Here’s what we learned about the Big 12 in Week 9:
1. Boykin is a Heisman contender: It’s time for people to start taking Trevone Boykin’s Heisman candidacy seriously. The TCU quarterback threw for 433 yards and tossed a school-record seven touchdowns in the Horned Frogs’ 82-27 demolition of Texas Tech. TCU’s 82 points were a school record, and a Big 12 record for points in a conference game. The 82 points were also the most scored on an FBS team since 2010. Boykin, who ended last season as a wide receiver, has made a remarkable turnaround as a quarterback this year under first-year Horned Frogs coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie. Boykin now has 21 touchdown passes, leading a TCU offense that has been as lethal as any in the country this season. The Horned Frogs remain in the thick of the playoff conversation and the Big 12 title race. Boykin is the biggest reason why. And for that reason, he should begin to receive Heisman consideration.
2. The Oklahoma State offense is a train wreck: While the TCU offense has been a revelation, the Oklahoma State offense has been a total disaster. After a 34-10 home loss to West Virginia, the Cowboys have now gone 10 quarters with just one offensive touchdown. Oklahoma State did absolutely nothing in the second half offensively against West Virginia, capped by a pick-six interception in the fourth quarter that iced the victory for the Mountaineers. Once again, the Cowboys' offensive line couldn’t protect quarterback Daxx Garman or open holes for Desmond Roland or Tyreek Hill. And Garman was miserably inaccurate in the second half, overthrowing receivers pass after pass. This is shaping up to be Mike Gundy’s worst offense since his first season as coach in 2005. Oklahoma State’s past 40 drives have resulted in 20 punts, nine turnovers, six field goals, three touchdowns and two missed field goals. With No. 11 Kansas State, No. 12 Baylor and No. 17 Oklahoma -- all on the road -- still left on the schedule, there’s little end in sight, too. If the Cowboys don’t knock off Texas at home on Nov. 15, they could miss out on a bowl for the first time since that 2005 season.
3. The Texas offense still has a long way to go, too: After a rough start to the season, the Longhorns seemed to be turning a corner offensively. Texas moved the ball well on Oklahoma, then scored 48 points in a win over Iowa State. But in the 23-0 loss to Kansas State on Saturday, the Wildcats handed the Longhorns their first shutout in 10 years while exposing multiple deficiencies. The Wildcats took away the deep ball and stuffed Texas’ run game, forcing QB Tyrone Swoopes to try to move the chains with an intermediate passing game. In response, neither Swoopes nor the Longhorns could sustain a drive. Texas finished with just 196 yards of offense, and in 17 snaps on K-State’s side of the field, gained only 18 yards. Swoopes has shown promise in recent weeks, but he still has a long way to go. So does the rest of the Texas offense.
4. K-State can win in multiple ways: Last week in a 31-30 victory over Oklahoma, the Wildcats won with an efficient effort from quarterback Jake Waters. Saturday, with Waters nursing a sore shoulder, the Wildcats won with a dominating performance from their defense. Ryan Mueller and Jonathan Truman controlled the line of scrimmage, while Dante Barnett and Randall Evans batted away Swoopes’ passing attempts down the middle of the field. The Wildcats have proven they can win semi-shootouts slinging the ball with Waters and receivers Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton. Against Texas, they showed they can win by flattening the opposing offense. That balance is why K-State has surged into a the Big 12 title mix. And why the Wildcats remain in playoff contention.
5. West Virginia is going bowling: Before the season West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck wouldn’t commit to stipulating that the Mountaineers had to make a bowl for this season to be considered a success. The schedule was brutal. And the Mountaineers had shown very little in two seasons in the Big 12. Luck just wanted to see improvement. Well, Luck has gotten that improvement. And Saturday, the Mountaineers became bowl eligible, too, with a convincing victory at Oklahoma State. But after four straight victories, including two straight on the road for the first time since joining the Big 12, West Virginia can set its sights higher. With TCU visiting Morgantown next weekend, the Mountaineers have a chance to take a major leap forward in the Big 12 title race. This has already been an amazing year for West Virginia, which came into the season with little outside expectations. Now, it has a chance to get even better.