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Athlon recaps the Week 11 action in the Big 12.
Kansas State was a big winner from the Big 12’s Week 11 action. The Wildcats knocked off TCU 23-10 to improve their record to 10-0. But that wasn’t the only bit of good news for Bill Snyder’s team. With Alabama losing to Texas A&M, Kansas State is in position to play for the national title with two more victories. The Wildcats still have some work to do but the road to a BCS Championship appearance is favorable. Oklahoma remains in position for an at-large spot in the BCS, while Texas has quietly rebounded since a blowout defeat to the Sooners in the Red River Rivalry.
1. Kansas State (10-0, 7-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 1
Week 11 Result: Beat TCU 23-10
Week 11 was a big one for the Wildcats for two different reasons. Kansas State knocked off TCU 23-10 to move to 10-0, while quarterback Collin Klein continues to stake his claim for the Heisman. Although the victory over TCU was huge, the Wildcats’ national title hopes were helped by Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M. Kansas State still needs to take care of its final two games – at Baylor and Texas – but this team is in the driver’s seat to play for the BCS title in January. The Wildcats play on the road for the final time this season with a date at Baylor next Saturday.
Next Game: at Baylor
2. Oklahoma (7-2, 5-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 2
Week 11 Result: Beat Baylor 42-34
The Sooners kept their BCS bowl hopes alive with a 42-34 win over Baylor on Saturday. It was a balanced victory for Oklahoma, as the defense held the Bears’ high-powered passing attack to just 172 yards, while the offense recorded 460 yards. Quarterback Landry Jones had a steady performance, throwing for 277 yards on 25 completions, and running back Damien Williams chipped in 99 yards on 23 attempts. The Sooners play at West Virginia in Week 12 and host Oklahoma State in Week 13.
Next Game: at West Virginia
3. Texas (8-2, 5-2 Big 12)
Last Week: 3
Week 11 Result: Beat Iowa State 33-7
Very quietly, the Longhorns are piecing together a solid run to the end the 2012 season. Saturday’s 33-7 win over Iowa State was Texas’ fourth consecutive victory since losing 63-21 against Oklahoma. Quarterback David Ash has bounced back nicely since an awful showing against Kansas, throwing for 628 yards and five touchdowns and no interceptions in his last two games. Freshman running back Johnathan Gray has provided a spark on the ground over the last three contests, while the defense has shown signs of improvement after allowing 63 points to Oklahoma and 50 to Baylor. The Longhorns won’t play again until Thanksgiving night against TCU.
Next Game: TCU (Nov. 22)
4. Texas Tech (7-3, 4-3 Big 12)
Last Week: 4
Week 11 Result: Beat Kansas 41-34
A 41-34 overtime win over Kansas wasn’t pretty. However, a victory is all that matters for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders’ rush defense gave up 390 yards but was bailed out by an offense that was nearly unstoppable through the air. Quarterback Seth Doege threw for 476 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Eric Stephens tossed a three-yard pass for a score in the second overtime. With the Big 12 title out of reach, the next few weeks are all about bowl positioning for Texas Tech.
Next Game: at Oklahoma State
5. Oklahoma State (6-3, 4-2 Big 12)
Last Week: 6
Week 11 Result: Beat West Virginia 55-34
Considering the injuries at quarterback, it’s a credit to Mike Gundy and his staff to have Oklahoma State in a position to potentially finish the 2012 season with nine victories. With Clint Chelf making his first start under center, the Cowboys knocked off West Virginia 55-34. Chelf threw for 292 yards and four touchdowns, with receiver Josh Stewart serving as his favorite target (13 receptions, 172 yards). The defense gave up nearly 500 yards to a potent Mountaineers’ offense but forced two turnovers and picked up three sacks.
Next Game: Texas Tech
6. TCU (6-4, 3-4 Big 12)
Last Week: 5
Week 11 Result: Lost to Kansas State 23-10
The Horned Frogs did a good job of keeping Kansas State’s Collin Klein in check, but TCU was never able to get its offense on track. The Horned Frogs’ defense seemed to generate pressure on Klein most of the night and forced two turnovers, but the Wildcats’ made just enough plays on offense to pull away for the 23-10 win. TCU gets a much-needed off date this Saturday, especially after playing Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Kansas State in consecutive weeks. The Horned Frogs meet Texas on Thanksgiving night and close out the year against Oklahoma on Dec. 1.
Next Game: at Texas (Thursday)
7. West Virginia (5-4, 2-4 Big 12)
Last Week: 7
Week 11 Result: Lost to Oklahoma State 55-34
A promising start to the season has quickly been forgotten in Morgantown. West Virginia lost its fourth consecutive game with a 55-34 defeat at Oklahoma State in Week 11. The Mountaineers seemed to regain some of its rhythm back on offense against the Cowboys, especially with Stedman Bailey looking closer to 100 percent at receiver. However, the defense continues to be a problem, as West Virginia allowed 55 points for the second time in three games. The Mountaineers take on Oklahoma next week and finish with two games they should be favored in – at Iowa State and Kansas.
Next Game: Oklahoma
8. Iowa State (5-5, 2-5 Big 12)
Last Week: 8
Week 11 Result: Lost to Texas 33-7
Not much went right for the Cyclones in the 33-7 loss to Texas. The offense was stuck in neutral for most of the game, recording only 277 yards against the Longhorns. Texas dominated the time of possession, which kept Iowa State’s defense on the field for nearly 40 minutes. The rush defense wasn’t the only concern for the Cyclones against the Longhorns, as the secondary allowed David Ash to throw for 364 yards and two touchdowns. Iowa State still needs one win to get bowl eligible, which could come in Week 12 against Kansas.
Next Game: at Kansas
9. Baylor (4-5, 1-5 Big 12)
Last Week: 9
Week 11 Result: Lost to Oklahoma 42-34
The Bears gave Oklahoma a tough battle but it wasn’t enough to leave Norman with a victory. The Sooners managed to hold one of the nation’s top passing offenses in check, limiting Nick Florence to only 172 yards on 13 completions. One of the bright spots for Baylor was the play of running back Lache Seastrunk, who recorded 91 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The Bears have three games remaining and need two victories to get bowl eligible. With matchups against Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State remaining, getting to six victories won’t be easy for Baylor.
Next Game: Kansas State
10. Kansas (1-9, 0-7 Big 12)
Last Week: 10
Week 11 Result: Lost to Texas Tech 41-34
Even though the losses are piling up, the Jayhawks deserve credit for not quitting this season. Kansas hung tough in a 41-34 overtime loss to Texas Tech, which was the second defeat in three weeks by less than eight points. The Jayhawks gashed the Red Raiders for 390 rushing yards, but quarterback Michael Cummings was never able to get anything going through the air. Kansas has a nine-game losing streak in 2012 and has lost 19 consecutive Big 12 contests.
Next Game: Iowa State
by Steven Lassan
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