Texas Longhorns: Clint Chelf

Spring preview capsules: Big 12

February, 24, 2014
Feb 24
10:00
AM ET
Spring football is rapidly approaching.

Here's a team-by-team look at what to watch in the Big 12 this spring:

Baylor

Spring start: Feb. 28

Spring game: April 5

What to watch: Who will replace Lache Seastrunk? The Bears' running back was the engine that helped keep the Baylor offense balanced and defenses honest. Shock Linwood will step in, but is he ready to handle the burden of keeping the offense balanced? . . . Baylor, the 2013 regular-season champion, has to find key replacements on a defense that is losing half of its starters. But several second-teamers -- including Jamal Palmer, Shawn Oakman, Andrew Billings and Orion Stewart -- are poised to fill the void . . . The Bears need to replace guard Cyril Richardson along the offensive line. Several candidates, including junior college transfer Jarell Broxton, will battle for the job. Baylor has arguably the league's best group of skill position players, but that will mean nothing if its offensive line takes a step backward.

Iowa State

Spring start: March 10

Spring game: April 12

What to watch: New offensive coordinator Mark Mangino arrives in Ames to bring more points and creativity to the Cyclones’ offense. The spring is the first opportunity for Mangino to get a feel for the playmakers and the players to get a feel for Mangino’s expectations . . . The quarterback competition is another thing to keep an eye on. Grant Rohach ended the season as the starter, but Sam B. Richardson could take his job back with a strong spring. And there are other young quarterbacks on campus who could insert themselves into the mix . . . Defensively, the Cyclones need to replace linebacker Jeremiah George and safety Jacques Washington, who finished 1-2 in tackles in the Big 12 in 2013 and finished their careers with 59 career starts combined. Iowa State seems to always have quality linebackers, so finding a replacement for Washington could be the defense’s top priority in the spring.

Kansas

Spring start: March 4

Spring game: April 12

What to watch: Shuffling the offensive coaching staff has been the theme of the offseason. New offensive coordinator John Reagan, who was a KU assistant from 2005 to 2009, returns to the Jayhawks after running Rice’s offense last season. The spring is Reagan’s first chance to identify the playmakers who will be the foundation of his offense this fall. Expect wide-open competition across the board after KU finished 115th in the FBS in points scored ... The quarterback position will grab the headlines, with T.J. Millweard joining the competition with Jake Heaps and Montell Cozart, who each started games in 2013. Millweard transferred to KU from UCLA before the 2013 season.

Kansas State

Spring start: April 2

Spring game: April 26

What to watch: Finding John Hubert’s replacement sits high on the Wildcats’ priority list. The former running back carried the ground attack for the past three seasons, and there’s no clear favorite to step into his shoes. Will someone step up during spring football? . . . What will happen with quarterback Daniel Sams? The Wildcats have a proven Big 12 playmaker in Sams, a junior, and another proven quarterback in Jake Waters. Sams is an exceptional open-field runner who started two games in 2013, but look for Kansas State to start exploring ways to have both on the field together this spring . . . Replacing Ty Zimmerman’s playmaking and leadership on defense is another key this spring. The defense has to replace several starters in the secondary and at linebacker. Keep an eye on junior college defensive back Danzel McDaniel, who has the versatility to step in at several different spots.

Oklahoma

Spring start: March 8

Spring game: April 12

What to watch: With Trevor Knight poised to start at quarterback in 2014, Blake Bell moves to tight end after starting eight games under center in 2013. Bell’s transition to tight end will be the talk of the spring, with the senior’s commitment to the program and OU's need for help at the position . . . The battle to be the starting running back is another storyline, with sophomores Keith Ford and Alex Ross hoping to make a statement this spring before ESPN 300 running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine arrive in the summer. Ford forced his way into the lineup as a freshman before an injury slowed him . . . The Sooners will be looking to shore up the secondary after the departure of All-Big 12 cornerback Aaron Colvin and starting safety Gabe Lynn. Sophomore Stanvon Taylor could be set to replace Colvin, while sophomores Hatari Byrd and Ahmad Thomas will battle to replace Lynn.

Oklahoma State

Spring start: March 10

Final spring practice: April 5

What to watch: Incoming freshman Mason Rudolph enrolled early to participate in spring football with the hope of replacing quarterback Clint Chelf. J.W. Walsh has won a lot of games in a Cowboys uniform, but will have to hold off stern competition to earn the starting spot as a junior . . . The Cowboys lose seven seniors off one of their best defenses in recent memory. The overall quality might be upgraded, but spring football will be the first chance to see if those talented yet inexperienced defenders are ready to step into the fire. Defensive end Jimmy Bean, linebacker Ryan Simmons and cornerback Kevin Peterson could emerge as the foundation of the defense . . . Who will step up at receiver? The Cowboys lose three of their top four receivers, with Jhajuan Seales as the lone returnee. But several youngsters appear poised to step in, including sophomore Marcell Ateman and redshirt freshman Ra'Shaad Samples.

TCU

Spring start: March 1

Final spring practice: April 5

What to watch: Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie have arrived to take over as co-offensive coordinators at TCU. The Horned Frogs need a jump start and could get it from the “Air Raid”-style offense the duo will bring to the table. This spring will be an important first step in improving the offense . . . Who will be the quarterback? Trevone Boykin started several games in 2013 but might actually be TCU’s top receiver. Tyler Matthews, a redshirt freshman, also saw time under center, but he faces stiff competition. Don’t expect the battle to end until fall camp . . . TCU needs someone to step up in the secondary, with Jason Verrett NFL-bound after spending the past two seasons as one of the Big 12’s top coverage cornerbacks. Ranthony Texada and Travoskey Garrett are among several young defensive backs who could try to fill the void.

Texas

Spring start: March 18

Spring game: April 19

What to watch: David Ash's health will be one of the main storylines of Texas’ first spring under coach Charlie Strong. Ash has the talent to be a key piece of the puzzle, but head injuries are always tough to overcome. If Ash is 100 percent healthy, the Longhorns will feel better about the overall status at quarterback . . . Strong has talked of instilling a tough mindset in Austin since he arrived in January, and spring football will be the first real taste of what the Longhorns’ new coach is trying to bring to the program . . . Where are the playmakers? Texas has a talent-laden roster, but didn’t have the exceptional talent who could consistently change games. This spring gives several returning skill players, including receiver Jaxon Shipley and all-purpose standout Daje Johnson, the chance to become the foundation of the offense in 2014.

Texas Tech

Spring start: March 5

Spring game: April 12

What to watch: Davis Webb's health is the No. 1 priority for the Red Raiders, who have seen three quarterbacks leave the program since the beginning of the 2013 season. Coach Kliff Kingsbury could have the toughest job of the spring as he tries to manage the lack of quarterbacks with the desire to have a productive spring for the roster as a whole . . . The Red Raiders have some consistency among the defensive coaching staff, meaning they could improve in 2014 despite losing multiple starters, including defensive tackle Kerry Hyder, linebacker Will Smith and safety Tre' Porter. Tech could start seeing dividends of that continuity . . . The Red Raiders have to replace Jace Amaro and Eric Ward, who combined to catch 189 passes for 2,299 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. Jakeem Grant and Bradley Marquez made a bunch of plays in 2013 and Devin Lauderdale, a junior college transfer and early enrollee, will get the chance to show why he had Texas Tech fans buzzing when he initially signed in February 2013.

