And with Baylor just beginning to establish a rhythm, expect a Texas team on Saturday looking to stifle that.


Want More? Check out Red River Showdown: Texas-Oklahoma earn highest FOX Sports TV ratings

Red River Showdown: Texas-Oklahoma earn highest FOX Sports TV ratings

Red River Showdown

According to FOX Sports PR, the Red River Showdown between No. 7 ranked Oklahoma and No. 19 Texas was the highest rated football game of the 2018 college football season. The network says that the event recorded a 4.3 metered market rating, meaning a designated market area that can receive a televised event.

The game wasn’t without its share of hype in the lead up, however.

Texas freshman defensive tackle Keondre Coburn tweeted, “I’m so happy to finally be a Longhorn, baby. This has been the hardest process, ever, but it’s over and my next journey is in Austin, and with my boys in this Revolution Class, and I promise, we will beat OU and the rest of them. ” Former OU quarterback Baker Mayfield responded with, “This is what we call being naive. Kid has no idea what it’s like stepping into the Cotton Bowl. So here’s how it works… The team north of the Red River doesn’t flinch. But it’s okay, you’ll see for yourself, wish you the best.”

At kickoff, Oklahoma had a 75.6 percent win probability, according to ESPN. But with a balanced approach on offense, the Longhorns managed to gas the OU defense, controlling the clock for 33 minutes and 50 seconds of total possession, and finished the day with 177 total rushing yards, and 501 passing yards. After Texas stunned the Sooners with a 48-45 victory, Coburn posted:

The 2018 Red River Showdown was the highest rated sports event yesterday, according to FOX, which is quite the turnaround from two seasons ago, when the game produced its lowest television rating in 16 years. The 2016 game, which was shown on FS1, had just a 2.0 television rating.

Here’s the official release from FOX Sports PR:

While yesterday’s game exposed several deficiencies in he OU defense, it also showed that Texas defensive coordinator Todd Orlando has his hands full, too, as the Longhorns allowed OU quarterback Kyler Murray to finish the day with 304 total yards and four touchdowns. The Sooners also clawed its way out of a 21 point deficit with fourth quarter domination.

Despite that second-half performance, Texas moved from No. 19 in the nation in the recent AP Poll, to No. 9, and the loss sent OU to No. 11.

Want More? Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 7: Party Crashers

Big 12 Power Rankings Week 6: Oklahoma rolls, and is Texas back?

Big 12 Power Rankings

The Big 12 is on pace for a pretty exciting year. Teams pundits anticipated to be at the top, have fallen significantly in the last few weeks, and others continue to progress, even if wins don’t tilt in their favor.

Aside from injuries that impacted teams’ game plans, this was a fairly standard weekend, in terms of what we expected from some of the Big 12 teams this season. Will those injuries have longterm impacts on personnel, is anyone’s guess at this point. However, with the uncertainty, we have to take a look at depth charts to see which teams have the best shot moving forward.

Without further ado, here’s the Week 6 Power Rankings for the Big 12 Conference:

10. Iowa State

The Cyclones were one of the Big 12’s most highly anticipated teams coming into this season, but so far, they’re leaving a lot to be desired. with losses against Iowa, Oklahoma, and now a TCU team that’s struggling to establish an identity this season, Iowa State might be in trouble.

You could make the argument that Iowa State almost had TCU if it hadn’t been for the late Horned Frogs’ field goal to seal the victory, and sure, defenses do win championships, however, quarterback Zeb Noland only threw for 79 total yards, with a single touchdown for the day. Most Big 12 teams are bolstering their defenses, but their offenses are averaging in the triple digits, too. Iowa State had just 198 total yards of offense, which would be acceptable in other leagues, but head coach Matt Campbell has to find a rhythm before heading to Stillwater this weekend.

9. Kansas

Kansas, Kansas, Kansas… we’re all rooting for them, but like Iowa State, the Jayhawks can’t seem to click. After Kansas fired athletics director Sheahon Zenger back in May, that made David Beaty’s hot seat scalding.

Quarterback Carter Stanley threw for an impressive 249 yards and three touchdowns last weekend, while Jayhawks’ running back Pooka Williams Jr. put up a rushing touchdown, and receiver Steven Sims put up a touchdown in the air, contributing to an overall balanced offensive approach. Unfortunately, the Jayhawks are suffering from the same defensive deficiencies as Iowa State, as they were routed in a 48-24 loss to Oklahoma State.

