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Plutos turn into glowing Big 12 orbs

OPINION by Bob Wisener | October 11, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

As hinted in a column here Friday, the Kansas-TCU football game proved the best viewing option at 11 a.m. Saturday.

By contrast, Texas vs. Oklahoma turned into a yawner of the first order and Arkansas vs. Mississippi State a tedious affair that also could be switched off after a few minutes.

If you must know, the meek are inheriting the earth bit by bit, although with Kansas, Kentucky and Duke losing on the same day, some would-be football powers with stronger basketball pedigrees suffered.

Two nationally ranked Big 12 teams made the ESPN GameDay' decision to grant their game national exposure look especially astute. Like other teams from that conference, where defense often is left on the dressing-room chalkboard, they kept the scoreboard operator busy.

TCU pulled out a 38-31 victory over Kansas in this battle of unbeatens, making one hope that we hear more from both teams in the season's second half. It was good to see their football teams in action long before baseball teams coached by Bill Self and Jamie Dixon take the court.

Texas 49, Oklahoma 0 required some head scratching. The Longhorns, letting one get away against Alabama last month, may or may not "be back," which one often hears when the Longhorns post an important win. And though it didn't grip the viewer like some Texas-OU games, the Orangebloods understood the significance of their team's rout.

Future matchups between coaches Steve Sarkisian and Brent Venables are sure to be better -- they couldn't be much duller. On a sun-splashed day at the Cotton Bowl, with the State Fair of Texas in full swing, the Longhorns stood tall like old Big Tex on the midway and the Sooners like Steinbeck characters who had lost their homes. Oklahoma certainly expected more from Venables, the former defensive guru for Dabo Swinney at Clemson but whose team has allowed 104 points in two games. And you thought only Arkansas was having problems on that side of the ball.

My interest waned in the third quarter when Oklahoma, down 28-0 , and facing third and nine near midfield, pitched left and was smeared. I hadn't gotten over the Sooners yielding 55 points -- in three quarters -- to TCU.

Don't look now, but Oklahoma State is the hottest number in the Big 12. And for the second-straight week, the league gets a battle of unbeatens with Oklahoma State at TCU. Mike Gundy, mentioned often for the Arkansas opening filled in 2013 by Bret Bielema, is hitting Oklahoma where it hurts -- in recruiting and on the scoreboard.

The Sooners look at the conference with a wide-angle lens while some of those Plutos of yesteryear are glowing orbs in the new Big 12 solar system. Saturday's score from the Red River Shootout might make the SEC wonder what it's getting in OU football if not feeling rosier about Texas.

Arkansas. you ask? At Brigham Young this week, 2:30 p.m. kickoff in Provo, Utah. Forget about top-25 implications for either team. With three straight losses, giving up 40 or more points the last two weeks, the Hogs do not play another in-state game until Nov. 5. With Liberty in town, tickets might be plentiful.

Print Headline: Plutos turn into glowing Big 12 orbs


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