West Virginia

Spring start: March 2

Spring game: April 12

What to watch: Finding a quarterback is critical for the Mountaineers, who have talent at the skill positions but won’t transform into an explosive offense without efficient quarterback play. Clint Trickett is recovering from shoulder surgery, meaning Paul Millard, junior college transfer Skyler Howard and former receiver Logan Moore will run the offense this spring . . . Tony Gibson takes over as WVU’s defensive coordinator after coaching the safeties in 2013. His promotion allows some continuity on the defense after former DC Keith Patterson left for Arizona State after the season . . . Replacing defensive tackle Shaq Rowell and defensive end Will Clarke, who started 56 combined career games for WVU, won’t be easy. The Mountaineers will lean heavily on veteran juniors Isaiah Bruce and Karl Joseph, who have started since their freshman seasons.

Other Big 12 shoes to fill in 2014

January, 23, 2014
Jan 23
11:00
AM ET
Earlier this week, we examined the three underclassmen leaving the Big 12 and who could replace them at their respective schools. Below, we look at 10 of the biggest shoes to fill in the Big 12 in 2014.

[+] EnlargeAhmad Dixon
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY SportsWill Baylor's defense be able to replace Ahmad Dixon's leadership?
BAYLOR

Ahmad Dixon, S: Dixon was the heart and soul of coach Art Briles’ best defense at Baylor. The All-American was the Baylor defense’s tone-setter and a tackling machine. He was also its vocal leader, and as someone who grew up in Waco, he fully understood the significance of Baylor’s resurgence. With QB Bryce Petty back, the Bears figure to put up the points again. But whether they find another defensive leader like Dixon will play a big part in whether Baylor can repeat as Big 12 champs.

IOWA STATE

Jeremiah George, LB: George finished first in the Big 12 with 133 tackles and ranked fourth nationally with an average of 11.1 per game. That level of defensive production isn’t easily replaced. The onus will be on heir-apparent Luke Knott to keep Iowa State’s strong linebacking tradition rolling next season.

KANSAS

James Sims, RB: The past two seasons, Sims has been -- by far -- Kansas’ top player. With 211 rushing yards and three touchdowns, he carried the Jayhawks to a 31-19 win over West Virginia to snap the school’s 27-game Big 12 losing streak. Sims was able to produce, even when the focal point of defenses was squarely on him. The All-Big 12 back will not be easily replaced.

KANSAS STATE

Ty Zimmerman, S: The Wildcats just weren’t the same defense when Zimmerman had to sit because of injury. With the hard-hitting safety on the sidelines, Oklahoma gashed the Wildcats for 301 rushing yards. When Zimmerman was on the field, K-State was so much steadier defensively. Just ask Michigan, which struggled to move the chains in Zimmerman’s return in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, which the Wildcats won going away, 31-14.

OKLAHOMA

Gabe Ikard, C: Ikard was the constant on an offensive line that held up throughout the season despite constantly changing parts. In the Allstate Sugar Bowl, Ikard was the only Sooners offensive lineman to start in the same spot as the team’s Big 12 opener. And yet, OU became the first team to put 31 first-half points on Alabama under Nick Saban. The Sooners have a nice center prospect in Ty Darlington. But he’ll be stepping in for one of the top centers in college football.

OKLAHOMA STATE

Clint Chelf, QB: The Cowboys lose some key players defensively, notably CB Justin Gilbert, DT Calvin Barnett and LBs Shaun Lewis and Caleb Lavey. Chelf, however, was the biggest reason for Oklahoma State’s November surge, which put the Cowboys in position to win the Big 12 title on the final day of the regular season. The Cowboys will have to replace him with either J.W. Walsh, who struggled before losing the job back to Chelf, or true freshman Mason Rudolph, who has enrolled for spring ball.

TEXAS

Jackson Jeffcoat, DE: Jeffcoat was the only player from the Big 12 to win a national award, capturing the Ted Hendricks Award, given annually to college football's top defensive end. When the switch was turned on, Jeffcoat was as dominant as any end in college football, tying for third nationally with 13 sacks. The Longhorns return one of the nation’s best non-senior defensive ends in Cedric Reed. Jeffcoat, however, was a special talent.

TEXAS TECH

Eric Ward, WR: Overshadowed somewhat by tight end teammate Jace Amaro, Ward too had an outstanding final season in Lubbock. He finished fifth in the Big 12 in receiving and was a consistent big-play threat on the outside. The Red Raiders will be counting on Reginald Davis to replace Ward on the perimeter.

TCU

Jason Verrett, CB: The co-Big 12 defensive player of the year had a stellar senior season, even though the Horned Frogs struggled as a team. Matched up one-on-one, Verrett completely shut down Baylor All-Big 12 wideout Antwan Goodley in TCU’s final game. The Horned Frogs have some talented players coming back in the secondary, but nobody at the level of Verrett.

WEST VIRGINIA

Charles Sims, RB: The Houston transfer was West Virginia’s best and most consistent offensive weapon all season. Even without the best blocking up front, Sims always managed to produce. Sims was superb at making the first tackler miss and led all Big 12 running backs in receiving. Dreamius Smith is a solid returning running back, but West Virginia will have to improve elsewhere offensively to compensate for the loss of Sims’ versatile skill set.

Best and worst of the Big 12 bowls

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
10:00
AM ET
Below, we break down the best and the worst of the Big 12’s bowl season:

Best win: The Oklahoma Sooners have been searching for a victory that would signal their return to the nation’s elite. They finally got such a victory in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, as Oklahoma smoked the two-time defending national champs from Alabama, 45-31. With tons of young talent returning, notably quarterback Trevor Knight and linebacker Eric Striker, the Alabama victory could propel Oklahoma toward a national title run in 2014.

Worst loss: Baylor had a chance to put the finishing touches on a fabulous season. Instead, the Bears lost to UCF, one of the biggest underdogs in BCS history, 52-42 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl as the conference champion Bears ended their season on a sour note. It was still a great season for Baylor, yet one that didn’t end so great.

Best offensive performance: Texas Tech’s Davis Webb and Kansas State’s Jake Waters and Tyler Lockett were all terrific, but nobody had the bowl game Knight did. Oklahoma’s redshirt freshman quarterback completed 32 of 44 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns. He did have one interception, but even that pass bounced off his receiver’s hands. Those would be great numbers against anybody, and Knight didn’t produce them against just anybody. He produced them against Alabama.

[+] EnlargeEric Striker
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesOklahoma's Eric Striker dominated Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Best defensive performance: Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker was an absolute menace in the Sugar Bowl. On top of a team-high seven tackles, he sacked Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron three times and forced a fumble in the game’s final minute that sealed the victory. Striker was virtually unblockable all night.

Best special teams performance: Texas Tech dominated most of the National University Holiday Bowl. But the game became tense early in the third quarter when Arizona State scored on a 44-yard run to cut Tech’s lead to 27-20. Those tense moments lasted for just moments. That’s because Reginald Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, putting the Red Raiders back up by two scores. Arizona State never threatened again as the Red Raiders cruised to a 37-23 upset victory.

Best play: With just a minute to play, Alabama got the ball back at its 18-yard line with a chance for game-tying touchdown drive. Instead, on the first snap, Striker came barreling around the edge and crashed into McCarron’s blind side. The ball popped to the ground, and defensive end Geneo Grissom scooped it up and rumbled eight yards for a game-clinching touchdown. It was Oklahoma’s seventh sack of McCarron.

Worst play: The Big 12 had a similar play go the other way. Down 34-31, Oklahoma State drove into Missouri territory with a chance of – at worst – lining up for a game-tying field goal. Instead, the Cowboys called a pass on third-and-7, and before quarterback Clint Chelf could unload the ball, he was sacked from behind by SEC defensive player of the year Michael Sam, who knocked the ball loose. Missouri’s Shane Ray gobbled up the fumble and raced 73 yards for the touchdown, as the Tigers won the game 41-31.

Best catch: On second-and-goal from the Michigan 8, Kansas State wideout Tyler Lockett was lined up across from Michigan cornerback Raymon Taylor. Lockett drove right into Taylor, then looked back to quarterback Jake Waters. The ball came sailing low, but Lockett went down to get his hands under the ball before it touched the ground, giving him his third touchdown catch of the game and putting K-State ahead 21-6.

