Oklahoma Sooners: Tyrone Swoopes
Nick (Texas) I still don't fully understand Mack Brown's decision to burn Tyrone Swoopes redshirt. Do you know why he made that move halfway through the season then barely used him? If not do you have a guess at why?
Brandon Chatmon I'm right there with you Nick, I don't get it either. It doesn't make much sense but if I had to guess it had everything to do with being prepared in case something bad happened to Case McCoy.
Jerry (Ames, Iowa) Hey Brandon, do you think Iowa State has potential with Grant Rohach next year?
Brandon Chatmon I do Jerry, I like what Rohach brought to the table at the end of the year. He just seemed to play with more confidence as his playing time increased and he finished the season extremely well. I think the Cyclones could return to a bowl in 2014.
Bob Stoops (Norman) Which top recruits do you think I have a chance at actually getting a commitment? Adoree' Jackson? Joe Mixon?
Brandon Chatmon I hate to break it to you Bob but I think the events of the past few days have made your efforts in Cali that much harder. (Meaning Sark to USC is a problem.)
Jake (Dallas) How do you think Baylor will do come next season. Will they stay productive offensively and be decent defensively? Or will they go down in production?
Brandon Chatmon I don't anticipate a big drop in production at Baylor. Why would they take a step backward? But keep in mind I'm talking in comparison to what they've done in recent years, not the crazy numbers they put up early. If you expect that, prepare yourself for disappointment.
Rob (Baltimore) Early prediction on West Virginia's record next season. Give it to me straight, what are we looking at?
Brandon Chatmon Who is the quarterback? That changes everything. WVU has some talented athletes. They find a consistent playmaking QB, everything changes.
Trevor Knight (Norman) Me, or Chelf? And why?
Brandon Chatmon Clint Chelf. Because he's playing as good as any quarterback in the nation in the past month. I love Knight's long-term upside though.
Grant Teaff (Waco, Tx) Let’s get your score prediction for both OU/OSU and BU/UT?
Brandon Chatmon OSU 31, OU 21 Baylor 34, Texas 27
Jake (Dallas) What are your thoughts on the whole ordeal with [Ahmad] Dixon? We all know the hit was targeting even I will admit that. Since it is a new rule everyone in CFB knows the rule but the details are still fresh. Should the coaches have escorted him to the locker room, or the officials since they were the ones who called the penalty.
Brandon Chatmon My biggest issue was his actions when leaving the field. But, I also always try to keep in mind these are college kids. I know we treat them like adults but they are still young adults who make mistakes, make poor choices. I think coaches should escort them, not officials.
To the ‘bag:
Jake Trotter: The win, yes. But in convincing fashion? That’s asking a lot. That would require Oklahoma State forcing a bunch of turnovers, which the Cowboys have been terrific at. Problem is, Baylor doesn’t turn the ball over. Bryce Petty has thrown just one interception all year. The Cowboys are more than capable of winning this game. I almost picked them. But I don’t see a scenario in which Baylor gets blown out. That offense is just too good to let that happen.
Isaac in Waukee, Iowa, writes: Aside from hiring their own “Wizard” what needs to happen at Iowa State to reach Kansas State's level of consistent success? They seem to be similar schools with agricultural roots, true college towns, isolated from bigger TV markets.
Trotter: Bill Snyder didn’t build K-State in a day. The Wildcats had only one winning season in Snyder’s first four years. Yes, the Cyclones have taken a step back this year. But Paul Rhoads has proven to be a solid coach, underscored by the fact he took the Cyclones to bowls in three of his four years. Iowa State needs to give him more time. Way more time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was Manhattan. Neither will Ames.
Josh Brown in Dallas writes: In all these hypothetical debates about Baylor and Ohio State, I hear a lot about both teams playing a weak schedule. But I never hear about the one team they played in common, Buffalo. Ohio State won 40-20, while Baylor was up 56-13 at HALF! Any reason this doesn't get more attention as it is the obvious best point of comparison?
Trotter: I think a more powerful argument favoring Baylor is this: Ohio State has four road wins over teams (Cal, Illinois, Northwestern, and Purdue) who are a combined 0-26 in league play. Contrast that with a potential road win for Baylor at No. 10 Oklahoma State, and the case would be closed, in my opinion. Of course, the Bears have to win that game first.
James Fulton in El Paso, Texas, writes: Jake, with only two games plus a bowl game left, do you see David Ash sitting out the rest of the season? I assume he is eligible for a redshirt, and can come back as a junior next year.
Trotter: Ash would only be eligible for a medical redshirt if doctors didn’t clear him the rest of the season (sitting him while he’s cleared doesn’t count). But assuming he’s not cleared, which is doesn’t look like he will be, then yes, a medical redshirt is a very good possibility.
