Texas Longhorns: Texas Christian Horned Frogs

Athlon ranks the Big 12 coaches

April, 10, 2014
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Athlon Sports has always been big on lists. And this week, Athlon’s Steven Lassan ranked all 128 FBS coaches. He also pulled out the top 10 Big 12 coaches.

As a disclaimer, this is NOT our list. This is Athlon’s. So forward all hate tweets and emails to them. Not me. I already get enough.

[+] Enlarge Art Briles
Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Getty ImagesArt Briles' status has grown in the eyes of Athlon.
Without further ado:

1. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

2. Art Briles, Baylor

3. Bill Snyder, Kansas State

4. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

5. Gary Patterson, TCU

6. Charlie Strong, Texas

7. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State

8. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech

9. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia

10. Charlie Weis, Kansas

Some observations:

  • Athlon prefers coaches who win conference championships. Briles, Snyder, Gundy and Stoops, the top four on this list, have won the past four Big 12 titles.
  • I went back and checked and noticed some interesting changes. Snyder was No. 1 in 2013, but dropped two spots this year (why, I’m not sure; K-State did win six of seven to close out the season). Mack Brown was No. 6 -- the same slot that Strong opened up here. Kingsbury moved up only one spot after going 8-5 in his first season.
  • In the eyes of Athlon, Patterson’s stock is falling. He was the No. 2 coach going into his first year in the Big 12 and was ranked third going into last season. On the flip side, Briles has made the biggest rise in the last two years, going from sixth to second after winning the Big 12 last season.
  • Athlon actually had Snyder fifth in 2012, which is hard to believe. We’re talking about one of the best coaches of all-time, right?
  • As you can see, I have a bigger beef with the 2012 and 2013 rankings than the 2014 one.
  • Kingsbury has the potential to ascend the most of anyone on this list. I don’t know that the No. 8 spot is completely unfair, considering he’s only been a head coach one season. But if he can turn Texas Tech into a Big 12 contender on a quasi-regular basis, he could jump several spots.
  • This is obviously not an easy list to compile. How do you weigh what Briles has done the last five years against what Snyder has the last 25? It’s all a matter of subjectivity.

Big 12 lunchtime links

March, 21, 2014
Mar 21
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Not many football stories today. Apparently some other stuff is going on.

Big 12 lunchtime links

March, 19, 2014
Mar 19
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Felt pretty good about my Final Four picks until President Obama copied me.

Big 12 lunchtime links

February, 26, 2014
Feb 26
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Guess who's back for offseason conditioning?
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Snapchat is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of social media around, but college football coaches won’t be able to use it as a recruiting tool; keep an eye on Indianapolis, because the city again will be one of the top spots in the Midwest for recruiters; and one of the top 2015 prospects in Missouri has a busy spring on tap.

Early Offer: 2015 begins now 

February, 7, 2014
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: The ink was barely dry on the letters of intent for 2014 class when one of the best for the 2015 class came off the board; and what schools and recruiters have jumped out of the gate with success with players that won’t sign for another 360-plus days.


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Thanks for your questions during my chat, you can find the transcript here.

Brady (Florida) I know that you and Trotter have said you don't see Big 12 expansion anytime soon. But if it were to happen, who would you say are the best two teams the Big 12 could actually get to join?

Brandon Chatmon I like UCF and maybe BYU, Cincinnati or the like. It will have to be a team that opens up new markets. Not just adding a school just to do it.

Keith (Austin) How much should I be worried that Joe Wickline will call the plays instead of S.Watson? Wickline hasn't called a play in almost 30 years.

Brandon Chatmon Not at all. Wickline is better prepared than some people think he is. That was a devastating blow for OSU, most people don't recognize that yet.

Jake (Dallas) So I was scanning the top 25 players in the Big 12 and it shows two wide receivers(Jalen Saunders, Tyler Lockett) ahead of the No. 1 receiver in the league (Antwan Goodley). Why?

Brandon Chatmon For me it's about special teams and impact on the offense as a whole. Both of those two guys get the nod over Goodley in those categories.