Worst play-calling: The Cowboys were just 9 of 22 on third down against Missouri, and curious play-calling from offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich seemed to be a big reason why. Twice on third-and-3, Yurcich called running plays up the middle, which Missouri’s powerful defensive line stuffed to snuff promising Oklahoma State drives. Yurcich called another running play up the middle on third-and-1 at the end of the quarter, which the Tigers obliterated again. With the Cowboys defense dominating Missouri through the third quarter, Oklahoma State missed an opportunity to take command of the game. Third-down play-calling was a big reason why.

Best bounce-back performance: The Texas Tech defense had capitulated during a five-game losing streak, giving up 38, 52, 49, 63 and 41 points. But finally healthy again, Tech bucked up in the National University Holiday Bowl, holding Arizona State to 18 points below its season average.

[+] EnlargeArt Briles
Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesArt Briles and the Baylor defense had a nightmarish evening in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Worst disappearing act: Baylor had claimed its defense was actually the best in the Big 12. But in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the Bears were lit up by UCF for 52 points and 556 yards. UCF had six touchdown drives of 75 yards or longer, the most long drives Baylor gave up in a game all season.

Best quote: “So much for the big bad wolf, huh?” – coach Bob Stoops, after Oklahoma defeated the two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide.

Worst official’s call: With the AT&T Cotton Bowl knotted at 24-24 in the fourth quarter, Oklahoma State cornerback Tyler Patmon appeared to have delivered the play of the game. He stepped in front of Missouri's Dorial Green-Beckham to intercept James Franklin’s pass and returned it 37 yards into the end zone. Officials, however, flagged Patmon with pass interference – a ticky-tack call at best on Patmon, who on replays appeared to be going for the ball. With new life, Missouri capitalized to drive for a field goal, and the Tigers eventually won the game.

Best fan showing: The Longhorns didn’t have the kind of season they had hoped for. But in Mack Brown’s final game, burnt orange filled the Alamodome, turning the Valero Alamo Bowl into a sellout. The bowl game didn’t go the way the Longhorns had hoped, either -- a 30-7 loss to Oregon. But Texas fans sent out their coach in a classy way.
Below is sampling of today's Big 12 football chat (the full transcript is here). If you've got more to say, send it in to the Big 12 mailbag, and there'a good chance you'll see it here on the Big 12 blog on Friday:


Tyler (Sacramento): Please tell me Coach (Charlie) Strong strong will start Tyrone Swoopes over David Ash. Do any commitments follow Strong to Texas, and do any leave Texas?


Jake Trotter: Tyler, it's too soon to tell what immediate impact Strong will have on recruiting. As for the QB situation, it should be interesting. Ash's future is in question with the concussion issues. Swoopes is really athletic with a big arm, but he needs polish. Don't discount Jerrod Heard, either, who just won another state title for Denton Guyer.

Ted (TX): I'd like to ask the brass at Texas if they envisioned replacing Mack Brown with Charlie Strong. I can't fathom that the guy was even in their top five. Your thoughts...

[+] EnlargeBob Stoops
Chuck Cook/USA TODAY SportsA ton of credit should be given to Bob Stoops' Sooners for their performance against Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Jake Trotter: He was in their top five, but top two? Probably not. Still, it was a very solid hire. And really, it isn't like there's only one coach out there who can win at Texas.

Derrin (Plano, TX): Jake, Bob Stoops walked the walk, and talked the talk, in New Orleans last week. I think people should give him credit, instead of trivializing it as Bama not wanting to be there. Your thoughts?

Jake Trotter: I didn't think Bama even played all that poorly. OU just took it to them.

Jay (Cloud 9, Oklahoma): ISU might need a bump in your power poll, Mark Mangino is an amazing hire for [the Cyclones] at offensive coordinator.

Jake Trotter: Am I the only one who likes the offensive talent coming back there? Grant Rohach, Aaron Wimberly, Quenton Bundrage, E.J. Bibbs, Derek Farniok... With Mangino pulling the strings, that's an offense that can do some damage.

Brian (Waco): Jake, why are you such an OU homer? Baylor should be the favorite to repeat next year as Big 12 champs.

Jake Trotter: We must have watched different bowl games.

Frank (Kansas): Can Charlie Weiss get us out of the cellar and at least [be] above West Virginia next year?

Jake Trotter: It would help if his own fans learned how to spell his name right.

David (Austin): I personally am very excited about Coach Strong. I think he will bring in some much-needed swagger and toughness that has been lacking of late. Horns have seemed to have the mentality that the burnt orange sticker on their helmets guarantees them wins.

Jake Trotter: One thing Strong is going to bring is toughness and intensity. And I think he's going to slay on the recruiting trail.

Colby (Stillwater): What are the chances that Trevor Knight just played outside of himself against Bama and will return to his earlier form next year? I think he will keep getting better, but you have to wonder because he never played like that all year. Kind of like Case McCoy against OU.

Jake Trotter: The difference being that McCoy was a senior and Knight was a freshman. McCoy is who he is. Knight should only get better. On top of that, we'd been hearing this is who Knight had been behind OU's closed practices. It just finally manifested on the field. It's no guarantee that Knight will get better. But it's a pretty good bet.

Chase (Dallas): Did the month off before the Fiesta Bowl end up hurting Baylor? Bryce Petty looked off on all of his deep throws in the first half, which are the home run plays that he used to hit all the time during the regular season.

Jake Trotter: I don't buy it. Everyone has the same amount of time off. The fact of the matter is, Baylor wasn't the same team the last quarter of the season. It's hard to maintain a high level of success for 13-14 games. Ask the 2012 K-State Wildcats, who also ran out of steam late in the year.

Manny (Lubbock): I like the overall nonconference schedule next year. Big 12 stepped it up a couple notches.

Jake Trotter: I like it, too, except the Big 12 might also get its head kicked in. WV-Bama, OSU-Florida State, Texas-UCLA, K-State-Auburn... If the Big 12 went 2-2 in those games, it would be a banner nonconference performance.

rtXC1 (Denison, TX): I think Jameis Winston showed Clint Chelf how to have a game-winning drive last night. Gotta dink and dunk and take what is open instead of forcing the ball downfield.

Jake Trotter: Don't blame Chelf. He led OSU on a potential game-winning drive in Bedlam, and on the drive before the fumble against Missouri. OSU's defense, which was great all season, collapsed both times when it really mattered.

Bonnie (Claire, West Virginia): How big of a hit did the SEC take when Alabama lost to Oklahoma and Auburn lost to Florida State?

Jake Trotter: The SEC didn't build its reputation on two games. It won't lose it in two games, either. The gap, however, was definitely narrowed to some degree this bowl season.

Big 12's lunch links

December, 31, 2013
12/31/13
12:00
PM ET
The final day of 2013 is upon us. Here's the latest from the Big 12.

Big 12 Week 15: Did you know?

