TCU, Texas fall, OU, KSU roll...

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A recap of all the action from a relatively calm day in the Big XII Conference.

Sorry I've been out of pocket all day and barely posted; we had William's first birthday party today (yes, his birthday was a month ago, it's a long story) and family from all over came in for the occasion. I still got to watch nearly all of all the games today, though, so as you might expect, I have thoughts! Here they are.

  • Iowa State 37, TCU 23 -- TCU is in a bad, bad way and I'm not even talking about the Casey Pachall situation. If their defense is better than ours, it's not by all that much, particularly against the pass. Iowa State changed QBs before today's game and the replacement threw for 3 TDs against TCU's D. With Pachall out, too, their offense racked up on the yardage on ISU's defense but fell all over itself to give the ball away (3 picks, 2 fumbles). Their red zone problems are the stuff of legends at this point. Looking forward to next week, I'll go on record now saying that I would bet almost anything that Casey Pachall plays against us. Patterson is supposedly meeting with the TCU chancellor to talk about the situation tomorrow, but don't expect an announcement. TCU has nothing to gain from letting us know who we'll face. Make our beleaguered defense prepare for 2 QBs and you can neutralize some of the advantage we gained from the extra week. Like I said, I bet they announce Pachall's participation in some alcohol counseling program and he's reinstated to the team this week. He'll sit a quarter or maybe a half, but he'll play. Based on the comments of voters from twitter, TCU won't be ranked this week. ISU will receive more votes, but won't get there.
  • Oklahoma 41, Texas Tech 20. I watched this game least of all because it wasn't really a game after the half. Here's the thing-- Tech's defense didn't play all that poorly. Their offense did, and not only did they turn the ball over 3 times, they could not get on track in the pivotal third quarter at all. OU was only up 24-13 at halftime but ran away with it thereafter because Seth Doege and the Tech offense had nothing. I'm guessing they take a pretty big tumble in the advanced stats this week based on this game. Their chances at being ranked are also out the window for a while. OU probably jumps back up to the early teens, I think. This was an impressive win over a team starting to get a little buzz.
  • Kansas State 56, Kansas 16 -- This game was basically an amalgamation of the two preceding it on the post. Not only did Kansas have five turnovers, they also couldn't score in the third quarter when Kansas State put the game away and turned what was an open question into a blowout. I don't think there's any doubt at this point that KSU is the second-best team in the conference, and if you combine this win with at least two losses above them, KSU could be ranked sixth this week. I'll guess seventh with Florida and West Virginia jumping them after beating LSU and Texas, respectively. Kansas is ... almost hilariously bad at some things, including differentiating friend from foe in the passing game.
  • West Virginia 48, Texas 45 -- The conference saved its best game for last. I managed to watch every minute of this one, so I have a lot to say. First, it's not quite so funny when the WVU offense is coming at you instead of us, is it, Longhorns? We heard a lot of talk this week about the supposedly "elite" Texas defense only for them to give up 48 tonight in a much slower game than ours a week ago. And even on their own turf, as the favorite in the game, Texas managed to do exactly the same thing we did on the road: lose a one-possession game to West Virginia. Does this make our game last week feel any better? No, but anything that increases the Mountaineers profile helps our own case to jump back into the rankings. I didn't really understand WVU's reluctance to air it out early, and it seemed like Texas didn't, either. Instead, WVU pounded the ball with Andrew Buie to great effect early and often. Makes me wonder if we can't do the same thing in the interior of their defense. I took two real negatives away from this game for our own chances: 1) David Ash is better than I want him to be, and 2) Texas' pass rush is, too. You can score points on their defense without a doubt, you just have to negate that pass rush. Get ready to see a ton of screens in two weeks. The fact that Texas has, to say it nicely, "tackling issues" is a good thing for us. With the win, WVU deserves a spot in the top 5 and might get it after FSU just lost to NCState. Wins over LSU and Georgia probably help Florida and South Carolina jump WVU, but FSU going down opens another spot. Three top-5 teams lost this week and those three teams had the best wins.
I'll go ahead and guess now that the top five next week will be Alabama, Oregon, South Carolina, Florida, and West Virginia with Kansas State just on the outside looking in. That puts Texas and Oklahoma representing the conference in the teens behind them. That's probably it for the conference this week, which should have several other teams receiving votes but not actually in the rankings.

UPDATE: Just saw that FSU lost! Shocking! I've updated my top 5 to reflect that.
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