Big 12 Football: What We Learned in September


Sept 8, 2012; Norman OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Damien Williams (26) drives for touchdown against Florida A

The first month of college football is in the books. Thanks to September starting on a Saturday, we were treated to five great Saturdays with plenty of surprises. So let us reflect on the past 30 days, and digest what we just witnessed.

Let’s start with everybody’s favorite team, the Oklahoma Sooners. They had an incredible month which included a hard-earned victory against the mighty Miners of Texas-El Paso, a rout of FCS’ Florida A&M Rattlers, and a home loss to a revenge-seeking Kansas State team.

You thought Landry Jones was the most despised man in Norman before? Well, following that home loss to the Fighting Snyders, Jones has lost the trust of Sooner Nation. For the past three years, Landry has received a lot of flack for following Sam Bradford, and a lot of it was uncalled for. However, no one should be feel bad anymore. Jones is simply not the guy.

The offense has yet to find any rhythm this season, and a lot of that has to do with Landry, but the blocking hasn’t been superb. Also, the run game can not decide whether it wants to be really awesome or not. Damien Williams has been a bright spot for the Sooners. Also, Kenny Stills has done well for the most part. However, the offense as a whole has been much of the same of last season, if not worse.

The Oklahoma defense has been a tad disappointing. Mainly because of a depleted defensive line, but the Sooner defense has not looked like the one we were expecting with Mike Stoops back. The secondary looks better in the post-Willie Martinez era, but they haven’t been truly tested. Starting October against Seth Doege and David Ash will definitely help answer some questions for the secondary.

As a team, Oklahoma has underachieved, and winning the Big 12 seems very far off. They have had plenty of rest this month with two bye weeks, so maybe the Sooners received the wake-up call necessary, but for right now, Oklahoma would probably settle for a Cotton Bowl bid. Though, hopefully, that isn’t asking for too much.

Moving on to the rest of the Big 12, I will be brief. I have watched a few other teams, and for the most part, the Big 12 is still wide-open. It is about as deep as ever, but I don’t feel like any team is truly elite.

Mandatory Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE

West Virginia definitely can score, but their defense is pitiful. Much like Oklahoma in 2008, they will rely on the arm of Geno Smith. This is a team that could probably sneak in to the title game, but their chances against an Alabama or Oregon are a different story.

The Longhorns are not exactly what we expected, which I am not sure is good or bad news. David Ash and the Horns rolled through their out-of-conference slate and pulled a nail biter against Oklahoma State. Texas’ offense will be hard to stop with guys like Malcolm Brown, Mike Davis, and Jaxon Shipley. However, the defense was supposed to be the strength of this team. Or at least that is what the media told us. The Longhorns have some work to do on defense, though in their defense (no pun intended), Joseph Randle and the OSU run game is really good.

Speaking of Oklahoma State, this team is probably headed toward an 8-4 type season. They will end up in a lot of close games, but they have a lot of youth that need time to develop. And you can’t really rely on Joseph Randle to carry this team. The Cowboys have good talent in Lunt and Walsh, but the defense has been disappointing, especially the secondary.

As for the rest of the Big 12, we all know about Kansas State. They are a tough, physical team that has pulled out some big wins over Oklahoma and (this may be a stretch) Miami. TCU has underwhelmed, but are still undefeated. Baylor, as I anticipated, is in good hands with Nick Florence, but their defense is garbage. Iowa State has played well, but Jantz and the Clones let up one to Texas Tech at home, who are perfect following the win. And do I really need to say anything about Kansas? That’s what I thought.