Big 12: Big 12 Conference

The SEC's long-awaited future schedule model came out Sunday, and it looks a lot like its predecessor. The league maintained an eight-game league schedule with longstanding division crossover games, rather than going to nine league games. Beginning in 2016, the conference will require each member to play one nonconference game against a team from a power conference on an annual basis. Teams will continue to be allowed to schedule FCS opponents.

Reporters Ted Miller and Adam Rittenberg weigh in on the SEC's schedule structure.

Ted Miller: Well, Adam, you knew it was coming. We live in an age when if you want to do something sneaky and con the public, you claim you are doing the opposite of your true intent. And then repeat it over and over again until some believe it really is opposite day.

Even we fall for it. Our ESPN.com headline says, "Schedule strength is SEC priority," when the opposite is actually the truth.

[+] EnlargeTexas A&M
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesThe SEC is sticking with an eight-game league schedule.
It's irrelevant outside of the SEC whether the conference retained its "longstanding non-divisional rivalries." It's also irrelevant that the SEC insists it will continue to upgrade its nonconference schedule.

The only thing that matters is the SEC's massive con that games the system as we move toward the College Football Playoff: The SEC will maintain its eight-game conference schedule when other major conferences are -- or are planning to -- play nine conference games.

That is the only thing that matters, and this is nothing more than the SEC giving itself an annual advantage by deciding that it will eliminate seven losses from its standings.

This is not regional bias, folks. This is not SEC jealousy. This is something called "math."

With an eight-game SEC schedule, 5-7 teams become 6-6 teams. And 8-4 teams become 9-3 teams. And that 11-1 team that beat the 9-3 team that should really be 8-4 will look better than the 11-1 team in the Big 12, Pac-12 or Big Ten that beat an 8-4 team who would be 9-3 in the SEC.

Those sentences might glaze over many eyes and evoke a "Huh?" But they are the very thing that won the day among SEC leaders when it was decided to duck the mathematical realities of a nine-game conference schedule.

I'll now take a breath. Adam, what do you think?

Adam Rittenberg: It makes me less excited about the playoff, for starters. Maybe I'm naïve, but I saw the playoff, with its purported emphasis on schedule strength, as the great equalizer in scheduling. Maybe it still will be, but I have my doubts.

You cover a league (Pac-12) that for years has employed the most challenging schedule model in the country: nine league games plus marquee nonconference contests. I cover a league (Big Ten) that has traditionally resided in cupcake city. But three factors -- the playoff, an expanded conference and an upcoming TV contract -- triggered the Big Ten to adopt a nine-game league schedule, no more FCS opponents in the near future and stronger nonleague opponents. This is good for the fans. Expansion might remain a sore subject for some, but the idea of playing each other more, not less, is a good one.

If every league had the same model -- nine league games, at least one marquee nonleague game, a championship game -- it would create a degree of equity, produce more appealing games for fans and allow the selection committee to evaluate teams with similar profiles.

This SEC chest-puffing about the requirement to schedule one nonleague game against an opponent from a power conference is the most laughable part of Sunday's announcement. SEC teams already do this, just like those from the Big Ten, Pac-12 and so on. What really changes here? Can I still see SEC teams playing FCS teams in November? OK, cool, just checking. Rejoice, SEC fans.

Now fast-forward to December 2016, and the selection committee is choosing between a two-loss Pac-12 or Big Ten champion, which has played nine league games plus a championship game, and a one-loss, second-place SEC team with eight league games and no championship game. If the SEC team is chosen, it invalidates the whole system. Here's hoping the committee makes the right call.

[+] EnlargeBrandon Ivory, Jonathan Allen
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesAlabama crushed FCS foe Chattanooga in 2013; FCS Western Carolina is on tap in 2014.
Perhaps then, we'll see the SEC align at nine.

But maybe this has the opposite effect: leagues backing away from playing more conference games. The ACC has a similar decision ahead.

What do you think comes next?

Miller: Know what would be great? If SEC fans would realize they are being cheated, just as much as the rest of college football. Why would Alabama fans rather watch a game against a Sun Belt team more often than, say, Georgia?

It would be great if they demanded a better schedule, one that went further toward determining the best teams in the SEC. In a 14-team league, how can anyone insist playing eight conference games rather than nine is better and more equitable?

