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Big 12 notebook: Oklahoma-Notre Dame isn't the only game to watch this week

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- While West Virginia University's football team is off, it's still on within the Big 12.

Nationally, No. 8 Oklahoma's home game against No. 5 Notre Dame is receiving most of the national buzz. Surprisingly, the Fighting Irish lead that series of traditional powers by an 8-1 count, although the schools haven't played since 1999.

OU will try and rely on the Big 12's No. 3 scoring offense (44.7 points per game) and No. 1 scoring defense (15.3) in that ABC national telecast.

But Fox has a game almost as intriguing in No. 15 Texas Tech at No. 4 Kansas State. After a resounding win over WVU, KSU will face the Big 12's No. 1 total defense (282 yards allowed per game).

Also, keep an eye on the Baylor-Iowa State game. The Bears have the Big 12's No. 1 scoring offense (48 points per game) and will face the league's No. 3 scoring defense (19.6).

Big 12 numbers

  • After back-to-back 14-point offensive games, West Virginia has plummeted in Big 12 stats. The Mountaineers are now No. 7 of 10 in scoring offense (41.1), No. 4 in total offense (500.7), No. 9 in rushing offense (148.3) and No. 3 both in pass offense (352.4) and pass efficiency (168.2). Nationally, though, WVU is Nos. 13, 14, 78, 6 and 6, respectively.
  • According to the NCAA, West Virginia has the nation's No. 19 toughest schedule. Five Big 12 teams, however, have schedules rated tougher at this point: Iowa State (6), Oklahoma (tied for 8), Oklahoma State (13) and Baylor and Kansas (tied for 14). Texas Tech is tied with WVU at No. 19. Kansas State is at No. 24. That's eight of 10 league teams within the Top 25.
  • WVU's football team has fallen off, but its fans have not. Mountaineer fans have produced the third-best home attendance figures this season behind Texas (101,334 average) and Oklahoma (84,886). An average of 59,434 fans have attended WVU games. Nationally, that ranks No. 27.
  • So far this season, 67 Big 12 plays have been reviewed by officials and 23 have been overturned. The average length of review: 1 minute, 30 seconds.
  • How accurate are preseason polls? The Big 12 media poll tagged No. 4 KSU to finish sixth in the conference. It had No. 8 Oklahoma to finish first. It had No. 15 Texas Tech to finish ninth of 10.
  • The Big 12 is winning 89.6 percent of the time against non-conference opponents. That's the best nationally. It is 5-1 against the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC. The only loss within that group was Oklahoma State's 59-38 loss at the Pac-12's Arizona, coached by Rich Rodriguez. The Big 12 has not played a game against WVU's former conference, the Big East.
  • Big 12 nuggets

  • The league has the most finalists (five) for the Davey O'Brien quarterback award of all conferences, including WVU's Geno Smith.
  • Nine Big 12 teams have been ranked in the national polls at some point during the season. Eight are currently ranked or receiving votes.
  • Through the first eight weeks of the season, Big 12 teams have posted 36 scoring plays of 50-plus yards, including 15 of over 80 yards.
  • Last Saturday, Big 12 games featured more touchdowns (48) than punts (47) - the third week of the season that's happened.
  • The Big 12 has five of the top 17 teams nationally in total offense and four of the top 23 in total defense.
  • The triple overtime game between Texas Tech and TCU marked the fourth league game in Big 12 history to be decided in three extra periods. The Big 12 record is four OTs, which occurred in 2011.
  • Big 12 player of the week awards went to Collin Klein (K-State) on offense; Arthur Brown (K-State) on defense; and Jaden Oberkrom (TCU) on special teams. Klein was also named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week.
  • Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvingle@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.


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