John (Norman) What do you think of the union talk?

Brandon Chatmon Good question John. I think it's all kinds of interesting. Everyone can see where this is heading, it's going to reach a point of climax at some point, it's just interesting to see what will be the tipping point. Will it be this? The other thing is, unless I'm mistaken, they aren't even looking to get paid, just get insurance and scholarship protection, yet you saw how some people reacted. Like I said, it's going to be interesting to watch it all unfold.

Jon (Santa Fe) Who do you think will the player that is drafted the highest out of the Big 12?

Brandon Chatmon Justin Gilbert.

Chad (I-State ) Which team could you see taking the biggest jump and biggest fall in the standing next year? Iowa State is my pick for jump and Baylor for fall.

Brandon Chatmon I'm going TCU to make a jump, Oklahoma State to take a step backward (mainly because of Wickline, loss of seniors on D). I could also see WVU making a jump. I don't see any type of Baylor slide coming.

ChrisJ (Houston) Hey Brandon (no nicknames this week), honestly I think we are starting to miss Mr. February a little bit, but I saw someone comment on Trotter's chat saying, it wasn't recruiting that was Mac's problem but coaching. So are the days of Texas fans googling over how many stars are in the recruiting classes over with? And will Charlie Strong start taking more of the underrated recruits that he believes will develop into the type of players needed to fit his system? (I mean of course we would take championship titles over recruiting titles, but man it sure was fun when Mack was here.)

Brandon Chatmon No nicknames? Boo! … I think so. And that's the way to go. I think UT's biggest weakness in the past few years has been evaluation and development. You have to build a team, not just recruit bunch of great players. It's about … how they fit in your system? What role they can excel in? Have they maximized their ability in high school? Those are the important questions. Not how many stars is he or who else wants him. And I get the impression Strong is more concerned about those questions than star ranking.
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s Early Offering is coming to you from the Under Armour Combine in St. Petersburg, Fla. Here’s a look at who stood out among the 150-plus competitors.

Campbell steals the show
George Campbell (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) showed why he is ranked as the No. 2 player in the ESPN Junior 300. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Campbell tested off the charts with a 4.36-second time in the 40-yard dash and a 4.06 shuttle. He then backed it up with a strong performance in the one-on-one and seven-on-seven portion of the combine. Defensive backs lined up to face him and, in most cases, he burned them with either his speed or his ability to go up get the ball at its highest point. “I felt good about what I did today,” Campbell said. “I wanted to test myself against the best-of-the-best.” Consider the test passed. On the recruiting front, Campbell recently backed away from his commitment to Michigan and said at Wednesday’s registration he’s slowing down the process.

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Big 12 lunchtime links

January, 2, 2014
Jan 2
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Don't forget to take a glimpse at the future during the Under Armour All-America Game later today (3 p.m. CT, ESPN).

Chat wrap: Bedlam, Baylor, Brown, bowls

December, 10, 2013
12/10/13
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Thanks for all your questions in today's chat. Here's where you can find the full transcript. Got more to say? Send it to the mailbag and you could see it on the Big 12 blog Friday:

Taylor (Kansas): OK, so I know I was a little down on my Sooners heading into Stillwater. And you offered some kind words of encouragement that eased my thoughts and lo and behold they pulled it off. Now, can you offer me some more support for the Sugar Bowl? I'm not sure they will score! Bama has a chip on their shoulder and I feel like they are going to take it out on anyone and everyone in their way.

Jake Trotter: The one thing OU might have going its way in this game is... does Bama care? The last time Bama just missed out on the title game, it lost to Utah in the Sugar Bowl. If Bama comes out flat, OU might have a chance. If Bama comes out ready to play with a chip on its shoulder…


Mike (Jacksonville): What are the chances Mack Brown steps down before the bowl game?

Jake Trotter: I would say better than 50 percent. But one thing the Texas brass needs to consider if they push for Mack's resignation is, who will they replace him with? If you're going to push a coach like Mack out, who's done a lot for the university and pulled it out of the doldrums in the '90s, then you'd better have somebody lined up.


