After Kansas State’s loss at Baylor on Saturday night, it looks like a Big 12 team will not be represented in the BCS National Championship game in January. It certainly has been a strong year within the Big 12 nonetheless, with seven of the 10 teams in the conference bowl-eligible, with two needing one win to reach postseason play. Let’s take a look at some of the notes around the conference heading into the Thanksgiving weekend.
• A few Big 12 players have made their way onto various national awards lists. West Virginia and Baylor receivers Stedman Bailey and Terrance Williams are Biletnikoff candidates, which goes to the nation’s top receiver. Kansas State do-it-all quarterback Collin Klein is up for the Davey O’Brien Trophy (best quarterback) and the Maxwell Award (best player). The award ceremony will be Dec. 6.
• Oklahoma State has had its ups and downs this season. The Cowboys lost their starting quarterback two different times this season, once when freshman Wes Lunt went down with an injured knee and again when redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh broke his leg. However, quarterback production is in no shortage in Stillwater as junior Clint Chelf has filled the void passing for 805 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions in three games. Walsh returned last week against Texas Tech and ran and threw for a touchdown. Chelf will start against OU.
• While Oklahoma eked out a win versus West Virginia on Saturday night, the Sooners’ defense was vastly exposed. The Mountaineers racked up 778 total yards on offense (the most ever against the Sooners), including receiver Tavon Austin carrying the ball 21 times for 344 yards. The week before, Oklahoma gave up 252 yards rushing to Baylor. The road doesn’t get any easier for the Sooners as they host Oklahoma State and the No. 3 total offense in the nation Saturday.
• If there was any bright spot to Kansas’ 51-23 loss to Iowa State last weekend, it was that the Jayhawks picked up two junior college commits in linebacker Samson Faifili and wideout Mark Thomas. Both recruits have had stellar JUCO, including 110 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss and twelve sacks for Faifili. Kansas is losing 23 seniors, but head coach Charlie Weis expects to sign as many as 27 for 2013.
• Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk might be the next great running back in college football, come 2013. Seastrunk, a sophomore, has 560 yards on 80 carries this season, averaging seven yards a rush. Factor in junior tailback Glasco Martin who has 641 yards, averaging 5.4 yards a carry, and the Bears might have one of the most explosive backfields in the country next season.
• After beginning the season with the kicking game as a weak link, Iowa State can finally rely on junior Edwin Arceo. The community college transfer struggled early, at one point missing three extra points, but has rebounded late, connecting for 10 of 14 field goals, including 51-yard boot last weekend. Arceo will undoubtedly be a strength for the Cyclones in 2013.