Of course, that won't happen. As you and I have seen through the years, it's mostly "my conference, wrong or right" in the SEC. The typical SEC fan response when their conference is criticized ranges from "Well, your conference stinks!" to "We owned the BCS!" Folks down South tend to defensively circle the wagons instead of aspire to some objective self-analysis, though you could reasonably argue that is a powerful syndrome operating throughout college football.

Part of that defensiveness is there is no real rebuttal. This isn't an argument. It's an empirical truth that the SEC is gaming the system by playing eight conference games.

So as to what actually might come next, my thought is the CFP selection committee needs to make a stand: An eight-game conference schedule should automatically operate as a demerit as it falsely elevates the apparent strength of a conference.

What do you think?

Rittenberg: We're all wondering about the committee's collective guts, especially when it squares off against the SEC monolith. That certainly would be a way to show the group means business. Because it's not about whether the Big Ten stinks, as hundreds of SEC fans told me Sunday night on Twitter. Yes, the Big Ten stinks, but it's not a Big Ten-SEC debate. It's about the SEC living in the playoff realm alongside the Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 and ACC.

While I'm not surprised by the SEC fan sensitivity to anyone who dares to critique their beloved league, how many other fan bases would actually want this? Don't fans want more appealing matchups? I know Big Ten fans want to play other league teams more, not less. They want more rivalry games. They want to see marquee nonleague contests. I'm guessing Pac-12 fans feel the same way.

The ACC's decision will be fascinating. Most of the coaches, like their colleagues in every other league, want to stay at eight. The ADs seem to be leaning toward nine. We could have four leagues playing nine league games and one playing eight.

The SEC would be on its own. Perhaps that's exactly what it wants.
Tom Bradley, a longtime assistant under Joe Paterno at Penn State, has agreed to join the staff at West Virginia, the school said Friday.

"I'm excited to be back to coaching again, to be again be part of something that is bigger than myself," Bradley said in a phone interview with ESPN.com.

Bradley, 57, will be the Mountaineers' senior associate head coach.

"Tom brings numerous years of successful college coaching experience and versatility," coach Dana Holgorsen said in a statement. "He is an excellent defensive teacher, has high energy and intensity and gives us a proven recruiter with regional and national ties."

Bradley coached for 33 years under Paterno at Penn State after graduating there in 1979.
After coaching various positions, he eventually replaced Jerry Sandusky as defensive coordinator in 2000. When Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing children, Bradley took over for Paterno as interim head coach in Penn State's last four games in 2011.

He resigned from the school after the season, and has spent the last three years as a football analyst, most recently covering Army football games.

To continue reading this story, click here.

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Kansas State and Michigan finished the regular season headed in opposite directions, and that dichotomy was clear from the outset Saturday as the Wildcats cruised to a 31-14 win in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

It was over when: Shane Morris' third-down pass with 7:30 to play and Kansas State up by 18 fell incomplete, sending Michigan's punt team in for the fifth straight drive and effectively ending any chance at a comeback attempt. Michigan's offense was stuck in neutral throughout, and while Kansas State failed to cash in on several second-half opportunities to put the game away, there was never any real drama down the stretch. Dante Barnett's interception on Michigan's next drive ensured the final score was as one-sided as the play on the field had been throughout.

Game ball goes to: Kansas State quarterback Jake Waters. The junior-college transfer was nearly flawless all night, completing 21 of 27 passes for 271 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Tyler Lockett caught all three touchdowns and would have had a fourth if he didn’t drop a perfectly thrown ball from Daniel Sams in the end zone. Waters was impressive with his arm, but he made his share of plays with his legs, too, racking up 42 rushing yards, including running for five first downs. Aside from the drop, Lockett was exceptional. He finished with 194 all-purpose yards -- his sixth game this season with more than 150 all-purpose yards.

Stat of the game: 22. That was Michigan's rushing total with 2 minutes left on the clock, a dreadful effort that effectively doomed any chance at moving the ball consistently. The ground game has struggled all season for the Wolverines, and Kansas State didn't seem to break a sweat shutting down Michigan's runners. A 14-yard run by Devin Funchess on a double reverse in the first quarter and a 40-yard scramble by Morris with less than 2 minutes to play provided the only highlights. The rest of the ground game amounted to just 11 yards on 13 carries, and Morris was forced to carry the load in his first career start.

Unsung hero: Morris, a true freshman, stepped in for injured Devin Gardner, and he was solid. He wasn't asked to make too many tough passes -- particularly in the early going -- but he also got no support from the running game. Still, he completed 15 of 19 passes in the first half for 121 yards, converting a couple of big third downs and improvising when plays broke down. In the end, it didn't matter much, as Michigan simply couldn't overcome its many holes, and while Morris was calm, cool and consistent, the lack of support doomed his second half.