December, 6, 2013
12/06/13
10:00
AM ET
It's the final regular season edition of stats and tidbits courtesy of ESPN Stats and Information and various SIDs around the conference. Did you know …
  • Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf has sparked the Cowboys offense. In Chelf’s last five starts, the Cowboys have averaged 47.8 points per game and have outscored opponents by 28.4 points per game.
  • Chelf completed 9-of-13 passes thrown 15 yards or longer against Baylor. His nine completions and 278 yards on such passes were the most by a Big 12 player this season.
  • Chelf has had an FBS-high 94.4 opponent-adjusted QBR since Nov. 1. During that time, Oklahoma State defeated three opponents ranked in the top 25 of the BCS standings and Chelf has been responsible for 15 touchdowns and 305.8 total yards per game.
  • Oklahoma State has scored a touchdown on 92 percent of its red-zone drives in the last five games, third best in the FBS since the start of Week 9. From Weeks 1-8, the Cowboys scored a touchdown on 64.5 percent of their red-zone opportunities, 51st among FBS teams.
  • Oklahoma State has nine interceptions on passes thrown 15 yards or longer, tied with Kansas State for most in the Big 12.
  • On Saturday, Oklahoma State is looking to win its 51st game in five years.
  • OSU can finish undefeated at home for just the 12th time in school history and improve to 18-1 in its last 19 games at Boone Pickens Stadium.
  • OSU has scored 20 or more points in 50 straight games, a streak that started at the beginning of the 2010 season. It’s the longest active streak in the country.
  • OSU has won or tied the turnover battle in 19 of its last 22 games and has forced at least one turnover in its last 19 contests.
  • OSU’s undefeated November was its first since 1945 when the Cowboys went 9-0 and won the Sugar Bowl.
  • OSU outscored opponents 181-70 in November, earning wins over three ranked teams in the process (Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor).
  • Oklahoma has a Big 12-low 60 missed tackles this season, 11 fewer than any other Big 12 team.
  • Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is 7-1 in head-to-head meetings with Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy.
  • OU is looking to score 40 points for three straight games for the first time this season. The Sooners averaging 31.7 points per game after averaging 38.2 points per game in 2012.
  • OU’s defense has allowed 10 points and 33 rushing yards in its last two games combined (wins over Iowa State and Kansas State).
  • OU is 4-0 when senior running back Brennan Clay rushes for 100 yards or more.
  • With a win the Sooners would join Alabama, Oregon and Stanford as teams from BCS conferences with four straight seasons with at least 10 wins.
  • OU is 11-3 in December under Stoops.
  • The Sooners are 12-8 on the road against ranked opponents under Stoops.
  • OU is 38-7-5 all-time against OSU in Stillwater.
  • OU and OSU are the Big 12’s winningest teams in conference play since 2008. OU is 38-12 while OSU is 37-13.
  • The Texas-Baylor series dates back to 1901 and Saturday’s meeting will be the 103rd battle between the two teams.
  • Texas coach Mack Brown is 13-2 against Baylor.
  • UT has allowed 3.4 yards per carry in its last eight games after allowing seven yards per carry to BYU and Ole Miss earlier this season.
  • UT has 14 seasons of eight or more wins during 15 seasons under Brown. The Longhorns had six seasons of eight or more wins in the previous 15 years.
  • UT has scored 30 or more points in seven of its last eight games.
  • This year’s UT-BU matchup is the first time both teams are ranked since 1990.
  • UT has held Baylor to 14 points or fewer in 9 of 15 meetings under Brown.
  • Baylor has 26 touchdowns on drives that lasted 1 minute or less, six more than any other team. However, the Bears only have one such touchdown in their past two games.
  • Even with its recent struggles, Baylor’s offense leads the nation in total offense (635.1 yards per game), scoring (55.4 points per game) and passing yards per completion (17.81).
  • Baylor will wear Nike retro uniforms to honor the first team to play in Floyd Casey Stadium against Texas. It is the final game at Floyd Casey, where the Bears are 190-146-5 all-time.
  • Baylor leads the FBS in plays (53) and touchdowns (28) of 30 yards or longer.
  • BU running back Lache Seastrunk has made it at least 5 yards past the line of scrimmage before first contact on 36 percent of his rushes, the highest percentage among AQ running backs with at least 75 carries.
  • Bryce Petty has 25 completions on passes thrown 25 yards or longer, five more than any other AQ quarterback. He also leads all AQ quarterbacks with 13 touchdowns on such passes.
  • In conference play, Texas’ opponents have had a 35.9 Total QBR, tied for second best in the Big 12. In nonconference games, Texas’ opponents have had a 78.0 Total QBR, worst in the Big 12.
  • BU is looking to close Floyd Casey with a 10th straight win at home, a school record.
  • BU is 14-2 in November and December since 2011.
  • The Bears are looking to win their third game in four seasons against UT for the first time since 1988-91.
  • Baylor’s starting defense has allowed 26 touchdowns in 11 games.
  • Baylor is fifth in the FBS and second in the Big 12 with 8.1 tackles for loss per game.
  • BU has converted 79 of 165 third down conversion attempts (47.9 percent), ranking No. 16 nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12.
  • Petty set a program record with 229 pass attempts without an interception until throwing one against TCU. Robert Griffin III was the previous record holder with 209.
  • Petty needs one game of 200 passing yards or more to break Griffin’s single season record of 12 set in 2011.
  • BU receiver Antawn Goodley needs one more touchdown catch to move into sole possession of second place on the single season list. He’ll tie Kendall Wright’s 14 with two more touchdown catches.
  • AP Top 25 teams are 0-5 at Floyd Casey Stadium during the past three seasons.
  • Baylor has the longest home win streak in the conference, having won nine straight in Waco.
Thanks for the questions during my chat. You can find the entire transcript here.

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.

Big 12: Oh so close ...

December, 4, 2013
12/04/13
10:30
AM ET
Oklahoma State is one loss away from being in the thick of the conversation for a Vizio BCS National Championship game berth, injuries and inexperience have slowed Baylor's rise to the top and Texas stood between itself and its chances to make a bigger statement on the national landscape. Even though these three schools' BCS dreams are no longer within their control, all three enter the last weekend of the regular season with the chance to become Big 12 champions.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Where it all started: The Cowboys opened the season as the Big 12 favorite and as the conference’s top-ranked team at No. 13 in the AP Top 25 and No. 14 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. OSU was expected to have one of the best teams in the nation, though it began the season behind two current unbeaten teams, Ohio State and Florida State.

Where it went wrong: Everything went wrong in the Cowboys' 30-21 loss to West Virginia on Sept. 28. OSU’s blocking was horrible, its running game was worse and its kicking game was so bad words cannot describe it. And, worst of all, senior quarterback Clint Chelf watched it all from the sidelines. It was a devastating loss that removed the Pokes’ right to complain about their BCS destiny from that point forward.

Where it got back on track: Things got moving in the right direction when Chelf replaced J.W. Walsh as the starter against Iowa State on Oct. 26. Since that point, OSU has averaged 47.8 points per game, winning by an average of 28.4 points. If the Cowboys had turned to Chelf against WVU, they could have entered this weekend undefeated and with a case to be in the BCS title game. A win over Oklahoma would give the Cowboys four wins over Top 25 teams since October.

Baylor Bears

Where it all started: The Bears began the season unranked but with murmurs that they could be the surprise team of the Big 12 Conference. They promptly reeled off nine straight wins behind one of the nation’s most explosive offenses to rise to No. 4 in the BCS standings, including a 41-12 win over Oklahoma on Nov. 7 that legitimized the team in many peoples' eyes. In doing so, Baylor sent a clear message to the nation that the program is going to make noise in the Big 12 in 2013 and beyond.

Where it went wrong: Baylor simply did not have any answers on a chilly night in Stillwater, Okla., two weeks ago. The Cowboys overwhelmed a Bears squad handcuffed by injuries to some of its top players. It was a game that showed as far as the program has come, there’s still a ways to go and valuable experience to gain that could be used to get over that hump in the future.

Where it got back on track: Has it? The Bears rebounded after the loss to OSU with a 41-38 win over TCU last Saturday but their offense has taken a clear step backward in recent weeks. Over past two games, the Bears are averaging 29 points per game and 4.73 yards per play. During their nine-game win streak to start the season, they averaged 61.2 points per game and 8.52 yards per play. Baylor can prove those performances were just a small blip on the radar with an impressive win over Texas on Saturday, which would secure a share of the Big 12 title or even an outright championship with an OSU loss.

