NCAA Football

TCU is the league’s final College Football Playoff contender

TCU is the league’s final College Football Playoff contender

Video for October 29, 2022. The Oklahoma State Cowboys take on the Kansas Jayhawks on November 5 on the road. Video courtesy/OSU Athletics

Not only has TCU separated themselves as the best team in the Big 12 Conference, but they are now the last team in the league in the College Football Playoff race.

Oklahoma made some early CFP projections after the Sept. 17 blowout of Nebraska. That seems absurd now.

Oklahoma State never appeared in those projections, but it might have done what seemed possible for two hours at TCU on Oct. 15: It blew away the Horned Frogs. OSU lost in double overtime, then lost in historic fashion to Kansas State on Saturday. Bye.

K-State was likely eliminated from national contention when it fell to Tulane on September 17th. The Wildcats’ loss on Oct. 22 at TCU ended them.

It’s TCU or bust, then, for a conference whose only member has qualified for the CFP is Oklahoma.

The Horned Frogs are 8-0. They are advised to finish 13-0 if they want to make the Football Four.

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Finish the regular season 12-0 and lose the Big 12 championship game, the Frogs are probably playing in the Cotton Bowl. They do not come close to the CFP.

Finish the regular season 11-1, meaning a loss to Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor or Iowa State, and win the Big 12 title game, the Frogs have a playoff shot as Power 5 champions with a loss .

The problem in this scenario is Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio State, Michigan and Clemson are still undefeated. Alabama, Ole Miss, USC, UCLA and Oregon have just one loss.

This is a crowded late-season CFP field, with some very strong hitters still in contention. Lose once and it becomes a resume clock for the Frogs.

They’ll have plenty of good wins by virtue of their Big 12 schedule, but no real appeal. They won’t have any help beating Colorado, Tarleton and SMU in September.

This is Sonny Dykes’ mission: beat Texas Tech, then beat Baylor, then Texas, then beat Iowa State at home, then beat K-State in Arlington on Dec. 3 for the Big 12 title.

That puts TCU in the College Football Playoff. They are those of the Frogs and the Big 12, they only guarantee a national explosion this season.

1 – TCU (8-0, 5-0 in Big 12)

Last week: Won another shootout, 41-31 at West Virginia

This Saturday: vs. Texas Tech, 11 a.m. (Fox)

TCU gained 494 yards on 55 plays, an average of 9.0 per snap. Max Duggan completed passes of 71, 57 and 55 yards. Kendre Miller broke off a 51-yard run. Emani Bailey’s only carry was a 30-yard touchdown. Have fun with this offense, Red Raiders.

2 – Kansas State (6-2, 4-1)

Last week: Ripped off OSU 48-0

This Saturday: vs. Texas, 6 p.m. (FS1)

K-State joins TCU (Duggan), Texas (Hudson Card) and Texas Tech (Behren Morton) in the Big 12 Safety Quarterback Victory Club. Take a bow, Will Howard, for your 296 rushing yards and a school-record 4 touchdown passes against the Cowboys.

3 – Oklahoma State (6-2, 3-2)

Last week: a 3-hour catastrophe in Manhattan

This Saturday: at Kansas, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

Mike Gundy before leaving the Apple: “The 14 or 16 hours we have tomorrow to work as coaches will not be very fun. But they will be very important to find answers and solutions.” If Gundy has the personnel I think he has, they will provide answers.

This Saturday: at K-State, 6:00 p.m. (FS1)

A great opportunity for Texas to get back into Big 12 championship contention Saturday night in Manhattan, even if history isn’t on the Horns’ side. They are 3-7 all-time at K-State.

5 – Oklahoma (5-3, 2-3)

Last week: Bottled Iowa State 27-13

This Saturday: vs. Baylor, 2 p.m. (ESPN+)

Brent Venables once again has his contributors in the right places and making a difference. DaShaun White in particular it made the biggest difference in Ames. Now, if only Venables could get his defensive linemen to be as disruptive as they were when the Sooners were 3-0.

Last week: shut out Texas Tech 45-17

This Saturday: at OU, 2 p.m. (ESPN+)

It’s hard to know who/what was more impressive in Lubbock Saturday night: Baylor running back Richard Reese (36 carries for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns) or a Bears defense that held Tech to 308 yards and five interceptions .

This Saturday: vs. OSU, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

The Jayhawks will have to overcome someone to win a sixth game and qualify for a bowl. That puts all eyes on injured QB1 Jalon Daniels, who hasn’t played since suffering an ankle injury against TCU three weeks ago. How much did KU’s bye week help him heal?

8 – Texas Tech (4-4, 2-3)

Last week: Baylor blew up

This Saturday: at TCU, 11 a.m. (Fox)

Morton has enough talent to drive OSU crazy in a close loss in Stillwater. He is also a freshman who is learning as he pitches. Dave Aranda’s Baylor defense just taught the kid a hard lesson. Stat line Saturday night: 11 of 34 for 152 yards and 3 interceptions.

9 – West Virginia (3-5. 1-4)

Last week: Couldn’t keep up with TCU

This Saturday: at Iowa State, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

Saturday postgame Neal Brown: “People can be upset with me, but they can’t question how these guys played today. People can be frustrated with me and that’s fine, but there shouldn’t be any ill will towards these children.” Brown as WVU coach: 20-23 overall, 12-19 in Big 12.

10 – Iowa State (3-5, 0-5)

Last week: I went down to the Sooners

This Saturday: vs. West Virginia, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

Everyone has said there are no cakewalks, layups, gimmes, whatever you want to call them, in the Big 12 this season. bad There are defenses lining up to play Iowa State’s offense.

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