David in Richmond, Va., writes: During the Kansas-West Virginia game, the announcers kept talking about how many West Virginia players were injured. So I have to wonder, how many players are out for each team in the Big 12?
Trotter: I don’t have enough space here to list every injury for every team. But just about every team in the Big 12 has been hit with major injuries. Texas lost Johnathan Gray, David Ash and Chris Whaley. TCU lost Devonte Fields for the year and Casey Pachall for several games. Oklahoma lost Corey Nelson, Jordan Phillips and Trey Millard. Baylor lost Tevin Reese and now Spencer Drango. Oklahoma State lost Devin Davis during the preseason and has been without Josh Stewart. Texas Tech is missing several key defensive players. Iowa State has been beat up offensively pretty much all year. Injuries are part of football, and West Virginia is hardly exclusive to them.
James in Overland Park, Kan., writes: Will Tyrone Swoopes start for Texas against Texas Tech? Also will Mack Brown be fired after the Baylor game?
Trotter: Swoopes could play more, but McCoy is going to get the start. It’s possible that Brown resigns after the Baylor game, but he’s not going to be fired Lane Kiffin style.
Scott in Edgewater, Md., writes: What does Dana Holgorsen have to do to right the ship? Better recruits? More experience? Better coaches? I understand that the Big 12 is not the Big East, and that we have lost Stedman Bailey, Geno Smith and Tavon Austin. But this is getting unacceptable to me. At what point does Holgorsen have to worry about his job?
Trotter: I don’t think Holgorsen is in danger yet, even after that disappointing performance in Lawrence. The man who hired him (Oliver Luck) is still there, and this was always going to be a rebuilding year. But the Mountaineers better show improvement in 2014, or things could get tense real fast in Morgantown.
This continues to be been a strange, unpredictable year for Big 12 quarterbacks. We’ve already seen 18 start at least two games. Only three schools -- Baylor, Kansas and Iowa State -- have started the same guy for every game, and even they've used multiple quarterbacks.
The following rankings judged how these QBs are playing right now as well as their full 2013 resumes. Deciding where to slot injured passers was tricky. You might not agree with all or any of these rankings, but this is how we'd size up the competition after nine weeks:
2. Case McCoy, Texas: The career backup has been a huge part of Texas' resurgence. In wins over Oklahoma and TCU, McCoy has Adjusted QBRs of 83.9 and 95.4. -- Jake Trotter
3. Davis Webb, Texas Tech: Webb hasn’t been perfect but he’s averaging 420.67 passing yards and 5.67 completions of 20 yards or more in TTU’s past three games. He’s been very solid for a true freshman. -- Brandon Chatmon
4. Daniel Sams, Kansas State: He might be too high at No. 4, but Sams is the best athlete of the bunch and already has 538 rushing yards on just 100 carries. Still has plenty to prove as a passer. -- MO
5. Blake Bell, Oklahoma: Great against Texas Tech and Notre Dame, bad against Texas. Has promising moments as a passer, firm grasp on the job and a chance to prove he's league's second-best QB. -- MO
6. Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech: The walk-on made waves while leading the Red Raiders to a 5-0 start before a knee injury sidelined him, but he threw more interceptions than touchdowns in his final three starts before the injury. -- BC
7. Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State: Chelf finally has the job again, but he'll have to complete more passes to keep it. His completion percentage this year is less than 50 percent. -- JT
8. David Ash, Texas: Ash is throwing again, and could be cleared to return soon. But will he resume his starting role? The way McCoy is performing, probably not. -- JT
9. J.W. Walsh, Oklahoma State: His combination of moxie and leadership is hard to deny but his struggles connecting on deep passes led to Chelf replacing him in the starting lineup. He remains a valuable piece as the disposal of Mike Gundy’s squad, however. -- BC
10. Jake Waters, Kansas State: Juco transfer is starting to get the hang of Big 12 ball and his own offense, and coming off an impressive showing against West Virginia. -- MO
11. Casey Pachall, TCU: Pachall has only played in seven games over the last two seasons. It would be difficult for anyone to overcome that level of rust. -- JT
12. Clint Trickett, West Virginia: Trickett’s season has mimicked the roller coaster nature of WVU’s offense, but he did lead the Mountaineers to a win over Oklahoma State, the highlight of their season. -- BC
13. Seth Russell, Baylor: Getting mop-up time and experience in every game this season and has 427 yards on 60 percent passing. Would he start for a couple Big 12 teams? -- MO
14. Sam B. Richardson, Iowa State: Richardson has been banged up all year, and it's shown. At some point, the Cyclones may be forced to go with the healthier option in Grant Rohach. -- JT
