Oklahoma State is atop the Big 12 South standings going into Week 11.
Next year so supposed to be about change in the Big 12. But why wait? Welcome to the revolution. On another wild weekend in the league, every game was stunning in some way.
Oklahoma State took control of the South Division, totaling a school-record 725 yards of offense in routing Baylor. Kansas, which had scored 40 points in four conference losses — total — struck for 35 in the final 11:05 against Colorado to rally from a 45–17 deficit to win. Texas, sliding all the way into the South cellar after appearing in last January’s BCS championship game, fell behind a mediocre Kansas State team 39–0 on the way to its fifth loss. And Oklahoma’s road woes continued, as they fell behind Texas A&M 2–0 on the game’s first snap and never led. The Sooners are now 6–6 in their last 12 Big 12 road games.
K-State and A&M became bowl-eligible with their upsets.
Nebraska blew a 24–10 lead at Iowa State, then had to survive in overtime when the Cyclones’ bid for a two-point conversion on a fake PAT try was intercepted.
And Missouri lost at Texas Tech, failing to score in the second half against a Red Raiders squad allowing the most points in the league and having struggled mightily against the pass.
All the weekend wackiness isn’t reflected in the North standings, where Nebraska and Mizzou still lead the way, but check out the South:
1. Oklahoma State; 2. Baylor; 3. Texas A&M; 4. Oklahoma; 5. Texas Tech; 6. Texas.
Welcome to the revolution.
Oklahoma State 55, Baylor 28
Kansas 52, Colorado 45
Nebraska 31, Iowa State 30, OT
Texas A&M 33, Oklahoma 19
Kansas State 39, Texas 14
Texas Tech 24, Missouri 17
Time to take Oklahoma State seriously. Time to take a deep breath on Baylor’s contender status.
The Cowboys clobbered Baylor in a highly anticipated matchup of explosive offenses, rolling to a 34–0 lead and positioning themselves for a first South Division title. Work remains, but a Saturday trip to Texas, which has dominated the series, looks suddenly manageable. Then OSU visits Kansas, before getting road-weary Oklahoma in Stillwater. Advantage Cowboys.
“We’re in a great position,” said OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden, “but three left in the regular season, we’ve got to stay focused.”
Weeden was clearly fixed on beating the Bears, hitting on his first eight throws and finishing with school records for completions (34) and passing yards (435).
Wide receiver Justin Blackmon, back after a one-game suspension due to a DUI complaint, caught 13 balls for 173 yards and a touchdown and added a 69-yard scoring run on a reverse.
The Cowboys also ran for 290 yards, making it look easy against Baylor, which failed for a second time in the spotlight taking on a top team.
Despite a stirring win in Lincoln last year, Iowa State has long existed as Nebraska whipping boys. So who can blame Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads for going all-in at the end against the Huskers?
The call was a good one, too, with Collin Franklin standing wide open in the end zone on the two-point try. But the throw from holder-turned-passer Daniel Kuehl was a floater, allowing Nebraska’s Eric Haag to recover and intercept.
“The play was there,” an emotional Rhoads said after the game. “It’s a game of inches. I had no hesitation whatsoever.
“If we execute, game over. We’re the ones running in the end zone to celebrate.”
There was nothing to suggest the Jayhawks were capable of rallying from four touchdowns down against anybody, let alone another Big 12 foe. Even after Saturday’s fourth-quarter burst, KU has only scored a league-low 92 points in five games. And yet, Jayhawks coach Turner Gill apparently believed, even trailing 35–10 at the half.
“At halftime,” KU linebacker Steven Johnson told the Topeka Capital Journal, “he said, ‘Get ready for the biggest comeback ever.’ He said that, I promise you. I lie to you not.”
The lead ballooned to 45–17, when the Jayhawks got serious.
The 35-point rally is the second-most points scored in the fourth quarter to win a game in NCAA history. BYU holds the record, having scored 36 in the fourth quarter to beat Washington State in 1990.
The loss immediately turned up the heat on Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, whose team not only collapsed, but also remained winless in conference play.
Player of the Week: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State. The Cowboys quarterback finished 34-of-42 passing with three touchdowns and had several throws dropped, including a 44-yard sure touchdown went through the arms of Justin Blackmon in the end zone. Weeden had completion streaks of eight and seven in the first half, when the Pokes were building a 24–0 lead.
Game of the Week: Texas A&M at Baylor. Both teams still hold hopes for a South Division title, although each needs help. The Aggies are suddenly charging, having won three straight conference games after starting 0–2 in the Big 12. For the Bears, it’s a chance to prove they are to be taken seriously, despite the setback at OSU.
On the Spot: Oklahoma State. The Cowboys’ failures against Texas have been lengthy and often epic. They haven’t won in Austin since 1944. But if they are true contenders, this is a game they must win against a Texas team that is reeling and apparently playing out the string.
In the Spotlight: Dan Hawkins, Colorado. Rumors of the Hawk’s demise have been floating around Boulder for weeks, if not years. Saturday’s shutdown at KU will only heighten the speculation that his days are numbered.
Aggie defense. A&M produced not one, not two, but three goal-line stands against Oklahoma. The Sooners moved inside the 5-yard line on three series against the Aggies and didn’t score. Eleven snaps included four from the 1 and three from the 2.
Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri. Since leading the Tigers to a 7–0 start and into national title talk, Gabbert has slumped, completing but 30-of-72 passes for 294 yards.
By the Numbers
5 Interceptions thrown by Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert at K-State.
145 Points allowed by Baylor in its three losses.
6,100 Running back DeMarco Murray’s career all-purpose yards, moving him past Joe Washington for No. 1 all-time at OU.