Former Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt is one of Fox Sports 1's rising stars in college football broadcasting. Besides being a regular on “Fox College Saturday,” 9 a.m. Saturdays and contributing to “Fox Football Daily,” he also broadcasts Thursday night games. He said he is looking forward to calling the OU at Baylor game on Nov. 9 for FS1.
What's your assessment of the Big 12 race?
“Well, I think Oklahoma has put itself in the position where they're a clear leader. Someone is going to have to go and knock them off. I think they've won nine straight conference games going back to last year's Kansas State loss. They've got all these conference championships in their locker, if you will. (Bob) Stoops just knows how to get it done. With the biggest win for any team in the conference thus far in the season, which was last week at Notre Dame, I would put them as the clear favorite.
“Behind them I probably would go with Baylor and then at that point it's kind of a TCU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State crap shoot. But Oklahoma State, last week I had them as one of my most overrated teams in the country, and then they went out and proved me right losing to West Virginia. They don't look like Oklahoma State should look. Their quarterbacks aren't throwing the ball with great efficiency. I don't know if (offensive coordinator Mike) Yurcich is really fitting in all that great. When you only score 21 points against Mississippi State and then you only score 21 points against West Virginia, there's a problem offensively. West Virginia was the worst defense in the country last year. Oklahoma State is just finding itself. It's trying to keep its head above water. Losing to West Virginia doesn't help in the league race.”
Should the Cowboys consider going back to Clint Chelf at quarterback?
“I don't think anything is off the table. When your offense is sputtering, I think all things have to be analyzed. At this point with the body of work that Oklahoma State has presented to us, you would have to say that all positions are open. I don't want to say that they are panicking, but a lot of that is because of preseason hype. If you were just going to rank teams starting now based on what they have done this season, I don't think they would be in the top 25.”
How do you rate the play of OU quarterback Blake Bell?
“I think Blake has done a marvelous job of coming in and playing really efficient. He hasn't been a turnover guy. He's made the correct plays. He has been way more accurate than I actually expected. I saw him at the spring game in Norman, and I thought he was going to grab hold of the competition. What it leads me to believe — and there is no shame in this — I don't think Blake is a great practice player. If he was playing like he is playing now and did it in fall camp, Coach Stoops would have started him to start the season. He's playing himself into the lineup on the field with quality play, accurate passing. He's run when he's needed to run. I think that the guys believe in him. They play with a little different urgency when he's on the field. But credit Trevor Knight. I don't want to say he lost the job. He gets injured and he comes back and he provided a little bit of a spark in that Notre Dame game.”
What are some of the keys to the TCU-OU game Saturday night on Fox?
“For me, the matchup of (TCU cornerback) Jason Verrett and for whoever TCU decides to take out of the game. That's essentially what Verrett does. He held Odell Beckham to one catch in that game against LSU. Eric Ward, Texas Tech's leading receiver, didn't have a catch. When (TCU coach) Gary Patterson sits down, does he want to shut down Sterling Shepard or Jalen Saunders? Where do you put him? And what is going to be very beneficial for Oklahoma is that they have so many weapons. (Trey) Millard is a great weapon. They are running the ball so efficiently, 230 yards a game. I love what Oklahoma is doing on offense. They are not going to be hurt because a guy like Jason Verrett is on the field.”