Here’s what we learned Saturday in Week 14 of the Big 12:
1. Good week to be a Frog. Can’t draw it up any better than that if you’re TCU. First, the No. 5 Horned Frogs notch a 38-point road win against Texas in front of a national TV audience. Then, down goes No. 4 Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. Then, Baylor needs a two-point conversion stop late in the fourth to win 48-46 against Texas Tech, the same team TCU beat 82-27. An Auburn upset of No. 1 Alabama would've helped, but TCU still has a real shot at re-entering the top four, and Baylor likely didn't gain ground on it. Gary Patterson has to be pleased.
2. Baylor takes some hits: Will Baylor have Bryce Petty and Shawn Oakman next week for its Big 12 title fight with Kansas State? The Bears survived a scare against Texas Tech but lost Petty (concussion) and power back Devin Chafin (dislocated right elbow) in the process. Oakman got away with a play that will draw the ire of the Big 12 office when he kneed Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the head after a second-quarter sack and wasn't penalized. He said after the game there’s no way he'll sit against KSU, but the status of Petty -- and, if he's disciplined, Oakman -- will be the talk of the week in Waco, Texas.
3. K-State still lurking: The nonstop TCU versus Baylor playoff discussion has obscured the program that loves being underestimated. Kansas State had no trouble against Kansas on Saturday, winning 51-13 and getting Tyler Lockett his school record for career receptions. KSU still has as equal a share of first place in the Big 12 as its 10-1 peers and, with one week left, even has a shot-in-the-dark chance at an outright conference title. You won't hear Bill Snyder or his Wildcats complaining about the lack of attention. They'd rather make their statement next Saturday in Waco.
4. Mahomes is the man: This kid is a gamer. Mahomes set a Big 12 freshman record with his 598 passing yards against a Baylor pass defense that ranked No. 2 in the Big 12 entering the day. Down 45-27, he never gave up. The rookie threw for touchdowns on each of Tech's final four drives of the game and showed no fear with all the deep shots he hit. That was just the fourth start of Mahomes' young career, and he reportedly played through an injured left wrist throughout. His play is making the spring debate between Mahomes, Davis Webb (who will have shoulder surgery) and incoming freshman Jarrett Stidham all the more fascinating.
5. WVU might've found its QB, too: Skyler Howard, thrown into the fire a week ago against Kansas State, looks more than capable of being West Virginia's quarterback for the foreseeable future. The mobile junior college transfer overcame a 14-point deficit by guiding WVU on a 20-point run in the second quarter and finishing with 354 yards of total offense in a 37-24 win in Ames, Iowa, to wrap up the regular season. Imagine what that showing will do for his confidence in the practices leading up to the Mountaineers' bowl game.