Sunday, October 23, 2016

Bilo's College Football PASS/FAIL Reports Week 8: Big 12

PASS: West Virginia, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State
Dana Holgorsen was headed for the chopping block after last season, but he now has the Mountaineers in prime position to win the Big 12 and play in the Final Four. Of course, there are still six games to play for WVU, so nobody wants to get that far out ahead right now, but the opportunity is there. Games against Oklahoma State (next week), Oklahoma, and Baylor are all still to come.
Don't look now, but Oklahoma owns the lead in the conference after a very difficult start to the season. The Sooners held on in a shoot out to beat Texas Tech 66-59, and their defense is a sieve, but after the way the season started, nobody could have expected Bob Stoops to have this team in this spot. Of course, some very tough games remain.
Oklahoma State almost got caught looking ahead to WVU next week, and allowed Kansas to hang on for a half. That was all it took to get the Cowboys moving, and they cruised after that. They cannot afford any letdowns against the Mountaineers in Stillwater next week. The Cowboys, are a game out, and are still in position to steal this race.
Kansas State is two games out after holding on to beat Texas 24-21 at home this week. The Wildcats, at 4-3, could, and should still go bowling this season, but they are in now way a contender at this point, and it's starting to feel like Bill Snyder is closer to leaving than staying for next season at this point. Just my hunch.

FAIL:  TCU, Texas Tech, Kansas, Texas
TCU is in a down year cycle. It happens, even to Gary Patterson, who is still one of the best coaches in college football. Don't read too much into the 24 point loss to West Virginia. It is simply one of those years in an otherwise stellar era in Fort Worth.
Texas Tech cannot say the same. I don't see any real way at this point where it would not shock me to see Kliff Kingsbury fired in the next several weeks. Texas Tech has nothing even pretending to have a defense, and that is failing him in every single way. What is worse is that he has made zero effort to fix this problem. That is a fireable offense right there. Tech is now just 3-4.
Kansas continues to fold in on the season, as they blew early leads in what turned into a heavy loss to Oklahoma State. The Jayhawks are a mess, have been a mess for years, and are 0-13 under David Beaty in the Big 12. He continues to be a terrible fit in Lawrence.
Texas just cannot seem to fix their issues. The defense has improved over the last two weeks, but the offense is now showing major deficiencies, averaging just 24 points per game over the last two weeks. Charlie Strong is fighting for his job, but the fight looks moot at this point.

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