15. Jake Heaps, Kansas: The BYU transfer just can’t seem to find any confidence or rhythm for the Jayhawks passing attack, forcing Charlie Weis to start drastically experimenting with KU’s offense. -- BC
16. Trevone Boykin, TCU: Dual-threat sophomore has his moments, but five touchdowns and nine turnovers in 2013. Back to backing up Pachall and could play some receiver. -- MO
17. Trevor Knight, Oklahoma: Knight won the job out of camp, but lost it to Bell two games in after moving the chains ineffectively. Bell's performance against Texas Tech means Knight will remain on the sidelines. -- JT
18. Michael Brewer, Texas Tech: Generally expected to be the Red Raiders starter heading into fall camp, Brewer has been surpassed by the true freshman quarterbacks. -- BC
19. Paul Millard, West Virginia: Started first two games for the Mountaineers before losing his job, got another chance late against K-State. -- MO
20. Ford Childress, West Virginia: The freshman quarterbacked West Virginia's worst performance of the year, a 37-0 loss to Maryland, before suffering a pectoral injury that could keep him out the rest of the year. -- JT
21. Grant Rohach, Iowa State: He’s come off the bench to replace Sam Richardson in ISU’s last two games but has yet to surpass 100 passing yards in the game. -- BC
22. Montell Cozart, Kansas: True freshman is now splitting snaps with Heaps and got half the reps against Baylor. Can make plays in the run game and be a spark. -- MO
23. Michael Cummings, Kansas: Cummings started five games in 2012 but has lost the No. 2 spot to Cozart, and is unlikely to play much going forward with Heaps also part of the offense. -- JT
24. Tyrone Swoopes, Texas: The 6-foot-4, 245-pound true freshman made his debut on Saturday and is a talented rusher, but he didn't attempt a pass. If McCoy goes down, he'll have to take over. -- MO
25. Tyler Matthews, TCU: The Horned Frogs got so desperate for production they turned to the redshirt freshman on multiple occasions, yet he’s seen very limited game reps and hasn't completed a pass this season. -- BC
To the ‘bag:
Andrew in NYC writes: As exciting as the Baylor offense has been, why haven't there been any comparisons to the WVU team last year? We all saw where they went once they started playing real teams. Any chance we see a similar meltdown this year with the Bears?
Jake Trotter: The difference is that last year’s West Virginia team was really a three-man show with Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin. From the offensive line to the depth of the receiving corps, this Baylor offense is way more complete. Baylor’s defense is also far superior to West Virginia’s 2012 unit. I get the comparison. But this Baylor team has more staying power.
rtXC1 in Denison, Texas, writes: Hey, love the work you are putting in! Am I the only person left that believes playing Tyrone Swoopes against OU is unnecessary? If Major Applewhite can create a good gameplan -- getting the five RBs 50-plus total touches, including Daje Johnson and Jalen Overstreet -- AND STICK TO IT, then Case McCoy CAN win this game and many more. Playing Swoopes, with his current state of poor mechanics (thanks a lot Whitewright coaches), could be as counterproductive as playing Ash was in 2011, and potentially hurt his confidence. The only thing he'd really add is the zone-read element, which Gray and Overstreet could run just as well. What's best for Texas is to follow the gameplan. Thoughts?
Jake Trotter: I enjoy insightful mailbag submissions like this. Texas fans who believe Swoopes is the answer are just not being realistic. There’s a reason he hasn’t stepped on the field yet. He’s just not ready. For all their issues, the Longhorns still have enough offensive playmakers to stay in the game Saturday. It’s about putting them in good positions to make plays -- something Applewhite has struggled to do.
Andy in Austin, Texas, writes: Jake, I was wondering if you could investigate as to why Overstreet hasn't seen more on-the-field time in the "Wild Horn" formation. Since McCoy seems to lack serious mobility, why hasn't this package been seen more? Will OU be seeing it Saturday?
Jake Trotter: The Longhorns should be pulling out all the stops in this game. Fake field goals, double reverse passes -- whatever is still in the holster. I would give the Overstreet package (if the Horns still have it in the playbook) a shot early, as well, just to test how OU defends it and see if there’s something that can be exploited.
Larry in Austin, Texas, writes: Hi, Jake. When Mack Brown leaves at the end of the season, do Applewhite and (Greg) Robinson get shown the door as well?
Jake Trotter: Yes. As Hawk Harrelson would put it, they gone.
Blake Bell in Norman, Okla., writes: I think I need a new nickname. I've heard "Bellthrowzer" and “Bellicopter.” But what about the “Bellista?” On the other hand, the "Wrecking Bell" sign at the last game was pretty good. So what do you recommend?
Jake Trotter: You have a great nickname. Why do you need another?
Darrell in Huntsville, Ala., writes: This week you said Art Briles would be an excellent hire for Texas. Wouldn't Briles be an excellent hire for any program?