The Jayhawks will face a massive test against a West Virginia team that is looking to send a message after being shut out by Texas Tech in the second-half last weekend.

8. Kansas State

Bill Snyder signed a contract extension back in the Summer that will keep him on the sidelines through 2022–if things play out the way they should. Unfortunately, the Wildcats are 2-3 overall, 8th in the Big 12, and haven’t won a single in-conference game.

With the Longhorns rising in rankings every week, they already make for a tough opponent, and while it was a relatively low scoring game (by Big 12 standards), it does spell concern for the Wildcats, offensively.

K-State had just 217 total yards of offense in its 14-19 loss in Manhattan, but what’s more concerning is the pass average. The Wildcats are averaging just 4.4 yards-per-pass, and rank No. 117 in the nation in total offense, averaging just 4.97 yards-per-play and just nine offensive touchdowns. With a Baylor team that’s shown more confidence this season than in the two seasons prior, it could be a very long afternoon for Bill Snyder.

7. Baylor

Baylor is at 3-2 on the season following a major 33-66 loss at Oklahoma last weekend. While the Bears’ defense presented some issues to the Sooners, the offense is still showing concerns, particularly in the run game. So far, the Bears rank No. 88 nationally in the run game, averaging just 155.8 yards-per-game and 4.45 yards-per-carry. While that’s not a terrible statistic, it does help in clock management, controlling the tempo, and wearing defenses out faster.

While most of the Big 12 is working to master the balanced approach, it could be an interesting season for Baylor if they can’t focus on that and soon, especially with Baylor facingKansas State this weekend, and No. 19 ranked Texas in Austin next weekend.

6. TCU

TCU barely beat Iowa State on a field goal to win it last weekend to end a two game losing slump. The Horned Frogs were supposed to be one of the top teams in the country headed into the season, but with the way they’ve been playing as of late, it might be difficult to get out of the middle of the conference, and even more difficult to prevent the downward trend.

TCU’s defense stepped up in a major way in their 17-14 victory, so the momentum is nice as TCU will have a bye before facing Texas Tech in Week 7.

5. Texas Tech

Texas Tech’s defense has managed consecutive back-to-back shutouts against ranked opponents, which proves that at least in one phase of the game, Tech is a second-half team. Unfortunately, against a West Virginia team at home, the Red Raiders just couldn’t get it going on defense in the first half, and capitalize on knowing Heisman hopeful Will Grier was prone to turnovers. Even more unfortunate was the violent hit to true freshman quarterback Alan Bowman which resulted in a partially compassed lung.

Thankfully for Tech, they have a much needed bye this week before facing TCU next weekend, and while Bowman likely won’t return for some time, look for Coach Kingsbury and offensive coordinator Kevin Johns to draw up packages for McLane Carter and Jett Duffey; both of which are very talented quarterbacks, as long as turnovers are limited.

4. Texas

Is Texas back, or are the Longhorns just playing decent football against overrated teams? Whenever throwing that debate into the ring, it’s only fair to assess every variable, but with a field goal victory over a struggling K-State team, it’s certainly the motivation for Texas as it heads into Red River Rivalry against Oklahoma on Saturday. The biggest issue here is whether the offense and defense will be in sync, and with each game so far presenting major issues in all three phases, it’s truly any guess which Texas football team will show up.

3. Oklahoma State

Overall, the Cowboys looked good last weekend, but a win over Kansas is a win over Kansas. It’s hard to tell just who this Oklahoma State team is, until they play teams that rival Texas Tech in terms of balance, or even a semblance of a defense, such as Oklahoma, or even more challenging, West Virginia.

Much like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State has yet to defeat a Top 25 opponent this season, but with the No.6 ranked offense in the nation, games down the stretch should be pretty fun to watch,

2. West Virginia

West Virginia dominated Texas Tech, both offensively and defensively through the first half of play against Texas Tech, but that half-production performance won’t cut it as the season continues. The Mountaineers are certainly a Top 10 team, but they make Tech look every bit a Top 25 team in the second-half, by scoring just a single touchdown.

Will Grier stepped up and eliminated turnovers, thus finishing the day at 27-41 for 370 yards and three touchdowns. Moreover, the Mountaineers put up 119 yards on the ground, and finished the day at 50 percent on third-down conversions. One area of concern for West Virginia moving forward is in penalty yards. WVU had 12 for 115 yards, compared to 7 for 60 for Texas Tech. The Mountaineers will have to clean that up, especially in the back 1/4 of the season.

