While Red River has all the glitz and glamor, the real battle of Big 12 contenders is taking place in Lawrence between Kansas and TCU this Saturday.
Two undefeated teams are meeting on the gridiron Saturday, and it is not happening at Red River…
That’s right, the marquee game of the Big 12 slate will be the one between No. 17 TCU and No. 19 Kansas in Lawrence on Saturday afternoon. You’re damn right ESPN’s College GameDay will be there to take it all in. While it should be a good time at the State Fair of Texas, there are no ranked college programs to be had in Red River between a pair of two-loss teams in Oklahoma and Texas.
The winner of the game in Lawrence may have what it takes to get to Arlington in early December.
Kansas-TCU is a real clash of Big 12 contenders, not the one happening in Dallas
Though people liked what Sonny Dykes and Lance Leipold did at SMU and Buffalo previously, who could have foreseen Kansas and TCU being serious Big 12 title bout contenders at this point of the season? The winner of this game is arguably the most formidable challenger to Oklahoma State, last year’s runner-up who avenged its Big 12 championship loss to Baylor in Waco last week.
While TCU is only 4-0 on the year, the Horned Frogs did curb-stomp Oklahoma last week in Fort Worth. They also have a metroplex win over AAC rival SMU, as well as a Power Five win over the disaster that is Colorado, for whatever that’s worth. Sykes has taken his sacred DFW blueprint to the Power Five level, and his investment is paying early dividends at his new place of employment.
Although TCU has a richer football history, we cannot overlook Leipold doing the lord’s work in Lawrence. GameDay is at KU for the first time for a reason. While he may be a serious candidate to take over Nebraska, why would he want to leave Kansas this soon? The Jayhawks have not looked this good since the Mark Mangino days a decade and a half ago. Good times are to be had at KU!
Even if Oklahoma State looks to be the clear frontrunner to come out of the Big 12 this season, would it shock you if the Pokes faced either the Horned Frogs or the Jayhawks in Arlington? Well, let’s put it this way … it would be more shocking if Oklahoma or Texas got there over them, as the Sooners and Longhorns have two losses on the season. One will suffer its third after Saturday…
The other team to keep an eye on in the Big 12 going forward is Kansas State. The Wildcats may have a loss on the season, but that did not come in conference play. Like TCU, they have handed OU an early-season Big 12 loss. As with Kansas and TCU, K-State has a great head coach in Chris Klieman. It has been a minute since he left North Dakota State, but he is doing work in Manhattan.
Overall, it is simply amazing that Kansas-TCU is taking the shine away from Red River this week.