Nick (Texas): The Big 12 will have a losing bowl record: Agree or disagree?

Jake Trotter: Agree. Gonna be very difficult for OU, Texas and Tech to win. One will need to to give the league a chance at a winning record.


Dave (Orange County): Who do you think has a better all-time program? OU or Alabama?

Jake Trotter: When ranking all-time programs, I go, 1. Notre Dame, 2. Alabama, 3. OU, 4. Ohio State, 5. Michigan.


Levi Farmer (Tulsa, OK): OU loses a lot of RB depth with the senior class. Who is in line to step up and start next year?

Jake Trotter: It will be the Keith Ford show.


JFB (DFW): How does [Bryce] Petty not get an invite when you compare his numbers and "character" to other invitees?

Jake Trotter: Petty's campaign was very similar to Brandon Weeden's back in 2011. Just when Weeden's candidacy was rolling, OSU lost to Iowa State. Just when Petty was getting into the top 3, Baylor was smoked by OSU. Petty has another year, and he will be on everyone's radar this time going into the season.


Dave (Atlanta): Any update on how Trevor Knight's doing?

Jake Trotter: He is fine. Dislocated shoulder on his non-throwing side. Will be back for the bowl.


Jason (Cincinnati): The last time we spoke, I mentioned how I was worried about the ISU visit to Morgantown and you mentioned WVU was a different team at home. Yet WVU suffered another meltdown after a 31-7 lead. We are making the Big 12 look really bad and this is not WVU football. Mountaineer nation is losing faith in the staff. What is really wrong in Morgantown?

Jake Trotter: Talent, coaching, mentality... it's a lot of things.


Ryan (Bear Country): Not that it matters anymore, but still don't understand how a two-loss Stanford team is ranked higher than a one-loss Baylor squad (granted, we did get blown out by OSU). Is it just the brand?

Jake Trotter: Stanford has seven Top 25 wins. Baylor has two.


Andrew (Houston): Do you think Lache Seastrunk is coming back? Early in the year it looked like there wasn't a chance... but late in the year he hurt his draft stock. I think he is back and BU is a top-5 team in the country again.

Jake Trotter: I think Lache comes back. That would be the best backfield in the Big 12 again, with Petty.


Tom (Dallas): Jake, would you please be so kind and remind Texas Tech and TCU that Baylor has a Big 12 championship and they don't.

Jake Trotter: Ouch.


Fred (Lubbock): Trotter, what's more impressive, our two-decades-plus of consistently winning or Baylor's miserable little Big 12 championship during a horribly down year in the conference?

Jake Trotter: Here we go again...

Big 12 lunchtime links

December, 6, 2013
12/06/13
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This is intriguing: Adrian Peterson wouldn't mind returning to Big 12 country.

Big 12 Week 14: Did you know?