1. Oklahoma

Oklahoma still remains king in the Big 12, and while Kyler Murray was benched to start the game against Baylor, he came back and threw six touchdowns for 432 yards in the Sooners’ 66-33 route over the Bears.

With Oklahoma undefeated through the first five games of the season, it’s truly OU vs. the Big 12 at this point. Just what team will the Sooners face in Dallas in November is anyone’s guess, but it’s certainly going to be fun to watch.


Want More? Check out: Athlete Activist: Athletes Should “Just Do It” and Stand for Their Beliefs

Big 12 Football Week 5 Power Rankings: Is Texas Tech the real deal?

Big 12

The Big 12 has been a wild ride so far. And with a couple of major upsets over the weekend that led to the removal of potential Big 12 title contenders from the AP Top 25, it’s anyone’s guess how things will pan out the rest of the season.

From overtime to upsets, Big 12 fans questioned whether Texas was back, if Texas Tech was the real deal, and if TCU’s offense was just riding off a decent defense. Perhaps the real question after 25 percent of the season is over should be what team will be playing Oklahoma for the Big 12 Championship?

In any event, here’s how the teams stack up through Week 5:


The Cyclones remain at the bottom of the conference after a 1-2 start, and an uninspiring first win of the season over Akron. Quarterback Zeb Noland threw for 233 yards and a touchdown, and the Cyclones had 132 rushing yards for a touchdown. Interestingly enough, the Cyclones defense was its weakest link, allowing 244 total yards, and lacking in the turnover department, which is becoming an increasingly necessary objective for teams in the conference.

Iowa State opens its conference schedule this weekend against a TCU team that is licking its wounds following a Week 4 loss in Austin. And unless Matt Campbell wants to reverse the Cyclones’ progress throughout the years, they have to find a way to win.

9. TCU

Over the weekend, I read a Tweet that questioned whether TCU offensive coordinator was just an average play-caller, and if the offense relies too heavily on a defense that was struggling. Those are valid points to consider, especially following back-to-back losses for TCU against Ohio State and Texas. The Longhorns ended a four-year streak of losses to TCU, and that should have TCU head coach Gary Patterson worried.

While 372 total yards of offense is acceptable in the Big 12, TCU also had four turnovers against Texas, and struggled to control the clock. If the Horned Frogs want to get the season back on track, this is the perfect weekend to to so, as they face an Iowa State team that’s struggling to find serious momentum, or identity.


The only reason Kansas is ranked higher than TCU and Iowa State is because it’s likely downhill from here, unless David Beaty’s team can pull out another epic upset this season. While the Jayhawks’ 7-26 loss against Baylor looks bad, there are some things they should be proud of. Kansas allowed just 7 of 14 third down conversions, and 4.9 yards-per-carry. Kansas was also more disciplined, which is surprising considering this was an away game, as they finished the day 7-55 yards, compared to Baylor, which finished 13-141.

Those types of stats are important down the stretch, and if anything, Kansas highlighted some areas to fix for Baylor. With Kansas facing an angry Oklahoma State team at home on Saturday, ESPN matchup predictors only give the Jayhawks a 16 percent win probability, but just as Tech was the underdog last weekend, anything is possible.


Kansas State was handed an embarrassing 6-35 loss at the hands of the Mountaineers last weekend to open Big 12 play, and it’s a game that has a lot of people wondering if things will turn around for the Wildcats this season. Quarterback Skylar Thompson threw for just 145 yards against a tough West Virginia team, but managed zero touchdowns and averaged just 1.5 yards-per-carry. Comparing his rushing stats to more mobile quarterbacks in the conference, it’s an area of major concern, considering that’s how many of these offenses are able to stay on the field.

What’s more, Kansas State’s defense allowed 464 total yards of offense by the Mountaineers, which includes 8-12 third down conversions. And despite four turnovers including two interceptions by Will Grier, the Wildcats just couldn’t cash out and tilt the needle.

With K-State hosting Texas this weekend, there’s time to get back on track, but it’s going to be an uphill battle.


Oklahoma State not only had an 80.1 win percentage at kickoff, Texas Tech hadn’t won in Stillwater since Kliff Kingsbury was playing at Tech. To say this loss was a shocker to the Cowboys would be an understatement. After a hot 3-0 start which included a 44-21 win against then, No. 17 ranked Boise State, every possible variable was in Oklahoma State’s favor headed into Saturday night. Unfortunately, the Red Raiders’ defense held OSU to just 386 total yards of offense, 18 first downs, just 18:43 in total possession, and a complete second-half shutout.

