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Baylor, Texas Tech making noise in Big 12

A month into the college football season, the Big 12 race is becoming very intriguing.
Baylor, Texas Tech making noise in Big 12

As expected, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are a combined 9-1 overall and 3-0 in conference play. Texas was expected to contend and is 2-0 in the Big 12, but a pair of stunning losses, including one against BYU, makes the Longhorns suspect with their showdown with OU looming.

Oklahoma did struggle and just get past TCU on Saturday, but the ranked Sooners have managed to remain undefeated. The Sooners looked impressive in a victory against Notre Dame two weeks ago.

All of the teams in the conference have played one or two conference games and a pair of surprise contenders have emerged. Both expected to finish in the middle of the pack this year, but both have shown they can compete with the heavyweights.

Baylor and Texas Tech are a combined 9-0 overall and 3-0 in conference play. Both teams were ranked in the AP Top 25 going into their victories on Saturday. Baylor was No. 19 and Tech No. 20.

The Bears routed West Virginia 73-42 while Texas Tech handled Kansas 54-16. Both teams are winning because their offenses are nearly impossible to stop.

Baylor had 864 yards of offense against the Mountaineers – 468 rushing and 396 passing. The Bears had 56 points at halftime.

Tech, meanwhile, had 512 yards against Kansas. The Red Raiders trailed 10-0 going into the second quarter before scoring 54 unanswered points.

Baylor leads the nation in passing yards per game with 432.3 and is second in the country in rushing yards per game with 347.3. The Bears also lead the nation in scoring, averaging 70.5 yards per game.

Tech is third in the nation in passing yards per game with 407.6 per game. The Red Raiders are 20th in the country with 41.8 points per game.

Baylor is clearly more balanced as the Red Raiders average just over 100 yards per game on the ground, compared to Baylor’s almost 350.

One area the two teams are different is defense. Tech is 8th in the nation, allowing just 13.8 points per game while Baylor allows just over 16 – at least it did before allowing 42 to West Virginia.

Both teams, with their high-powered offenses, should give the heavyweights – Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State a run for their money. They could even be considered heavyweights themselves it they had national titles in their history.

Baylor recently emerged as one of the country’s better teams when they soared to success under quarterback Robert Griffin III, who won the Heisman Trophy a couple of years ago.

Tech has been considered one of the top passing teams in the country for the last decade or more. New head coach Kliff Kingsbury is trying to get the Red Raiders back to that respectability.

Until the Sooners are beaten, they are the favorite to win the league title. They are ranked No. 11 in the country and should get their first test of the season against Texas on Saturday.

That depends on which Texas teams shows up – the one that was expected to return to former glory or the one that was embarrassed by BYU.

Baylor doesn’t play Oklahoma until Nov. 7. That game actually starts a three-game run for the Bears against the Sooners, Red Raiders and Cowboys that will likely decide whether they win the conference or not. 

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