Big 12: Justin Torres

Big 12 viewer's guide: Week 13

November, 21, 2014
Nov 21
Lesson learned.

Last weekend appeared like it would have minimal impact on the race for a College Football Playoff berth, with TCU visiting Kansas and Baylor sitting at home during a bye week. Instead, KU gave TCU everything it could handle and the Horned Frogs ended up dropping out of the CFP rankings top four despite a win.

This weekend, Baylor faces a similar scenario as the clear favorite over Oklahoma State, which is in the midst of a four-game losing streak.

Here are the storylines to watch in the Big 12 during Week 13:

[+] EnlargeCody Thomas
AP Photo/Alonzo AdamsCody Thomas will get his second start at QB this weekend for Oklahoma.
Kansas at No. 21 Oklahoma, noon ET (Fox Sports 1): The Sooners returned to the Top 25 after a 42-30 road win over Texas Tech last Saturday, but it has been a while since Bob Stoops' squad looked like one of the nation’s elite. Redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Thomas will get his second start and a second opportunity to show he should be in OU’s future plans. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks are coming off a strong performance, albeit a loss, against TCU. KU’s offense is more explosive with Eric Kiesau handling the play-calling duties and could make enough plays to put another ranked team on upset alert.

Texas Tech at Iowa State, 3:30 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Networks): Both teams badly need a win with one conference victory combined between the Red Raiders and Cyclones. Texas Tech showed plenty of fight in the loss to OU and has the better offense of the two with either Patrick Mahomes or Davis Webb at quarterback. But the Red Raiders also have an ugly trend of shooting themselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties. The Cyclones are coming off a bye week with a renewed focus on righting the ship after a blowout loss to KU in their last game. In a lot of ways, the 2015 season starts now for the Red Raiders and Cyclones with players on both teams looking to solidify themselves as key playmakers of the future.

Oklahoma State at No. 7 Baylor, 7:30 p.m. ET, (Fox): There is no shortage of reasons for Baylor to want to win -- and win impressively. Not only did Oklahoma State hammer Baylor 49-17 in 2013, but the Pokes have been the biggest thorn in the Bears' side in the entire conference in recent years, having won four of the past five meetings. Combine Baylor’s pursuit of a College Football Playoff berth and desire to impress the committee with Oklahoma State’s recent struggles and it could be an explosive night at McLane Stadium.

Colorado recruiting capsule

February, 4, 2010
Colorado Buffaloes

Total class: 21

ESPN 150: 0

By position: TE 3, RB 3, ATH 2, WR 2, OT 2, G 2, LB 2, DE 2, QB 1, CB 1, K 1

By state: California 8, Colorado 2, Texas 2, Hawaii 1, Ohio 1, New Jersey 1, Louisiana 1, Arizona 1, Alabama 1, Florida 1, North Carolina 1, Maryland 1.

Already enrolled in school: 2.

The big ones: QB Nick Hirschman, the nation’s No. 26 quarterback, has already enrolled in college with hopes of getting a head start at playing time. WR Harold Mobley, the nation’s No. 64 wide receiver, is the physical kind of pass-catcher who will mesh well with Marques Simas as a pair of bookend receivers.

Sleeper: K Justin Castor will receive the chance to contend for immediate playing time as he battles slump-ridden Aric Goodman for playing time.

Needs met: After losing Darrell Scott and Demetrius Sumler, the Buffaloes needed depth at running back and met it with the addition of underrated Tony Jones and sleepers Trea Jones and Justin Torres. Six tight ends or H-backs graduated from the team last year and coach Dan Hawkins addressed the need with three players keyed by three-star recruit Justin Favors, the nation's No. 38 tight end. Hirschman will help at quarterback, but the Buffaloes missed out on Munchie Legaux, a late defection to Cincinnati.

Analysis: The critics are out after Hawkins’ class, which featured no recruits with more than three stars and only two players from Colorado. It was the first time in Hawkins’ tenure the Buffaloes failed to crack the top 50 nationally in recruiting rankings. And they were hurt by the defection of RB Mister Jones (Texas A&M) and QB Danny Spond (Notre Dame), two top in-state prospects who both chose to go elsewhere after originally committing to the Buffaloes.

What Dan Hawkins said: "Athletically, top to bottom, they might be the most-athletic class we have had. ... There are a ton of guys you miss on. There are always guys that you don't get and that's the nature every year. ... Everyone around America is fired up on signing day with optimism. I think with this class, there is just a tremendous amount of quality there and I am very impressed by the kind of people they are."

Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: C-minus, ninth in Big 12.
With National Signing Day 36 hours away and counting, you can understand that news is flying around pretty heavily during the final stages of the recruiting process.

That's why Tom Luginbill's daily updates are so vital to all of us.

Here are some late afternoon Big 12-related recruiting nuggets provided by the esteemed the national recruiting director for ESPN Scouts Inc.

And for up-to-the-minute recruiting information, always look at's On the Trail, which legitimately is one of the highlights of our Insider benefits.

Especially this time of year.

QB Brion Carnes

Bradenton, FL

Manatee H.S.

Scouts Grade: 77

Position Rank: 39

Manatee (Bradenton, Fla.) three-star quarterback Brion Carnes, who had his Class of 2010 offer withdrawn on Friday by South Florida, and has now committed to Western Kentucky, according to a report in his hometown newspaper.

But the Omaha World-Herald reported late Sunday that Carnes is saying he is not committed to the Hilltoppers and will announce his decision on National Signing Day.

Carnes had taken an official trip to Nebraska last week and reportedly pledged to the Hilltoppers during a visit this weekend -- a decision that Carnes disputed late Sunday.

Carnes, who committed to USF last summer, is a cousin with former Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier and WKU head coach Willie Taggart was a standout player at Manatee. The late visits didn't sit well with new head coach Skip Holtz of the Bulls..

Manatee coach Joe Kinnan called USF's actions "classless" in the Bradenton Herald, and added "USF is no longer welcome at our school."

Carnes threw for 2,245 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior in helping of the Hurricanes go 13-2.

The Bulls are now recruiting LaGrange, Ga., athlete/quarterback Jamius Gunsby, who has offers from Florida and Kentucky. The three-star 6-foot-5, 220-pound Gunsby may commit to USF during his visit this weekend.

DE Mike Jones

Sugar Land, TX

Kempner H.S.

Scouts Grade: 40

Texas Tech has added a defensive lineman to its recruiting Class of 2010 with the offer to Mike Jones of Kempner (Sugar Land, Texas).

Jones (6-foot-3, 255-pounds) also considered Boise State and Louisiana-Lafayette.

RB Justin Torres

La Mirada, CA

La Mirada H.S.

Scouts Grade: 40

Justin Torres, a 6-foot-1, 230-pound running back from La Mirada, Calif., has pledged to Colorado for the Class of 2010.

Torres rushed for 827 yards and 16 touchdowns on 104 carries, and also caught 23 passes for 318 yards and two scores as a senior. He was named CIF Co-Offensive Player of the Year and the Suburban League Most Valuable Player in 2009.

CB Tony Grimes

Hollywood, FL

Hollywood Hills H.S.

Scouts Grade: 80

Position Rank: 16

Highly-coveted senior Tony Grimes (Hollywood, Fla./Hills) has committed to Mississippi over Michigan and Maryland, ESPN affiliate reports.

"I had two good trips to Michigan and Maryland there's just something about Ole Miss that stuck with me. I like the other schools but I think Ole Miss beats them out and that's where I belong," he said.

West Virginia, Oregon, Ohio State, South Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas Tech, Iowa, Miami-FL, Purdue and Wisconsin among others also recruited the 6-foot, 170-pound player.