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Big 12 Stock Report following Week 7: Power Rankings with a Wall Street Twist


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Big12_StockReport_2013_7Texas won?  Texas beat Oklahoma?  Even a week later that result is still stunning.  Let’s rewind the Big 12, because there were six other teams in action.  The league doesn’t shut down when OU-UT get together.

Buying

Baylor – Kansas State gave them a great push in the kind of game all contenders need.  It makes the players confident the next time they are in a tight contest, and lets the coaches know how their team responds to adversity.  In terms of K-State giving the league a book on how to stop them … they still put up 35 and 446 yards.  I have an honest question, and feel free to sound off below or email us, but can Bryce Petty win the Heisman?  His stats are phenomenal and he plays for a top 15 team that continues to rise.  Shouldn’t he at least get invited to New York City?  Is anyone else taking this stance?  Week seven grade: B-

Oklahoma – I’m still buying them because I think the game said more about Texas than it did for the Sooners.  Besides, this is Oklahoma; they always lose the dumb game they shouldn’t.  You know the football season is officially underway when you see Sooners fans look dumbfounded, while Bob Stoops is on the verge of ripping every hair from the top of his head.  It’s like clockwork, yet the Sooners still manage to win 10 games.  Take a look at this decade so far:

2012 – 2 home losses (KSU and Notre Dame were pretty good, but still they were at home)

2011 – 3 losses, 1 home loss, first was to Texas Tech (Red Raiders finished 5-7)

2010 – 2 losses, both road (Mizzou and TAMU – both teams were solid 10 and 9 win performers, but Oklahoma was favored in both games)

Week seven grade: D

Texas Tech – Iowa State is a pesky team that will hang with you.  Combine that with looking towards a two-game road trip, followed by a big one with OK State, and you can’t help but think that the Raiders were peeking past a bit.  I fully expect to see a re-focused TTU squad tomorrow in Morganville.  Side note: 666 yards is pretty big number. How did they only manage 42 points from that, and why was the game so close?  Three turnovers and giving up a special teams score will kill you every time.  Tech is thanking their lucky stars they salvaged the win.  Week seven grade: C-

Holding

Oklahoma State – Idle

Texas – Two things for Texas. First, this level of play be a trend.  Even in the three-game winning streak, they didn’t play well against ISU or KSU. They need the intensity from their huge rivalry showdown with Oklahoma to be present in an average Big 12 game.  Secondly, the schedule is still a rough one. They have TCU, Kansas and WVU to pad the record (and stats) but their final three are OK State, Texas Tech and at Baylor.  If they push it to 7-2, 6-0, but then get beat in the final three games, all the good work from weeks three through nine will be undone.  Week seven grade: A+

TCU – Patterson is still an unbelievable coaching mind and TCU is starting to respond. They have looked vastly improved the last three weeks. If Boykin can just settle down, I think TCU can take advantage of a relatively easier back-end slate of games. One thing that cannot happen again is another five-turnover game. You can do that, and win by 10, against the Jayhawks, but any other team in this stacked league will blow you out.  Week seven grade: C-

Selling

Iowa State – This is one of the youngest teams in the Big 12, as well as the nation, and yet they are competitive every week.  Paul Rhoads continues to amaze me with how he gets his kids up. Before long, their solid play will pay off.  It may even be this year, as their final four games are all against lower-half Big 12 teams.  If ISU sweeps those games and steals a major upset, that would be 6-6.  As crazy as it is, this ISU team isn’t done yet.  Week seven grade: B

Kansas – As opposed to Iowa State, this team is done.  Week seven grade: D

Kansas State – We wondered if KSU was the type of program that reloads rather than rebuilds. The jury is still out.  Despite the 0-3 start, they still played reasonably well against some solid league opposition.  Much like ISU, their schedule finally softens up, so a bowl isn’t out of the picture. In order to earn a 13th game, though, quarterback play has to become more consistent. They haven’t gotten anything out of that position all year. Honestly, if this team still had Collin Klein, they could be eight-to-10 game winners.  Week seven grade: C

West Virginia – Idle

Buy That Kid Dinner (if the NCAA allowed it)

Davis Webb (QB, Texas Tech) – 35/56, 415 yards, 7.4 avg, 3 TD, 1 INT, 58.5 QBR.  That is one heck of a stat line.  Though he would be the first to thank his receivers. One of which had this impressive day:

Jace Amaro – 9 catches, 143 yards, 15.9 avg, long of 43

Chris Whaley (DT, Texas) – The big senior had 4 tackles and a lineman’s dream.  His 31-yard pick-six broke open the scoring for UT and really fired his club up.  OU’s passing game was horrible all day and I think the lineman’s first-quarter INT had something to do with it.

Daje Johnson (PR, Texas) – The speedster had 5 returns for 124 yards (24.8 avg), but the real story here is the 85-yarder he took to the house.  The score was crucial, as OU had cut the lead to 10 with a quarter and a half to go.  The points were big, but so was the momentum it game the ‘Horns.

Dunce of the Week

Thanks to being sick last week I didn’t get to write about every league. This is a throwback DotW to Iowa State’s 31-30 loss to Texas.  I’m not even going to rag on the refs for the horrid fumble (or non-fumble) call at the end of the game.  Or the fact that if Iowa State breathed on a wide out it was pass interference.  I’m not going to bring up the dirtiest play I’ve seen in a long time by Texas receiver Mike Davis.  No, I’m going with someone you would least expect – Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads.

I think Rhoads has done an amazing job in Ames, and even praised him earlier in this very column. However, two weeks ago he made a horrible call late in the game, and it cost his dearly.

Up 27-24, ISU forced a punt with 6:54 left in the game. ISU had a very nice drive deep into Texas territory. Texas still had all three of their timeouts, but on third and three from the Texas six, Iowa State passed for an incompletion. Then Iowa State kicked the chip shot field goal to go up by six. The second they kicked it I texted my paps, an old school football guru, this text: 31-30.  His reply was “ISU=dumb.”

Here’s why those two decisions were awful:

First, ISU averaged four yards per carry for the game.  Running on third down would have, if the averages played out, picked up the first down.  It would have also taken at least 45 seconds off the clock. UT would have received the ball with 3:40 left, forcing Mack Brown to decide if he wanted to burn a timeout or give Texas about 2:55 for a final drive.

Secondly, a six-point lead against a team with roughly three to four minutes, and all their timeouts is useless.  Kicking it was the decision conservative coaches talk themselves into.

By removing the kick the sequence should have played out like this:

Run on third down to bleed the clock just a little bit more. Every little bit helps when you are trying to shorten the game. If you don’t pick up the first down, then you can do whatever you want since the clock stops on change of possession. Again, since ISU was averaging four a pop, two runs should have been plenty to pick up 3 yards.  If they loved that pass play so much, run it on 4th.

Here’s the beauty of it. Even if you don’t get the first, you give Texas the ball deep in their territory. A 90-95 yard drive without much time (granted three timeouts though) and a three-point lead is never a bad place to sit. The kick off resulted in a touchback, meaning Texas started at the 25.  Basically ISU gave them 20 free yards.

Lastly, when you are an underdog, at home, and with a losing record, you don’t gain anything by being conservative.  Roll the dice. It was only three measly yards.  The strangest thing of all is to see this from Rhoads. One reason he gets so much love is because he’s afraid to gamble. He’s called plenty of fakes, tricks plays and onside kicks in his tenure.  Against top-10 Nebraska, back in 2010, he went for a two-point conversion in overtime to try and win.  The momentary lapse in judgment and the spontaneous conservative calls from ISU leaves me shaking my head.  It’s inexcusable and unexplainable.

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