Jake Trotter: Probably, but I feel like he would be an especially good fit for Texas. Briles knows the state. Because of his background, he has relationships with virtually every high school coach in the state. And I think Briles would do a better job of getting the right players to Austin than the Mack Brown regime has done in recent years.
Sic ‘em in Birmingham, Ala., writes: I had a Twitter conversation with a USC fan the other day. He wanted USC to pursue Briles with everything they had, and was convinced Briles would leave if they offered him enough. Thoughts?
Jake Trotter: If Briles were going to leave, I think he’d leave for Texas ahead of USC.
Big Ferm in San Diego writes: Jake, welcome aboard the Baylor Bandwagon. Like Lache Seastrunk, it’s moving at breakneck speeds and pancaking haters like Cyril Richardson does defenders. Most talking heads in the media believe OU is the conference favorite because of its victory over the Irish. Too bad the Bears didn't schedule Notre Dame. They would've hung 70 on them.
Jake Trotter: I’ve been talking up the Bears since the preseason, but so far they have exceeded even my expectations. If I had to pick the Baylor-OU game today, I would pick the Bears.
Jack in Waco, Texas, writes: I am a little confused how OU can be ahead of Baylor in your power rankings. That being said, I'm still a big fan of the blog since you guys took over, great job!
Jake Trotter: Thanks, Jack. The answer is simple. OU has two wins that are better than any Baylor victory. The Sooners have also won away from home. That gives them the edge at the moment, even though Baylor has looked unstoppable through four games. But if the Bears are just as impressive in Manhattan as they have been in Waco, I’ll have to rethink my rankings.
Prescott in The Woodlands, Texas, writes: I know Baylor is planning to take off the tarp for the final game at Floyd Casey Stadium. Would they consider removing it for Oklahoma in November?
Jake Trotter: Sure, if they sell enough tickets.
Mo in Dallas writes: There has been a lot of hate on Baylor’s schedule. Why doesn't Alabama receive the same hate?
Jake Trotter: Come again? Alabama has beaten Virginia Tech, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. Alabama has also won three national titles in four years. I’m assuming those might be reasons why.
Alex in Austin, Texas, writes: Which do you think is more explosive, the ‘05 Texas offense or this Baylor offense?
Jake Trotter: I’m placing a moratorium on questions like this until after Baylor plays Oklahoma.
Travis the Tech fan in Houston writes: Mr. Trotter, I don't know why there has been so much bickering among Tech and Baylor fans on the Bears’ legitimacy. Tech and Baylor have a lot more in common than what you would think. If anything we should be finding a way to work together to vanquish all who challenge us. Go Bears (not on Nov. 16, though).
Jake Trotter: Get your guns up, Baylor fans.
Casey Parkhurst in Fort Worth, Texas, writes: Do you think Texas Tech is a contender in the Big 12?
Jake Trotter: Sure, the Red Raiders are a contender. The defining game will be at Oklahoma in two weeks. If Tech wins that game, then the Red Raiders could be playing for a Big 12 title in Arlington. Remember, Tech has had OU’s number lately, too. Dating back to 2005, the Red Raiders are 4-4 against the Sooners.
Clint in Houston writes: Tech is currently ranked 32nd in recruiting per ESPN, which is interesting. On one side, we have a new coach. On the other, we have an extremely energetic and passionate staff, and the team is rolling. Do you see us climbing the recruiting rankings before the end of the season?
Jake Trotter: The Red Raiders already have 21 commitments, so there’s not much room to rise. That said, this has been an excellent recruiting effort by Kliff Kingsbury and his staff. Tech fans should be very excited.
Mike writes: Let me say, I really like this season’s version of the Big 12 coverage! It's a major upgrade to what was already an excellent read. Do you think that, given the right upsets, an undefeated Big 12 champion could leap over ALL the one-loss teams to make the title game?
Jake Trotter: Given the absolute right upsets, maybe. But a one-loss Oregon or Alabama would be tough to unseat.
Greg in Richardson, Texas, writes: Jake, now that we are six weeks in, can you compare the Big 12 to the Big Ten? Will an undefeated Big 12 team be more deserving of a title shot than an undefeated Big Ten team?
Jake Trotter: I give the Big 12 a slight edge over the Big Ten. But deserving or not, an undefeated Ohio State would get in over an undefeated Big 12 team. An undefeated Michigan, however, would not.
Alex in Ames, Iowa, writes: Hey, Jake. You've been doing a great job on the blog so far (except those ISU picks... yikes). Anyway, after the gut-wrenching, anger-inducing controversial loss to Texas, we saw anger, confusion, and a TON of passion not only from Paul Rhoads, but fans and players, as well. Does this loss energize the team the rest of the year? Or did it drain them?
