Breaking point hits for Big 12 football’s bottom five

Posted Monday, Oct. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More information Big 12 Players of the Week Offense RB Desmond Roland, Oklahoma State: In the first start of his career, the junior rushed for 219 yards and four touchdowns in the Cowboys’ 58-27 win over Iowa State. Roland’s yards and touchdowns are the most for any player in the league this year. Defense DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas: The senior from Plano West High School had four tackles, including 2.5 for loss and a sack, two pass breakups and three quarterback pressures in the Longhorns’ 30-7 win at TCU. Special teams K/P Anthony Fera, Texas: He connected on field goals of 43, 37 and 36 yards and converted three extra points in the Horns’ 30-7 win at TCU. Only one of his seven punts was returned and that went for minus-3 yards. Key stats 4Big 12 teams in the top 20 of the latest Bowl Championship Series standings. The Southeastern Conference leads the nation with six teams. 5Baylor’s ranking in The Associated Press Top 25, the highest AP ranking for the Bears since being ranked No. 3 in 1953. Quotable “We’ve never talked about signature wins in our program just because every time you step out onto the field and you’re fortunate enough to get a win, to me, that’s a signature win. ... That was certainly a huge win a couple years ago because, at that time, we were just fighting to be a bowl eligible team.” — Baylor coach Art Briles on the Bears’ 2011 win against Oklahoma. “Another thing that mattered so much to us is so many of our fans stayed and they were very positive and upbeat. And our band was just unbelievable and all of our spirit group. So when our bunch came back out on the field we didn’t know if anyone would be there.” — Texas coach Mack Brown on Longhorns fans who remained at Amon G. Carter Stadium after a 3-hour, 6-minute weather delay.

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The bottom five teams in the Big 12 standings are running out of time to salvage their seasons.

Kansas State, TCU and West Virginia each need three more wins to earn a bowl berth. The two last-place teams, Kansas and Iowa State, need four and five wins, respectively, down the stretch to extend their seasons.

“Yes, we address that,” K-State coach Bill Snyder said. “But we get away from it because it’s probably more damaging to the preparation for the next ballgame with those kinds of thoughts in your mind.”

K-State and West Virginia seem to have the easiest path to bowl games. The Mountaineers (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) play at TCU on Saturday and finish with Texas at home, at Kansas and Iowa State at home. If WVU can beat TCU, wins against KU and ISU are possible.

TCU’s bowl chances rely heavily on a win Saturday because the Horned Frogs are on the road at Iowa State and Kansas State before finishing the season against first-place Baylor on Nov. 30.

K-State (3-4, 1-3) has five games remaining, including winnable games against Iowa State on Saturday and at Kansas on Nov. 30. TCU’s Nov. 16 game at K-State could be a breaking point for both teams.

The Cyclones (1-6, 0-4) have the biggest hill to climb. They have to finish with five consecutive wins, including at Oklahoma on Nov. 16.

Tech remembers OSU

Texas Tech has been dominated by Oklahoma State the past two seasons and the Red Raiders haven’t beaten the Cowboys since 2008.

OSU has outscored Tech 125-27 the past two meetings.

No. 15 Tech (7-1, 4-1) is coming off its first loss of the season, a 38-30 setback at No. 10 Oklahoma.

“At this point in the season you still have it all out in front of you,” Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “If you want to accomplish winning the Big 12, you’re going to have to win out anyways and I think our kids realized that.”

The recent losses to OSU also helps to motivate, Kingsbury said.

“I think this is a group will have a short-term memory,” he said. “We’re playing against a team that has pretty much embarrassed them the last two years, to be honest, so I would expect them to be very motivated to get over to the building today [for practice].”

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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