In week 11, we saw Bill Snyder teach Kliff Kingsbury some tough lessons in Lubbock, as Wildcats claws clenched Red Raider neck early and often. Tech was choked out by halftime (35-10), Kingsbury's heat-molded coif came all undone, and these are teams moving in opposite directions. Snyder has taken a very average squad and maxed out potential in every category, which is a very Bill Snyder thing to do in November. Whereas reality has caught up quickly to Tech's depleted depth chart and smoke & mirros 7-0 start, now 7-3 with Baylor up next.
TCU can't be looking forward to visiting Manhattan after barely getting past Iowa State. And Paul Rhoads has to be considering a religious conversion as Ames slumpbustin just doesn't get you over the hump like it used to. I haven't checked the stats, but every Iowa State loss in the Paul Rhoads era seems to happen on the last drive in gutwrenching, Karo-swilling fashion. It also explains the deranged genius of Wide Right Natty Lite. None of these teams above are competing for a Big 12 title, so we're going to trim some fat and focus on the ones still in contention.
Texas 47 West Virginia 40
The Case Rules have been codified, challenged, re-examined, and now might as well be Commandment:
"Thou shalt crowd the line of scrimmage to force an early throw and not let wide receivers break clean."
That's it, really. Although I would submit this modification of DCLAW's offering to encase the metaphysical aspect:
"As Herp & Derp approach infinity, the odds of an incredibly unpredictable, spectacular, if not wholly fortunate play by Case McCoy, similarly rises."
These Commandments cover both the Known and Unknown with equal respect and shall not be challenged. (Especially by those with a UT engineering degree and have "DEEZY" in their user name.) More importantly, any outcoome is possible, meaning Texas could win 48-10 or lose by the same score come Saturday, without breaking either commandment.
Now the only question is which Big 12 DCs read the Internet. The blueprint is out there --conveniently ignored by OU and TCU, and well acknowledged by ISU, WVU, and Kansas. Let's hope the trend of quality DC's ignoring the Case Rules continues, unless your end goal is for Mack Brown to be fired. Conflicting times indeed for Texas fans, but one cannot say a ride on the Moxiewagon is ever boring.
Next up: Texas vs Oklahoma State | West Virginia @ Kansas
Oklahoma State 42 Kansas 9
Justin Gilbert returned the opening kickoff for a 100 yard TD and the Cowboys put this game on the Chelf. The Pokes QB completed 19 of 37 passes for 265 yards and 3 TDs. Kansas was able to rush the ball for 200 yards at 5 yards per carry but couldn't get anything done through the air. 5/20 on third downs is not a recipe for scoring. Despite controlling the clock to a nearly 2:1 advantage, the Jayhawks never scored a TD. Offensively, it was a pedestrian effort from the Cowboys, who punted 9 times and only rushed the ball for 85 yards. 70 plays for 385 total yards is not your typical Cowboys box score. Texas fans would be happy with a repeat performance, but they still won 42-9 without dominating statistically. Kansas Rules, imo. It doesn't take much to beat the Jayhawks.
Next Up: Okie St @ Texas | Kansas vs WVU
Baylor 41 Oklahoma 12
This wasn't the customary Baylor boatrace but it the end it didn't matter. Bryce Petty threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more. Third-string running back Shock Linwood ran for 182 yards. Given Baylor's 1-14 record against OU, some were skeptical of the 14 point cushion Vegas was spotting Baylor. It wasn't nearly enough and a lot of that had to do with Baylor's defense, which is much improved from last year's touchdown tolerant unit. The Bears crowd the line of scrimmage and jammed OU receivers, forcing Blake Bell to make quick decisions and throw accurate passes, neither of which he's good at. If this sounds familiar, it's because Baylor's base defense is basically the Case Rules Package, which doesn't bode well for Texas on 12/7. Baylor sustained some big injuries though, losing deep threat WR Tevin Reese for the season and both starting RBs, Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin, who got banged up with minor injuries and are day-to-day.
Like Will Muschamp's situation in Florida, the pressure is building on Bob Stoops and Josh Heupel in Norman to field a competent QB. Unfortunately one doesn't exist on either depth chart and the result is ugly games, restless fans, and priceless sideline rants.
Don't expect Baylor to get caught looking ahead to the clash at Okie State in two weeks. Briles is good at keeping the team focused and knows if Bama or FSU slip up, they're in the hunt for a national title. It still sounds crazy to type, but it's still All Systems Go in Waco. One interesting sidenote is that if Kevin Sumlin leaves for USC, Baylor will move quickly to extend Briles's contract to protect from UT or A&M poaching its prized head coach. And that leaves all of Texas' eggs in one very large, expensive basket with Nick Saban's name on it.
Just waiting on that forwarding address in Austin.