Jake Trotter: Thanks, Alex, and sorry about the weekly Iowa State jinx. This really could go either way. But knowing what kind of coach Rhoads is and knowing how his players respond to him, my guess is they’ll play with some energy Saturday.
Bullet in Stillwater, Okla., writes: Since our offense hasn't scored much this year, I've been getting out of shape. Do you think we'll have a new coordinator next year? Mike Gundy needs to get me back in game shape.
Jake Trotter: I would give Clint Chelf a shot and see if that changes anything first.
Matt in Wamego, Kan., writes: As a diehard KU fan I am a believer in always supporting and backing your team. However, I am starting to get very frustrated. Especially seeing teams like Baylor, Louisville and Northwestern, who were once the laughing stock of college football, now building winning programs. Please help me. I am tired of being ready for basketball season in mid-September. What will take to at least make my Jayhawks relevant again?
Jake Trotter: The right coach. Not saying Charlie Weis isn’t the right coach. He’s been there less than two years. But what do the three undefeated teams in the league all have common? The right coach. Mark Mangino proved you can have success at Kansas. But it starts with the head man.
John in San Jose, Calif., writes: TCU's three losses are to three top 20 teams that are a combined 15-1. TCU has been in all three games, too. Is an 8-4 finish in reach, considering four remaining games are at home and TCU has shown it can play well on the road?
Jake Trotter: It’s not out of reach, but it’s going to be pretty tough. The Frogs still have to go to Oklahoma State and face Baylor. They obviously would have to win one of those two games and then run the table. Not impossible. But not likely, either, given how inconsistent the offense has been.
Joe in Gauley Bridge, W.V., writes: Is it totally unreasonable for me as a fan to expect West Virginia to win at least nine or 10 games a year and compete for the Big 12 title yearly? I don't want to be mediocre, I want to be the best.
Jake Trotter: That was probably reasonable in the Big East. It’s not reasonable in the Big 12. What you’re suggesting is what Oklahoma has basically accomplished in the Bob Stoops era. West Virginia’s program is just not on that level.
Jake Lightning (Temple, TX): Who do you think will win between Baylor and OU? And what are the chances that that team will end up the season ranked in the top 5?
Jake Trotter: If I had to pick the game today, I'd pick Baylor. The Corey Nelson injury really hurts the OU D, and I just don't see OU outscoring Baylor given how the offense is currently constructed. The winner of that game will have a good chance to be top 5. Top 2? Probably not, but a lot can happen.
Howard (Houston): What chance do you give Bryce Petty and Lache Seastrunk making it to the Heisman stage only playing one half each game? Does Art [Briles] really have to put up 100 on people?
Jake Trotter: The dilemma Baylor has is which guy to push for the Heisman. The two are kinda splitting the vote, which is why you don't see a Baylor player anywhere on these straw polls. But if Baylor were to go 12-0, it would definitely have a guy in NYC. Not sure who that will be yet.
Bill Snyder (Manhattan, KS): What the heck do I do now? Both of my QBs are turnover machines...
Jake Trotter: I stick with Daniel Sams. Offense has more pop with him in the lineup. You have to remember, he didn't have Tyler Lockett or Tramaine Thompson for much of the OSU game. If he can limit turnovers, K-State has a chance to be better offensively than they've been with Sams in there.
Josh (Dallas): I hope OU looks over its game against TTU as much as you do. Wouldn't you think that game should get a little more hype than the game after it considering how even that series has been in the recent past? Also, Baylor and Tech play every year in Dallas, which is as neutral as it comes in college football. Just thought you might like to know.
Jake Trotter: Baylor and OU are the hot teams, but neither should be overlooking Tech. As I wrote yesterday, if Tech can figure out the QB situation, the pieces are in place for the Raiders to make a run. They haven't looked as impressive as Baylor or to a lesser extent, OU. But the bottom line is, they are 5-0. And they'll have their say when they go to Norman later this month.
Matt (Des Moines): How does Mike Davis get away with that hit on Deon Broomfield and making comments that he would do it again with no consequence from Texas or the conference?
Jake Trotter: Great question. It was so bad, Texas had to send out an email to a few reporters attempting to clarify what was being reported. Problem is, Davis was saying similar things on Twitter.
Danny (Austin): How does Texas NOT offer the job to Art Briles? He has done more with less. Mack [Brown] has done less with more.
Jake Trotter: Baylor fans will not like me saying this, but Briles, in my opinion, would be an excellent hire for Texas.
Ben (Chicago): What are your odds of WVU making a bowl game?
Jake Trotter: Mountaineers have three wins now. If they can beat Iowa State at home, KU and win one more game, they're in. So I think there's a pretty good chance for it.
