Baylor had the biggest fourth quarter comeback in its history on Saturday night, overcoming a 21-point deficit to fend off TCU 61-58. The Bears have reloaded on defense and it will be the performance on that side of the ball that makes or breaks its chances of making it in to the college football playoff. BU is an offensive machine, averaging 52.1 points and over 520 yards per game.
The Wildcats are currently undefeated in the Big 12, with their only loss coming at the hands of No. 6 Auburn. It currently trails both Oklahoma and TCU in the polls, but will get the chance to show that it belongs in the front of the pack if it can knock off OU in Norman this Saturday. KSU is well coached, only allowing 32.4 yards in penalties per game and it is also stingy against the run leading the Big 12 with an 81 yard per game run defense. However, it has to play in Norman, Fort Worth and Waco.
It’s TCU versus OU for the number three spot, and for the time being I feel that spot belongs to TCU. The Horned Frogs have already beaten the Sooners and nearly had a stranglehold on a potential conference title until the 'Miracle at McLane'. Quarterback Trevone Boykin is like a brand new man and has the offense humming right along. The schedule stacks up favorably with home games against Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Kansas State.
After feeling the sting of the TCU loss, Oklahoma bounced back to top Texas in the Red River Rivalry. With one loss already on the season, it cannot afford to have any more setbacks to play for the national title. Its three biggest games -- Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma State -- are all in Norman. The defense started off strong, but has allowed 32 points per game in its last three tilts.
Oklahoma State played Florida State tough in its opener, but the schedule has been pretty manageable since. Like Kansas State and Baylor it also still controls its own destiny in the conference, but has its toughest games still ahead. The Cowboys held off a surprisingly stiff challenge from Kansas last weekend and will now face its stiffest challenge since week one on Saturday when it travels to Fort Worth to face off against TCU.
Coach of the Year
One week ago this would have been Gary Patterson at TCU, who had his team in the Top 10 after knocking off Oklahoma, but the comeback orchestrated by Baylor and Art Briles in Waco on Saturday night leaves the Bears atop the Big 12 mountain. Briles gets the nod here for the work that he has put in to rebuild the BU football program and being able to sustain that success by maintaining a perfect record so far in 2014.
Offensive Player of the Year
As far as production and success goes it is hard to look past Baylor's Bryce Petty who has helped his team to remain unbeaten and a No. 3 ranking while passing for 1,534 yards and scoring 18 total touchdowns in only five games. He has also done it with two cracked vertebrae in his back. With the two toughest in-conference defensive teams in the rear view mirror he should only do better from here on out. West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett has also been impressive commanding an exciting brand of offense that has allowed him to accumulate 362 yards per game.
Defensive Player of the Year
This will be an interesting battle to watch unfold. There is not a clear-cut MVP. The battle comes down to linebacker Paul Dawson (TCU) and cornerback Zack Sanchez (OU). But if I were picking my own team I would take defensive tackle Malcom Brown (UT) with my first defensive selection. Although Sanchez has five interceptions in six games for now I give the edge to TCU's Dawson, who leads the conference with 11 tackles per game to go along with three sacks, seven tackles for loss, two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Offense: Top Freshman
At this point in the year it is hard not to notice the impact that Samaje Perine has had at Oklahoma. The 5-foot-11, 243-pound bruiser running back is second in the conference with 568 rushing yards, but leads all backs with nine rushing touchdowns. Perine’s 242 yards against West Virginia was the first time a Sooner has surpassed the 200-yard mark since DeMarco Murray ran for 208 yards vs. Utah State (9/4/10). The performance ranks 13th in OU history for most rushing yards in a game.
Defense: Top Freshman
For this selection we are just going t have to call it a draw while we wait for the rest of the season to shake out and give us a more definitive answer. Cornerbacks Nigel Bethel (Texas Tech) and Ramon Richards (OSU) are both already earning starts as true freshman. Bethel has a nose for the football, already racking up 15 tackles. While he has not yet gotten the call to start linebacker Elijah Lee (KSU) already has 2.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 quarterback sacks.More stories from the Scout network you might enjoy:
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