November, 29, 2013
11/29/13
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Here’s another edition of interesting stats and tidbits thanks to SID departments around the Big 12 and the folks at ESPN Stats & Info. Did you know …
  • Texas Tech’s offense ran 80 plays against Texas and still leads the nation in plays per game at 88.4.
  • Texas Tech has gained 10-plus yards on 247 plays this season and surpassed Florida State for No. 1 in FBS in that stat thanks to 16 such plays against Texas.
  • Red Raiders quarterback Baker Mayfield ranks No. 6 in FBS in both completions per game and pass attempts per game.
  • Texas recorded a season-high nine sacks against Texas Tech on Thursday, the most Tech has allowed in a game in at least 13 years.
  • Texas kicker Anthony Fera is 19-for-20 (95 percent) on field goals. He has connected on his last 15 attempts, tying a school record.
  • Longhorns WR Jaxon Shipley is now 5-for-8 passing for 116 yards and three touchdowns in his career. He completed a 43-yard pass on Thursday.
  • Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight has rushed for 391 yards this season. Landry Jones finished with -361 rushing yards in his career.
  • No Big 12 defense has been on the field this season less than the Sooners. Their opponents average 64.6 plays per game.
  • Oklahoma State is No. 2 in the nation in turnover margin at plus 16 this season. Since the start of the 2010 season, the Cowboys are plus 49, which ranks No. 2 in FBS behind only Oregon (plus 52).
  • Clint Chelf ranks No. 7 in the country in adjusted QBR at 84.8, ahead of Braxton Miller and AJ McCarron.
  • Oklahoma State and Baylor both lead the conference in defensive touchdowns (four) and special teams touchdowns (three).
  • Baylor has gained 20 or more yards on 93 plays this season, 25 more than any other Big 12 offense.
  • Bryce Petty has scored touchdowns on 18 percent of his rushes this season. That’s the best scoring rate among rushers in FBS.
  • Baylor needs just 22 points to break its school record for scoring in a season, and four touchdowns to break the BU single-season TD record.
  • TCU holds a slim lead in its all-time series against Baylor, 51-50-7, but Gary Patterson is 4-1 against the Bears in his career. The Frogs have won eight straight games following bye weeks.
  • The Horned Frogs have scored 263 points this season and given up 262 points.
  • TCU has sold out 16 of its last 20 home games at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
  • Casey Pachall is one touchdown pass away from surpassing Sammy Baugh in the TCU record book for career TD passes. He has 40.
  • Pachall is already No. 3 in school history with 5,148 passing yards and first in completion percentage at 64.2.
  • With a temperature of 8 degrees at kickoff, Iowa State’s home game against Kansas last week is considered the coldest game in school history.
  • Five of Iowa State’s nine losses this season have come by eight points or less.
  • Iowa State has scored on 29 of 31 opportunities in the red zone this season, a rate that leads the Big 12.
  • Not one offensive lineman has started all 11 games this season for ISU, and 10 different linemen have earned at least one start.
  • Charles Sims is 54 rushing yards away from surpassing 1,000 this season. He’d be West Virginia’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Noel Devine in 2009.
  • In the month of November, WVU receiver Mario Alford leads in the Big 12 in yards per catch at 23.5 on 10 receptions.
  • West Virginia’s offense has recorded 16 fourth-down plays this season for a total of -3 yards.
  • Kansas State QB Jake Waters ranks No. 3 in FBS in yards per completion at 15.92 yards and No. 6 in yards per attempt at 9.61.
  • K-State is the least penalized team in the Big 12 at 4.73 penalties per game for an average of 40.1 yards.
  • Tyler Lockett’s 440 all-purpose yards against Oklahoma ranked fifth-most in FBS history and second-most in Big 12 history.
  • The Wildcats are only the fourth team in Big 12 history to start 2-4 and go on to achieve bowl eligibility.
  • James Sims is the first player in Kansas history to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. He’s only the third back in school history to record multiple 1,000-yard seasons.
  • Sims is one of only 13 running backs in FBS to surpass 1,000 yards in both 2012 and 2013.
  • Kansas has gone three-and-out on 32 percent of its offensive possessions this season, a rate that ranks fourth-worst in FBS. On nearly 47 percent of its drives, KU has neither picked up a first down nor scored.
  • KU is 5-for-25 on fourth-down conversions this season. Only Louisville (0-for-4) has a worse conversion rate.

Big 12 recruiting storylines: Nov. 21 

November, 21, 2013
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The beginning of the month didn't start out so hot for Oklahoma, who was routed in a highly-anticipated game at Baylor on Nov. 7. But the Sooners have rebounded well on the recruiting trail with a handful of commitments since the calendar turned.

We'll take a look at who exactly those recruits are as well as talk about the big weekend ahead in Stillwater in this week's edition of Big 12 recruiting storylines.

OU on a roll


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Big 12 unsung heroes: Week 11

November, 11, 2013
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Here are the Big 12’s unsung heroes for Week 11:

[+] EnlargeK.J. Morton, Jordan Najvar
Tim Heitman/USA TODAY SportsK.J. Morton and Baylor's defense made it a difficult night for Oklahoma's offense last Thursday.
Baylor cornerback K.J. Morton: The senior was active and physical in Baylor’s 41-12 win over Oklahoma last Thursday. Morton’s hit on Sooners receiver Sterling Shepard set an aggressive tone for the Bears’ defense early. He finished with seven tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, and was one of the reasons the Bears' defense has surpassed expectations this season.

