The center of the Big 12 universe shifted north of the Red River recently, and in the words of Rodgers and Hammerstein, you’re doing fine, Oklahoma.
A few days after No. 14 Oklahoma State toppled No. 8 TCU on Saturday in what Cowboys coach Mike Gundy termed his team’s “most complete game of the season,” it’s No. 15 Oklahoma’s turn in what amounts to an elimination game in the Big 12.
With a victory Saturday at No. 6 Baylor, all that would stand between the Sooners and a surge in the College Football Playoff rankings would be the unexplained loss to Texas in October.
We had to get better as a team. We’ve been getting better each and every week, and that’s what we’re trying to do.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops on his team since the Oct. 10 loss to Texas
“We’ll approach it like any other game,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Monday during the Big 12 coaches conference call. Since Texas, “we just needed to continue to improve. We had to get better as a team. We’ve been getting better each and every week, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Better balance on offense with an improved rushing attack has sparked an offensive renaissance in Norman.
In Stillwater, the 9-0 Cowboys will get a bump in the CFP rankings this week after solving the TCU conundrum.
The Oklahoma State defense picked off TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin four times in Saturday’s 49-29 victory.
Big 12 offensive player of the week Mason Rudolph passed for 352 yards and five touchdowns, including three to receiver James Washington — a sophomore from Stamford who has 487 yards and six touchdowns in his last three games.
“He’s had some big numbers,” Gundy said. “The positive thing about James is he’s very even keel, he likes his team and what we’re doing. Hopefully, we can keep him grounded.”
OSU sweeps honors
Oklahoma State sophomore Chad Whitener, a Mansfield High product, was selected as defensive player of the week with a career-high 12 tackles and two interceptions, one of which the linebacker returned for a touchdown against TCU.
“He’s performed really well for us,” said Gundy. “What we enjoy is his leadership. He studies the game and has a really high football IQ. He continues to get better each game, not only as a player but a leader.”
OSU punter Zach Sinor was selected as special teams player of the week with six of his nine punts downed inside the TCU 20-yard line. Three were downed inside the TCU 10, and two inside the 5.
Kansas QB status
Kansas coach David Beaty was hopeful that quarterback Ryan Willis would have better mobility Monday after injuring his groin in Saturday’s loss at Texas.
The Jayhawks travel to TCU on Saturday.
If the freshman can’t go, one of two guys — perhaps both — from the Fort Worth area will fill in.
Keaton Perry, who subbed in Saturday after Willis went to the sideline, is a redshirt freshman from Arlington Bowie. T.J. Millweard is a junior from Colleyville who played at All Saints and Nolan Catholic in Fort Worth.
The team’s original starter, Montell Cozart, and his backup, Deondre Ford, are also out with injuries.
Tech bowl eligibility
Tech bowl eligibility
At 5-5, Texas Tech is one win away from bowl eligibility with two games to play.
The Red Raiders, who have lost three straight and haven’t beaten anybody in conference other than Kansas and Iowa State the past two years, host Kansas State on Saturday and travel to Texas on Thanksgiving.
“I guess that’s the elephant in the room with the players,” coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “But [the coaches] are not talking about it. Every week, we just try to focus on the next game.
“We’re right there in the mix. We just have to learn how to finish games. We need to play our best football in these last two.”