The Big 12 gets their nine-game conference schedule going this weekend

Big 12 Report: Proving time as conference play arrives

Big 12 Report: Proving time as conference play arrives
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Wins that matter

Kansas 48 Boston College 24

Kansas! YES! KANSAS! They ROCKED Boston College. 500 yards of offense with the majority of it coming on the ground. Their defense pitched a shutout in the second half. This is a huge turnaround for a team that lost to Coastal Carolina the week before. Les Miles might be in for a long haul to get Kansas where they want to go but he's on the right path with a win like this. It was the first Power 5 win on the road in over a decade for the Jayhawks. Awesome. They might add a few surprises to their win-loss record before 2019 is over.

Kansas State 31 Mississippi State 24

Crazy what happens when you hire a coach who lost six games in five years. Chris Klieman has Kansas State rolling putting up huge numbers against non-Power 5 opponents and securing a big win against an SEC foe on the road. I don't know what success is going to look like for Kansas State in 2019 but they're already on the right track to getting back into a bowl game. Heading to the Little Apple won't be an easy win this year.

West Virginia 44 North Carolina State 27

The Wolfpack won nine games last season and though they lost a lot they were favorites over a struggling West Virginia team. Well, Neal Brown and company smoked their ACC opponent just like Kansas did. Austin Kendall finally got going at quarterback and the defense played lights out in the second half. Again, going to West Virginia isn't going to be a cakewalk despite what the first two weeks may have displayed.

Studs of the week

WVU WR Sam James

Quite the breakout for the youngster. Nine catches led to 155 yards and the above score. He only had 70 yards or so coming into this game. He will be Austin Kendall's best friend going forward.

Kansas RB Khalil Herbert

How about 17 yards per carry? That's what Herbert did on Saturday. He was a monster and has been making the most of his opportunities all year sharing the rock with Pooka Williams. 187 yards total and a touchdown on the day for the senior.

OSU RB Chuba Hubbard

He has been here before. He will be here a bunch. This was as good as his week one performance, maybe better. 256 yards and three more scores. He's already matched his touchdown total from all of last season.

Must-watch game: Orange showdown

Oklahoma State at Texas

Texas got a little reprieve last weekend with Rice on their schedule but just two weeks after squaring off with the dynamic LSU offense another one comes to town. The last time the Longhorns beat the Cowboys was 2014. Oklahoma State held off Texas in 2018 and 2017 saw a low-scoring overtime win by Mike Gundy's crew when Texas QB Sam Ehlinger tried to throw it away and didn't get it away but into a defender's hand.

Texas has no margin for error in the hope for a chance at the playoff and very little room for a loss if they want to win the Big 12 as well. The Cowboys could make a statement

Who better ball?

Texas QB Sam Ehlinger

An interception to end the game in 2017. One of his more unimpressive performances last year. It is time for him to go nuts on a defense that is suspect.

Kansas RB Khalil Herbert and WVU WR Sam James

Both these guys were studs of the week and now their teams play each other so ball out again and help your team claw their way out of the Big 12 cellar.

Big 12 Rankings

1. Oklahoma

2. Oklahoma State

3. Texas

4. Baylor

5. TCU

6. Kansas State

7. Iowa State

8. West Virginia

9. Kansas

10. Texas Tech

Yes, my Texas Tech Red Raiders are at the bottom. Power 5 road loss and got dominated in it. Also, the starting quarterback is hurt. Rough times for the red and black.

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The Astros rotation looks like a strength moving forward. Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Astros are coming off a much-needed series win over the White Sox, but have a quick turnaround as they host the Orioles on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

The 'Stros dropped the first game of the series with Framber Valdez on the mound, but were able to rebound with Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti starting the final two games.

Brown was brilliant once again, and Arrighetti bounced back after a disastrous start against the Tigers over the weekend. Despite all the injures to the Astros staff this season, their young pitchers are stepping up when they need them the most.

Brown has six consecutive quality starts and is beginning to show signs that he can be the top of the rotation pitcher the club always hoped he could develop into.

Arrighetti has stepped in and shown that he belongs in the big leagues, and has provided innings Houston desperately requires with so many pitchers on the injured list.

Speaking of which, with Justin Verlander on the IL, Double A prospect Jake Bloss will make the start for Houston on Friday night. Bloss has quickly progressed through the farm system, having been drafted just a year ago.

We'll see how he performs in his MLB debut, but the club seems to have a lot of quality pitching options moving forward, especially with Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers scheduled to return in late July and early August respectively.

And as we look at the Astros rotation moving forward, perhaps they will go back to a six-man rotation during certain stretches in the second half of the season.

Which could prove to be vital to the team's success. As good as Ronel Blanco has been, he's never pitched as many innings as he'll be asked to pitch this year. Same goes for Arrighetti. And let's face it, sending Verlander out to pitch on four days rest consistently at 41 years old doesn't sound like a wise decision. He's already been on the IL twice this year.

While some see Garcia and McCullers as wild cards to help the team this season, Astros GM Dana Brown doesn't see it that way. He told the Astros flagship station this week that he's counting on those guys to make big contributions when they return. And he's counting on their postseason experience should they get there.

Keep in mind, Garcia has a 3.61 career ERA and has been durable outside the Tommy John surgery. And McCullers has always been good, it's just the health that causes concern.

Garcia is also an example of how a player can skip Double A and Triple A and have success right away in the big leagues. Hopefully, Bloss can follow in his footsteps, since he's bypassing Triple A to make his first start.

So what's the short and long-term outlook for the Astros rotation? And should we expect Verlander to return in 2025?

Be sure to watch the video above as we address those questions and much more!

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