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Big 12 Wrap: Week Seven

Last Week's Wrap

What a great week of Big 12 football! There were upsets, near upsets, and highly competitive football all the way around. In fact, weeks like this make me think the Big 12 has finally surpassed the SEC as the top football conference in the land. Here are the games:

Texas 17, Oklahoma State 15
Last year, Oklahoma State marched into Norman and derailed Oklahoma's chances at a national championship. This year, Oklahoma State marched into Austin and gave the Longhorns all they could handle. This was a missed PAT (and hence an unsuccessful 2 point conversion) from going to overtime. OSU put together an excellent game for the most part, which is just proof that even the second-tier teams in the Big 12 are pretty good. Texas was probably looking ahead a little bit to next week's Red River shootout. Les Miles needs to figure out how to get OSU playing this well more than once a year.

Oklahoma 31, Missouri 24
Oklahoma survived a tough road game that saw Missouri freshman phenom Brad Smith just shred their vaunted defense. The Sooners actually trailed in this one with just under 7 minutes left, when Bob Stoops gambled on a fake field goal that didn't really fool Mizzou, but was executed perfectly for a touchdown. Nate Hybl quietly passed for 300 yards and had an excellent game, but he still has trouble in clutch situations. The Sooners were probably also looking ahead to next week's Red River shootout, which was not a good idea against a rapidly improving Mizzou squad.

Colorado 35, Kansas State 31
Two weeks ago, I wrote that Colorado "should scare every team in the Big 12. This team can still do a lot of damage." Count Kansas State among the damaged in the Big 12 North. They came into Boulder undefeated, and trailed Colorado most of this one. Gary Barnett probably has the most talented team in the North, and now has a leg up in that half of the conference, although I think it likely a team with two conference losses might win the North.

Texas Tech 48, Texas A&M 47
I don't gamble on college football or anything else, but had anyone wanted to bet me prior to Saturday that Texas A&M would score 47 and LOSE in College Station in OT, I might have taken 'em up on that one. This is Mike Leach's biggest victory as coach of Texas Tech. I've written that Tech won't beat quality opponents until it starts playing some defense, but when Leach's offense is really clicking, it's good enough to prove me wrong every once in a while. And it's really been clicking the last two games, in which Kliff Kingsbury has thrown for a total of 881 yards and 11 touchdowns. With 22 touchdowns on the year, Kingsbury must again be considered a Heisman contender after a slow start. Since Tech doesn't play defense, it's a little too early to say that A&M has solved its offensive problems.

Nebraska 38, McNeese State 14
Nebraska rolled up nearly 600 yards against an overmatched opponent, following last week's stomping at the hands of Iowa State. Credit Frank Solich for remaining calm and continuing to plug away when his team could have quit. A home game against Mizzou and a road game against Oklahoma State are winnable games before Nebraska has to venture to College Station, but this Nebraska team cannot take any opponents lightly.

Baylor 35, Kansas 32
There are two truly terrible teams in the Big 12, one in the North (Kansas) and one in the south (Baylor). How fitting that they determined the conference's worst football team by playing each other! It looks like 22,000 fans actually saw a fairly competitive game, as Baylor won a Big 12 contest for the first time IN FOUR YEARS, to up its all-time conference record to 4-45. Ann Richards must be very proud.

[Posted at 20:44 CST on 10/06/02] [Link]

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