Texas Longhorns

Where it all started: Texas coach Mack Brown sincerely believed his team had a chance to win every game it played this season. The Longhorns were No. 15 in both preseason polls, and all the ingredients were there on paper: A nation-leading 19 returning starters, a fairly favorable schedule and a wide-open Big 12. If junior quarterback David Ash enjoyed the breakout season he anticipated, the Longhorns believed a conference title and a BCS bowl trip were well within reach.

Where it went wrong: A rough night in Provo, Utah. After storms delayed kickoff nearly two hours, Texas took the field against BYU on Sept. 7 and got absolutely whooped, 40-21. The Longhorns defense gave up a school-record 550 rushing yards, 259 coming from QB Taysom Hill, and completely collapsed. Ash suffered a concussion that eventually ended his season after just 2.5 games. Brown fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz that Sunday and replaced him with Greg Robinson. Texas then lost at home the following week to Ole Miss to drop to 1-2.

Where it got back on track: The first step was a 31-21 win over defending Big 12 champ Kansas State, ending a five-game losing streak to the Wildcats. But the big break was Texas finally beating Oklahoma for the first time in four years. The Longhorns stunned then-No. 12 OU 36-20 on Oct. 12 and went on to start 6-0 in the Big 12 before losing to Oklahoma State. The key to that run? Solid play from Case McCoy, a new run-heavy, physical identity on offense and steady improvement defensively since Robinson took over. Now the Longhorns can earn at least a share of the conference title they coveted, and maybe the whole thing, with a win over No. 9 Baylor.

Roundtable: Debating Big 12 storylines

November, 25, 2013
11/25/13
3:00
PM ET
With only two weeks left to the regular season, we debate some pressing questions, including the Big 12’s most underrated player and which of many injuries to key players had the biggest impact on the conference season:

Is there anyone else who should be considered for Big 12 offensive player of the year and/or All-Big 12 quarterback, other than Baylor's Bryce Petty?

[+] EnlargeKye Staley, Clint Chelf
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesOklahoma State's Clint Chelf got a late start, but is finishing strong.
Jake Trotter: Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf should be considered. Chelf has been on fire here down the stretch. Will it be enough to unseat Petty, who has put up big numbers all year? Probably not. After all, Chelf watched two-and-a-half Big 12 games from the sidelines. But the fact he’s even entered this conversation underscores just how phenomenal he’s been since taking over the starting job in mid-October.

Brandon Chatmon: His strongest competition for offensive player of the year is Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett. Imagine the Wildcats' season if Lockett was healthy and available for games against Oklahoma State and Baylor. He combined for 25 receptions for 515 yards against Texas and Oklahoma, so I’m guessing he would have stepped up against the Cowboys and Bears as well.

Max Olson: A case can be made for Chelf, who ranks No. 4 nationally in adjusted QBR since becoming Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback. He might be the favorite had Mike Gundy given him the job earlier. But Petty is still No. 1 for now. If Texas Tech hadn’t fallen into its four-game slump and was just a game or two back in the Big 12 race, Jace Amaro would merit consideration.

Who at this moment is your Big 12 defensive player of the year?

Trotter: Oklahoma State middle linebacker Caleb Lavey has been the heart and soul of the top defense in the Big 12. He’s also had a fabulous season, ranking fifth in the league in tackles and tackles for loss and tied for second in interceptions. To me, he’s been the defensive player of the year in this league.

Chatmon: No player has clearly cemented himself as the favorite for this award, but I’m going with Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert. He’s taken his game to another level as a senior with six interceptions, returning two for scores against Iowa State and Texas. After a subpar junior year, he’s been all business as a senior.

Olson: There’s still time for a new favorite to rise to the top of the heap, but right now I’d go with the best player of the best defense in the Big 12. To me, that’s Gilbert. Not just because of his six interceptions, but because he’s playing at an elite level against elite competition this month. If Gilbert shuts down the Sooners, I’m fine with him winning the honor.

Who is the most underrated player in the league?

[+] EnlargeTyler Lockett
Jasen VinloveUSA TODAY SportsKansas State's Tyler Lockett averages 162.2 all-purpose yards per game.
Trotter: Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett might not get any votes for Big 12 offensive player of the year, but he should be on everyone’s ballot for All-Big 12 wide receiver alongside Baylor’s Antwan Goodley. Lockett has always been a tremendous returner. But he’s developed into a tremendous receiver, too. He leads the Big 12 with 162.2 all-purpose yards per game. Nobody else even comes close to that.

Chatmon: His team struggled, but West Virginia’s Charles Sims did not. The Houston transfer has been one of the Big 12’s toughest players to defend with his ability to gain tough yards, break the big run and catch the ball out of the backfield from his running back spot. He’s averaged 5.8 yards per touch from the line of scrimmage this season.

Olson: He’s one of the Big 12’s best, but I can’t help but think that Ryan Mueller doesn’t get enough attention. The Kansas State defensive end now has 10.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss, and he’ll likely finish in the top 10 nationally in both categories. He’s a worthy candidate for DPOY, but because K-State fell off the national radar early on this season, he still seems a bit underappreciated.

Which one injury had the biggest impact on this Big 12 season?

Trotter: I don’t think Baylor would have won at Oklahoma State with just one of its injured players, and I doubt the Bears will lose again without any of them, either. So I’ll go with Oklahoma linebacker Corey Nelson. The Sooners were playing great defense early in the season with Nelson leading the way. After he suffered the season-ending pectoral tear, they were never the same on that side of the ball, especially the following week against Texas.

Chatmon: It would have been interesting to see if Baylor could have finished off its dream season with a healthy Lache Seastrunk. I think Saturday’s result proved the Bears running back, not Petty, was the foundation that the Bears’ offense was built upon. Shock Linwood is a superb player and appears to be a future star, but he’s not Lache Seastrunk.

Olson: I agree with Brandon on Seastrunk for the same reasons he laid out. Two more worth mentioning: Losing the always reliable and speedy Tevin Reese has been a setback for Baylor. The way he can stretch a defense and stress a defense created lots of opportunities all over the field for the Bears. And we'll never know how much David Ash could have helped Texas, as he seemed poised for a big year.

Big 12 Week 13: Did you know?

