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Beyond the Fort: Could Oklahoma hang with Alabama?

For the first time in half-a-decade, TCU football is below .500 after dropping a 52-27 affair to Oklahoma on Saturday in Fort Worth.

That proved to be just the start of a tumultuous stretch of days for the Horned Frogs. In addition to the news that quarterback Shawn Robinson would undergo a season-ending surgery this week, it came to light Monday morning that wide receiver and return specialist KaVontae Turpin was arrested Sunday in Fort Worth on assault with bodily injury to family member. Turpin was suspended and later dismissed from the team on Tuesday after a additional March arrest in Las Cruces, N.M. was unearthed, creating a cloud of questions as to how much information Gary Patterson and the coaching staff was aware of while Turpin ultimately played in seven games this season with an outstanding bench warrant.

But amid the rocky times for TCU, there is plenty of exciting football elsewhere in the Big 12 as Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Texas Tech enter the stretch run as the four teams with the best shot at earning a trip to AT&T Stadium the first weekend of December. Here are the latest headlines as it pertains to the rest of the conference.

Could Oklahoma be the team capable of upending Alabama?

Alabama football has looked absolutely unstoppable in 2018. Heck, it’s an accomplishment these days if you simply keep the No. 1 Crimson Tide — fresh off a drubbing of Tennessee in Knoxville last Saturday — off the scoreboard in the first minute of the game. Alabama’s average margin of victory of 38.2 is leaps and bounds above Clemson, who is second in the nation with an average margin of 26.5 points.

Odds are, the Crimson tide repeat as national champions — likely undefeated — en route to head coach Nick Saban’s sixth national title with the program this January. But if anybody is to stop Alabama — or at least hang with them — could it be the three-time defending Big 12 Champions?

FOX Sports’ CFB analyst Joel Klatt, on an episode of The Herd, made his case as to why Kyler Murray and the Oklahoma Sooners could potentially be the ones to get the job done, if afforded the opportunity. For the record, it’s been done once of late, as the Sooners stunned the Crimson Tide in the 2014 Sugar Bowl.

Hear what Klatt had to say below:

And yes, Colin had to throw some more shade at Baker Mayfield, naturally, before the segment ended. Next.

Bowlsby speaks on field storming

While basketball may be the focus in Kansas City on Wednesday, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby offered up his comments on the post-game field storming incident at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa after Iowa State upset then No. 6 West Virginia on Oct. 12. West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen called the scene “unprofessional” the Monday after, and the Big 12 later levied a $25,000 fine on Iowa State for its handling of the postgame activities.

Here’s what the commissioner had to say, via the Ames Tribune.

“Two things were fundamentally of concern to us. One is that fans dumped into the protected team area, and the only path to the locker room was through the mass of people coming on to the field. Those two things are fundamental weaknesses in the plan….Our ADs said they didn’t want to go that way. We asked them if they wanted to have a rule like the SEC rule, anybody comes on the field or the floor, it’s $100,000 dollars. That isn’t the way we went. That isn’t to say we might not get there eventually.”

It was far from being the first instance of Iowa State fans storming the field after an upset, as they did so after the Cyclones beat No. 4 TCU last October. No fine was given after that incident, as Bowlsby told reporters that field storming is evaluated case-by-case.

Indeed, better news for Big 12 member schools than the six-figure fine that is present in the SEC.

Big 12 bye weeks are complete in 2018!

Good news, folks. Every Big 12 football team is playing every week for the remainder of the 2018 season. With six schools off last Saturday, every school has completed its bye week as the final weekend of October approaches. Among some of the noteworthy games still to come: OU-Texas Tech, OU-West Virginia, Texas-Texas Tech, and Texas-West Virginia. Oh, and while it may not have Big 12 title implications, TCU and Baylor battle it out in Waco on Nov. 17.

So buckle up. The stretch run of the 2018 campaign is upon us, and if you don’t believe it — hey, the first College Football Playoff rankings of the year will be released next Tuesday. We certainly can’t see any controversy there, right? Fun stuff.

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