Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Big 12 stock report: Week 14
By David Ubben
Go-go funds! Takeover targets! Payment float!
The Big 12 stock market was closed last week because of the short week, but we're back with more nonsensical financial terms paired with rising and falling stocks across the Big 12.
Rising: Lache Seastrunk
Don't look now, but Baylor's new No. 1 running back might be setting up for an absolutely huge 2013 season. The Oregon transfer was getting no love from the Baylor offense in the Bears' first seven games, never topping more than seven carries in a game but still racking up 181 yards on just 24 carries. Since then, he's emerged as Baylor's No. 1 back, and received the official designation on this week's depth chart, moving up from No. 3, where he began the season. Seastrunk has received at least 15 carries in the past four games and has his first three career 100-yard games, highlighted by 185 yards and an 80-yard touchdown in the Bears' upset win over Kansas State. He's averaging over 7.3 yards a carry in that stretch, running for 515 yards on 70 carries. Over that four-game span, Baylor is 3-1 and back in a bowl game for the third consecutive year. Seastrunk scored three touchdowns in the lone loss of that stretch, which came by eight points on the road to Oklahoma, who may win the Big 12 title this year. That's a pretty stark contrast to be a coincidence, I'd say.
Falling: Turnover-free teams
Does anybody want the title of the Big 12's most careful team when it comes to turnovers? Kansas State had been the undisputed champion, turning the ball over just six times in 10 games to begin the season. Then the Wildcats handed it over three times in a loss to Baylor that ended their perfect season in rather spectacular fashion -- by 28 points to a team that entered the night at just 4-5. That allowed Texas to usurp the Wildcats title as the stingiest team. For a week, anyway. Texas had just eight turnovers in 10 games, but the Longhorns turned it over four times in a loss to TCU on Thanksgiving night. K-State has reclaimed their lead in the race for the fewest giveaways, but now West Virginia is No. 2, with just 11 turnovers.
Rising: Geno Smith
Smith's out of the Heisman race, but the former frontrunner has gotten back to a pretty outstanding pace in his past four games, despite winning just one of them. The West Virginia quarterback has topped 300 yards twice and thrown 11 touchdowns to just three interceptions after a pair of nightmarish outings against Kansas State and Texas Tech that derailed the Mountaineers' season early on. He's also retaken the Big 12 passer rating lead and ranks ninth nationally in the stat.
Falling: Texas Tech takeaways
I'll admit this stat had slipped through the cracks for me, but ... man. Ouch. Texas Tech forced a combined seven turnovers in big wins over Iowa State and TCU to reach 6-1 and was control of the Big 12 title. Since then, the Red Raiders have lost four of five to finish with a very average season at 7-5. Why? Look no further than turnovers. Tech's only win over the stretch came in overtime to Kansas and two losses were by single digits. Texas Tech failed to force a single turnover in its final five games. Don't think one or two might have changed a game along the way?