THE BIG 12 REPORT

Texas is back in the college football spotlight and has created a three-team race for the Big 12 title

Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns are on a roll. Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The college football landscape was shaken this past weekend when Texas took down Big 12 goliath OU. The No. 7 Sooners strolled into the Cotton Bowl with high expectations going against the No. 18 ranked Longhorns but found themselves upset by 3 points when the clock hit zero. While many people believed that Texas would be no match for Oklahoma’s electric offense, UT came through on both sides of the football and proved to the nation that this year’s team is the real deal. The Longhorns hit the game-winning field goal with less than 10 seconds on the clock to defeat the Sooners 48-45 and take home bragging rights until these teams face off again next year.

While West Virginia still sits atop the Big 12, this victory makes Texas a very real competitor for the Big 12 championship title. After this gut-wrenching loss, Oklahoma will go into their bye week with a chance to regroup, but a few other Big 12 favorites will be back in action.

Must watch games week 7:

Texas Tech vs. TCU

This is a matchup fans have had their eye on for a few weeks now. The Red Raiders and the Horned Frogs will both come into this matchup with a full week of rest and preparation. Both teams come into this game with 3-2 records but very different stories behind them. Texas Tech started the season off slow with many question marks surrounding their team but have found some momentum and hope behind young quarterback Alan Bowman. While TCU on the other hand, started the season hot and look to be a real competitor before losing two straight games to Top 25 opponents and are now looking for a fresh start midway through their season. This game will hold significant value for both programs and could very well determine the direction of the rest of their season.

Baylor vs. (9) Texas

While Baylor is looking significantly better than years past and now sits with an impressive 4-2 record, they will be going up against arguably one of the hottest teams in the nation. Texas has burst onto the scene in 2018 with three consecutive victories of Top 25 ranked opponents. With their most defining win over Oklahoma this past weekend, the Longhorns have jumped nine spots in the national rankings from No. 18 to No. 9. UT is looking like an unstoppable machine midway through the season and has been consistently performing at a high level on both sides of the football. While nothing is ever for certain in college football, the Bears will have to hope for a lot of things to go their way this Saturday if they are to have any chance of taking down the red-hot Longhorns.

(6) West Virginia vs. Iowa State

The Mountaineers are the only undefeated team remaining in the Big 12 and will be extremely difficult to beat with quarterback Will Grier throwing the ball the way he has been this season. Grier has nearly 2,000 yards through the air, with 21 touchdowns and a 71% completion percentage. With that said, we have learned through the last couple years that Iowa State is a team that plays up to its competition and is always capable of completing a big time upset. While things have not gone the Cyclones way so far this season, they lost by just 3 points to a very talented TCU team two weekends ago, and just recently defeated a tough Oklahoma State team 48-42. There is no doubt in my mind that Iowa State will show up on Saturday with every intention of altering the college football landscape in a big way.

Players to watch week 7:

Texas QB Sam Ehlinger:

It would be nearly impossible not to list Longhorn quarterback Sam Ehlinger as a must watch player this coming weekend, after his historic performance in the Red River Showdown. Ehlinger scored five total touchdowns vs. the Sooners, with over 300 yards passing and 72 yards rushing. As the Longhorns continue to build confidence on the offensive side of the ball the sky's the limit for UT’s young quarterback, and he will look to keep the ball rolling against Baylor this Saturday.

Baylor WR’s Jalen Hurd & Denzel Mims:

If Baylor hopes to have any chance of challenging the Longhorns this coming Saturday, they will need big performances out of their two star receivers. Hurd and Mims have truly separated themselves this season as the explosive playmakers for the Bears offense and will look to give the UT secondary trouble. In their last two games, Hurd and Mims have combined for 443 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns off 39 receptions. Needless to say, these dangerous athletes will get plenty of opportunities to impact the game and will demand serious attention from the Longhorn defense.

Iowa State QB Brock Purdy:

After a disappointing 1-3 start the Cyclone’s decided to make a change at the quarterback position, which paid off in big fashion with a 48-42 victory over Oklahoma State. Freshman quarter Brock Purdy took full advantage of his first collegiate start with five total touchdowns and over 400 yards of total offence. Purdy threw for four touchdowns on 318 yards passing and ran for another touchdown on his way to 84 yards rushing. Purdy will have another big test vs. No. 6 West Virginia in his second collegiate start but could have a serious impact with his dual threat abilities.