November, 22, 2013
11/22/13
10:00
AM ET
Another edition of interesting stats and tidbits thanks to SID departments around the Big 12 region and ESPN Stats and Information. Did you know …
  • Baylor is 9-0 for the first time in program history.
  • The Bears offense leads the NCAA in points scored (61.2), yards (684.8), yards per play (8.52) and yards per pass attempt (12.49).
  • The Bears defense has 12 interceptions and has allowed just 13 passing touchdowns.
  • BU’s starting defense has allowed 14 touchdowns in nine games.
  • Baylor has outscored opponents 354-76 in the first half of nine games. Their average halftime score is 39.3 to 6.4.
  • Baylor’s No. 3 AP ranking is its highest since 1953 when it was No. 3 as well.
  • BU in ninth in the country and No. 1 in the Big 12 with 300.3 rushing yards per game.
  • BU ranks No. 7 nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12 in scoring defense, allowing 17.4 points per game.
  • BU ranks No. 11 nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12 in total defense, allowing 322.4 yards per outing.
  • Baylor is looking to win its third straight Big 12 road game for the first time ever.
  • Baylor ranks No. 2 nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12 with 8.6 tackles for loss per game.
  • Baylor has scored touchdowns on 70 of 129 drives (54.2 percent), including 60 touchdowns on 100 drives by its starting offense.
  • John Morris, the voice of the Bears, will call his 300th Baylor football game on Saturday.
  • Bears quarterback Bryce Petty ranks No. 3 nationally and leads the Big 12 with a 91.9 adjusted QBR (on a scale of 100 with 50 being average).
  • Petty leads the nation in passing yards per attempt (12.84) and passing yards per completion (19.68).
  • BU receiver Antawn Goodley leads the Big 12 with 1,075 receiving yards.
  • Oklahoma State has won 16 of its last 17 home games including eight straight in Boone Pickens Stadium.
  • This week will be the fourth time OSU has hosted ESPN’s College GameDay, the first time for a game other than its annual Bedlam tilt against Oklahoma and the first since 2010.
  • OSU has scored 20 or more points in 49 straight games.
  • Since 2005, OSU has won 18 straight games when the Cowboys have not committed a turnover.
  • OSU has three defenders who have started at least 36 straight games. Linebacker Shaun Lewis (42), linebacker Caleb Lavey (36) and safety Daytawion Lowe (36).
  • OSU is 15-2 in the Cowboys last 17 games against Baylor.
  • The Cowboys have allowed eight sacks this season, which leads the league.
  • OSU coach Mike Gundy, assistant coaches Kasey Dunn and Joe Wickline coached at Baylor during their coaching careers. Gundy in 1996 as the Bears’ quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, Dunn in 2007 as receivers’ coach and Wickline in 1997-98 as offensive line coach.
  • OSU leads the nation with 19 interceptions.
  • The Cowboys defense leads the Big 12 in third down conversion percentage (32 percent) and opponent adjusted QBR at 22.1.
  • OSU’s defense has held opposing offenses to three yards or less on 185 of 343 first-down plays this season (53.9 percent of the time).
  • OSU ranks among the top 10 nationally in explosive plays allowed this season. The Cowboys have allowed 30 plays of 20 yards or more in 10 games this season, tied for ninth nationally with Bowling Green and Louisville.
  • Kansas State’s 2013 senior class is poised to become the first class since 2003 to appear in four straight bowl games.
  • KSU has outscored opponents 62-17 in the fourth quarter of the Wildcats’ last four games and the Wildcats averaged 6.6 yards per play during that span.
  • K-State has quietly rattled off four straight wins to improve to 6-4 on the season. The Wildcats forced just six turnovers and were minus-9 in turnover margin during their first six games. But during the four game win streak, K-State has forced 11 turnovers, and are plus-6 in TO margin.
  • The Wildcats are 144-27 when scoring first since 1990, including 11-1 in the past two seasons.
  • KSU is 27-6 in Manhattan, Kan., since Bill Snyder returned in 2009.
  • KSU defensive end Ryan Mueller can tie the single-season school record with a sack against Oklahoma on Saturday. He also needs two tackles for loss to tie for 10th in a single season in school history.
  • Jack Cantele's game-winning 41-yard field goal was KSU’s first game-winning field goal since Jim Jackson hit a 17-yarder to beat Colorado on Nov. 22, 1980.
  • Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops can become the Sooners’ all-time winningest coach with a victory on Saturday. He’s currently tied at 157 career wins with Barry Switzer.
  • Stoops is 7-2 against Bill Snyder and is 4-0 in Manhattan.
  • OU’s seniors can earn their sixth Big 12 win for the fourth time in their careers against KSU.
  • OU has averaged 287.2 rushing yards in five Big 12 wins this season.
  • OU has four kick returns for touchdowns this season, including Jalen Saunders' 91-yard punt return for a score against Iowa State.
  • OU has won nine straight games against teams it suffered a loss against during the previous season.
  • Kansas is looking for its first Big 12 road win since 2008 when they travel to Ames, Iowa, to play ISU.
  • Since James Sims' freshman season in 2010, no Big 12 back has rushed for more yards. He has 3,396 rushing yards during that span.
  • OSU quarterback Clint Chelf's 97.3 adjusted QBR against Texas was second nationally in Week 12 behind Toledo’s Terrance Owens' 98.4 against Buffalo.
  • KU is 7-7-1 in 15 games played on Nov. 23, including a 396-yard rushing performance from Tony Sands, the best single-game rushing performance in program history.
  • KU leads the series against ISU in Ames, 22-21-3.
  • ISU is looking to win its fourth straight game against Kansas for the first time since 1986-89.
  • ISU senior safety Jacques Washington is 10 tackles away from reaching the 300-career tackle mark. Only two Cyclones defensive backs have achieved the feat thus far, Mark DouBrava (334) and Mike Schwartz (319).
  • ISU has started one senior on offense on two separate occasions this season (Texas Tech, Oklahoma).
  • ISU linebacker Jeremiah George is averaging 12.1 tackles per game, in Big 12 play only, which leads the league.
  • Baylor will look to win its first road game against an AP-ranked opponent since November 2, 1991 at Arkansas (36 straight losses). Oklahoma State is 11th in the AP poll this week. Its average margin of defeat is 26.3 points.
  • OSU against Baylor is just the fourth Big 12 matchup between top-10 teams in the BCS since 2009. If recent history is any indicator, expect a blowout. Each of the previous three games were decided by at least 29 points.
  • This will be the first Big 12 game between two BCS top-ten teams -- neither of whom are Oklahoma or Texas -- since second-ranked Texas Tech beat ninth-ranked Oklahoma State 56-20 back in 2008.
  • Both of these teams have a knack for scoring in non-conventional ways. Baylor has seven non-offensive TD this season, tied for most in the FBS (North Texas, Florida State also have seven). Oklahoma State has six. The Cowboys have 24 non-offensive TD since 2010, second in the FBS in that span (Oregon, 26).
  • Bryce Petty is completing 50 percent of his passes thrown 20 yards or longer, a higher completion percentage than former Baylor quarterbacks Robert Griffin III in 2011 (48.5 percent) and Nick Florence in 2012 (42.5 percent). He has at least three completions of this distance in each of his past seven games, the longest streak for any player in the last three seasons.
  • Petty will face an Oklahoma State defense that has allowed the second-lowest completion percentage on throws of this distance among AQ conference schools.

Big 12 predictions: Week 13

November, 21, 2013
11/21/13
9:00
AM ET
So, I received this email from Charlie “Bear” Boyd, last week’s guest picker:
I do not know how you pulled off that Kansas pick, but you better believe I will be launching an all-out investigation to see if there was any foul play involved. Seriously, though, well done! You were probably one of five people in the known universe who picked Kansas to beat West Virginia. Props where props are due.

I cannot confirm or deny whether foul play was involved. But Charlie is right about one thing -- props are due.

Like Clint Chelf in his return as Oklahoma State’s quarterback, I’m back with a vengeance in the picks following a sparkling 5-0 week. Sources have told ESPN that KU officials are planning to erect statues of both me and Charlie Weis outside Memorial Stadium to commemorate the West Virginia victory.

Can I keep the train rolling against this week’s guest picker, Wichita, Kan., resident Drew Hays?
Hey, I’m currently wrapping up my masters in sports management at Wichita State, however I graduated undergrad at Oklahoma State in 2012. I currently work in baseball, for an American Association Independent Baseball team called the Wichita Wingnuts (#GoNuts)! Currently, we are in our offseason, which means I get to sit around the house all-day on Saturday's doing nothing but watching football. You were one of two people that had the Jayhawks winning last weekend (very impressive pick I might add) -- my girlfriend was the other one. As a big Jayhawks fan, she likes to constantly remind me that her team beat the team that beat my team. So pick this Wingnut as your guest picker, so I can silence my girlfriend (until Marcus Smart does backflips again in Allen Fieldhouse).

Good luck silencing your girlfriend, Drew. Hope you have better luck than me with my wife (don’t worry, I got permission before writing that).

This weekend, Brandon and I will be in Stillwater manning the game of the week in college football. It should be a good one.