Jay (Oklahoma): How do you feel about Condi Rice being on the selection committee? For me personally, I’d have no problem with it if she were an AD somewhere. It’s about her profession, not gender, IMO.
Jake Trotter: I respect smart people. Rice is a very smart person. So I'm all for it.
Danny (Austin): If Mack loses by 25 or more this weekend, could you see a circumstance where he'd just leave? What about 35?
Jake Trotter: In that scenario, I think Mack would just announce in November he would be resigning after the season.
Howard (Houston): What needs to happen for the Big 12 to get back in the top 2 or 3 in conference rank?
Jake Trotter: Texas needs to start carrying its weight.
Wes (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina): Is this year’s Baylor team the best Big 12 team in history?
Jake Trotter: Slow down.
Jwild (Dallas): Who would you take -- Blake Bell or J.W. Walsh?
Jake Trotter: Bell
Mack Brown (Austin): With OU's starting LB out, I am going to shock the world and start Tyrone Swoopes. OU can't stop a running QB. Just wait.
Jake Trotter: The way Mack has gushed about Case McCoy, I don't see it.
Ryan (Dallas): Any trade secrets on navigating the Fair and the RRR?
Jake Trotter: Get to the corn dog booth early.
Hi there guys! I'm an avid follower of college football, which is rather rare in this country! I'd love to be your guest picker and give you some good ol' English dry wit to add to your insight!
David, after last week’s disaster picking games, we could use some insight. And since you’ll be picking games from our version of football, I’ll be picking one from yours. David is a Tottenham bloke, so we’re going to pick Sunday’s West Ham at Tottenham match.
If you want to be next week’s guest picker, contact me here, and tell me why. And, as always, creativity counts.
By the way, the Big 12 blog team will be out and about this weekend. Max Olson will be in Waco for West Virginia-Baylor, Brandon Chatmon will be in Stillwater for Kansas State-Oklahoma State, and yours truly will be in Norman for TCU-Oklahoma.
To the Week 6 picks:
Trotter last week: 1-3 (.250)
Guest picker last week: 2-2 (.500)
Trotter overall: 26-8 (.765)
Guest picker overall: 12-5 (.706)
Iowa State 27, Texas 25: The Longhorns revealed Wednesday that QB David Ash would not travel to Ames due to lingering issues from a head injury. Backup Case McCoy has actually filled in well for Ash this season. However, the offense is limited with McCoy, and I’m not sure that changes if the redshirt is pulled off freshman Tyrone Swoopes, either. The Cyclones, meanwhile, found their offensive footing last week with the healthy return of center Tom Farniok and emergence of speedy running back Aaron Wimberly. Ames will be rocking. Iowa State is tenacious on weekday games. I smell upset here.
David’s pick: Texas is coming off a bye week and a standout game against K-State. Iowa State is coming off losses to two other Iowa teams (neither of them particularly impressive games anyway) and could barely handle Tulsa. Watch for Johnathan Gray to have a standout game against a particularly poor rush defense. Texas 35-14
No. 20 Texas Tech 28, Kansas 7: Long known for its high-powered offense, Tech has actually jumped to 4-0 with defense this season. Despite having talent on offense, the Jayhawks have struggled to score points. That continues, as the Red Raiders win another ugly game to remain undefeated.
David’s pick: Kansas welcomes a Texas Tech team that is achieving over 400 yards passing per game. The Jayhawks capitulate, as the combination of Baker Mayfield and Jace Amaro tears through them. Texas Tech 42-7
No. 21 Oklahoma State 29, Kansas State 17: For the first time in seemingly forever, Oklahoma State is without much of an offensive identity. The offense’s best asset is receiver, but J.W. Walsh is a running quarterback without the arm strength to get the ball downfield. So far, Jeremy Smith has also proven to be a major downgrade from Joseph Randle at running back, which has limited the effectiveness of the running game. Bill Snyder is one of the best, and off an open week, he’ll have a strong defensive gameplan that attacks Walsh’s weaknesses. OSU wins, but Walsh continues to sputter passing, raising questions about whether the Cowboys should turn back to Clint Chelf at QB.
David’s pick: OSU's BCS title dreams are in tatters thanks to a woeful showing against at West Virginia. Kansas State faces an angry team and one that's ready to let it rip. OSU 32-17
No. 11 Oklahoma 28, TCU 16: This is the ultimate trap game for the Sooners, who get TCU sandwiched between the big win at Notre Dame and the Texas game next weekend. The Sooners, however, know better than to overlook TCU, which has played OU tough over the years, winning in Norman in 2005. These Horned Frogs don’t have enough offense to pull off the upset, but the TCU defense keeps the Horned Frogs in the game until the fourth quarter.
