This week's games that made no sense to anyone.
West Virginia 41, Baylor 27
When Baylor sustains offensive injuries, the Bears become much less imposing. It happened towards the end of last season, and losses on the offensive line slowed Baylor down in Morgantown. The Bears were held under 100 yards rushing. When combined with an absurd amount of penalties, they were primed for a letdown.
On its best days, Baylor looks like one of the best teams in the country, but the success seems to be fragile. Not in the sense that the Bears aren’t “tough enough.” It's just that their machine of an offense is always a small issue away from really struggling.
Also, congratulations are in order for West Virginia. The Mountaineers are 5-2 and very much alive in the Big 12 race. I still don’t know what to think of Dana Holgorsen as a coach, but when his teams are dialed in, they can play with anyone.
Alabama 59, Texas A&M 0
Texas A&M is not a very good football team. It seems simple enough, but it's incompatible with the first few weeks of the season.
Following an overtime win against Arkansas, the Aggies have been blown out three weeks in a row by the top teams in the SEC West. Expectations were not particularly high for Kevin Sumlin’s bunch in the preseason, but the lack of competitiveness is surprising.
The Aggies are still recruiting well, and there is a lot of talent in the program. Maybe with another year of experience and the Mississippi schools possibly coming back down to earth, the Aggies will break through in 2015. For now, though, the Aggies are still waiting for something substantial. For now, Texas A&M is still an underachieving program.
Kansas State 31, Oklahoma 30
The most surprising thing about this game may be how well the Sooner offense played. This was the first time all year where the Sooners looked like they had an offense that could compete for a playoff spot.
However, the Sooners were sloppy and had a few kicking issues, and Kansas State won in a very Kansas State way.
This is not surprising; we’ve seen it before. The disappointment here is on a macro level. From the 2013 win at Kansas State to this year’s win at West Virginia, OU looked like a program that had bounced back. Recruiting finished up strongly, a new stadium was announced and new uniforms were unveild. Bob Stoops had a little extra energy in the offseason, and the schedule seemed set up for the Sooners to make a playoff appearance.
The playoffs are probably out of reach now, but the rest of the season is vital to the program trajectory. More inconsistency and a couple more losses might be seen as a sign that Stoops’ staff shakeup failed.
On the other hand, a 10-2 record with just two close losses to the best teams in the conference is not a disaster. It’s just a setback. Setbacks leave room for optimism, and optimism is something that the OU football program really needs right now.