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Big 12 Weekly Football Preview: Baker’s Big Day

The legend of Baker Mayfield grew a little more last Saturday, as the Oklahoma quarterback won yet another huge road game, leading his Sooners to a 62-52 triumph at Oklahoma State.

Mayfield has now scored wins at Ohio State, in the Cotton Bowl against rival Texas and now against the Cowboys. He’s never lost a true road game since coming to OU after his freshman year as a walk-on at Texas Tech. Now the guy once passed over by his hometown Longhorns – and everyone else – for a scholarship, may just be the favorite in the race for the Heisman Trophy.

“We win ballgames, no matter how you put it,” Mayfield said after beating the Cowboys. “Right now, that’s all that matters.”

Mayfield outplayed all his closest challengers Saturday as he ripped OSU for 598 yards and five passing touchdowns, while also rushing a sixth score.

His Sooners have bounced back from a surprising loss to Iowa State last month and now can take control of the Big 12 race again in a huge game this weekend at home against TCU. Not to mention, OU still is in the midst of the chase for the College Football Playoff if the Sooners can keep winning.

Mayfield challenged the Sooner fans to turn it into a wild scene this weekend.

“Being that it’s one of the last home games we’re going to have and it’s important to our College Football Playoff run, I’m going to call out our fans. It’s going to be an important one for us. Seven o’clock game, night game. I don’t want to hear any talk about the 2008 Texas Tech game. This needs to be the new talk for the future. This crowd needs to be going. We give it our all week-in, week-out, I expect the fans to do the same for me on Saturday.”

Looking at the conference slate this week:

Credit: Zimbio

Oklahoma State (7-2, 4-2) at Iowa State (6-3, 4-2)

These two teams both come off disappointing defeats and now find themselves likely on the outside looking in for a chance at the conference title. So this game becomes a test of who can bounce back from that adversity and disappointment.

The Cyclones have had one of the league’s better defenses but will get perhaps their toughest test in an OSU offense that did more than enough against OU, getting not just another huge game from quarterback Mason Rudolph but a breakout showing from sophomore running back Justice Hill, who torched the Sooners for 228 yards and two scores.

Kansas (1-8, 0-6) at Texas (4-5, 3-3)

Every Texas fan is probably tired of the jokes about “hey, they even lost to Kansas” from last season. But the teams have gone opposite directions since, as Texas continues to show promise while the Jayhawks are in a free-fall after a blowout loss to Baylor last week.

Texas is seeking a return to a bowl game this year. Their remaining schedule features a trip to West Virginia before closing against Texas Tech in a game that could be big for bowl implications for each team.


West Virginia (6-3, 4-2) at Kansas State (5-4, 3-3)

The Mountaineers damaged Iowa State’s hopes of a Big 12 championship appearance in a hard-fought 20-16 win last week.

Now they’ll face a Kansas State team that needed overtime to take down Texas Tech 42-35 in a game that didn’t get any national attention but was really quite a good one. The Cats overcame a big day for Tech quarterback Nic Shimonek to get on the right side of .500 and secure a second-straight victory.

West Virginia had to hang on against ISU, leaping out to a 20-3 lead at halftime before being held scoreless the final 30 minutes.

Texas Tech (4-5, 1-5) at Baylor (1-8, 1-5)

The Bears finally broke into the win column against the lowly Jayhawks last week, but they’re playing out the rest of this season for pride.

Tech, like Texas, is looking for wins to find its way into bowl eligibility. With games still looming against TCU and then the Texas showdown, this would be an important one for the Red Raiders to get in their pocket.


TCU (8-1, 5-1) at Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1)

We thought TCU had a chance to be here coming into the season, and now it’s time for Gary Patterson’s squad to prove it.

They’ve already won road games at OSU and Arkansas, and one more big one here would virtually assure the Horned Frogs a spot in the Big 12 title game.

More importantly, the winner here stays very much in the College Football Playoff chase. It’s hard to imagine a one-loss Big 12 champion wouldn’t end up as one of the top four in the final rankings.

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