David’s pick: A once-ranked TCU finally found some offense against SMU. If Oklahoma had lost to Notre Dame, this would have been a blowout. Instead, it’s a nail-biter. OU 28-27
No. 17 Baylor 49, West Virginia 21: Neither of these teams played defense last season. This season, both units have made major improvements. The difference is that Baylor’s offense is better than last year. West Virginia’s is much worse. Even though the Mountaineers toppled then-No. 11 Oklahoma State last weekend, they are four-touchdown underdogs in Waco. Vegas is giving Baylor major respect for a reason. This offense appears to have no weakness. The Bears continue to roll.
David’s pick: Being an Oregon fan at heart, Baylor's impression of the Ducks’ high-speed offense has paid off. But I must give credit to that Baylor defense. West Virginia's shocking win against OSU will give it the confidence, but only scoring just over 20 points per game is not going to give you a win against Baylor. Baylor, 52-10
Tottenham Hotspur 5, West Ham United 0: I wanted to pick West Ham to troll David. But then I found out Tottenham is third in the Premier League standings; West Ham is 17th out of 20 and has failed to score away from home. This is like when Louisiana-Monroe traveled to Baylor, and we all know how that turned out.
David’s pick: Tottenham is flying high to start this season. Only one loss (to top of the table Arsenal) is the blip in an otherwise comfortable start to life without Gareth Bale. Gylfi Siggurdson has had a tremendous start to the campaign, bank on him to get one or two against a frail West Ham side. West Ham, typically, doesn't travel well in the BPL. Their key to victory will be to play Tottenham at its game: slick passing counter attack. Fail to do so, and we could be looking at a blowout in the first half. Tottenham 3-0
Randy in Norman, Okla., asks: You keep mentioning how Texas offering all those kids last week is a good thing. Can you explain what you mean by that?
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Quarterback Coleman Key (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow) hasn’t started a varsity high school football game yet.
He knows this. His coach reminds him and reporters of this in almost every interview. He has never even played a game at his current high school, transferring from Owasso, Okla., to Broken Arrow in the spring.
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For the Sooners, it wasn’t easy. There were a lot of bumps and turns in the road, but OU landed one of its prime targets in Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage). Thomas, a four-star prospect, is ranked No. 11 as a pocket-passing quarterback and verbally committed to the Sooners on Tuesday even though he went public with the news on Thursday.
How did we get here? A timeline of Oklahoma's quarterback search for the class of 2013.
November 2011: Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright) attends Oklahoma’s victory against Texas A&M. It is on this weekend that Swoopes says his OU offer was implied, and he is clearly one of OU’s top choices.
Max Browne chose USC over Oklahoma on April 4.
Feb. 4: OU’s first junior day brings in two top quarterbacks. Swoopes is joined by top in-state signal-caller Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah). Swoopes is happy with the visit but not blown away by everything. Scott doesn’t receive an offer but is told by OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel they will stay in contact.
Quarterback Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) is invited initially before being asked by Heupel to stay home. Quarterback J.T. Barrett (Wichita Falls, Texas/Rider) is also invited but cannot attend.
Feb. 17: Swoopes, ranked the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country and coming off a fantastic visit at Texas’ junior day, commits to the Longhorns. He is ranked No. 9 in the ESPN 150.
March 3: On OU’s second junior day, there is not much focus on quarterbacks. Barrett once again is invited but cannot make it. Austin Robinson (Houston/Bellaire Episcopal) is invited, but the distance keeps him from making the trip.
March 9: Browne makes an unofficial visit to OU. He is given the red-carpet treatment by the staff. He is shown the Sooners’ target board. It’s Browne at No. 1 ... and then everybody else. Browne says he could not have had a better time and has OU and USC as his top two choices.
March 28: A new name enters in Cody Thomas. Busy with baseball, Thomas manages to sneak in an unofficial visit on a Wednesday. He is not offered and is told by Heupel they will keep in touch.
Thomas has tremendous physical ability, combining solid passing skills with above average athleticism. He fits the mold of the athletic, run-pass threats the Sooners have pursued in recent recruiting classes. A four-star prospect, his long-term upside is among the highest in this class of quarterback recruits.
Since the beginning of the recruiting process, the Sooners have taken a “greatness or bust” approach. They have been stingy with their offers at the position, offering Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) before he committed to USC and Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright) before he committed to Texas.
After losing out on both prospects, the Sooners offered Thomas. They were actively recruiting other prospects but were candid about their offer process and refused to offer anyone just to make sure they have at least one quarterback in this class.
Yet, even with Thomas commitment, there’s still a risk the Sooners end up without a quarterback on national signing day in 2013. Thomas is a terrific baseball player and could be selected in the MLB draft in June 2013 and if he were to chose professional baseball, the Sooners after left without a true freshman quarterback on campus heading into the 2013 season.
