Top spots in Big 12 remain static as season comes to a close

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Redshirt freshman defensive end Cartez Crook-Jones shows his game face during the game against West Virginia on Nov. 16, 2019. The Wildcats lost with a score of 24-20. (Abigail Compton | Collegian Media Group)

10. Kansas Jayhawks

The Jayhawks dropped to 3-7 after a 31-13 loss to Oklahoma State last Saturday.

Senior quarterback Carter Stanley threw for 226 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Kansas played three quarterbacks during the game and each threw an interception.

The Sooners held sophomore running back Pooka Williams Jr. to only 26 total yards, but he is still third in the Big 12 in average rushing yards per game with 88. This is one of the few statistical bright spots for the Jayhawks,

The Jayhawks’ three total wins could also be considered a silver lining, as it meets or exceeds some preseason predictions.

Kansas will face Iowa State at 11 a.m. Saturday on the Fox Sports Network.

9. Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Red Raiders lost to TCU 33-31 last Saturday.

Junior quarterback Jett Duffey threw for 333 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Senior wide receiver R.J. Turner had three receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns.

Texas Tech did not have a rushing touchdown and only rushed for 69 yards.

The Red Raiders are third in the conference in passing offense, averaging 312.9 yards per game, which could be a challenge facing the No. 1 pass defense in the conference in Kansas State. The Wildcats limit opponents to only 198.7 passing yards per game.

Texas Tech will host K-State at 6 p.m. Saturday on Fox Sports 1.

8. West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia shook up the Big 12 with a 24-20 road win over K-State last Saturday.

Junior quarterback Jarret Doege threw for 234 yards and three touchdowns in his first start of the season filing in for junior quarterback Austin Kendall. The Big 12 named Doege newcomer of the week.

Senior wide receiver George Campbell had five catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns.

The Mountaineer defense recorded two sacks and is still second in the conference with 28 sacks this season.

West Virginia has not had a great season (4-6, 2-5) but will look to play spoiler once again against Oklahoma State.

The Mountaineers will face off against the Cowboys at 11 a.m. Saturday on ESPN2.

7. TCU Horned Frogs

The Horned Frogs are one win away from bowl eligibility after a 33-31 win over Texas Tech.

Freshman quarterback Max Duggan threw for 323 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for one touchdown.

Senior kicker Jonathan Song is second in the Big 12 in scoring with 97 points. Song is second in field goal percentage at 95.5 percent (21-22).

TCU leads the conference in total defense, limiting opponents to 328.8 yards per game but is fifth in the conference in scoring defense, allowing 26.9 points per game.

This could be problematic for the Horned Frogs, who play the dynamic offense of Oklahoma this weekend.

TCU will travel to Norman, Oklahoma, to play the Sooners at 7 p.m. Saturday on FOX.

6. Texas Longhorns

Texas got a taste of their own medicine in a last second field goal for a 21-23 defeat against Iowa State last Saturday.

Junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns. Ehlinger is third in the conference in total offense with 3,342 yards and 27 touchdowns.

Senior wide receiver Devin Duvernay did not score a touchdown last Saturday but had nine receptions for 107 yards. Duvernay leads all receivers with an average of 8.7 receptions and 101.7 receiving yards per game.

Texas is out of the conference championship contention but is still bowl eligible.

The Longhorns will play Baylor at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on Fox Sports 1.

5. Kansas State Wildcats

K-State suffered a shocking 24-20 loss to the Mountaineers at home last Saturday.

Junior quarterback Skylar Thompson threw a career-high 299 yards with one touchdown, but two interceptions spoiled the day.

Senior running back James Gilbert rushed for 60 yards and one touchdown. Gilbert is fifth in the Big 12 in rushing with an average 77.2 yards per game.

K-State’s defense limits teams to only 21.4 points per game. The Wildcats’ top-ranked pass defense could be an advantage against Texas Tech and Iowa State’s air-raid offenses.

K-State is bowl eligible in the first year of the Chris Klieman era but will want to finish the season strong before focusing on the postseason.

The Wildcats are 2.5-point underdogs on the road against Texas Tech on Saturday.

4. Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State became bowl eligible with a 23-21 win over Texas last Saturday.

Sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy threw for 354 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Purdy leads the conference in passing average per game with 320.3 yards and has thrown for 3,203 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Iowa State’s defense may be overshadowed by the air-raid offense, but the team is third in the conference in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 24.6 points per game.

A notable weakness for Iowa State is the lack of a rushing offense. The Cyclones are ranked eighth in the Big 12 in this category.

The Cyclones are 24.5-point favorites heading into Saturday’s matchup against Kansas.

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Cowboys ran all over the Kansas defense in a 31-13 win last Saturday.

The defense forced three interceptions, including two by sophomore safety Kolby Harvell-Peel, and held the Jayhawks to only 39 total rushing yards.

Sophomore running back Chuba Hubbard rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Hubbard leads the nation in rushing with 1,726 yards and has 20 touchdowns on the season. He will likely receive votes in the stacked Heisman race but remain out of the top five.

The Cowboys lost freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders for the season after a thumb injury. Sanders finished the season with 2,690 total yards and 16 touchdowns.

Oklahoma State needs to win out the season to move up in the Big 12, but the Cowboys have yet to face in-state rival Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State enters the road matchup against West Virginia as six-point favorites.

2. Baylor Bears

Baylor blew a 28-3 lead at home against Oklahoma in a dramatic 34-31 finish on Saturday night. The loss ruined Baylor’s hopes of a perfect season.

Junior quarterback Charlie Brewer threw for 194 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Brewer also led the team in rushing with 17 carries for 65 yards and two touchdowns.

The Baylor defense forced three Oklahoma turnovers and recorded four sacks. The Bears lead the conference in sacks with 33 on the season. Baylor limits opponents to only 20.5 points per game, which leads the Big 12.

Senior wide receiver Denzel Mims had six catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday. Mims is tied for fourth in the conference with 10 touchdowns.

The Bears will play Texas with Big 12 Championship implications on the line. The Bears are 5.5-point favorites against the Longhorns on Saturday.

1. Oklahoma Sooners

The No. 1 scoring offense in the Big 12 mounted a 25-point deficit to defeat Baylor last Saturday.

Senior quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for four touchdowns and one interception. Hurts rushed for 114 yards, but the Sooners did not have a rushing touchdown in the game.

The Sooners dominated time of possession, holding the football for 41:11 of the game. Oklahoma averages 29:43 in possession.

The Oklahoma defense held Baylor scoreless in the second half and had three sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery.

Oklahoma escaped upsets multiple times this season and has shown vulnerability, which will likely keep the Sooners out of a College Football Playoff appearance, but the conference championship is still in sight.

The Sooners are 18-point favorites in their final home game of the season against TCU on Saturday.

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