Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday check-up on the Big 12

It was another tough week in the Big 12 with presumptive frontrunner Oklahoma getting predictably pasted by Ohio State, TCU losing star skill player Kavontae Turpin, and Texas failing their first road test in dramatic fashion.

My expectation all offseason was that the Big 12 would be competitive and lack an elite team that would make the playoffs...that may have been an understatement. The league looks WIDE open right now and none of these teams seems remotely likely to make the playoffs.

Ian's pick: Baylor -30 over Rice. Wrong

The Bears only won by 28 points against the always sound and sturdy Owls, who gashed Baylor on the ground but were helpless when throwing the ball.

Interesting notes from this game seem to be the continued ascendance of JaMycal Hasty (14 carries, 105 yards) and Seth Russell continuing to work his way back into shape.

Ian's pick: Memphis +19.5 over Kansas. Vindicated

Montell Cozart played terribly in this game and was replaced by Ryan Willis, who performed better. I think Beaty needs to accept that his best chance to win is with the less mobile pocket passer than the better athlete who struggles to throw the ball. Otherwise, they may not win another game.

Ian's pick: TCU -24 against Iowa State. Wrong

The Frogs came close but couldn't quite cover the spread against the Cyclones. Interesting notes from this game include the fact that Turpin was lost for the year, TCU ran the ball pretty well, and TCU locked down Allen Lazard.

I didn't watch the game so I don't know how they achieved that result but either they fixed their cornerback issue already or they kept him bracketed for the entire game. I'm guessing the latter.

The Frogs now get a sort of respite with SMU next up and then they take on the 1-2 Oklahoma Sooners in what will be a YUGE Big 12 opener.

Ian's pick: KSU doesn't cover -22.5 vs Florida Atlantic. Wrong

I don't feel bad, who knows anything about Florida Atlantic? The Wildcats interestingly seemed to focus on their run game in this one with eight different guys getting carries. They didn't suffer any major injuries (that I'm aware of) and they had a chance to practice some stuff they'll need later in the year.

I already feel confident that this will be a 7-8 win team that has an impact on the Big 12 race, whether or not they can actually improve enough to contend for the B12 will be hard to discern until they play another good team.

Ian's pick: Pittsburgh +6.5 over Oklahoma State. Totally wrong.

I thought Pitt's clever, pro-style offense would give the Cowboys fits while I questioned whether OSU was effective enough in the run game to really get after the Panthers' brand of press-quarters.

The 'Pokes definitely got ripped by the Panther offense, but they in turn destroyed Narduzzi's defense in the air and on the ground. Surely Pat is re-evaluating some of his anti-spread tactics at this point after surrendering over 100 rushing yards to Rennie Childs. Right?

James Washington amusingly had 296 receiving yards in this game. Talk about padding stats.

Ian's pick: Tech covers 10.5 against La Tech. Vindicated

The Raiders gave up 45 points though and had to score 59 to cover the spread. Wowzas. The Bulldogs did basically whatever they wanted on offense while Mahomes did all that and more.

Kingsbury is going to need to look in the mirror this offseason and ask why his teams are so wretched on defense. You can't count on scoring 60 points every week in the Big 12.

Ian's pick: tOSU covers 2.5 and beats the Sooners. Vindicated

Haven't had a chance to break this game down yet but I will in the coming days. I don't know how OU approached the Ohio State run game but whatever they tried didn't work. It may have been a simple issue of the Buckeyes simply having a superior team though, I was never buying this Oklahoma team as being on that talent level.

A Sooner victory was going to have to come as a result of superior experience and planning on both sides of the ball, the latter is hard to pull off against an Urban Meyer team.

The Sooners get TCU and Texas after a bye week. They could conceivably start the year 1-4. It's hard to believe that Stoops would ever allow that to happen, but it's not like Patterson and Strong are just sitting on their hands right now either.

Ian's pick: Texas covers -8 against Cal. Wrong

Should have been the case, but Texas shot themselves in the foot a few times and Cal ended up taking over in the fourth quarter after looking like they were going to be murdered on the field early in the game.

More on Texas' defensive woes and their solution can be found here.

Next week's Oklahoma State vs Baylor game is looking like it may reveal a lot about how wide open the Big 12 is this season. The Bears seem an ominous threat to contend for the league title, which would probably infuriate everyone outside of Waco.


  1. "I don't know how OU approached the Ohio State run game but whatever they tried didn't work."

    I think as you review the game, you're going to mind it was more how Oklahoma approached standard downs in general. They were too conservative, and Ohio State capitalized in the air and on the ground. On passing downs, Ohio State was still dangerous, but mortal.

    1. I finished the game, or nearly all of it, and found that OU simply didn't have a great plan for some of the formations that Ohio State brought into the game.

      Urban lived in a trips set with an H-back and one of the WRs surrendered as an ineligible receiver by formation. OU never handled that set well.

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