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Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma lead the way when it comes to the 2017 All-Big 12 Football Awards

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To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the Big 12 is headlined by Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield when it comes to the conference’s annual regular season awards.

The Sooners star signal-caller (and prohibitive Heisman Trophy favorite) was named the 2017 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year on Thursday according to a release, capturing the honor for the second time in three seasons in Norman. Teammate Ogbonnia Okoronkwo also took home some hefty hardware from the conference, as he was named co-Defensive Player of the Year with Texas’ linebacker Malik Jefferson.

Also notable was the Chuck Neinas Coach of the Year Award winner, which went to Matt Campbell after he took the Cyclones to a 7-5 record (5-4 in conference play).

Other Big 12 honors handed out included:

  • West Virginia QB Will Grier was name Offensive Newcomer of the Year
  • TCU defensive end Ben Banogu was the Defensive Newcomer of the Year
  • Co-Offensive Freshmen of the Year were Baylor QB Charlie Brewer and TCU wideout Jalen Reagor
  • Co-Defensive Freshmen of the Year were Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray and TCU DT Ross Blacklock
  • Special Teams Player of the Year was Texas punter Michael Dickson, an Aussie who won the trophy for the second straight season
  • Offensive Lineman of the Year was Orlando Brown, the Sooners’ left tackle who won for the second year in a row
  • Defensive Lineman of the Year honors went to Texas senior DT Poona Ford

According to the conference, Oklahoma won the most individual awards in the 21-year history of the Big 12 with a whopping 39 after this year’s haul. All the selections were voted on by the league’s coaches, which were not allowed to vote for their own players.

TCU S Nick Orr suspended for first half of Big 12 Championship

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No. 12 TCU will be out a defensive starter as it takes on the torrid offense of No. 4 Oklahoma in the first half of Saturday’s Big 12 Championship (12:30 p.m. ET, FOX). Safety Nick Orr was suspended for the first half of the game for his role in the bench-clearing skirmish during the Frogs’ 45-22 win over Baylor on Friday.

In a related note: Oklahoma put up 38 points in the first half of the pair’s Nov. 11 game with Orr on the field.

The Big 12 also suspended Baylor running back JaMycal Hasty for half a game and defensive end D.J. Artis for a full game for their role in the fight. Both suspensions will be served in the Bears’ Big 12 opener against Kansas next season.

“These sanctions are the direct result of clear video evidence which shows  Nick Orr and JaMycal Hasty throwing punches at opposing players, and D.J. Artis kicking and punching at TCU players ,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement.

Interestingly, Oklahoma offensive lineman Dru Samia was also ejected from the Sooners’ 59-31 win over West Virginia on Saturday for throwing a punch, but no additional punishment has been announced for him as of yet.

Orr ranks third for TCU with 59 tackles to go with three TFLs and two interceptions.

No. 12 TCU locks up Big 12 title game date with Oklahoma

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After a few-year sabbatical, the inaugural renewal of the Big 12 championship game is officially set.

Needing just to get past one-win Baylor, No. 12 TCU did just that as the Horned Frogs outlasted the feisty Bears 45-22 in Fort Worth.  With the win, TCU locks up the other spot in the conference title game opposite Oklahoma, with that matchup going down in Jerry’s World next Saturday.  The Sooners have already beaten the Horned Frogs this season, 38-20 in Norman two weeks ago; a second win over the same team will likely push OU into the playoffs.

TCU finishes the 2017 season 7-2 in conference play.  Iowa State (5-3) needed a win over Kansas State Saturday plus a TCU loss today plus a couple of the other 5-3 Big 12 teams to win in order to send them to the league title game.

Kenny Hill paced the Horned Frogs once again, passing for 325 yards and three touchdowns in the win.  His 26 completions (in 36 attempts) went to 11 different receivers.  The quarterback added another touchdown on the ground.

A little bit of a concern, especially with Baker Mayfield and the high-powered OU offense looming, TCU gave up 314 yards passing, including 301 from freshman signal-caller Charlie Brewer.  Conversely, they did hold the Bears to just 2.7 yards per rushing attempt.

Status of TCU’s top two QBs up in the air for Baylor game

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For a game with significant implications on a couple of levels, this is a little more than mildly intriguing, at least at this point in the week.

If TCU handles one-win Baylor Friday, the Horned Frogs will play Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game next Saturday. If they don’t, they could allow Iowa State to sneak into the title-game side door.

With that much on the line, Gary Patterson seemingly confirmed Tuesday that both his top two quarterbacks, Kenny Hill and Shawn Robinson, are questionable for the Week 13 home game vs. the Bears with unspecified injuries.

The day before, though, Patterson had labeled Hill as “closer to probable” with what’s believed to be a concussion.  Then again, in the days leading up to the Texas Tech game, Patterson had Hill listed as “between probable and questionable” as well.

Hill started the first 10 games of the season, but was injured in the Week 11 loss to Oklahoma and was ultimately ruled out prior to the Tech game. Robinson then started his first career game in Week 12, but was injured in the win over the Red Raiders as well.

If neither is able to go, Grayson Muehlstein would get the nod. The redshirt sophomore, who has yet to attempt a pass in his career, would become the second Horned Frogs in as many weeks to make his first career start at the collegiate level.

Kansas gets trucked by winless Baylor in its own house

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Vegas knows, y’all.  Vegas knows.  As does pretty much anyone who follows football come to think of it.

Despite entering their Week 10 game against Kansas in Lawrence winless, 0-8 Baylor was installed as a 7.5-point road favorite against KU by Bovada.lv.  It reportedly marked the first time in at least 16 years that a team that was 0-8 or worse was listed as a favorite on the road.

As it turns out, the oddsmakers may have given the Jayhawks too much credit as the Bears went into Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon and woodshedded their hosts in a 38-9 win.  The Jayhawks were held without a touchdown for the third straight game; in fact, KU hasn’t found the end zone in 14 quarters, with the last coming in the second quarter of a 65-19 loss to Texas Tech Oct. 7.

In his first career start, BU quarterback Charlie Brewer passed for 315 yards and three touchdowns.  The Bears limited the Jayhawks’ running game to just 3.8 yards per carry while also forcing a pair of turnovers.

KU has now lost eight games in a row and 60 of their last 72 dating back to the last month of the 2010 season.  Taking away games against Group of Five and FCS programs, and the Jayhawks have won just two games against Power Five teams in what amounts to seven full seasons.

And, as bad as the previous regimes have been, the current one has been the worst of the bunch.

With three games left in this season, KU is 3-30 in David Beaty‘s two-plus years. Turner Gill won five games in his two seasons after replacing Mark Mangino in 2010, while Gill’s replacement, Charlie Weis, won six games in his three seasons before he was replaced by Beaty in 2015.

This was likely KU’s last chance to win a game this season as they close against Texas in Austin, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in Stillwater, although the Longhorns did serve as the Jayhawks’ last FBS win in Charlie Strong‘s final season.  And, once this season is (again) mercifully put to bed, KU officials will need to have a serious heart-to-heart talk with itself as to whether Beaty is the man to lead the basketball school out of the football desert.