If you didn’t stay up to watch Oklahoma visit Texas Tech Saturday night, you missed a shootout of epic proportions.   First off, no game in the history of Division I college football has featured more yards than this game had.   Both teams combined for basically a mile of offense, at 1,708 yards and was just shy of the all division record of 1,714 yards that was set in DIII.  On top of that there were several other records set in Lubbock, such as:

  • The game set the all-time NCAA record for combined passing yards in a game with 1,279
  • Tied the record for most combined first downs in a game at 78
  • Mahomes set the NCAA individual record of total offense in a game, with 814 combined yards
  • Mahomes and Mayfield set the combined FBS record for total yards at 1,383
  • Mahomes tied the D1 passing yardage record with 734 yards
  • Mahomes also set Big 12 records for most completions, taking the record from his coach
  • Mayfield broke Oklahoma’s record for touchdowns in a game with seven
  • Oklahoma became the first school in FBS history to feature a 500 yard passer, a 200 yard rusher, and a 200 yard receiver in a single game
  • Mixon became the first Sooner to ever rack up more than 200 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in a single game.
  • It was the second highest scoring game featuring an AP ranked team, just behind West Virginia and Baylor combining for 133 points
  • Speaking of seconds, Mahomes was one attempt shy of setting the FBS record.

It was that kind of night.  It will be interesting to see how the ratings play out since it went late on the east coast, but it was definitely fun to watch.

Alright, let’s head into the power rankings and see if this weekend’s games shook anything up:

#10 West Virginia-

nmwtw10231West Virginia jumped into the Top Ten this week, which is a good place to be with the College Football Playoff Rankings coming out in a few weeks.   And, while some losses above them helped, they did it, by and large, by dismantling TCU on national television.  And, while their records are the same, the Mountaineers took over the top of the Big 12 Power Rankings from Baylor this week due to having a stronger schedule to date.

Within the top three or four schools, there isn’t a lot of like competition to compare each other to yet, outside West Virginia and Oklahoma.   A few weeks ago Oklahoma beat TCU 52-46 and, while West Virginia held TCU to ten points, Oklahoma went on the road to play the Frogs, while WVU had them at home.  Since TCU struggled with Kansas on the road, that isn’t a good comparison.

Both Oklahoma and West Virginia did play Texas Tech in Lubbock though in back to back weeks and the results couldn’t have been more different.

The chart on the right shows the offensive statistics the Red Raiders put up against both teams.   Out of 20 categories, West Virginia was noticeably stronger on defense in a whopping 70% of them.

While time of possession was nearly identical in both games, West Virginia held Texas Tech to 32 less plays and half as many yards.  Additionally, in the biggest stat not shown in the chart, West Virginia held Texas Tech to 42 less points.   Matter a fact, the Mountaineers held Tech to less points in the entire game than Oklahoma held the Red Raiders to total points in the fourth quarter.

It’s a long conference grind and West Virginia has a lot of miles to travel and games to play, but if this comparison plays out this entire season then the Mountaineers are definitely for real.  With that, and the fact that they play both Oklahoma and Baylor at home, West Virginia has the schedule in their favor to take a shot at the Big 12 title.

Next Game: @Oklahoma State

#9 Baylor –

The Bears were on bye last week, but come back in a position to put the last nail in the Charlie Strong coffin as they head to Austin.  The Bears haven’t been their normal dominating self this year, but have been doing just enough to get some wins.   At home their point differential is 122, while on the road its only 31.  Adjusting for games played, that’s still beating people by twice as many points at home.   They’ll need to start burying opponents on the road if they want to be looked at as a playoff threat.

Next Game: @Texas

#16 Oklahoma –

The Sooners get a bit of a bye this week as Kansas comes to visit.  While Kansas has been playing better as of late, especially on defense, that’s happened at home in front of their screaming fan.  On the road it’s a lot different.  In Norman it is nonexistent.

Next Game: Kansas

Oklahoma State –

The Cowboys are the last team in the conference with a chance to take the conference crown, but they are also in the worst position to do it.  At 5-2 they will be featured this week on national television when the Mountaineers come to town.   They cannot let WVU’s defense get to Rudolph as much as the Jayhawks did or it is going to be a long day.

Next Game:  West Virginia

Everyone else is out of the title hunt, but here’s the rest of the Power Ranking:

Kansas State: @Iowa State

TCU: Texas Tech.

Texas Tech: @TCU

Texas: Baylor

Iowa State: Kansas State

Kansas: @Oklahoma

College Football Playoff Forecast

nmwtw10232Penn State’s upset of Ohio State put the Big Ten in Michigan’s hands this week, but November is going to be huge in the Rust Belt.   Not only will Michigan and Ohio State settle it on the field, but Nebraska has to go to Wisconsin as well.  That’s four teams who still currently have good playoff odds

Due to that, this list is going to have a lot of movement over the next six weeks.

The Pac 12 and ACC are down to one team each and it doesn’t look like a second team would rise to the top if they fall.  For all the love Louisville is getting, even if Clemson loses they still get the divisional bid, but that may not be enough to win a playoff spot even with a championship game.

The SEC is really Alabama and its 13 dwarves.  The only reason Tennessee makes the list is because they are favored to win the east and meet Alabama again in Atlanta.  Could they jump into the playoffs if they win that game?   Perhaps, but with two losses already others would need to implode.

Lastly, that leaves the Big 12.  Currently they are out of the playoffs, but still have two teams sitting in the top ten.   This is a good place to be, especially if Baylor and WVU win out.   They meet in Morgantown in the last week of the season, which should get a lot of marketing.  It is important to note, again, that whoever wins their conference gets a big bonus in the last College Football Playoff poll.  This is designed specifically to keep two teams from a single conference out if there is a similar school from another conference.  If WVU and Baylor do win out, the victor in that last weekend will make a dynamic jump in the rankings, regardless of not having a CCG yet.  That’s why West Virginia currently has solid odds, even without a Top Five ranking.

November is going to be really, really fun.

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