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Big 12 Weekly Football Preview: Is Mason Rudolph Worth the Hype?

Credit: Oklahoma State University

Mason Rudolph continues to pile up the big games, as his Oklahoma State squad remains in the race for a Big 12 title and possible national playoff appearance.

And as the results keep coming, it seems to lead to more and more schools of thought about just how good the Cowboys’ quarterback is?

A recent CBS Sports mock draft had Rudolph in the top five, only behind one other quarterback, UCLA’s Josh Rosen.

Still, other experts think Rudolph fits into that category of being a nice college quarterback but a poor pro prospect. They point out concerns with his mechanics, his arm strength, his footwork and at times his decision-making.

Then there is the audience that says his results are due to having the likes of James Washington and a stable of talented pass-catchers in a system that allows for huge stats. It reminds locals around Oklahoma a bit of OU Heisman winner Jason White, who had multiple NFL players on his offense but never made it as a pro.

A mock from Bleacher Report seemed to take that line, as it didn’t even have Rudolph in the first round at all, while multiple other quarterbacks and the aforementioned Washington were.

All would admit that Rudolph’s numbers are serious – 19 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 2,368 yards and a ridiculous quarterback rating of 191.0.

The future will show what happens with Rudolph at the next level. The present shows some big games he needs to win to keep his Cowboys in good shape, starting on the road this week.

Here’s a trip around the Big 12 this week.

Credit: Houston Chronicle

Oklahoma State (5-1, 2-1) at Texas (3-3, 2-1)

The Longhorns return home after an emotional battle in the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma, one that saw the Sooners jump out to a big lead before hanging on for a 29-24 win.

A star nearly was born in freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who rallied the Horns before taking a brutal hit that knocked him out of the game. He would come back, perhaps questionably after what looked to be a head injury.

OSU has had surprising control of this series, winning five of the previous seven meetings. And, on top of that, the Cowboys have triumphed in four straight games in Austin dating all the way back to 2008, when a No. 1-ranked Texas squad nipped OSU 28-24.

Credit: YouTube

Iowa State (4-2, 2-1) at Texas Tech (4-2, 1-2)

Tech had the lead most of the way in Morgantown last week, but West Virginia turned it on in the late going, putting up 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter for a 46-35 win.

Now the Red Raiders return home to face suddenly red-hot Iowa State. After dominating the second half in a huge upset at OU two weeks ago, the Cyclones ripped apart Kansas a week ago, barely giving up 100 total yards in a 45-0 blowout.

No matter what, somebody is going to be 5-2, and not many thought either of these teams could be in that spot going into the season.

Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1) at Kansas State (3-3, 1-2)

Fresh off their tough win against the Longhorns, Oklahoma heads to Manhattan to face a KSU team that may well be circling the wagons.

K-State lost to league leader TCU last week in a game delayed multiple times due to weather. That follows an overtime defeat to Texas and leaves Bill Snyder’s crew in desperate need of a win.

It won’t be easy, but last time these teams played at K-State, the Sooners bowled over the Wildcats, 55-0.

Credit: College Football News

Kansas (1-5, 0-3) at TCU (6-0, 3-0)

After showing some promise in the non-conference slate, the Jayhawks just seem to be regressing, and last week’s effort against ISU was a disaster.

Now they get the unenviable task of going on the road against the league’s only unbeaten squad. This is a trap game where TCU could be ripe for a letdown, which is about the only shot the Jayhawks have of even keeping this game close.

Credit: Roanoke Times

West Virginia (4-2, 2-1) at Baylor (0-6, 0-3)

The Mountaineers are still battling in the league race. Their lone loss was to TCU, they get Oklahoma State, Texas and Iowa State at home still and they’re coming off a nice comeback win against Tech.

Baylor is looking for anything good to happen. They were blown out at OSU last week and look like they may be fighting Kansas to stay out of the bottom spot in the league.

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