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Texas landed three more commits to give the Longhorns nine for the 2013 class. Two of them, linebacker Deoundrei Davis (Cypress, Texas/Woods) and wide receiver Jacorey Warrick (Houston/Cypress Falls), had OU offers.
However, take a closer look at the battles. Were any of the six realistic OU targets? They were certainly on the Sooners wish list, but did OU have a solid shot at quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright), wide receivers Warrick and Jake Oliver (Dallas/Jesuit), linemen Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina) and A'Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights) and Davis?
Isn’t it more realistic to say OU was trying to work from behind with all six and hoping to steal a prospect? It’s not like OU was in the driver’s seat and messed up with any of the recruits listed.
Though OU missed out on the six prospects, has it really hurt its potential class? No, not at all. And now that the Sooners have spent so much time on the sidelines watching as teams made their moves, it’s OU’s turn to take center stage.
It would be different if Texas lured recruits like D.J. Ward (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) or cornerback Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central) or defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball). Manning attended Texas’ first junior day. Ward and Taylor were invited to last weekend’s junior day but couldn’t make it.
What the Longhorns did was simply take care of business on the top prospects within the state. No commit was surprising and no commit was a backbreaker for the Sooners.
One of the more lasting effects of the weekend might be who wasn’t offered. Defensive end/linebacker Deon Hollins Jr. (Fort Bend, Texas/Marshall) and cornerbacks Maurice Smith (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles) and Antwuan Davis (Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop) left Austin this weekend without an offer. All three have OU offers and Smith will be on campus for junior day Saturday.
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The Sooners hosted their first junior day Feb. 4 and welcomed Swoopes and quarterback Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) back to campus. However, a day earlier, OU already had extended its first quarterback offer to Browne.
Projected to be the top pro-style quarterback for the 2013 class, Browne did a radio interview with Sports Talk 1400, KREF in Norman, Okla., on Tuesday.
Browne remained adamant that he doesn’t have a list of favorites and is soaking everything all in. But he did give some good news to OU fans.
“I’m very excited about [the Sooners],” Browne said. “Coach [Josh] Heupel and I have a good relationship. We talk once a week. I’m hoping to come down in March to watch spring practices.”
Browne said there are a few factors he is looking into when trying to decide on a school to attend. He said he needs to have a great relationship with the coaches, especially the offensive coaches. And he said he wants to run an offense that fits his skill set,, preferably a pro-style or spread offense.
And he said the best advice he has been given is to go to a college that if he got hurt on day one, that he would still enjoy going to class every single day.
One priority not on that list? Distance.
“It’s not a huge factor. I don’t need to stay close to home,” Browne said. “Washington offered me first, but it’s not a big deal. Like I said, I’m still gathering info, and I’m willing to go wherever.”
Browne said though he won’t list his current favorites, OU is near the top and will remain in the conversation until the end. Besides OU, Browne said he would like to visit Alabama in the spring. In the last year, he has made unofficial visits to USC, Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, California, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington.
Larry in Wichita Falls, Texas, asks: That’s three recruits that picked Texas over OU this last week. What’s going on?
Bob Przybylo: It wasn’t a great week for OU recruiting, but it wasn’t a disaster as some have labeled it. It became clear in the last week or so that OU had fallen off in its quest for dual-threat quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright). He said he liked his OU junior day visit but wasn’t overly impressed. He went to Texas', and the Longhorns closed the deal.
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1. Had to wait a couple of weeks, but the Tim Kish effect on the West Coast is starting to take shape for Oklahoma and its new linebackers coach. The Sooners are a big-time player for linebacker Chans Cox (Pinetop, Ariz./Blue Ridge), who has ties to Kish. OU offered Cox on Monday afternoon. Talking to one California high school coach, he said OU is now a major factor in California and Arizona. He said Kish did a great job at Arizona, a program that doesn’t have near the tradition of the Sooners. Now with Kish in Norman, the West Coast is wide open.
2. OU men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger has picked the right time to hit the in-state talent as the 2013 Oklahoma high school class is easily going to be the best since 2009 that produced NBA players Xavier Henry (Oklahoma City/Putnam City) and Daniel Orton (Oklahoma City/McGuinness). On Monday night, Kruger was in attendance for a showcase performance by point guard Stevie Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass). Clark, ranked No. 58 in the ESPNU Super 60 for 2013 and with an OU offer, had 35 points and 16 assists. Clark said Monday night he hopes to be at OU-Texas on Tuesday.
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The key word there might also be Sunday, though. The same type of attitude the Oklahoma coaches used with top recruits last weekend seemed to be in full effect in Austin, Texas, this weekend. The trend right now is not to rush the prospects into making a split-second decision.
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