Halloween is fast approaching, so it’s only natural that pictures of babies dressed up as college football coaches got major play online Monday.
A mini Kliff Kingsbury, complete with fake stubble, captured the hearts of Texas Tech fans. Young Bill Snyder lookalikes were popular with Kansas State fans. Even the baby that resembled former Kansas coach Mark Mangino a few years ago was making the rounds.
That got me wondering: If all 10 of the football coaches in the Big 12 had time to dress up on Thursday, what costume should they choose?
Here are some ideas.
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A king: Art Briles. At Baylor, they treat you like royalty when you reach a bowl game. Briles has the Bears in the BCS championship discussion.
A Kardashian: Mack Brown. Controversy surrounds him at all times, even after overcoming a woeful start.
A boombox: Bob Stoops. Everything he says about the SEC gets magnified. Why not go with it?
A wizard: Kingsbury. He won big as an offensive coordinator at Houston and Texas A&M. Now he is 7-1 as the coach at Texas Tech.
A mime: Mike Gundy. He is one of the most animated coaches in the conference, but his team is a quiet success.
A puppeteer: Snyder. The K-State coach is a big fan of Pinocchio, and he almost always pulls the right strings.
A cooler: Gary Patterson. TCU was a trendy pick to win the Big 12 a few months ago. Now the Horned Frogs are ice cold.
A can of Red Bull: West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen. He drinks beverage nonstop. Why not?
A preacher: Paul Rhoads. His Iowa State team might not always win, but it’s always entertaining to listen to him afterward.
An orange: Charlie Weis. A Kansas coach once won the Orange Bowl after being photographed next to the game’s mascot, an oversized orange. Maybe there is something to the connection.
As the final undefeated team in the Big 12, Baylor is now the conference’s best and last shot at a BCS championship. The Bears are ranked fifth in the latest Associated Press poll and moved up to sixth in the BCS standings.
That puts them in the trophy conversation, but they need a lot of help to play for a title.
For starters, they need to go undefeated. The Big 12 isn’t strong enough to send a team with a loss to the BCS championship game. And even if the Bears go 12-0, which they appear good enough to do, they need three of the unbeaten teams ranked above them (Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State, Florida State) to falter.
An explosive offense will likely impress voters and help Baylor, but it remains on the outside looking in until further notice.
The majority of Big 12 teams seem no closer to settling on a starting quarterback than they were at the start of the season.
Baylor is set with Bryce Petty. Oklahoma likes what it is getting from Blake Bell. And Davis Webb remains the top option at Texas Tech.
Everyone else is juggling quarterbacks.
K-State appears to be the most back-and-forth situation. Jake Waters was the primary quarterback in its first four games. Daniel Sams played more in the following two. It was an even split against West Virginia.
Oklahoma State is using both Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh, but neither is playing well. Jake Heaps and Montell Cozart are both being used at Kansas. Casey Pachall took time away from Trevone Boykin at TCU on Saturday. Texas, West Virginia and Iowa State are using multiple quarterbacks as well.
It is a down year for Big 12 quarterbacks. The small number of legitimate starters is the main reason why.
Waters: Not many quarterbacks can throw for 198 yards and three touchdowns while splitting snaps.
Desmond Roland: Oklahoma State running back dominated Iowa State with 219 yards and four touchdowns.
Jalen Saunders: Oklahoma wide receiver helped Blake Bell regain his mojo by grabbing six passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns.
Baylor coaches: Offensive staff took the fourth quarter off against Kansas and the Bears still scored 59 points.
Gary Patterson: His mind games haven’t helped the bottom line. TCU is the biggest underachiever in the conference.
Oklahoma State quarterbacks: Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh are both struggling.
Davis Webb: Texas Tech quarterback had a forgettable day in Texas Tech’s first loss.
Iowa State fans: Purchased season tickets in record numbers, but haven’t seen a win at home.
Ranking this week’s games
Don’t miss it: Oklahoma State at Texas Tech.
Find something else to do: Iowa State at Kansas State, Kansas at Texas, West Virginia at TCU.
Big 12 power rankings
1. Baylor (7-0, 4-0): The Bears have the best offense in the conference, and one of the best defenses, too.
2. Texas (5-2, 4-0): Not even a three-hour delay could stop the Longhorns’ hot streak.
3. Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1): Sooners flexed their muscles and gave Texas Tech its first loss.
4. Texas Tech (7-1, 4-1): Red Raiders were never going to go undefeated, but they showed grit in first loss.
5. Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1): Is there a quieter six-win team out there?
6. Kansas State (3-4, 1-3): Tramaine Thompson and Tyler Lockett make the Wildcats a different team.
7. TCU (3-5, 1-4): Boy, oh boy, were the Frogs overrated in the preseason.
8. West Virginia (3-5, 1-4): Mountaineers need a late push to reach bowl eligibility.
9. Iowa State (1-6, 0-4): Cyclones are headed for a dismal season.
10. Kansas (2-5, 0-4): Good news for Jayhawks: the schedule softens after the Texas game.