What Michigan learned: It has a quarterback for the future, but there are plenty of other issues that need to be addressed. Morris was solid despite getting precious little help from his teammates, but even if he continues to develop over the offseason and unseats Gardner as the quarterback of the future, Michigan's prospects won't improve much if the defense and running game don't get much better. Kansas State ran with ease up the middle, had wide open receivers often and had little trouble completely silencing Michigan's ground game. It was a script far too familiar for the Wolverines in 2013, and Brady Hoke has his work cut out for him finding answers before the 2014 season begins.

What Kansas State learned: There's no bowl jinx, and Bill Snyder can win games in December just as easily as he wins them in the fall. Kansas State hadn't won a bowl game since 2002, but the Wildcats dominated this one from the outset. The offense continues to evolve, and the defense completely shut down Michigan. After a slow start to the season, Kansas State finished as hot as anyone, winning six of its final seven games. More importantly, the pieces are in place for that success to continue into 2014.

To watch the trophy presentation of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, click here.

Big 12 releases all-conference honors

December, 11, 2013
12/11/13
4:35
PM ET
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty was named the Big 12’s Offensive Player of the Year, and Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat and TCU cornerback Jason Verrett shared defensive honors.

Big 12 champ Baylor led the league with a school-record 10 first team players and earned three individual awards, including Coach of the Year (Art Briles) and Offensive Lineman of the Year (guard Cyril Richardson).

Oklahoma State had a league-high 11 players named to the first or second teams. The awards were voted on by the league’s coaches.

Chuck Neinas Coach of the Year
Art Briles, Baylor

Defensive Lineman of the Year
Ryan Mueller, Kansas State

Offensive Newcomer of the Year
Charles Sims, West Virginia

Co-Defensive Players of the Year
Jason Verrett, TCU; Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas

Offensive Freshman of the Year
Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech

Defensive Newcomer of the Year
Isaiah Johnson, Kansas

Offensive Player of the Year
Bryce Petty, Baylor

Defensive Freshman of the Year
Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma

Offensive lineman of the Year
Cyril Richardson, Baylor

Special teams Player of the Year
Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

First-team offense

QB – Bryce Petty, Baylor
RB – Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
RB – Charles Sims, West Virginia
FB – Trey Millard, Oklahoma
WR – Antwan Goodley, Baylor
WR - Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
WR – Tevin Reese, Baylor
TE - Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
OL – Spencer Drango, Baylor
OL – B.J. Finney, Kansas State
OL - Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
OL - Cyril Richardson, Baylor
OL - Parker Graham, Oklahoma State
PK –Anthony Fera, Texas
KR/PR – Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

First-team defense

DL - Ryan Mueller, Kansas State
DL - Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State
DL – Chris McAllister, Baylor
DL - Charles Tapper, Oklahoma
DL - Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
LB - Jeremiah George, Iowa State
LB – Shaun Lewis, Oklahoma State
LB – Eddie Lackey, Baylor
DB – Jason Verrett, TCU
DB – Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
DB – Ahmad Dixon, Baylor
DB – Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State
DB – Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma
P – Spencer Roth, Baylor

Second-team offense

QB – Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State
RB – James Sims, Kansas
RB – Malcolm Brown, Texas
FB – Kye Staley, Oklahoma State
WR – Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma
WR – Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State
WR – Jaxon Shipley, Texas
TE – E.J. Bibbs, Iowa State
OL – Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
OL – Daryl Williams, Oklahoma
OL – Donald Hawkins, Texas
OL – Trey Hopkins, Texas
OL - Le’Raven Clark, Texas Tech
PK –Michael Hunnicutt, Oklahoma
KR/PR – Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State

Second-team defense

DL – Tyler Johnson, Oklahoma State
DL – Chucky Hunter, TCU
DL – Cedric Reed, Texas
DL – Kerry Hyder, Texas Tech
DL – Will Clarke, West Virginia
LB – Ben Heeney, Kansas
LB – Eric Striker, Oklahoma
LB – Caleb Lavey, Oklahoma State
DB – Jacques Washington, Iowa State
DB – Daytawion Lowe, Oklahoma State
DB – Sam Carter, TCU
DB – Carrington Byndom, Texas
DB – Darwin Cook, West Virginia
P – Nick O’Toole, West Virginia

Texas has no answers in loss to OSU

November, 16, 2013
11/16/13
10:18
PM ET
Texas graphicESPN Stats & Information It's been five years and counting since Texas last beat a top-25 team at home.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas got handed a beatdown on Saturday. There’s no other fair way to put it.

In a game billed as one of the Big 12’s biggest of the season, between two teams streaking and in control of their conference title hopes, No. 12 Oklahoma State took control early and never let go in a 38-13 victory over the No. 24 Longhorns.

[+] EnlargeClint Chelf
Brendan Maloney/USA TODAY SportsQuarterback Clint Chelf accounted for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing) in the Cowboys' win over Texas.
The Cowboys handed coach Mack Brown the most lopsided home loss of his 16 years in Austin, and there was nothing fluky about it.

OSU won a big-time conference test with a stingy defense, a superior run game, far better special-teams play and three forced turnovers. All against a Texas team that had won six straight and truly believed it could play with the Big 12 title contenders.

“I’m disappointed,” Brown said. “I don’t get stunned about anything anymore.”

The Longhorns, who hadn’t lost in two months, never led in this game. They started slowly, rallied back to 14-10 and then gave the game away in a matter of only seven plays.

The first six came on a 67-yard touchdown drive sparked by a 29-yard pass from Clint Chelf to a wide-open Jhajuan Seales on third-and-10. Two plays later, Chelf sent a pass right into the hands of Texas safety Adrian Phillips that bounced off and into the grasp of receiver Tracy Moore for a 12-yard score.

“It’s just a play I have to make,” Phillips said. “I make that play every day. It just went through my hands. Sometimes when you roll the dice, it doesn’t go your way.”

Down 21-10 with 75 seconds left in the first half, Texas’ offensive coaches opted to roll the dice and go for a score. They got one. OSU corner Justin Gilbert baited Case McCoy into throwing an out that Gilbert picked off and returned 43 yards to the end zone.

“Yeah, I was forcing things. There’s no doubt about it,” McCoy said.

McCoy threw two more interceptions on the day, including one swiped by linebacker Caleb Lavey that the Cowboys turned into a 21-yard touchdown one play later. That was the final score of the day, and with 1:54 left in the third quarter, the game was over.

“The quarterback goes out and throws three picks, you’re not going to win the ballgame,” McCoy said. “It’s very rare that happens. So it’s on me, my team knows it’s on me and we’re going to get it fixed and go win.”

That's not to single out McCoy and Phillips. There were mistakes all over the field in this game, and OSU repeatedly capitalized. Texas had no answer in the second half. One field goal and no spark. No big plays, no momentum, no change. It hadn't faced that feeling in a long time.

And there’s not much to second-guess. Oklahoma State was the far superior team. Brown was asked afterward about his usage of freshman quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, which remains one of the great red herrings of Texas’ issues this season. Brown offered as honest an answer as he could have.

“You never make decisions when you’re tired and when you’re frustrated,” he said. “I’d say we’re both tonight.”

The clichés his players will lean on after this one -- about 24-hour rules and not letting one loss become two -- are actually apt. Texas still has plenty to play for. This team needs help to get to the Fiesta Bowl, yes. But Texas (7-3, 6-1 Big 12) gets more than 10 days to prepare for a Thanksgiving meeting with Texas Tech. Win that one and it'll still be in the thick of things with a trip to Waco on the horizon.

For now, though, all the Longhorns can worry about is fixing themselves. They made things far too easy for a talented Oklahoma State team that had very little trouble doing what it wanted to do in.

Brown wasn’t ready to assign much blame after the game. A thorough film session is needed before he can reach some conclusions, and he knows this season isn’t over yet.

“There’s a lot of football to be played,” Brown said. “You just can’t get your head down and lay down and quit when you have a bad night. You have to go back to work.”

There’s plenty of work to be done, even after the two-month run this team was on. Texas got its big moment on Saturday and got flat-out beat. Its Big 12 title hopes took a blow. We’ll know in two weeks whether it was a fatal one.

Big 12 Saturday Live

November, 16, 2013
11/16/13
10:17
PM ET
It’s another college football Saturday and we’ve got you covered with all of the latest analysis on the Big 12. Follow along all day as our reporters react in real time on Twitter to the games involving Big 12 teams, and make sure to keep the conference blog open to keep up with the latest written content.

Video: Oklahoma State WR Tracy Moore

November, 16, 2013
11/16/13
9:40
PM ET

Oklahoma State wide receiver Tracy Moore discusses the Cowboys' 38-13 victory at Texas on Saturday and what it means for their Big 12 title hopes.

Video: Can Baylor keep rolling vs. Tech?

November, 14, 2013
11/14/13
1:00
PM ET

Baylor looks to solidify its spot at the top of the Big 12 standings with a win over reeling Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium.
For the past six seasons, I've covered the Pac-12 for ESPN.com. The decade before that, I was in Seattle, as a college football writer and columnist. And before that, I covered the SEC.

I know football on both coasts. But I don't really know the land-locked states. The states in the middle. States that some snotty folks in the Pac-12 might refer to as "the flyover states."

[+] EnlargeKansas State
AP Photo/Orlin WagnePac-12 reporter Ted Miller will be taking in the atmosphere in Manhattan, Kan., this weekend.
But it's "Flip" week at ESPN.com. The idea is our regional college football writers are going to be leaving their regions -- their comfort zones -- for another, to search out the thrills and chills of college football in a different place. What makes that place different and special?

So I felt like it was right in my big-city wheelhouse when my bosses said I was going to Manhattan. Then they explained it was Manhattan, Kan., home of Kansas State, not the one on Hudson River. The Little Apple, not the big one.

That sent me to Google. And the more I read about Manhattan, the more I was intrigued. While the Pac-12 has a few neat college towns -- Eugene, Corvallis, Pullman, Boulder -- it's mostly big city football out here: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Salt Lake and Tucson. Manhattan sounds like a quintessential college town.

After chatting with Kenny Lannou in the Kansas State sports information office, I found myself getting excited. This is going to be cool.

But I need to hear from you guys about what I should see and seek out. What is most important about Kansas State football? What is uniquely K-State?

My inquiry is about the Friday before and game day -- the tailgate and game itself. No stone should be left unturned.

I turned to our resident Kansas State alum, senior recruiting reporter Jeremy Crabtree. What should I see? And what should I expect?

Jeremy Crabtree: Ted, the sightseeing on your trip to Kansas State should start even before you even arrive in Manhattan.

As you make your way West along I-70 from Kansas City, you’ll notice a change in the scenery as you near exit 313 for Manhattan. You will be driving through a section of the Flint Hills, one of the few remaining sections of tallgrass prairie in America. You’ll have to use your imagination some because it’s winter and the grass is brown instead of green, but envision oceans of vibrant green grass untouched by man as far as the eye can see. As a native Kansan, I truly believe the Flint Hills rival some of the natural beauty you’re used to seeing in Pac-12 territory.

[+] EnlargeDaniel Sams
Peter G. Aiken/Getty ImagesQuarterback Daniel Sams and Kansas State take on TCU on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Make sure you bring your clubs, because Colbert Hills Golf Course should be your first stop in Manhattan. From there you can experience some of the Flint Hills vistas yourself on a course designed by professional golfer Jim Colbert. You can see as far as 12 miles from some of the holes, and Colbert is a proud Kansas State alumnus, so the place is near and dear to Wildcat fans.

After you’re done there, I would make a beeline to Aggieville, a six-square block section in town that’s full of restaurants, bars and shops that serve as the social hub of Manhattan. You honestly couldn’t go wrong with any of the places in Aggieville for lunch, but I’m a big fan of Coco Bolos, a Mexican wood-fired grill and cantina. The evil desert chicken is to die for, and if you’re adventurous you can order it “truly evil” like I do. From there it’s just a short walk to Varney’s Book Store, Aggieville’s anchor store and the only place to get everything purple you’ll need for Saturday’s game.

Your afternoon would also not be complete without a visit to the Call Hall Dairy Bar on campus. From there you can sample some of the 30-different student-made ice cream flavors. I’ve always been a big fan of purple pride, candy crunch and apple dapple.

On game day, make sure you get there early as the real pre-game show takes place in the parking lots.

Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City has the best tailgating in the country, but you have to rank Bill Snyder Family Stadium right up there, too. With large blacktop parking lots on the east and west side of the stadium, there’s plenty of room for cars, trucks and RVs to cram in and that creates kind of a tailgating utopia. With everyone packed in so tightly, a sweet-smelling combination of smoke from ribs, brats, steaks, burgers, brisket or whatever hangs in the air.

Also don’t be shy if you see something you want to sample. Fans from opposing schools have always commented on how friendly the tailgating is in Manhattan, and K-Staters don’t like seeing people go hungry, even if you come empty-handed.

Ted Miller: Consider me intrigued. So Kansas State fans, if you have any suggestions for me to guide me on this trip, feel free to drop them in my mailbag or shoot me a note on Twitter @ESPN_Pac12blog. If you see me walking around Manhattan, don't be shy, say hello.

Big 12 Saturday Live

November, 9, 2013
11/09/13
10:40
PM ET
It’s another college football Saturday and we’ve got you covered with all of the latest analysis on the Big 12. Follow along all day as our reporters react in real time on Twitter to the games involving Big 12 teams, and make sure to keep the conference blog open to keep up with the latest written content.

Thursday Title Talk Live

November, 7, 2013
11/07/13
4:30
PM ET
Oregon-Stanford. Oklahoma-Baylor. Four top-10 teams. Conference and BCS implications galore.

It’s almost certainly the biggest non-Thanksgiving Thursday in college football regular-season history and we know many of you will be working the remote and following social media during this titanic night. Keep Thursday Title Talk Live open throughout the evening – starting at 7:30 p.m. ET -- and we’ll bring you real-time reaction and analysis from ESPN’s stable of reporters, analysts and experts.

Big 12 race update: Week 11

November, 6, 2013
11/06/13
3:00
PM ET
And then, there were four.

Oklahoma State all but knocked Texas Tech out of the conference race with its victory in Lubbock last weekend, bringing a little more clarity to the Big 12 title picture.

A quick refresher on the Big 12’s three-way tiebreakers:
  1. Head-to-head.
  2. Records against the next highest placed teams.
  3. BCS rank, unless two teams are ranked within one spot of the other; then, head-the-head is invoked again.

Here’s what the race for the Big 12’s automatic BCS bowl berth the looks like heading into the backstretch:

• Texas (6-2, 5-0 Big 12): The Longhorns control their own destiny, with a victory over fellow contender Oklahoma in their hip pocket. The key game for Texas is Nov. 16 against Oklahoma State. If the Longhorns can hold off the Cowboys in Austin, they would be playing for a Big 12 title and the automatic BCS bowl berth at Baylor on Dec. 7 just by splitting games with West Virginia and Texas Tech.

• No. 6 Baylor (7-0, 4-0): Baylor has been the most impressive team in the Big 12 so far. But the Bears still have OU, Texas Tech, OSU and Texas left on the schedule. While the Bears could knock OU out of the mix Thursday night with a win in Waco, they would still be alive with a loss. But they would have to win out, then hope someone like Oklahoma State could hand the Sooners a second loss.

• No. 10 Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1): The Sooners are the only ones here that do not control their destiny. Even if they won out, OU would still need Texas to lose at some point. Possibly even twice, since the Longhorns claim the head-to-head edge. OU probably has the toughest remaining slate of the contenders, too, with road games at Baylor and Oklahoma State as well as surging Kansas State. Because of the Texas loss, the Sooners have no margin for error. But they could take a major step forward with a win Thursday.

• No. 14 Oklahoma State (7-1, 4-1): Even with the loss at West Virginia early in the season, the Cowboys still control their destiny. The key game for them is Texas on Nov. 16. If they can topple the Horns in Austin, then the Pokes would have a chance to clinch the league with back-to-back home games against Baylor and OU.

LUBBOCK, Texas -- The first few days on the job as head coach, Kliff Kingsbury sat in his empty office looking out on to Texas Tech's practice fields.

The 33-year-old knew he should be doing something. He wanted to be doing something.

But what?

"Literally the first two days I got here, I sat in this chair and was like, 'I don't know what to do,'" Kingsbury said. "'I don't know the next move.'"

It was a rare pause for Kingsbury, who is known for moving fast, both in the offense that he runs and his career trajectory. In coaching since just 2008, he's already helped groom the NCAA's all-time passing leader (Case Keenum) and a Heisman Trophy winner (Johnny Manziel) as an assistant to Kevin Sumlin at Houston and Texas A&M.

To continue reading, click here.

Video: One Good Thing -- Baylor's defense

October, 21, 2013
10/21/13
4:08
PM ET

Max Olson discusses an impressive performance from No. 8 Baylor's improving defense in a 71-7 win over Iowa State.

Video: Oklahoma 34, Kansas 19

October, 19, 2013
10/19/13
7:45
PM ET

Oklahoma scored 25 unanswered points in a 34-19 win over Kansas.

SPONSORED HEADLINES