Big 12 Notebook: vs. UTEP

Noah Brooks

Sooners fall to the Cougars in Upset

No. 3 Oklahoma, widely predicted to be the Big 12 Champion, received a shock Saturday when No. 15 Houston beat them 33-23. The Cougars pulled ahead in the third quarter with 14 unanswered points and stayed in the lead for the rest of the game. 

Oklahoma still could win out to receive an invitation to the playoffs, but with Ohio State, TCU, and Texas on their schedule, it’ll be an uphill battle. 

TCU and Iowa State Struggle on Opening Weekend

Amid many blowout wins for the Big 12, No. 13 TCU struggled against FCS team South Dakota State turned for three quarters. After tying the game 24-24 at the half, TCU junior QB Kenny Hill led the Horned Frogs to five straight scoring drives to eventually win the game 59-41. 

Iowa State wasn’t so lucky against Northern Iowa, losing the game 25-20. The Cyclones struggled particularly with the running game, picking up just 51 yards on 25 attempts.  

Big 12 Expansion List Narrowed Down to 12 Schools

Among all of the rumors of expansion, the Big 12 officially announced that it had narrowed its expansion list to 12 schools: Air Force, BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Colorado State, UConn, Houston, Rice, South Florida, SMU, Temple, and Tulane. Each school is expected to have a presentation in front of Big 12 representatives this week, per ESPN. 

Widely seen as among the front-runners are Cincinnati, BYU, and Houston, with the latter’s win over Oklahoma showing that it can compete in the Big 12 if included. A timeline for expansion decisions is not known, as commissioner Bob Bowlsby has been tight-lipped throughout the process. 

Texas, TCU Players Pick Up Big 12 Weekly Honors

Texas senior QB Tyrone Swoopes and TCU QB Kenny Hill were named Co-Offensive Players of the Week by the Big 12. Swoopes led the Longhorns to three rushing touchdowns, including the game-winning one in double overtime to beat Notre Dame. Hill racked up 484 yards of total offense and five total touchdowns over South Dakota State. 

Texas sophomore defensive tackle Chris Nelson was named Defensive Player of the Week, leading the team with 8 tackles and 2 tackles for loss, both career highs. TCU sophomore punt returner KaVontae Turpin was named Special Teams Player of the Week for his 81-yard return for a touchdown, as well as his 177 all purpose yards. 

Texas freshman QB Shane Buechele was named Newcomer of the Week after he led the Longhorns with 313 total yards and three touchdowns.  

AP Poll Movement

After being unranked in the preseason, Texas’ performance against Notre Dame shot them up to rank 11. Oklahoma fell 11 spots to number 14 after their loss, with TCU coming up right behind them at 15, falling two spots despite a 61-7 win over Southeastern Louisiana. Oklahoma State also fell a spot despite a big win to land at 22, while Baylor stayed in the same position at 23.