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Wins by Okie State, Texas and Mizzou have turned the league on its head.
An earthquake struck not far from Owen Field in Norman last week, a rare quake for the state of Oklahoma that shook buildings across campus. The rest of the Big 12 — and other parts of the nation — were shaken over the weekend, sending aftershocks back to Norman, where the Sooners were left standing as the No. 1-ranked team when the 2010 BCS Standings made their debut Sunday.
It was a wild weekend in the Big 12, where Nebraska lost to Texas — again; Oklahoma State won at Texas Tech for the first time in 66 years; Missouri thumped Texas A&M to establish itself as a North Division contender, if not the favorite; and Baylor took a road victory at Colorado to move within one win of securing bowl eligibility for the first time as a Big 12 member.
Oh, and Oklahoma rolled Iowa State 52–0, ascending to the top of the BCS Standings when No. 1 Ohio State fell at Wisconsin, one of three top 10 teams to stumble.
Fittingly, with Alabama and Ohio State losing road games as No. 1s the past two weeks, the Sooners now hit the road for under-the-radar Mizzou.
“I understand that the announcement of the poll makes for good conversation among media and fans, but two games into our conference season, it’s too early for us to give it any attention,” said Sooners coach Bob Stoops.
“At this point, it just speaks to the quality of the schedule we’ve played, and while I appreciate the caliber of those teams, our focus has to be on the games we have remaining. We’re not talking or thinking about anything but playing Missouri.”
Kansas State 59, Kansas 7
Oklahoma State 34, Texas Tech 17
Oklahoma 52, Iowa State 0
Missouri 30, Texas A&M 9
Texas 20, Nebraska 13
Baylor 31, Colorado 25
Fond Farewell – For Texas
After beating up on Kansas State a week earlier, the Cornhuskers hinted at a farewell tour that involved some personal feelings, none stronger than major dislike for Texas.
The Longhorns, who have owned the Huskers in the Big 12, beat Nebraska with a final-moments field goal when :01 was added to clock after time had seemingly expired, setting off a controversy. And, as we now know, Nebraska has never embraced its conference alliance with Texas.
So the setup seemed tilted in the Huskers’ favor when the two met for the final scheduled time, in Lincoln, with Nebraska streaking and the Longhorns riding a two-game losing streak.
Instead, Texas exposed flaws unseen in a soft early schedule by the Huskers, bottling up formerly fab freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez and knocking Nebraska from the ranks of the unbeaten.
“Losing to anyone is not a good feeling,” Husker defensive end Cameron Meredith told reporters, “but especially Texas.”
The Longhorns will surely be sad to see Nebraska go. In the Big 12, Texas has won nine of 10 meetings.
Hear The Roar
Missouri’s 5–0 start barely created a ripple throughout the Big 12. Saturday’s convincing rout of Texas A&M, at Kyle Field, moving the Tigers to 6–0, sounded an alarm.
“It’s us against the world,” said Mizzou quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who threw three touchdowns against the Aggies. “We have to go out there and execute every week, because apparently we’re not getting any credit thus far.”
The Tigers’ defense, a major concern a year ago, held A&M scoreless through the first 42 minutes. The win sets Mizzou up for a major showdown, with Oklahoma visiting Columbia Saturday.
And before leaving College Station, the Tigers were focused on the Sooners. “Preparation for the Sooners starts) on the way back,” Gabbert said. “On the way back, on the plane, we have to start thinking about Oklahoma, because they are a great football team.
“Just watch game film. We have it on our cell phones. We have to get an extra edge on those guys.”
Oklahoma State’s roster is so loaded with youth, few Cowboys had even been to Lubbock for a game. Still, the media made sure a history lesson was in order before the team’s trip to Texas Tech, where OSU hadn’t won since 1944.
Time to rewrite that story line, not to mention previous takes on this being a rebuilding season for the Cowboys.
After Saturday’s impressive start-to-finish win at Tech, OSU is now 6–0.
“It was a big win,” said Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden. “There was not a whole lot of talk about a 66-year streak that we had the chance (to break), that was not on our mind, but looking back that is a pretty big feat.
“We have had some very good football teams come in here and we were fortunate enough to get the win. It’s a big accomplishment for this team — 6–0 and we’re excited to be there.”
Coaches prefer talking about the next game. Always the next game. Finally, for Baylor, it’s about the next win.
Holding off a late rally attempt by Colorado, the Bears improved to 5–2, putting them within one win of the program’s first bowl while in the Big 12. Next up: Kansas State, in Waco, for homecoming.
“It would be a great win for us,” said senior safety Bryan Landor. “We know what the situation is. We know that this puts us at 5–2. We are going home and we’re going to have a lot of alumni at the game, so many fans that are supporting Baylor.
“There is no better way to get it than at homecoming.”
Player of the Week
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State. The guy just won’t slow down. The nation’s leading receiver and scorer, Blackmon hauled in 10 receptions for a career-high 207 yards and a score in the Cowboys’ win in Lubbock. The touchdown, a 62-yard catch and run, was a dazzling play that helped cement OSU’s first win in Lubbock in 66 years.
Game of the Week: Oklahoma at Missouri. No keeping the Tigers quiet now. Not after their dominant effort in College Station. Not with the Sooners set to invade Columbia in a clash of two of the nation’s remaining 10 undefeated teams. Kickoff goes off prime time at 7 p.m.
On the Spot:
Mike Sherman, coach, Texas A&M. The Aggies were supposed to be better. Seemed to be better. But after starting 3–0, A&M has lost three straight and sits 0–2 in the Big 12. And the coach who was supposed to right the Aggies finds his seat getting hotter.
In the Spotlight:
Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska. After a rousing career start, Martinez faces adversity for the first time, coming off a struggling performance that saw him benched against Texas. Any bounce-back won’t be easy at Oklahoma State.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma. Murray’s stock has always been high, but injuries have plagued his career. This season has been different, with Murray running with power and speed. In the rout of the Cyclones, he scored three touchdowns, pushing his career total to 58 — one better than Steve Owens’ previous school record of 57.
Turner Gill, coach, Kansas. Gill didn’t inherit much when he took over in Lawrence. So he deserves some rope in his debut season. It may be a short leash now, with losses becoming embarrassing. And ugly losses to the cross-state rival won’t help.
By The Numbers
3 Unbeaten teams remaining from the Big 12 — Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Missouri.
200 A magic number of sorts for Texas under Mack Brown, as the Longhorns are 67–0 in the Brown era when they rush for 200 or more yards, as they did against Nebraska.
231.6 K-State quarterback Carson Coffman’s passer efficiency rating against Kansas, the highest for a Wildcat signal caller in five years.