10 Big Thoughts on the Big 12: Week 8


1. Kansas State shifts ahead of Oregon in the latest BCS polls, now making them that team who “controls their destiny” in third place behind Alabama and Florida. Bottom line is with how the humans and computers rank these teams, no one has control of their own destiny. There will be argument until next August if Kansas State, Oregon, and Notre Dame all finish undefeated at the end of the year. Hey, wouldn’t that four-team playoff look great in that scenario?

October 20, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; Kansas State Wildcats wide receiver Chris Harper (3) runs after a pass reception against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the third quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. The Kansas State Wildcats won 55-14. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

2. Oklahoma continues to climb, now reaching eighth in the latest rankings after decimating Kansas 52-7. The game was largely over before halftime. As this team continues to cruise in their schedule, they could all but lock up at least a BCS berth if Kansas State ever fumbles down the stretch.

3. The only team that survived in the three Big 12 teams that rounded out the top 25 was Texas as they held off Baylor 56-50. What we really learned is that Texas continues to not be able to stop anybody, and if they weren’t facing an even worse defense in the Bears they would have lost again. The future is very bleak for the Longhorns.

4. Cue the end of Geno Smith and West Virginia. The ride was fun while it lasted, but when adversity hit, that ship hit an iceberg and it continues to sink. I don’t want to take anything away from Kansas State, but I believe many people saw a blowout coming as the Mountaineers not only got blown out in West Texas a week ago, but they got exposed.

5. TCU has really turned it around since their loss to Iowa State. The turnover margin obviously helped against Baylor (+6), but even when the margin was -3 against Texas Tech, backup quarterback Trevone Boykin went 26-44, 332 yards, and four touchdowns passing against a solid Red Raiders defense.

6. How awesome is Joseph Randle? We blamed Texas’ tackling on how dominate he was against the Longhorns, but if Randle ever breaks into the open field, it takes at least two defenders to bring him down.

Oct 20, 2012; Stillwater OK, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy and Iowa State Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads meet before the game at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

7. Paul Rhoads said in his teleconference that the team doesn’t “have an identity right now as an offense.” The quarterback position is completely undecided. Will it be Steele Jantz or Jared Barnett? Will Sam Richardson get more time in practice and win it? Has Jerome Tiller kept up with learning the plays? Will we ask the Ames High School quarterback to fill in? Lots of question await the upcoming Homecoming game against Baylor, who has the worst defense in the conference.

8. A silver lining for Baylor is that even though fans are obviously bummed out with a horrible defense, they have a system in place on offense. Nick Florence would have a better touchdown to interception ratio if he played next season, and Bryce Petty has potential for his two years at the helm of the Bears.

9. I really don’t have a silver lining for Kansas this year. It’s fun to watch your team in garbage time? I don’t know, you’ll find better coverage at Through the Phog.

10. Not much movement around the polls this week, except for West Virginia freefalling to the ranking they deserve, as well as Iowa State.

  1. Kansas State (7-0, 4-0) LW: 1
  2. Oklahoma (5-1, 3-1) LW: 2
  3. Texas Tech (6-1, 3-1) LW: 3
  4. Oklahoma State (4-2, 2-1) LW: 8
  5. Texas (5-2, 2-2) LW: 7
  6. TCU (5-2, 2-2) LW: 6
  7. West Virginia (5-2, 2-2) LW: 4
  8. Iowa State (4-3, 1-3) LW: 5
  9. Baylor (3-3, 0-3) LW: 9
  10. Kansas (1-6, 0-4) LW: 10

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Clones Confidential. Keep up with the latest sports fails and disdain toward the Big Ten by following him on Twitter.

Read his other work on the Oregon Ducks blog, Autzen Zoo, and Lacrosse the Web.