Unfazed once again in the face of a sellout crowd, the No. 16 Horned Frogs were mostly dominant in their 44-31 victory over No. 6 Oklahoma State, crashing the Big 12 Bedlam party scheduled for November 4 - and possibly crushing the Cowboys' hopes for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Oklahoma State hosts TCU in a Big 12 showdown at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Saturday, Sept. 23. Both teams are unbeaten, as they start Big 12 play. The Horned Frogs rank 15th nationally in total defense, allowing just 265 yards per game. The 56,790 witnesses arrived all amped to see a Broadway offense with senior quarterback Mason Rudolph, who enjoyed the company of four 100-yard receivers a Saturday earlier at Pitt, which had turned their Cowboys into a national fascination.
"They indicated to me that they wanted me to go as long as I was willing to go", Bowlsby said before TCU's 44-31 upset of Oklahoma State.
Leading the way for the Horned Frogs was senior quarterback Kenny Hill. They're 15th in the FBS in total defense and 21st in scoring defense (14.3) after shutting out Jackson State (63-0) and holding Arkansas to one first-quarter score in an impressive 28-7 win. It is set for four weeks after Oklahoma and Oklahoma State play in Stillwater on November 4 - on December 2 in Jerry Jones' digitally dazzling funhouse in Arlington, Texas.
But the Horned Frogs surged back ahead.
TCU coach Gary Patterson calls Oklahoma State "one of the best teams playing so far" in college football.
"The quarterback (Rudolph) is a really good player", Patterson said. "I know they're disappointed in the outcomes of the last two games". Oklahoma State has been darned good on third down, too.
The mastery of its domain has helped Oklahoma State rise to No. 6 in the rankings and stamp itself as a bona fide College Football Playoff contender.
Under new offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie, TCU is showing more dedication to the ground game.
TCU's three wins aren't against anyone special either, but they are unbeaten and a top 20 team. Once again, they played well in their victory on the road at Pittsburgh. The Cowboys are scoring 54 points per game, and allowing 17.3 per game.
"He's a great athlete, and I think he has a better team around him as well this year, so he'll be a pretty good challenge", Phillips said. Of course, four of the top six are from the Big 12. Today, 'Bama has been joined at the peak by Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and defending champion Clemson at 11 - and they haven't fallen so much as the others have moved to catch them.
-QB Mason Rudolph asserted himself through nonconference play as one of the nation's most productive passers.
"He understands, he knows what we're trying to accomplish", Gundy said of where Rudolph has made his biggest strides during the Big 12 media teleconference. It's hard to rule them out in this one. But as they always seem to do, fantastic games emerged from unlikely places.
Now, to those without lives who follow this stuff, "Bedlam" usually dangles off the back edge of the schedule, waiting there with its rivals 65 miles apart, its promise of exquisite contempt and its lopsided all-time score in which Oklahoma State has won only 18 of the 111 matches.
"That's the Big 12", Patterson said.