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What we learned from Week 3 in the Big 12

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Here is what we learned from Saturday's Big 12 action:

1. No moves left

The decision to replace Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz with Greg Robinson didn't work. The Longhorns survived an initial onslaught of two touchdowns in the first 6:34 to keep Mississippi off the scoreboard until the end of the second quarter. However, the Rebels made adjustments coming out of the locker room and Robinson didn't, leading to a 28-point barrage and 44-23 final score that should effectively end head coach Mack Brown's time in Austin.

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Brown gambled that an in-season coaching change could salvage a talented defense that has struggled to tackle since last season. It just didn't happen. Especially damning was Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's post-game assertion that Texas changed nothing, save one goal-line wrinkle. Texas linebacker Jordan Hicks said Ole Miss ran the "same play over and over again" and the Longhorns still couldn't stop it.

Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott ran for a 162 yards and a touchdown, becoming the eighth opponent in Texas' last 13 games to set a new career high on the ground against the Longhorns. Scott also scored on a 73-yard punt return.

Brown has always been regarded as a CEO head coach, one that needs terrific coordinators to succeed. He jettisoned his long-time assistants after a 5-7 season in 2010, then threw Diaz overboard after the BYU debacle earlier this week. There are no moves left to make to save his job, barring an unlikely run to the Big 12 title.

It could have been worse, Texas fans. Texas A&M could have knocked off Alabama to become the frontrunner in the BCS title chase.

2. Ring the Bell

Oklahoma has a significantly improved defensive front and the running game is proven, with or without senior Damien Williams, who was suspended for Saturday's game. What had been holding the Sooners back in their first two games was an erratic passing offense under redshirt freshman Trevor Knight.

Enter the "Belldozer."

Blake Bell, the redshirt junior previously known for plowing over defenses with his legs, showed a fine arm against Tulsa in his first career start. There was a rhythm that had been lacking under Knight, allowing the wide receivers and running backs to make plays after the catch.

Bell should face a much tougher test next week at Notre Dame, though the Irish secondary did show cracks in that loss to Michigan. But if this level of passing efficiency comes through on a regular basis, Oklahoma certainly has the caliber of athletes to be in the thick of the jumbled Big 12 race.

3. Super Sims

How in the world did West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen think it was a good idea to only get running back Charles Sims 13 touches at Oklahoma last week? The Houston transfer had 116 rushing yards and a touchdown against Georgia State, is now averaging 5.6 yards per carry and will only be more dangerous as the Mountaineers' aerial attack comes of age.

Check out the cheerleaders from the Big 12 in action.

4. Same old Kansas

Jake Heaps was supposed to be the answer to Kansas' horrific quarterback play. Instead, the BYU transfer threw a pick-six in the first quarter at Rice and threw another pick on a badly underthrown ball in the second quarter to waste excellent field position. Heaps finished 13-of-28 passing for 157 yards and one touchdown with those two interceptions in a 24-13 loss, the Jayhawks' 20th consecutive defeat on the road.

5. Kansas State gets rolling

Kansas State had to get its rushing offense in gear before starting Big 12 play and its playcalling reflected as much (46 runs to only 12 passes). The Wildcats ran for 329 yards (7.2 yards per carry) versus Massachusetts, as senior running back John Hubert led the way with 118 yards.

6. Size doesn't matter

TCU cornerback Jason Verrett was masterful in containing Texas Tech wide receiver Eric Ward on Thursday, holding a viable senior draft prospect without a catch even as the Red Raiders attempted 45 passes. There will be concerns over Verrett's height from scouts, but his relentlessness and productivity cannot be doubted.

7. Amaro the anchor

With Ward blanketed by Verrett, Texas Tech's passing game was paced by tight end Jace Amaro (nine receptions for 97 yards). While the senior has a sketchy record when it comes to impulse control on and off the field, his value to an offense working between the numbers is unquestioned and NFL teams will definitely be taking notice.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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