RED RIVER ROUNDUP
ALEX CHINERY Monday 2nd November
Welcome to our weekly round up of life in the BIG XII Conference.
Here are this weeks headlines….
October 1962; the Cold War is well underway. The Soviet Union responds to the United States stockpiling nuclear warheads in Turkey and Italy by placing their own in Cuba, just 90 miles from the Florida coast. These missiles – placed under a policy of mutually assured destruction – made sure that if one country launched a missile, the other would respond, creating catastrophic damage to both countries. Luckily after a month of tense negotiations, the countries agreed to disarm both facilities.
Fast forward to 2020, and mutually assured destruction has once again reared its ugly head. With each top team in the Big 12 conference managing to beat each other, they have likely destroyed any hopes of a College Football Playoff spot for the Conference Champion. What it has left us with however, is a fascinating race for the two spots in the Big 12 Championship Game. With four teams fighting to fill them, the ending to this season is not to be missed.
Texas Beats #6 Oklahoma State in OT Classic
The best regular season classics in college football history often come without warning. Think of Purdue’s rout of Ohio State a few years back. Or the 10 OT thriller between LSU and Texas A&M. Well on Saturday, Stillwater bore witness to one of these classics. Lead changes, comebacks and big plays punctuated a fascinating match up between two conference heavyweights.
Texas would emerge victorious, lead by the behemouth edge rusher Joseph Ossai, whose herculean performance saw him total 3 sacks, 6 TFL a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. The third of those sacks was the game winner, as he chased OSU QB Spencer Sanders down on fourth and long with the game on the line.
What an absolutely perfect way for that game to end.— Jeff Barker (@JeffBarker_) November 1, 2020
Joseph Ossai is a freaking monster. His 3rd sack of the game wins it for Texas.
41-34 in OT. Wow. pic.twitter.com/U0k7QowIoy
Sanders himself had a phenomenal day, passing for 400 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Cowboys offense continues to roll. Almost half of his air yards were from passes to star receiver Tylan Wallace, who looked like a father playing against his son and his high school team mates for much of the afternoon. If the duo can continue to play like this, they will be serious contenders for the Big 12 Championship, even after this loss.
For Texas, this result continues to prove what we already knew. This is a team reliant on its two superstars. When they shine, like they did in this one, then Texas wins games. However for this team to be taken seriously as a championship contender, others need to step up.
West Virginia Hand Kansas State First Conference Loss
Junior quarterback Jarrett Doege threw for three touchdowns as West Virginia put up almost 500 yards of offense in an upset win over a Kansas State team previously unbeaten in conference play. Since losing starting quarterback Skylar Thompson to injury, this Wildcats team hasn’t been quite as strong as it was at the beginning of the season – a fact that rang true in this game. Quarterback Will Howard threw three interceptions as the Kansas State offense couldn’t stay in the game.
The two-headed rushing monster of Alec Sinkfield and Leddie Brown provided great production for the Mountaineers offense. Totalling almost 200 yards between them they have continued to be a potent pairing for this offense, which is become one of the best in the conference. Sitting at 3-2 in conference play, WVU certainly has an outside shot of making the Big 12 Championship Game come the end of the season. They would need some monumental upsets to go their way, but it would be a lot of fun.
Big Wins For Iowa State and OU Show Big 12 Championship Credentials
When College Chaps guest Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica picked Iowa State to win the Big 12 Championship on College Gameday many were sceptical. A loss in the previous game against a fellow championship hopeful was worrying but not terminal. For the Cyclones they needed to get back to winning ways in style against the conference’s worst team, Kansas. Star running back and potential Heisman Trophy outsider Breece Hall once again totalled over 180 yards and two scores on the ground as the Jayhawks had no answer to the dynamic runner. Hall, returning to his home state, put on a show utilising both his elusiveness and big play potential to lead his side to a big win.
Over in Lubbock, Texas, Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson was also having a stellar day as he ran in three touchdowns in OU’s hammering of Texas Tech. The Las Vegas native has become a real weapon for OU in a season where he expected to be the third choice coming into the year.
Both of these programs have a shot at being in the Big 12 Championship game this season and their dominance against the lesser sides in the conference only strengthens their case.
1 from 4: Evaluating the Big 12 Championship Contenders
We are now at the half way mark of the Big 12 season and the race to appear in the Big 12 Championship Game is heating up. Despite some disastrous losses in the early season, the big 4 names of Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Iowa State are all still in contention. What’s more, with only two games between the contenders remaining, each team holds a tie breaker against one other team in this group of four. The race to finish in the top two spots is going to be fascinating.
First of the two huge games remaining is affectionately known as ‘Bedlam’. Taking place in Norman this year the matchup between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma could be a Big 12 Championship game preview. So often full of drama, a win for Oklahoma State would be huge in securing them a potential top two spot in the conference. Whereas for Oklahoma, winning is a must given they already have two losses. A fascinating quarterback matchup is sure to be the centre of attention.
Second, a week later, Iowa State head to Austin to face Texas. With the Longhorns big win against Oklahoma State keeping them in the Big 12 Championship race this is going to be a fascinating watch. In a similar way to Bedlam, an Iowa State win probably all but books their place in the title game, however a Texas win would really start to cause headaches.
With two games to go, I think we see Iowa State and Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Game. I think they both have enough to go on the road and win the two remaining big games. It will be nice for the title game to have a different feel to years past and reward the two programs who have been the best in the conference so far this year. A dark horse name to watch however is West Virginia, who face three of the big four in their last four games. Get two wins and they may find a way to sneak in. That’s the preview of the winding country roads of the Big 12 season that will take us home to the Big 12 Championship Game in December.
A texas and Green Bay Packers Fan alex is our head of football analytics, a college football and Nfl draft scout for the touchdown he will be popping up all over. he is also The host of the touchdowns Seven Step Drop NFL podcast and one third of the college chaps.