To the Week 12 picks:

SEASON RECORD

Trotter last week: 5-0 (1.000)

Guest picker (Charlie “Bear”) last week: 4-1 (.800)

Trotter overall: 52-15 (.776)

Guest picker overall: 38-12 (.760)

Kansas State 31, Oklahoma 24: An early start with a freshman quarterback (Trevor Knight) with two more key offensive players (RB Damien Williams and WR Lacoltan Bester) out against a well-coached team? This is a tough spot for the Sooners. K-State is on a roll and playing with confidence, while 13 weeks into the season, Oklahoma is still trying to find its footing offensively. Even if QB Trevor Knight shines again, which he does, the Sooners lack the adequate firepower around him to keep up. Instead, K-State drops off 30 for the fifth straight week to thwart Bob Stoops’ attempt to break the Oklahoma record for coaching victories. With a road trip to Stillwater and the bowl game (Holiday Bowl?) all that’s remaining, it could be awhile before Stoops breaks that record, too.

Drew’s pick: Did anyone honestly think I would pick the dark side? The Cats are hot right now, and while the Sooners won’t make this easy, Jack Cantele nails another fourth-quarter field goal to start the party in Aggieville. K-State, 30-27



Kansas 28, Iowa State 24: Usually this time of year, the Jayhawks are the only ones in full basketball mode. But last week, Iowa State fans stormed the court after a home victory over Michigan (come on, guys, it’s November). Then again, given how south this season has gone in Ames, it’s understandable. Meanwhile, James Sims shows again why he’s one of the best running backs in the Big 12, while QB Montell Cozart makes enough plays with his feet to give Kansas -- that’s right -- the third-longest winning streak in the Big 12.

Drew’s pick: As an OSU fan, seeing anyone play a night game at Jack Trice Stadium makes me feel queasy. I don’t expect a repeat performance from Sims from last week, and Iowa State holds on for its first Big 12 win. This pick ensures I will be in the doghouse with my girlfriend for at least a week, but probably longer. Iowa State, 24-17



Baylor 49, Oklahoma State 45: Baylor coach Art Briles said this week that the Bears have played in comparable road environments this season. In actuality, Baylor has only played at Kansas State during the day and Kansas at night. A sold-out Stillwater, with “College GameDay” in town, will be a completely different animal. Especially against these Cowboys, who seem to be improving with every passing week. Especially against this veteran Oklahoma State defense, which is the class of the Big 12. This Baylor offense, however, is the class of college football. And with Levi Norwood emerging at wideout and Lache Seastrunk back to flank Shock Linwood in the backfield, the Bears outgun Oklahoma State in a Big 12 thriller to solidify their No. 3 ranking ahead of Ohio State in the BCS standings.

Drew’s pick: First, I would like to thank the Baylor faithful for returning almost your entire ticket allotment back to OSU. This will only make Boone Pickens Stadium louder. Behind the home crowd, "Choo-Choo" Chelf and Desmond Roland establish the run game early and the Oklahoma State defense keeps forcing turnovers, as the Cowboys prevail in another wild Stillwater shootout. OSU, 45-42

Big 12 lunchtime links

November, 19, 2013
11/19/13
12:00
PM ET
A look at the big plays in the Big 12 in Week 12.

Big 12 weekend rewind: Week 12

November, 18, 2013
11/18/13
11:00
AM ET
Taking stock of Week 12 in the Big 12:

[+] EnlargeCharlie Weis
John Rieger/USA TODAY SportsKansas and coach Charlie Weis were finally able to celebrate a Big 12 win on Saturday, ending a 27-game conference losing skid.
Team of the week: Oklahoma State was dominant in its 38-13 victory at Texas. But team of the week honors go to Kansas, which finally snapped a 27-game Big 12 losing streak with a 31-19 victory over West Virginia. The Jayhawks snapped the streak with authority, too, leading the Mountaineers 31-7 at one point in the fourth quarter. Kansas had been showing mild improvement throughout the season but couldn’t string together a performance over the course of an entire game. Saturday, Charlie Weis’ bunch finally did just that, giving the Jayhawks something tangible to build off moving forward.

Disappointment of the week: The Longhorns had a chance to set up a de facto Big 12 title game with Baylor in the regular-season finale. Instead, Oklahoma State handed Texas its biggest home loss of the Mack Brown era. The Cowboys completely shut down the Texas offense, including quarterback Case McCoy, who threw three interceptions. Texas is still technically alive in the Big 12 title race. But Brown has a better chance of being the coach in Austin next year than Texas does of winning the Big 12 championship.

Big (offensive) men on campus: Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf, Kansas running back James Sims and Baylor receiver Levi Norwood.

Chelf delivered the second-highest adjusted QBR (97.3) of the weekend in college football while leading Oklahoma State to its biggest win of the season. He threw for 197 yards and ran for another 95 while accounting for four touchdowns.

Sims was phenomenal against West Virginia, with 211 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries. His 68-yard scoring run 28 seconds before halftime proved to be the pivotal play in the game. Sims (914 yards) trails only West Virginia’s Charles Sims (946 yards) for the Big 12 rushing title.

Norwood picked up where Tevin Reese left off. With Reese out with a dislocated wrist, Norwood exploded against Texas Tech with 156 yards receiving. Norwood also had touchdown receptions of 40 and 58 yards and a 58-yard punt-return touchdown.

Big (defensive) men on campus: Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert and Kansas linebacker Ben Goodman.

Gilbert had maybe the finest game of his career, picking off McCoy twice. Gilbert leads the Big 12 with six interceptions.

Goodman halted a potential West Virginia scoring drive in the third quarter. He picked off quarterback Paul Millard at the line of scrimmage, then rumbled 54 yards to the Mountaineers' 14-yard line. Sims capitalized on the turnover with a 2-yard touchdown that put the Jayhawks up 24-7.

Special-teams players of the week: Kansas State kicker Jack Cantele and Oklahoma returner Jalen Saunders.

Cantele had never attempted a game-winning field goal before. But when the time came, he delivered, nailing a 41-yard kick with three seconds remaining to lift the Wildcats to a 33-31 win over TCU. Cantele converted his other three field-goal attempts, too, and the Wildcats needed every one of them.

With Iowa State leading OU 10-3 in the second quarter, Saunders broke off a 91-yard punt return TD to tie the game. The Sooners scored 45 unanswered points the rest of the way to rout the Cyclones.

Play of the week: Late in the second quarter of Oklahoma State's victory at Texas, Gilbert intercepted a McCoy pass intended for Kendall Sanders (who decommitted from Oklahoma State to sign with the Longhorns) and then raced 43 yards for his second pick-six of the season. The play put the Cowboys up 28-10 just 18 seconds before halftime, and Oklahoma State was firmly in control the rest of the way.

Stat of the week: Baylor now has six 60-point games this season. The only other FBS team with more than two is Ohio State, which has three.

Quote of the week: “I've warned them, this is different than the Big East. The days of just showing up and playing [are over].” -- West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, after his team became bowl-ineligible after a loss to Kansas

Five things OSU exposed against Texas

November, 18, 2013
11/18/13
10:00
AM ET
AUSTIN, Texas -- There were plenty of reasons for Texas' meltdown and 38-13 home loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, and some of them may tell us a lot about how these Longhorns will fare in big tests to finish out the regular season. Here are five things the Cowboys exposed about this Texas team on Saturday:

1. There’s zero room for error

[+] EnlargeMack Brown
AP Photo/Michael ThomasMack Brown and the Longhorns got their first Big 12 loss of the season on Saturday.
For a team that ran off six straight victories in the Big 12, Texas was reminded that countless mistakes prove costly against good opponents.

The Longhorns started off horribly at West Virginia and got away with it. Case McCoy threw six interceptions during the streak but got away with it. Texas had to run the ball 50 times a game to win and still got away with it.

