Big 12 Teleconference News & Notes: Blake Bell's Status, TCU's Bizarre Penalty

Ben KerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterNovember 18, 2013

Nov 16, 2013; Manhattan, KS, USA; TCU Horned Frogs head coach Gary Patterson calls a play during the game against the Kansas State Wildcats during the second half at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The Wildcats defeat the Horned Frogs 33-31. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Every Monday, Big 12 coaches answer questions for the Big 12 coaches teleconference. Here are the highlights for Nov. 18. 


No Word on Blake Bell's Status

Pardon the awful pun, but Blake got his Bell rung in Oklahoma's 48-10 win over Iowa State in Week 12 and did not return to the game. Trevor Knight, who began the year as the starting quarterback, came in to lead the offense and actually provided a nice spark.

Did Knight regain the starting job? Head coach Bob Stoops won't say. Not only did Stoops not provide an update on Bell's status for Saturday's game against Kansas State, he said he would "keep [the decision] to ourselves" once it was made. 

Whatever is decided, it will depend on how Bell looks in practice this week...if he practices. In any case, no one will know for sure until kickoff at noon. 


Kansas' "Psychological Lift" 

When you lose 27 straight conference games like Kansas had, it's easy to get down on yourself. That's why Saturday's 31-19 win over West Virginia was so crucial to the mental health of the Jayhawks program.

Nov 16, 2013; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks offensive linesman Gavin Howard (70) pours water over Kansas Jayhawks head coach Charlie Weis late in the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Memorial Stadium. Kansas won the game 31-19. Mandator
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Charlie Weis described the win as a "big psychological lift" for the entire program. Still, Weis says he doesn't get too high or too low, and there's more to build on. 

"There are a few things we need to check off our list," Weis said. "We still have to win on the road. We haven't done that in a long time." 

Kansas travels to Iowa State this Saturday. 


Explaining TCU's Bizarre Penalty

TCU was on the wrong end of a bizarre penalty in a 33-31 loss to Kansas State on Saturday. Late in the fourth quarter, K-State was forced to punt. However, the Frogs were flagged for having two players wearing the same number, No. 2, on the field at the same time. Cornerback Jason Verrett wears No. 2, as does quarterback/wide receiver Trevone Boykin, who was on the field to return the punt. 

"We left our defense on the field, and it was the first time we decided to put Trevone on the field to return the kick," TCU head coach Gary Patterson explained. "Nobody thought about it. It's my fault." 

The penalty moved K-State into a 4th-and-1 situation, which it converted. The drive ended in a 23-yard field goal. 

When asked if he saw the duplicate numbers, K-State coach Bill Snyder said he was made aware of it, but the officials appeared on top of it too.


West Virginia's Recruiting Progress

Disgruntled fans may want to blame West Virginia's 4-7 season on head coach Dana Holgorsen, but there's another factor that deserves a lot of consideration: depth. In short, the Mountaineers don't have it on offense or defense.

Depth has been a fourth-quarter problem for WVU for most of the season, but it became a four-quarter problem in the loss to Kansas. Holgorsen admitted as much after the game. 

Holgorsen was asked Monday if he felt good about the two full recruiting classes he's put together at West Virginia. Shockingly (as in, not shockingly), the third-year head coach said he felt recruiting has been better since joining the Big 12. 

"We're not happy with 4-7, but I'm happy with the direction this program is headed," Holgorsen said. 

Additionally, Holgorsen said he was redshirting "about 30 guys right now," a little less than half of which are walk-ons. Asked if he felt the Mountaineers would have been better off removing those redshirts for the sake of instant gratification, Holgorsen said no. 

"You redshirt them for a reason," Holgorsen said. "I don't think not redshirting them would change win-loss record." 


Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football. All quotes obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise. You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenKercheval