Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Big 12 stock report: Week 3
By David Ubben
Who's up, and who's down after Week 2? Glad you asked. Time to check the Big 12 stock report.
Rising: Kansas' ballhawking skills
The Jayhawks forced a grand total of 18 turnovers last season, the lowest amount in the entire Big 12. That total ranked 91st nationally, too. This year? Kansas is just 1-1, but they've seen big improvement in that category. KU has already forced eight turnovers through just two games. That ranks second nationally, and the only team ahead of the Jayhawks is SMU, who forced zero turnovers against Baylor in Week 1, but forced 10 (!!) last week against Stephen F. Austin.
Falling: Oklahoma State's ballhawking skills
The Cowboys led the nation with 44 takeaways last year, but in last week's 59-38 loss to Arizona, the Cowboys were held without a single takeaway, something that hadn't happened at Oklahoma State since a win at Kansas back in 2010. That gives Oklahoma State just two takeaways through two games. The one silver lining for the Pokes: They had just three turnovers at this time last year.
Rising: Texas QB David Ash's accuracy
Ash completed just 56.6 percent of his passes as a true freshman last season, including eight interceptions to just four touchdown passes. That ranked ninth in the Big 12. This year, it's been a different story for the sophomore. He's completed 73.5 percent of his passes for three touchdowns and no interceptions, adding a 49-yard touchdown run last week. Among QBs with at least 15 attempts, only West Virginia's Geno Smith has completed a higher percentage of passes, and Ash is one of just three Big 12 starting QBs without an interception.
Falling: Wins records for coaches
Last week, Gary Patterson notched his 110th career win, passing Dutch Meyer's half-century old record as the school's all-time wins leader. This week, it's time to make more history. If Texas knocks off Ole Miss in Oxford, Mack Brown will pass Ohio State's Jim Tressel for 13th all-time among coaches, with 230 wins. With three more wins, he'll pass Bob Stoops and Bill Snyder's mentor, Hayden Fry, on the all-time list. If Texas finishes with 11 wins this year, Brown will be tied with another Ohio State legend who made another less than sanctimonious exit: Woody Hayes.
Rising: Big 12 offenses ... again.
Two of them have played just one game, but the Big 12 enters Week 3 with three of the nation's top four offenses. Oklahoma State leads the nation with 659 yards a game, and West Virginia is right behind the Cowboys, with 655 total yards. Sitting in fourth: Baylor, who racked up 59 points and 613 yards in a win over SMU.
Meanwhile, when it comes to scoring offenses, the Big 12 has seven teams in the top 11. The entire league average is nearly 50 points a game, but West Virginia (69), Oklahoma State (61), Baylor (59), TCU (56), Kansas State (51.5), Texas Tech (51) and Oklahoma (46.5) are all among the nation's highest-scoring offenses.
Falling: Oklahoma's pass protection
The Sooners gave up just 11 sacks last season, good for seventh-fewest nationally and tied with Stanford. Only Texas A&M gave up fewer in the Big 12. This year, though? Oklahoma's already given up six sacks through two games. Part of it is the offensive line, and Jones has hung onto the ball a little too long at times, too. Still, that number has to be a bit alarming for the crimson and cream. It's going to get tougher in the Big 12.