Big 12 stock report: Week 8
October, 17, 2012
By David Ubben | ESPNDallas.com
Leveraged buyouts! Life annuity! Reproducible assets!
And you thought I was done? Nope. We're back with more fluctuating stocks and nonsensical financial terms. Let's get to the football.
Rising: TCU's ballhawkery
The Frogs are holding strong at 5-1, and the defense is the biggest reason why. Through six games, TCU leads the nation with 20 takeaways and 14 interceptions. Jason Verrett leads the Big 12 with four interceptions, and the Frogs picked off Nick Florence four times last week. Even better? It should have been five. Kenny Cain intercepted a pass off of Baylor RB Jarred Salubi's heel, but officials thought it hit the ground and didn't review the play. Seven different Frogs already have interceptions this season.
Falling: Oklahoma State's grabby hands ... again
This has to be a major, major concern now for Oklahoma State. It played the Big 12's worst offense in a rainstorm and still couldn't force a turnover. What's the deal? This defense prides itself on going for the ball and forced a nation-high 44 turnovers last year. It's finished in the top 11 in takeaways every year under defensive coordinator Bill Young, but this year, the Cowboys still have just four takeaways in five games. Only Buffalo has fewer.
Rising: Art Kaufman
Kaufman has completely turned around one of the league's worst defenses, and that's after playing arguably the nation's best offense lsat week, West Virginia. For my money, Kaufman is the frontrunner for the Frank Broyles Award as college football's top assistant. Texas Tech finished 114th in total defense and 117th in scoring defense last year. This year, the Red Raiders are fourth and 16th, respectively. Both are in the top two in the Big 12.
Falling: Manny Diaz
Diaz was one of the hottest names in coaching this offseason, and his stock figured to skyrocket with what looked like the Big 12's best defense. Instead, the Longhorns defense has been one of the biggest disappointments of the first half of the season. They've given up 1,255 rushing yards, 50 more than Kansas and 323 more than the next-worst Big 12 team. Opponents are gaining 5.14 yards a carry, the 111th-worst mark in the country. Texas ranks 102nd in total defense and 97th in scoring defense. That streak of the Longhorns leading the Big 12 in total defense in each of the past four years? All but over.
Rising: Fourth-down conversions
The Big 12 is getting it done on fourth down. Oklahoma and Kansas State are two of just four teams with a perfect mark on fourth down this season, even though they're just a combined 4-of-4. Baylor, meanwhile, is fifth nationally after converting 8-of-9 fourth downs. Baylor is a perfect 6-of-6 in the past three games on fourth down.
Falling: Kansas' defense
The Jayhawks got off to a great start defensively, but that's changed now. KU had five sacks in the first three games, but hasn't had a single sack over the next three games. After leading the nation with 12 takeaways in the first three games, Kansas has forced just two turnovers in the next three games.