Iowa State tight end E.J. Bibbs: The junior was the Cyclones' leading receiver with seven catches for 63 yards in ISU’s 21-17 loss to TCU. Bibbs provides a solid athletic target, particularly on third downs. He had three receptions for 28 yards (two first downs) on third down against the Horned Frogs.

Kansas linebacker Darius Willis: The senior was productive in spot duty for the Jayhawks in their 42-6 loss to Oklahoma State. He had a season-high six tackles, including four solo stops, and looked like one of the few KU players who was engaged and excited to compete against the Cowboys.

Kansas State cornerback Randall Evans: Playing alongside Ryan Mueller, who had three sacks, and Ty Zimmerman, who returned an interception for a touchdown, it was easy to overlook Evans’ performance. He had 10 tackles, one pass breakup and one interception in KSU’s 49-26 win over Texas Tech.

Oklahoma linebacker Dominique Alexander: Corey Nelson’s replacement has been growing into his role during his first four games as a starter. Even though he still shows his inexperience at times, he flashes the upside that had OU’s coaches raving about his ability earlier this season. He finished with 11 tackles, including eight solo stops, one sack and one forced fumble in OU’s 41-12 loss to Baylor.

Oklahoma State receiver David Glidden: The sophomore was terrific after standout receiver Josh Stewart left with an injury. Glidden finished with six receptions for 73 yards in OSU’s 42-6 win over Kansas. He entered the game with eight career receptions but filled in admirably against the Jayhawks. Three of his six receptions came on third down.

Texas defensive tackle Desmond Jackson: The junior stepped right in for the injured Chris Whaley with little drop off in the Longhorns’ 47-40 overtime win over West Virginia. He had eight tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss, with two sacks and one forced fumble. It’s rare to lose a player like Whaley without taking a step backward, but Jackson seamlessly filled in to help UT remain undefeated in the Big 12.

Texas Tech running back Kenny Williams: The junior is a solid threat as a running back in the Red Raiders’ offense. Kansas State took control of the game and limited Williams’ opportunities, but he finished with 15 carries for 66 yards, averaging 4.4 yards per play. He hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game this season, but he is a quality running and receiving threat in coach Kliff Kingsbury’s attack.

TCU linebacker Paul Dawson: The junior quietly has been playing as well as any linebacker in the Big 12 during the past month. He’s recorded double-digit tackles in four of his past five games, including the past three. Dawson had 14 tackles, including eight solo stops and two tackles for loss, in TCU’s 21-17 win over Iowa State.

West Virginia receiver Mario Alford: The junior had arguably the most explosive game by a Mountaineers’ receiver this season. He finished with 205 all-purpose yards, including 97 receiving yards, 88 kick-return yards and 20 rushing yards. His 72-yard touchdown catch and run in the fourth quarter looked like last season's WVU offense.

Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 11

November, 11, 2013
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And then there were three:

1. Baylor (8-0, 5-0 Big 12, last week 1): We’re 11 weeks into the season, and Baylor still leads the Big 12 in total defense, scoring defense and red zone defense. Those numbers aren’t a fluke, as Oklahoma found out the hard way. Ahmad Dixon is one of the best safeties in the conference; Eddie Lackey and Bryce Hager are a stout one-two punch at linebacker; and the defensive line has size and speed. The Sooners might not be very good offensively this year. But Baylor made them look downright ridiculous. This is a complete team.

2. Oklahoma State (8-1, 5-1, LW 2): This will be just the fifth time Oklahoma State has played Texas when both teams have been ranked in the BCS. The Longhorns have won all four such previous meetings. As a program still aspiring to greater heights, this is the kind of game the Cowboys need to win. Texas is banged up. Oklahoma State has the better defense. And as a result of both, the Cowboys are favored in Austin. Some of the more haunting moments in Oklahoma State history have occurred at the hands of the Longhorns. This is a prime opportunity for the Pokes to produce a memorable one.

