Linked Up: The Big XII and SB Nation United

Tom Pennington - Getty Images

Before this moment, did you know that all 10 Big XII schools are represented on SB Nation? You do now! Here's a sampling of the best work from our conferencemates.

We'll start with the newest members to our athletic alliance, TCU.

Frogs 'O War says it was an ugly win, but they'll take it after defeating Kansas 27-7 to start off Big XII play.

Just a taste:

The linebackers were awful, they couldn't tackle and seemed to refuse Gary's wishes to stay inside the tackles and hit a running back when he comes through the line. The run game was basically not there, Matthew Tucker got some longer runs in the third and fourth quarter but they only made his day seem respectable. It may just be me, but I don't think Tucker's strength is the option run/shotgun hand off, as it was for Waymon. Tucker needs to be getting the ball out of the eye set, running off tackle with a fullback in on the play. As for Aundre Dean, somebody needs to put out an APB.

The Smoking Musket looks at each position on the field after a squeaker of a win against Maryland this past weekend.

This part sounds familiar:

If WVU’s defense only practices tackling in the open field this week to prepare for Baylor, it will be a useful week of practice. Maryland caught the ball in wide open spaces multiple times throughout the game. That is fine, if we close space and make the tackle. We closed space quickly; we just didn’t make the tackle.

Bring on the Cats revels in their program's biggest win of the last few years in Norman this past weekend, where the Sooners almost never lose.

They think, despite his statistical struggles, that Optimus Klein should be in the thick of the Heisman Race:

Collin Klein's numbers weren't spectacular, but as usual, he was the glue that held the team together, the straw that stirred the drink, the capstone in the arch. Klein was 13-21-0 for 149 yards, and ran for 79 yards on 17 carries (with one TD). Those may not be numbers that scream "Heisman contender," but this was the type of win that screams exactly that.

Rock Chalk Talk wonders how Kansas can get a sluggish offense going. A new player, perhaps?

They do not sound pleased:

While James Sims was certainly a reliable weapon in Turner Gill's arsenal in 2010 and 2011, it is difficult to argue any of the four non-Georgia Tech Jayhawk wins under Gill were a direct result of Sims' production. In Sims' defense, Chuck Long's offense had about as much creativity and diversity as Lou Holtz's yearly Notre Dame predictions. The ineffective ho-hum shotgun ground game coupled with a horrific defense left little room for dynamic showings by the talented Irving, Texas native but regardless, it is rational to believe any of the other Kansas running backs could have replaced him with little drop off in the box score or final tally.

Wide Right & Natty Lite wonders if the expectations of the Iowa State fan on the street have changed any with their promising start to the 2012 season. I don't know how they wouldn't have, to be honest.

Now that non-conference play has wrapped up with Iowa State's dismantling of an overmatched Western Illinois team, it's time to focus on the games that actually matter. Big 12 play starts this week, and Iowa State's first opponent is Texas Tech; a team that Paul Rhoads has dominated for the past two years. Obviously this year's Texas Tech team is very different from Raider teams of the past, but Iowa State fans still have a lot of confidence about this game. And why shouldn't they? Iowa State has owned Texas Tech by a score of 93-45 over the past two years.

Viva the Matadors' team didn't actually play this past week but they're ready to go against the above-mentioned CYCLONES.

It's tables and stuff, so I won't link anything specifically.

Cowboys Ride for Free takes their first look at the OSU-UT showdown this weekend.

Theirs is a particularly good discussion of the game coming up:

OSU fans should become well acquainted with YAC (yards after catch), as lots of it will be very bad for OSU. UT will put LOTS of pressure on the edges, thus opening holes up the middle. Bill Young will need to be very careful with the defensive aggressiveness so as not to overly expose the unit to big plays. Good tackling will be a MUST. As I said in our last podcast, think Stanford, with a LOT more speed. The Longhorns average almost 33 minutes of possession per game, and will likely do the same against the Cowboys. Given how quickly our offense operates, that would seem to guarantee that the defense will be on the field quite a bit, which can be deadly against a team with the speed of Texas. The Longhorns are averaging 10 possessions per game...Oklahoma State is averaging 15. Chances are the UT number is going up. As far as scoring, the Longhorns average almost 5 points per possession. The Cowboys average just over 4.

Crimson and Cream Machine predicts a somewhat fatalistic view of things from the media after Saturday night's loss. Since I don't follow OKC-area news outlets, I can neither confirm nor deny their suspicions.

As you've likely gathered, or soon will, the floodgates of criticism regarding Bob Stoops and the current state of this Oklahoma football program have been officially opened. Let us just say, we do not expect it to go well. This is a coach who has never had a particularly friendly relationship with the local media, so in that respect he has certainly done himself no favors for what he's about to face. Judging by what appeared in the local papers Sunday morning, following a disturbing loss to Kansas State, it's already begun.

They also focused on three plays in particular as the primary causes of grief against Kansas State. Here's their piece on the first, which involved a Landry Jones turnover.

This does not sound good:

There's no doubt that the Sooners didn't have their best night ever on the football field last Saturday. With rare exception, if you called out the position I could tell you about a bad play or two. That said, Oklahoma's 24-19 loss is the direct result of three plays that went south for the offense. In all three instances the culprit was the quarterback and the result catastrophic.

On the pen of our friend Wescott Eberts, Burnt Orange Nation notes that the real schedule begins this week for Texas against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. And that's after a game against a team from the SEC West!

And there you have it.

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