While it’s too early to hit the “panic button” in Stillwater, Kansas is this week’s unlucky rebound opponent, but it might take a few weeks of solid wins for the Cowboys to work their way back into the polls.


Baylor has started the season with a 3-1 start, which is considerable progress for a team that has spent the past few years in a complete rebuilding phase. Over Kansas last weekend, quarterback Charlie Brewer finished the day with 221 passing yards, and three touchdowns. Baylor improved in rushing, with six players –including Brewer–rushing for double-digit yardage to finish the day with 190 total yards on the ground. This type of balanced approach is becoming increasingly important, as teams are looking to control the time and tempo. As Baylor looks to continue the upward momentum of a balanced approach, opponents are also retooling to defend them, so if you’re a Big 12 fan, that’s a big point of emphasis for defenses.

Baylor takes on Oklahoma this weekend, and with the Sooners controlling the tables right now, this will be the Bears’ biggest test to-date.


Is Texas actually back? Nobody knows. It’s a question we ask ourselves every single week, but after toppling the formerly 17th ranked TCU Horned Frogs last weekend, Texas is back into the AP Top 25 poll at No. 18.

Momentarily, at least, Texas is back, but the most impressive area during the game was at the half, where Texas defense held TCU to just a field goal to start the second-half. Statistically, both teams were about the same in the major categories, but a place that helped catapult Texas to the stunning win was in turnovers. TCU gave the football up four times, including a fumble, and three interceptions. And in this league, ball control is a crucial difference-maker.

The Longhorns look to keep the streak going on the road against a struggling Kansas State team on Saturday on FS1.


West Virginia has emerged as one of the top programs in the country through three games, however, with its toughest opponent (NC State) cancelled due to Hurricane Florence, the sample size in terms of comparable competition is relatively low. Kansas State has been struggling this season, so it was a little disconcerting to see quarterback Will Grier struggle with ball control in the Mountaineers’ 35-6 win on Saturday. The Heisman hopeful threw for 356 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions, yet the West Virginia offense was shut out the last quarter of play.

The Mountaineers, however, spent 33:23 of the game on defense and only gave up a total of six points, but keeping your defense on the field for that long adds up over the course of the season, especially if substitutions are limited, as tends to be the case in they league. From a durability perspective, the offense will need to balance it out a bit, but against a Texas Tech team coming off a monster upset in Stillwater, it could be a challenge.



As mentioned previously, the last time Texas Tech won in Stillwater was when Kliff Kingsbury was the quarterback, and it had been nine years since Tech beat Oklahoma State in any other venue. To say knocking off the 14th ranked team and entering the polls at No. 25 is an accomplishment for a team with plenty of red flags headed into the season, would be grossly understated.

True freshman quarterback Alan Bowman threw for 397 yards, and two touchdowns, but with two interceptions thrown into tight windows, he needs to focus on locating the DBs to avoid those mistakes in the future. The Red Raiders dominated in almost every statistical category, but the critical areas were in time of possession, play-calling, and on defense. With Tech able to keep a high powered offense off the field, it wore their defense down, giving Tech the ability to put together its most complete game in the Kingsbury era. The 806D also managed a complete second-half shut out, which is the momentum they need as they prepare this week to face Will Grier at home on Saturday.


What a week for the Sooners.

Former quarterback and reigning Heisman winner Baker Mayfield was named the Browns’ starter after its historic win last week, and Oklahoma is off to a 4-0 start, but not without an upset watch.

In their 28-21 OT victory over Army, Heisman hopeful Kyler Murray was limited to just 165 passing yards, but that didn’t stop the gunslinger from racking up three touchdowns, including a 10 yard pass to CeeDee Lamb in the end zone to seal the victory. The Sooners’ offense was held to a second-half shutout, just 19 first downs, and only controlled the clock for 15:19. Those are certainly areas of concern Oklahoma will have to correct this week against Baylor, and especially before the gritty portion of the Big 12 schedule.

Side Note: Very classy, Sooners. Thank you to Army Football for your continued service.

Want more Big 12? Check out: Q/A: Former Texas Tech quarterback BJ Symons on Kingsbury, Quarterbacks, and more