Big 12 Quick Hits: Week 14

Nick Cremona

Texas A&M
The Aggies finally decided to part ways with head coach Mike Sherman. He was fired early this morning. The Aggies went just 25-25 in his four years at the helm. Some think current Houston coach, Kevin Sumlin, could be his replacement. Jeff Toole, the chief financial officer for the Aggie athletic department, recently admitted to being critical of A&M president R. Bowen Loftin by using an alias on the popular website Under the name UtayAg, Toole called Loftin a “putz,” and a “hopelessly under-qualified puppet.”

Defensive end Frank Alexander had to be helped off the field after an injury last week, but head coach Bob Stoops expects him to play going forward. Wide receiver Jaz Reynolds did not play against Iowa State last week because of suspension but he is also projected to be back in the starting lineup. Junior quarterback Landry Jones made his 35th career start for the Sooners last weekend, moving him in to second place on OU’s all-time list. It was also Jones’ 32nd consecutive start.

The Bears’ 66-42 rout of the Red Raiders was the first win for the school in 15 tries. Running back Terrance Ganaway carried the ball for a career-high of 42 times for 246 yards against the Red Raiders. Ganaway also sustained a concussion but returned after sitting out for just a few plays. The Bears will have a chance to win nine games in a season for the first time since the 1986.

Texas Tech
Cornerback Happiness Osunde suffered a serious knee injury last week. He will be evaluated for possible surgery this week. Running back DeAndre Washington and wide receiver Alex Torres will both undergo offseason knee surgery and could miss spring practice. The Red Raider defense gave up an average of 259 yards rushing per game over the course of the year, by far the most in the conference.

A terrible season for the Jayhawks came to a close last week as they finished 0-9 in conference play for the first time since 2002. Six of those losses came by 30 points or more, perhaps why coach Turner Gill was given the pink slip this week after just two seasons with the program. No candidates have been named to replace Gill as of yet. The Jayhawks’ defense ranked last nationally in not just one but two categories: total yards (516.4 per game) and points (43.7 per game).

After picking off his third pass of the season last week, cornerback Quandre Diggs is one pick shy of tying the UT freshman record for interceptions. Running back Joe Bergeron sat out against the Aggies as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury. Texas has held 10 out of 11 opponents under their season rushing averages this year. The Longhorns hold a 73-23-4 advantage all-time over the Bears, although the Bears’ last win of the series came just last year in Austin.

Kansas State
Head coach Bill Snyder is among the finalists chosen for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, annually given to the nation’s most outstanding coach. He could even add a share of the Big 12 conference title to his already impressive resume this season. If the Wildcats defeat Iowa State and the Sooners lose to the Cowboys, both Oklahoma teams along with the Wildcats would finish in a three-way tie for the conference crown. However, if this occurs the Sooners would represent the conference in the Fiesta Bowl.

Iowa State
The Cyclones recently offered a scholarship to junior college transfer Cory Morrissey. Morrissey is a 6-foot-4, 245-pound defensive end that is transferring from Iowa Western Community College and will be able to participate next season. Cyclones’ head coach Paul Rhoads weighed in on the recent firing of Kansas coach Turner Gill, saying “it’s bad for our profession, coaches getting two years and then being let go. We’re in our third year [at Iowa State] and we’re just now starting to see the physical differences needed to compete in [the Big 12].”