Its defense seemingly made tangible weekly improvement but also faced only one top-50 scoring offense along the way, a Kansas State unit that’s playing far better today than it was in September. Texas’ defensive line wrecked the Mountaineers but couldn’t find any semblance of a consistent pass rush to hurry Clint Chelf.

And imagine if Mike Gundy hadn’t backed his Cowboys off in the second half. This was a pure meltdown that could’ve been much worse. Credit Texas’ players for the 6-0 start they engineered in Big 12 play, but they learned just how little room for error they have in big games with the way this team is currently constructed.

Mack Brown's team might get away with stuff against a Texas Tech team that has lost four in a row. But these Longhorns would have to play a near-perfect ballgame to stand a chance of going four quarters with Baylor.

2. Small-play offense

There was just way too much dink-and-dunk going on with this offense against OSU, which is probably a product of injuries, a restrained approach with McCoy at the helm, his own checkdowns and a stout Cowboy defense.

McCoy had one completion of 15-plus yards on the day. He completed four or more for 15-plus in each of Texas’ past five games. Without Johnathan Gray, Texas managed just two rushes of more than 10 yards. When this offense was trying to take shots and mount a rally in the third quarter, only three plays gained more than 10 yards.

Against OSU, Texas faced second down and 6-plus a total of 17 times and third down and 6-plus on nine occasions, putting a team that’s overly dependent on the run into too many difficult spots. The kind of spots that can’t always be solved by screen passes.

3. Pass defense doesn’t pass test

The Texas secondary has avoided scrutiny for the most part this season, but that unit didn’t challenge Chelf and his receivers much on Saturday. Safety Mykkele Thompson snagged his first career interception when Chelf threw into double coverage. That was the high point.

Chelf averaged 8.95 yards per attempt and gained first downs or touchdowns on 45 percent of his throws. And he only had to throw the ball 22 times to pick apart Texas. Getting no pass rush up front didn’t help Duane Akina’s crew, but then again, none of his DBs recorded a pass breakup.

If you take a quick skim of the box score, you’ll see the Cowboys had 197 passing yards and no completion longer than 29 and you might call that a mild success for “DBU.” But again, that’s only because OSU had no need to throw the ball in the second half. Not when trading punts ensured an easy victory. Texas Tech and Baylor won’t be so merciful.

4. Special teams struggling

Disclaimer: Anthony Fera has hit 17 of his 18 field goal attempts this season. He should be a Lou Groza finalist. He’s that good, and he’s basically beyond reproach at this point compared to the rest of the Longhorns’ special teams foibles.

The kick returns are ineffective, none worse than a botched reverse that put Texas at its own 6 to start the second half. The kickoff defense isn’t any better. Bad starting field position hurt Texas a number of times.

And the returners are in a real funk. Daje Johnson might be sitting a few of those out going forward. He can break a big one ever so often, but he’s also liable to drop one at any moment. And his longest kickoff return against OSU went 18 yards. That’s a problem.

When Fera agreed to transfer to Texas from Penn State, Brown proudly declared that Texas could have some of the best special teams in the country. Surely, he’s not saying that right now.

5. The QB run still works

Kudos to Gundy and his staff for recognizing a weakness in the Texas defense and exploiting it. Its defensive linemen aren’t particularly adept at playing the read-option offense with consistent success, and the Cowboys knew Chelf would have some nice run lanes if OSU could get Texas’ linebackers spread out over the field and out of position.

Chelf picked up gains of 14, 22 and 18 yards on the ground, and those were just on his first four rushing attempts. He finished the day with 95 yards and two scores running the ball.

Baker Mayfield has three rushing scores this season. Bryce Petty has 10. You know Texas Tech and Baylor will both find ways to test the Longhorn defense with their feet.

Texas has no answers in loss to OSU

November, 16, 2013
11/16/13
10:18
PM ET
Texas graphicESPN Stats & Information It's been five years and counting since Texas last beat a top-25 team at home.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas got handed a beatdown on Saturday. There’s no other fair way to put it.

In a game billed as one of the Big 12’s biggest of the season, between two teams streaking and in control of their conference title hopes, No. 12 Oklahoma State took control early and never let go in a 38-13 victory over the No. 24 Longhorns.

[+] EnlargeClint Chelf
Brendan Maloney/USA TODAY SportsQuarterback Clint Chelf accounted for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing) in the Cowboys' win over Texas.
The Cowboys handed coach Mack Brown the most lopsided home loss of his 16 years in Austin, and there was nothing fluky about it.

OSU won a big-time conference test with a stingy defense, a superior run game, far better special-teams play and three forced turnovers. All against a Texas team that had won six straight and truly believed it could play with the Big 12 title contenders.

“I’m disappointed,” Brown said. “I don’t get stunned about anything anymore.”

The Longhorns, who hadn’t lost in two months, never led in this game. They started slowly, rallied back to 14-10 and then gave the game away in a matter of only seven plays.

The first six came on a 67-yard touchdown drive sparked by a 29-yard pass from Clint Chelf to a wide-open Jhajuan Seales on third-and-10. Two plays later, Chelf sent a pass right into the hands of Texas safety Adrian Phillips that bounced off and into the grasp of receiver Tracy Moore for a 12-yard score.

“It’s just a play I have to make,” Phillips said. “I make that play every day. It just went through my hands. Sometimes when you roll the dice, it doesn’t go your way.”

Down 21-10 with 75 seconds left in the first half, Texas’ offensive coaches opted to roll the dice and go for a score. They got one. OSU corner Justin Gilbert baited Case McCoy into throwing an out that Gilbert picked off and returned 43 yards to the end zone.

“Yeah, I was forcing things. There’s no doubt about it,” McCoy said.

McCoy threw two more interceptions on the day, including one swiped by linebacker Caleb Lavey that the Cowboys turned into a 21-yard touchdown one play later. That was the final score of the day, and with 1:54 left in the third quarter, the game was over.

“The quarterback goes out and throws three picks, you’re not going to win the ballgame,” McCoy said. “It’s very rare that happens. So it’s on me, my team knows it’s on me and we’re going to get it fixed and go win.”

That's not to single out McCoy and Phillips. There were mistakes all over the field in this game, and OSU repeatedly capitalized. Texas had no answer in the second half. One field goal and no spark. No big plays, no momentum, no change. It hadn't faced that feeling in a long time.

And there’s not much to second-guess. Oklahoma State was the far superior team. Brown was asked afterward about his usage of freshman quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, which remains one of the great red herrings of Texas’ issues this season. Brown offered as honest an answer as he could have.

“You never make decisions when you’re tired and when you’re frustrated,” he said. “I’d say we’re both tonight.”

The clichés his players will lean on after this one -- about 24-hour rules and not letting one loss become two -- are actually apt. Texas still has plenty to play for. This team needs help to get to the Fiesta Bowl, yes. But Texas (7-3, 6-1 Big 12) gets more than 10 days to prepare for a Thanksgiving meeting with Texas Tech. Win that one and it'll still be in the thick of things with a trip to Waco on the horizon.

For now, though, all the Longhorns can worry about is fixing themselves. They made things far too easy for a talented Oklahoma State team that had very little trouble doing what it wanted to do in.

Brown wasn’t ready to assign much blame after the game. A thorough film session is needed before he can reach some conclusions, and he knows this season isn’t over yet.

“There’s a lot of football to be played,” Brown said. “You just can’t get your head down and lay down and quit when you have a bad night. You have to go back to work.”

There’s plenty of work to be done, even after the two-month run this team was on. Texas got its big moment on Saturday and got flat-out beat. Its Big 12 title hopes took a blow. We’ll know in two weeks whether it was a fatal one.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Texas All Access: Best of Coaches Wired
During Spring practice the Texas coaching staff prepared the Longhorns for the 2014 season.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video