*Note: I had been awake 40 hours straight when I wrote this report, so please forgive typos and other errors.
Campus is ready for today. There's been a quiet excitement bubbling beneath the surface of every single campus activity over the past week, like everyone knows exactly what's going to happen today, but everyone thinks that if they talk about it too loudly, they might wake up from a dream. McLane Stadium is going to explode tonight.
Final Stadium Note: Ring of Fire
There's a new feature to the team entrance in addition to the Baylor Line this year. Baylor Athletics has procured a motion-activated ring that will be placed at the end of the tunnel formed by the Baylor line. When the first player runs through it, huge jets of flame will be fired into the air. I haven't seen it at work in person yet, but a cell phone video makes it look magnificent.
Portland (2-1) 3, Baylor (2-1) 0. Portland wins BU Invite. Malloy w/20 kills in loss pic.twitter.com/fvxpWYgHIa— Baylor Volleyball (@BaylorVBall) August 31, 2014
Big 12 Results: The Good, The Average, The Terrible
West Virginia - The Mountaineers hung with Alabama even when no one else gave them a chance. The West Virginia defense was stout against the Tide's feared power running attack, and a Clint Trickett-led Holgorsen offense frustrated Nick Saban's defense all day. In the end, the inconsistency of WVU's receivers did them in. For every circus catch, there was a drive-killing drop. West Virginia outplayed Alabama. They deserved to win. But they didn't.
Oklahoma State - We all thought the Pokes were through after a JW Walsh pick-six in the early first quarter. The Cowboys overcame what looked like insurmountable odds to give Jameis Winston and the Florida State Seminoles what was almost the best upset of the week. Unfortunately, late turnovers and clock management cost OSU the game, but they had both the offense and the defense to hang with the defending national champions and do the conference proud.
Texas - Charlie Strong's defense worked against North Texas, resulting in four interceptions. Hopefully for the Longhorns this will translate to other opponents as well.
K-State, TCU, and Oklahoma - All won comfortably against lower tier opponents and got important reps. Trevone Boykin is TCU's starting quarterback. Nothing about these three teams made me more or less confident about our chances against them moving forward.
Texas Tech - Tech beat Central Arkansas 42-35 right after Kliff Kingsbury signed a contract extension. Not great.