The Big 12 Report

One of the most historic rivalries in college football history will have all eyes on the Big 12 in Week 6

Sam Ehlinger will need to have a big game. Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The chips fell into place in week 5, as the top teams in the Big 12 were able come out on top in each of their matchups.The two lead dogs and only remaining undefeated teams in the Big 12, (7) Oklahoma and (9) West Virginia are now both considered among the Top 10 programs in the Nation. Texas (19) and Oklahoma State (25) also remain in the championship hunt, each with only one loss. Big 12 action will be a little light in Week 6 with TCU and Texas Tech both enjoying their bye week. With that said, all eyes will be on one classic Big 12 matchup, Oklahoma vs. Texas in the Red River Showdown.

Must watch games Week 6

(19) Texas vs. (7) Oklahoma

Once again, the Red River Showdown looks like it could turn out to be another instant classic. Both the Longhorns and Sooners are legitimate competitors in college football this season and will both undoubtedly put on a show this coming Saturday at the Cotton Bowl. This historic rivalry with have a new chapter written with two new stars at the helm of each team. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger and OU QB Kyler Murray will go head to head for the very first time, and fight to etch their name in the story books. The big questions of the day will be can the Longhorns defense can slow down the high-powered Sooners offense? And can Ehlinger be the difference maker Texas will need to bring down a college football Goliath? Since 2010 the Sooners have won 6 of the last 8 showdowns, but the last three games have been decided by 7 points or less. There is no telling who will take home bragging rights in 2018.

Iowa State vs. (25) Oklahoma State

Another Week 6 matchup in the Big 12 worthy of attention is Iowa State vs. No. 25 Oklahoma State. While the Cowboys held on to a spot in the Top 25 with a win over Kansas, Iowa State fell to TCU in a 17-14 nail biter. Iowa State now sits at a disappointing 1-3 but could possibly be one of the best 1-3 teams in the nation and have the potential to turn their season around at any point. Do not count the Cyclones out of their matchup vs. the Cowboys.

Players to watch week 6

Texas RB’s Keaontay Ingram & Tre Watson:

While there is no question that the Longhorns defense is talented, they are sure to have they hands full against one of the most dynamic and elusive playmakers in the country, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. Alongside Murray, the Sooners have an abundance of athletes that create matchup problems for any defense. With that said, I believe that UT’s best defense vs. the Sooners will be a good offense. What I mean by that is, the best way for the Longhorns to defend against Murray and the high powered OU offense is to control the clock and limit their time on the field. What this will require is strong performances by young running backs Keaontay Ingram and Tre Watson. Ingram and Watson have split time in the backfield all season and have both shown their ability to make big time plays at any moment. Look for this duo to have a major impact on whether or not the Longhorns can knock down their arch rivals.

Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray has lived up to every bit of the hype so far this season and set the field on fire in week 5 with 432 yards passing and 6 touchdowns vs. Baylor. Through 5 games Murray has racked up nearly 1,500 yards passing with 21 total touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. There could be an argument made that Murray has yet to play a worthy opponent or on a big-time stage, both of which he will experience in full force on Saturday. Murray has a prime opportunity vs. Oklahoma’s biggest rival to solidify himself not only as one of the elite quarterbacks in the nation, but also as an unquestionable Heisman candidate.

Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace

Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace has quietly been having one of the top receiving seasons in college football. Wallace currently has the seventh most receiving yards this season and will be looking to move up in the rankings with a Week 6 matchup vs. the 1-3 Iowa State Cyclones. With the help of four 100 yard receiving performances already this season, Wallace has collected 546 total yards and 3 touchdowns. Expect head coach Mike Gundy to look to get his reliable playmaker involved early and often.

 

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How about the Texans land Sean Payton and keep their 1st round picks this year? Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images.

Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton caught the attention of a lot of Houston Texans fans on Monday with comments he made on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

Payton said he is absolutely considering the Texans’ gig citing the team’s draft capital, the AFC South and casual relationships with owner Cal McNair and general manager Nick Caserio as reasons for it, which cast a different light on the Houston job.

Whether Payton and the Texans ultimately wind up together, only time will tell, but if both sides were to agree that they are the right fit for each other, what would it take to land Payton in Houston?

Payton’s situation is a bit unique in that the Saints still hold his contractual rights because he signed a five-year extension with the team in 2019 before he retired in 2022. In order for the Texans, or any other team, to land Payton, they will likely have to give up a significant draft choice. Payton alluded to it during his conversation on The Herd.

New Orleans is likely looking for a mid-to-late first-round pick. A hefty price to pay in the NFL, but is there a way for the Texans to get a trade to work if they were to become convinced he is the right man for the job?

Like Payton said, Houston has put itself in a position where it owns a lot of draft picks, and a good portion of them come from the Cleveland Browns courtesy of the Deshaun Watson deal.

For 2023, the Texans have two first-round picks — the No. 2 overall pick and No. 12 from Cleveland. In 2024, Houston has two first-round picks as well, its own and that of the Cleveland Browns.

Looking at other teams across the league that are also reportedly interested in Payton, the Texans clearly have the edge over them. The Denver Broncos have only one first-round draft pick in this year’s draft, and it comes from the San Francisco 49ers, meaning it will be a late draft pick.

The Arizona Cardinals have the third overall pick in 2023. It's their only first-round draft pick this season. It would not make sense for them to part ways with that pick. The Carolina Panthers have the ninth overall pick in the 2023 draft. Similar to Arizona, it's their only pick in the first round and it would not make sense for them to part ways with it for Payton.

The Los Angeles Chargers are an intriguing team following the collapse in the Wild Card round last weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

LA has the 21st overall pick in the 2023 draft. With Justin Herbert and various weapons across both sides of the ball, the Chargers are one team that could afford to trade its first-round pick in exchange for a head coach that could take them over the top. At the moment, it does seem like Brandon Staley will stay for at least one more season.

Lastly, come the Dallas Cowboys. Head coach Mike McCarthy’s seat cooled off tremendously following the team’s stellar performance against Tampa Bay in the Wild Card, but an abysmal performance against San Francisco this weekend could heat it up in a heartbeat.

The Cowboys will have a late first-round draft pick regardless of how they perform against the 49ers. No price will be too big to pay for Jerry Jones if he believes Payton is the final piece to a championship puzzle.

When it comes down to the Texans, outside of the Chargers and Cowboys, whom both appear to be long shots for Payton, there is no incentive to trade a first-round pick this year for Payton if both sides agree to work together.

For a team that has holes across various positions, trading away the No. 12 pick is not a wise move, even if it does land the most qualified candidate on the market. Houston could offer next year’s Cleveland first-round pick, which with a full year of Watson will likely be a later first-round pick.

Could adding a fourth-round pick this season on top of next year’s first be enough for the Saints? The thing about this scenario, which favors the Texans, is that in the event both sides agree they are the right fit for each other, there is not really much leverage New Orleans can use to increase the price.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis wouldn’t send Payton, the 15-year leader of the organization, to a team he does not want to coach for just because they are offering a greater draft pick, or a first-round selection this year.

At the end of the day, it comes down to Payton and what he wants. If Houston is his landing spot, then there is a good chance the Texans could get him for a lesser price than this year’s 12th overall pick.

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