Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops was absolutely giddy in the moment following his Sooners’ 42-34 win against Baylor.
“I love it,” Stoops said. “I absolutely love it.”
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Even better than limiting the Bears to a season-low 172 yards passing and achieving the second-most wins in school history. Stoops, with win No. 146, climbed ahead of Bud Wilkinson on the all-time Oklahoma wins list. He now trails only Barry Switzer (157) and he’s not close to being finished.
“I don’t look at numbers, to be honest with you,” Stoops said. “It’s just not me. I’m a long way from sitting in a rocking chair and reflecting on it.”
Stoops, who arrived in Norman in 1999, has won seven Big 12 titles with Oklahoma. The Sooners aren’t likely to pick up league title No. 8 this season, having lost to undefeated Kansas State, but an at-large bid in a BCS bowl game is possible. For a team that lost several starters at the offensive line in the preseason and has had to patch together its receiving corps, that’s remarkable.
The same can be said of Stoops’ career. During his 14 years in charge, the Sooners have 10 seasons of 10-plus wins. Five times they’ve finished in the top five of the AP poll. They’ve been to eight BCS bowls, with one national championship in 2000.
“I keep saying it, and it’s worth saying it again, I’ve just been incredibly fortunate to work in such a great place with great people,” Stoops said.
Baylor (4-5, 1-5 Big 12)
• Baylor’s aerial attack was grounded by Oklahoma, but maybe the grounding offered a revelation. The Bears may have something special in running back Lache Seastrunk, an Oregon transfer, who toted the rock 15 times for 91 yards and three touchdowns. It was the second time this season Seastrunk received more than 10 carries — the second game in a row, actually — and this freshman has made the most of them (32 combined carries, 194 yards).
• The Bears need two more wins for bowl eligibility. The battle will be uphill with games remaining against Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. At least they’re all at home.
“We just have to keep moving forward,” Seastrunk said.
Next Game: vs. Kansas State Nov. 17
Iowa State (5-5, 2-5 Big 12)
• Since knocking off TCU in Fort Worth, the Cyclones have lost four of their past five games by a combined margin of 126 to 58. Iowa State has tried to throw the ball in those games, averaging 38 attempts. It’s not really working though. At the same time, the running game has been completely ineffective with an average of 102 yards per game in the four losses.
• The Cyclones were held to a season-low seven points in their loss to Texas on Saturday. There’s still a chance at six wins — which presumably would send them bowling — with games against struggling Kansas and West Virginia still on the slate.
Next Game: at Kansas Nov. 17
Kansas (1-9, 0-7 Big 12)
• The record won’t show it but the Jayhawks have made serious progress this season, playing competitively in several games they had no business being competitive in. Most recently was the double-overtime 41-34 loss to Texas Tech in Lubbock. It made 19 consecutive conference losses for Kansas.
“The locker room is as disappointed as it’s ever been,” head coach Charlie Weis said afterward.
Next Game: vs. Iowa State Nov. 17
No. 2 Kansas State (10-0, 7-0 Big 12)
• Collin Klein turned out fine from the injury he sustained two Saturdays ago, with two rushing touchdowns in a 23-10 win on the road at TCU. Klein has 52 career rushing touchdowns, which is fourth-best in Big 12 history.
• The Wildcats, with No. 1 Alabama losing, truly control their own destiny now. Style points should not matter. If they win out, they’re virtually guaranteed a spot in the BCS championship game. This is all good news. So how pumped was Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder that the Crimson Tide fell?
“I have no thoughts about it whatsoever,” Snyder said.
Next Game: at Baylor Nov. 17
No. 13 Oklahoma (7-2, 5-1 Big 12)
• The Sooners are the only Big 12 team to not allow a 300-yard passer this season. Can they hold form this weekend against West Virginia and Geno Smith, who has five times exceeded that mark?
Next Game: at West Virginia Nov. 17
Oklahoma State (5-3, 3-2 Big 12)
• Injuries have come left and right, but the Cowboys haven’t blinked. They’ve won four of their past five after starting the season 2-2, a 55-34 win against West Virginia the latest convincing tally. Clint Chelf, the third-teamer at QB after fall camp, had a career-high 292 passing yards and four touchdowns last weekend.
“I’m very proud of Clint,” head coach Mike Gundy said. “I think he did a great job.”
• Justin Gilbert returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown Saturday, the fifth of his career. Gilbert is tied for the Big 12 career record.
• Oklahoma State, known for its passing prowess, has had a 1,000-yard rusher in six consecutive seasons after Joseph Randle (1,008 yards) topped the mark for the second year in a row.
Next Game: vs. Texas Tech Nov. 17
No. 18 Texas (8-2, 5-2 Big 12)
• As promised, the Longhorns honored the late Darrell Royal by lining up in the wishbone formation for their first offensive play against Iowa State. From the 6-yard line, quarterback David Ash handed off to wideout Jaxon Shipley, who ran to his right and flung the ball back across to Ash, who was standing in the end zone and fired the ball downfield to Greg Daniels for a 47-yard gain. From the sidelines, head coach Mack Brown pointed toward the sky. Texas went on to win 33-7 to cap an emotional week in Austin.
“Bless his heart,” Brown said. “We miss him.”
• Per usual, the Longhorns have a bye week before the Thanksgiving game. Unlike usual, Texas A&M is not on the docket. This time it’s newcomer TCU lining up against the Longhorns on turkey day.
Next Game: vs. TCU Nov. 22
Texas Tech (7-3, 4-3 Big 12)
• The Red Raiders avoided a three-game losing streak with a 41-34 win against Kansas in double overtime as Seth Doege threw for 476 yards and three touchdowns. Doege, a senior, moved past Taylor Potts for third place on the school’s career passing touchdowns list with 64.
• It appears the defense’s hot start was no flash in the pan. Texas Tech is still No. 19 nationally in total defense, holding opponents to 325 yards per game. The Red Raiders held their first four opponents to 84, 270, 127 and 189 yards, respectively. The numbers have been a bit inflated recently against conference competition, but they still boast the top defense in the league.
Next Game: at Oklahoma State Nov. 17
TCU (6-4, 3-4 Big 12)
• Nobody in the league has a harder late-season gauntlet than TCU. Following a dramatic win at West Virginia, loss to Kansas State at home 23-10, now a road game at Texas is next following the bye week, then a finale against Oklahoma.
• The outcome of the next two games hinges on the health of quarterback Trevone Boykin, who injured his shoulder against Kansas State. The prognosis isn’t believed to be serious, but sophomore Matt Brown, who has moonlighted at running back, looked overmatched in filling in for Boykin against the Wildcats.
Next Game: at Texas Nov. 22
West Virginia (5-3, 2-4 Big 12)
• Forget the early aspirations of a conference and perhaps a national championship — the Mountaineers have yet to achieve bowl eligibility. They’ve lost four consecutive games, with their last win coming Oct. 6 at Texas. The defense has been porous in that stretch, allowing 49, 55, 39 and 55 points.
• Geno Smith is among the leaders in national passing statistics, but those stats — 31 touchdowns, three interceptions, 71-percent passing — are beginning to seem a little hollow. They’re also not close to the other-worldly rate he set in September. Smith had 20 touchdowns in his first four games; he has seven in his past four.
Next Game: vs Oklahoma State Nov. 17
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