By KEVIN LONNQUIST
Big 12 Insider
Every week, the Big 12 coaches hold a conference call with the media. Rattle and Hum Sports points out some of the issues that made the most news. All rankings are BCS.
Through the last 2 ½ games, No. 15 Texas (8-2) has looked like the team that people expected back in August. The Longhorns rallied in the final seconds to win at Kansas, won at Texas Tech and were efficient in their victory over Iowa State. Instead of chewing on his team, coach Mack Brown didn’t do that. “Patience,’’ Brown said. “Every team is different. Every player is different. Every coach is different. I have to make sure I turn the right key. And you learn that through experience.’’… with the off week until the Thanksgiving matchup with TCU, Brown said he would hold some players out of workouts to get them healthier for the Horned Frogs.
While Kansas (1-9) is potentially heading toward a winless Big 12 season, the Jayhawks are still responding the way coach Charlie Weis hoped. The Jayhawks are coming off a very tough 41-34 double overtime loss at Texas Tech. “Obviously, it’s a major disappointment,’’ Weis said. “But we probably had as spirited a practice as we had on Sunday that we’ve had in some time. They could see the light at the end of the tunnel.’’ Not surprisingly, Kansas has the second-best rushing attack in the Big 12 at 213.1 yards per game.
Kansas State’s rise to the top of the BCS polls helps No. 12 Oklahoma (7-2) quite a bit. Should the Sooners win out against West Virginia, Oklahoma State and TCU, and Kansas State moves on to play for the BCS national championship, they would have a really good chance at securing an at-large berth in the BCS bowl picture. “The first thing we talk about is that there are three games remaining and that we can beat anyone and anyone can beat us,’’ Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “There’s a lot that’s going to happen in the next two or three weeks. And we’re going to try to improve our position.’’ … OU kicker Mike Hunnicut leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage (90.9 percent), as he has made 10 of 11 attempts.
With all of the quarterback shuffling going on at No. 23 Oklahoma State (6-3), it was senior Clint Chelf’s turn to demonstrate he could handle the offense. He did so in his first start of the season on Saturday against West Virginia, throwing for 292 yards and four touchdowns. Chelf finished last week’s loss at Kansas State. “It’s a case where our quarterbacks understand our system and are well coached,’’ coach Mike Gundy said. Chelf was passed over for the starting position by Wes Lunt and J.W. Walsh. “He’s been really good,’’ Gundy said of Chelf. “It’s been an emotional year for him as he was passed by two freshmen. Maybe he wanted to go prove to everybody he could it. I don’t have a problem with that.’’
Monday was just like another Monday as far as No. 1 Kansas State coach Bill Snyder was concerned. The Sunday BCS rankings gave the Wildcats (10-0) the top spot. “We’re honored and pleased that we are where we are,’’ Snyder said. “But yesterday wasn’t different. Nothing is changing. We’re going to be as consistent as we possibly can.’’… when it comes to facing offenses that spread defenses out, the key, Snyder said, is having his players invested in the plan. The Wildcats go to Baylor Saturday and have already faced some of the better spread teams in West Virginia and Oklahoma State. “I don’t know that we have slowed them down as much as we’d like,’’ Snyder said of the other offenses. “We’re not doing anything different. Our coaches put in good schemes. They’re not real complex.’’
While West Virginia (5-4) has dropped four consecutive games and still needs one win to become bowl eligible, coach Dana Holgorsen said the people in the state and in his program are looking forward to Oklahoma coming to Morgantown on Saturday. “I still think people are excited,’’ Holgorsen said. “Mike and Bob [Stoops] are great defensive coaches. They probably know more about our offensive schemes than we do their defensive schemes.’’… two trends have really hurt the Mountaineers. They are last in pass defense (343.6) and last in rushing defense (132.6).
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby publicly reprimanded Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville Monday for his sideline incident with graduate assistant Kevin Oliver. Bowlsby considered the matter over. Tuberville was contrite on Monday’s Big 12 conference call and later with the Lubbock media. He said he apologized for Oliver for what took place. …the Red Raiders are now 2-0 in Big 12 games that have gone into overtime. Tuberville said he practices the overtime scenario one day per week and said he prefers the college system over the professional system.
Baylor (4-5) entertains No. 1 Kansas State in Waco Saturday. One of the better things to happen to the offense is the emergence of transfer running back Lache Seastrunk. Seastrunk was the most productive running back with 15 carries for 91 yards and three touchdowns. That was a solid follow up performance after the 103 yards he rushed for against Kansas last week. “He’s certainly in a grove and provided a great spark for us,’’ coach Art Briles said. “He’s just going to get better and better.’’…Baylor’s 2013 recruiting class received good news when linebacker Brian Nance received a qualifying score on his ACT and will be able to transfer into Baylor for the spring 2013 semester.
Iowa State (5-4) still is one win away from claiming bowl eligibility. However, coach Paul Rhoads knows that Saturday’s game at Kansas will be difficult. The Jayhawks have lost heartbreakers to Texas and Texas Tech. They are allowing 20 points per game at home to Big 12 teams. “What this proves is that the Big 12 is the deepest and strongest conference in college football,’’ Rhoads said. “[Kansas] is hungry and have not lost any fight.’’
Speculation is growing involving TCU coach Gary Patterson and the vacancy at Arkansas. Asked about commenting publicly about the job, Patterson said. “I don’t think there’s anything to it.’’ That’s not a complete denial, nor does Patterson sound like a coach who doesn’t want the job. But there’s time for this story to play out. As for redshirt quarterback Trevone Boykin, Patterson said he has to have better play from him in the final two games against Texas and Oklahoma. Boykin was 17-of-30 for a season-low 164 yards in the 23-10 loss to Kansas State. Boykin missed some time in the second quarter with what appeared to be a right shoulder issue. However, Patterson said he should play at Texas.