Texas Tech learned that nothing in college ball can be taken for granted…not even a trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma. As Mike Leach put it, the Cowboys "hit harder, ran faster, and just wanted to win more than we did." No doubt, Mike was right. Meanwhile, back in the Big 12 North, Iowa State kept their dreams of a championship alive with a 30-16 home drubbing of the Beefaloes. Everything else, with the exception of Texas A&M's offensive reawakening, went pretty much as scripted in the conference last Saturday. KSU lost in a close one to Nebraska, Missouri made Baylor look like Baylor and Texas rubbed the Jayhawks nose in it.
1. Texas (10-0, 7-0) Vince and Company continue to make this issue of the Horns look like the best Texas team to suit up since 1969. Only Ohio State has tested their mettle this season, and that was early on, before the Horns knew their own capabilities.
Next up: Friday, November 25th – Texas A&M at College Station.
2. Oklahoma (6-3, 5-1) Another close call that shouldn't a been for the Sooners. After teasing Oklahoma fans with their first quarter expertise (21 unanswered points), the Sooners went into their shell and managed only 15 more points by games end. The defense still looks vulnerable to the pass and with both Bomar and Peterson nursing ankle problems, the Sooners visit to the number two spot in the rankings could be a fleeting one.
Next up: November 19th – Texas Tech at Lubbock.
3. Texas Tech (8-2, 5-2) Tech gave a textbook lesson to the college football world in uninspired play last Saturday afternoon. This was an excellent example of the malaise that affects the Red Raiders each year preventing them from scaling the mountain. The bad news for Oklahoma? State's victory will make the Sooner's trip to Lubbock that much more dangerous.
Next up: November 19th – Oklahoma in Lubbock.
4. Iowa State (7-3, 4-3) How does McCarney do it? After losing an October trifecta to Nebraska, Baylor and Missouri, the Cyclones have been playing inspirational football without the benefit of an effective ground game. So how did they deal with that on Saturday? Simple…they neutralized Colorado's ground game as well holding the Beefers to a mere 79 yards rushing. And while ISU only managed an embarrassing 36 yards on the ground themselves, Bret Meyer picked up the slack by completing 20 of 38 tosses for 251 yards and a score. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, Joel Klatt was also putting up impressive numbers (24 of 42 for 284 yards) with one exception: Joel threw no touchdowns to go with his two picks. In order for Iowa State to grab the Big 12 North brass ring they must beat Kansas next week and have Colorado lose their season-ending showdown with Nebraska.
Next up: November 19th – Kansas at Lawrence.
5. Colorado (7-3, 5-2) Even after the poor showing in Ames, the Beefs still hold their destiny in their own hands. No matter what the outcome of next weekend's Iowa State Kansas game, should Colorado beat the Nebraska turkey over the Thanksgiving holidays they'll win the North.
Next up: Friday, November 25th – Nebraska in Boulder.
6. Missouri (6-4, 4-3) It seems like Brad Smith is displaying a pretty clear pattern: one hot weekend, one cold weekend, one hot weekend, one cold weekend. But be that as it may, the Tigers are now bowl eligible and could be packing their bags for Fort Worth. It'll be interesting to see if Smith can put two fine performances together, back to back by winning in Manhattan.
Next up: November 19th – Kansas State in Manhattan.
7. Nebraska (6-4, 3-4) I'd like to be able to tell you that the Huskers grew up a bit with their tough win over Kansas State this past weekend…but I can't. Kansas State played their typical shoddy game (Everidge didn't complete a pass until the third quarter was almost over as he went 5 of 27 for 77 yards) and still almost beat the Huskers in Lincoln. It took a performance from heralded freshman quarterback Harrison Beck in the final moments after Zac Taylor was knocked out of the game to move NU into position for a last minute field goal.
Next up: Friday, November 25th – Colorado in Boulder.
8. Texas A&M (5-5, 3-4) It took just the right tonic for Texas A&M to come out of their offensive shell last Saturday…and that tonic was the Oklahoma secondary. Franchione is still leading the Aggies down the path to mediocrity.
Next up: Friday, November 25th – Texas in College Station.
9. Kansas State (4-6, 1-6) Bill Snyder has already shown the college football world what he can do by taking a moribund KSU team from the depths of despair to the pinnacle of success in the latter part of the last century. The big question…the interesting question…is…does he have the strength and resolve to do it again starting in 2006?
Next up: November 19th – Missouri in Manhattan.
10. Kansas (5-5, 2-5) Now that Mangino has endured his Texas drubbing he can go back to the drawing board. Texas has a way of making good teams look terrible and that's what happened last Saturday. Kansas is a good team that has shown progress over the past two years. The Jayhawks may not be playing for the division championship next weekend against Iowa State but they are playing for bowl eligibility.
Next up: November 19th – Iowa State in Lawrence.
11. Baylor (4-6, 2-5) Despite their 4-6 record, Guy Morriss has done a whale of a job with this team. The Bears have actually been competitive in most games this season and the future looks cautiously promising. Here's hoping the powers that be in Waco give him a few more years to complete the job.
Next up: November 19th – Oklahoma State in Waco.
12. Oklahoma State (4-5, 1-5) Just when you think it's safe to go back to Stillwater…the Cowboys rear up and bite someone's hand. But it boils down to being a matter of too little too late.
Next up: November 19th – Baylor at Waco.
Wann Smith has served two years as national columnist for the Pigskin Post, contributed to the College Football News (a contributor to Fox Sports and the Sporting News) and is currently the editor of the College Football Gazette. Smith lives in St. Louis with his family.
Click the link below to visit his website...
College Football Gazette
You can also contact Wann Smith at email@example.com
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