|Oklahoma and Damien Williams put any concerns about the team from the Kansas State loss behind them with a 63-21 win over Texas on Saturday. (AP)|
This week in the Big 12 either told us a lot about the 10 teams in the league or it told us we're taking stabs in the dark week to week about what we know with this conference. If you saw the Red Raiders blowing out Geno Smith's club, Texas getting embarrassed against Oklahoma and TCU's emphatic bounceback against Baylor coming, take a bow. The rest of us were left scratching our heads.
So take the five things we learned this week with a grain of salt. We think we know what we know, but after this weekend, we reserve the right to flip flop like a confused politician.
1. Oklahoma is back. Swagger is a word that gets thrown around too much these days, but it's appropriate for the transformation in Norman. The Sooners have it back after their beatdown of Texas, and they're also back in the Big 12 title hunt. Yeah, they need some help from the rest of the Big 12 when it comes to Kansas State, but after what happened this past weekend, it's tough to envision that K-State will be able to make it through the Big 12 with a perfect record. A trip to Morgantown against a mad West Virginia squad is the next test for the Wildcats. As for the Sooners, QB Landry Jones looks just fine and that defense brings back memories of the early 2000s. The Sooners have Notre Dame coming to town in two weeks, and although it's difficult to envision they could make the BCS title game if they win out -- a one-loss SEC team would probably get in before Oklahoma -- a BCS bowl game is certainly a possibility.
2. Texas is not back. Dennis Dodd wrote on Monday that he believes Mack Brown's days in Austin could be numbered. After an impressive win at Ole Miss, a late comeback at Oklahoma State and a valiant effort against West Virginia, it looked like Texas was building back up to where the program was in 2009. Scratch that after QB David Ash's struggles against Oklahoma and the wait for the defense to make a tackle -- we're still waiting. Instead of talking about Texas' resurgence, the story is Brown's record since 2009: 17-14 overall and 7-13 in the Big 12, including back-to-back blowout losses in the Red River Rivalry.
3. Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville has some job security. Tuberville brought up the fact at Big 12 media days that some had said he entered this year on the hot seat. What he has done with Texas Tech's defense should quiet that talk for the forseeable future. The Red Raiders ranked 114th in total defense and dead last in run defense last season; this year they rank fourth in total defense and 12th in run defense. And no one can question the legitimacy of those rankings after holding West Virginia to 14 points. Credit Tuberville for hiring Art Kaufman as defensive coordinator in the offseason and also addressing needs through recruiting.
4. West Virginia's defense is bad. We marveled for five games at Smith and the offense, and the thinking was that the Mountaineers could win the Big 12 even with a struggling defense because no one could outscore them. Yeah, about that... In the last three games, the West Virginia defense has had the two worst statistical performances (most yards allowed) in the history of the program. Not even Smith can handle the pressure to be perfect every week.
5. TCU can win without Casey Pachall. Someone suggested on Friday that TCU might not win another Big 12 game. The lesson: Don't underestimate Gary Patterson's defense, which remains the Big 12's top scoring defense after holding Baylor to 21 points. The TCU offense and QB Trevone Boykin also looked impressive against Baylor, but you could label that with an asterisk considering Baylor's defense has been the worst statistically in the country. Still, the Horned Frogs are learning how to utilize Boykin's ability and the drop off from Pachall may not be that great. The upcoming schedule is brutal, but don't count out Patterson's defense.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big 12 bloggers C.J. Moore and Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsBig12 on Twitter. You can also follow C.J. (@cjmoore4) and Patrick (@patricksouthern).