3. Texas (7-2, 6-0, LW 3): The Longhorns have depth at running back and defensive tackle. But they no longer have all-conference players at those positions. That’s what tailback Johnathan Gray and defensive tackle Chris Whaley are. Can Texas overcome these additional hits against one of the hotter teams in the Big 12 in Oklahoma State this weekend? If the Horns do, Mack Brown should get votes for Big 12 Coach of the Year.

4. Kansas State (5-4, 3-3, LW 6): More and more, K-State is beginning to resemble the Baylor of last year. Maybe not in style, but most certainly in efficiency. The Wildcats scored touchdowns on their first five possessions to basically put then-No. 25 Texas Tech away on its home field by the second quarter. Think about this: From the third quarter of the West Virginia game three weeks ago to halftime at Texas Tech, K-State has scored touchdowns on 14 of 22 possessions (not counting kneel downs). That level of touchdown efficiency would even impress Baylor coach Art Briles. Like the Bears last year, K-State could finish this season with a flourish to set up a run back at the Big 12 title in 2014.

5. Oklahoma (7-2, 4-2, LW 4): The Sooners’ quarterback situations have been the envy of the Big 12 dating back to the advent of the Bob Stoops era. No more. OU has major problems at the position, not only for the rest of this season, but beyond. It’s difficult to see the Sooners winning a Big 12 championship with Blake Bell at quarterback next season. But the fact the Sooners won’t let Trevor Knight attempt a pass or Kendal Thompson step on the field raises red flags, too. OU had no shot of coming back on Baylor with Bell behind center, yet the Sooners still refused to give either one of the other quarterbacks a chance. Stoops is not one to make drastic changes. But if the Sooners don’t shake things up offensively, they could easily finish this regular season a disappointing 8-4.

6. Texas Tech (7-3, 4-3, LW 5): After three straight losses, the unranked Red Raiders find themselves four-touchdown underdogs to Baylor at a neutral site. A month ago, this game looked like it might be for the Big 12 crown. Instead, Tech will be playing to avoid going 1-11 in the month of November over the past three years.

7. West Virginia (4-6, 2-5, LW 7): The Mountaineers just missed out on landing another marquee home win, falling 47-40 to Texas in overtime. They have to put that behind them. By snagging these next two winnable games against Kansas and Iowa State, West Virginia will go to a bowl. Considering all the pieces the Mountaineers had to replace from last year, that would constitute a solid season for a team in rebuilding mode.

8. TCU (4-6, 2-5, LW 8): Credit TCU for not throwing in the towel after dropping three straight for the first time in the Gary Patterson era. The Horned Frogs continued to struggle offensively. But despite missing several key players, they gutted out a game-winning, fourth-quarter touchdown drive at Iowa State to keep their slim bowl hopes alive.

9. Iowa State (1-8, 0-6, LW 9): The Cyclones had yet to win a Big 12 game and were facing an opponent riding a three-game losing streak in a late-morning kickoff. And yet, Jack Trice Stadium was just about full. Cyclone Nation brought it this weekend, even if their team came up another goal-line stand short. Tweeted Iowa State defensive back Deon Broomfield: “Best fans in nation. Even through a season like this we have a packed stadium. Sorry for the letdown.” It’s been a rough year to be an Iowa State fan. You can bet the players will fight to reward that loyalty in the form of a Big 12 win before the end of the season.

10. Kansas (2-7, 0-6, LW 10): The Jayhawks are 118th in scoring offense, 119th in total offense and 120th in 10-plus-yard plays. Kansas' offense is going nowhere as it’s currently constructed. It’s time for coach Charlie Weis to give freshman quarterback Montell Cozart the keys to the offense. Even though the Jayhawks failed to reach the end zone at Oklahoma State, Cozart flashed promise, leading Kansas to 202 yards on the ground and 13 of its 15 first downs.

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