One of the biggest early college football weekends in recent memory yielded a few gems, but mostly blowouts in the marquee matchups of the week.
The two biggest losers in the conference last week were Kansas, who lost to North Dakoka something or other while totaling a grand three points, and OU, who struggled at home in most phases of the game with Utah State. Hilarious for me, as I attend the University of Missouri and was born in Austin.
Well, this week the two biggest stories in the conference were once again of the Jayhawk and Sooner variety. But this time, things were on the uptick for my arch rivals.
Let's get it started. Again, home team in bold.
Kansas-28 (1-1, 0-0)
Georgia Tech-25 (1-1, 0-0)
The Skinny: In a word, "wow." If Turner Gill got off to a rocky start with the KU fan-base last week, he righted the ship immediately Saturday with an inspiring win over a ranked Georgia Tech team that often confounds non-conference competition with their triple option offense.
Big Man On Campus: Freshman running back James Sims from Irving, TX rushed 17 times for 101 yards and a score in his first statistical game.
Nebraska-38 (2-0, 0-0)
Idaho-17 (1-1, 0-0)
The Skinny: Eh. The score doesn't reflect how much of a mismatch this was and supposedly Big Red dominated in the trenches. Nebraska could have scored more if things had broken differently, much like Texas the past few games, and I'm sure they'll have most of their kinks ironed out perfectly...just in time for Texas! QB Taylor Martinez won't be a pure passer any time soon, but as long as he can keep defenses honest with his arm, the Nebraska ground game will be one of the toughest to defend in the country.
Big Man On Campus: The Cornhuskers' secondary intercepted Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle a whopping five times. But Prince Amukamara didn't get one, so he's obviously overrated. Be wary, Garrett.
Colorado-7 (1-1, 0-0)
California-52 (2-0, 0-0)
The Skinny: Raise your hand if you thought the Buffaloes were for real after dominating rival Colorado State last week. Put your hand DOWN back there, Dan Hawkins! This was exactly the kind of complete meltdown that has plagued Colorado far too frequently over the Hawkins era. I've seen Japanese cities after a Godzilla rampage on less of a hot seat.
Big Man On Campus: The Colorado offense. That's right, you heard me. They were so inept they turned the ball over five times and allowed Cal to score 52 points with only 356 yards of offense. When the opposing team has a 4.4-yard rushing average and only 197 passing yards, yet still somehow scores 52 points, it's back to the drawing board. Or the mid-majors, whichever comes first.
Oklahoma-47 (2-0, 0-0)
Florida State-17 (1-1, 0-0)
The Skinny: So...I picked FSU, for what it's worth. Just thought I'd get that out of the way. Looks like, unfortunately, this OU team is for real. I've said earlier this week: I think they may be the kind of team that has players and coaches that do better work when they're challenged/pissed off/have something to prove. For instance, they may nearly lose a game at Baylor one week, then come back and beat OSU by 30 in Stillwater the next. The Sooners beat the hell out of FSU in almost every phase of the game, especially with their DL vs. the mythical FSU OL that some consider(ed) the best in the country. Note to McWhorter/Davis: do not under any circumstance have Britt Mitchell attempt to cut block Jeremy Beal. OU also looked much improved and focused in the secondary (and, in particular, cornerback) against former Heisman dark horse Christian Ponder. Impressive win all around for the Sooners.
Big Man On Campus: Landry Jones was much better this week, racking up 380 yards and four TDs through the air. He went through his progressions better instead of always locking on to Ryan Broyles and looked more comfortable than usual in the pocket.
Iowa State-7 (1-1, 0-0)
Iowa-35 (2-0, 0-0)
The Skinny: Many, including myself, were expecting a much less lopsided matchup. Iowa is trying their best to make people believe, but I'll wait to see what they do in conference before proclaiming them a national title contender. Paul Rhoads and the Cyclones have a lot of work to do if they want to win more than two games in conference. Iowa controlled the game throughout and the score could have been worse. On the bright side, the ‘Clones scored a touchdown against their nemesis for the first time in four years.
Big Man On Campus: Iowa tailback Adam Robinson gashed the Iowa State defense for a career high 156 yards on only 14 carries, including a 39-yard TD.
Missouri-50 (2-0, 0-0)
McNeese State-6 (1-1, 1-0)
The Skinny: Unfortunately the game was on at the same time as Texas, so I wasn't able to see the route that ensued. Same thing happens this weekend with the Tech game. Karma, IMO. Missouri and Nebraska couldn't be less alike as teams, but they'll provide an exciting race in the North if Mizzou's defense is really as improved as it appears to be so far (12th in scoring defense, albeit against Illinois and McNeese St). I'm already psyched for the October 16th showdown at Texas A&M-should be a shootout with at least Mizzou being undefeated.
Big Man On Campus: Even without former starting running back Derrick Washington, Mizzou looks pretty good at halfback with freshman Henry Josey. He rolled up 112 yards and three TDs on only seven carries, exactly 16 YPC.
Oklahoma State-41 (2-0, 0-0)
Troy-38 (1-1, 0-0)
The Skinny: Huh? OSU destroys Wazzu last week, and then is lucky to escape against the mighty men of Troy (no, not USC) this week? Something doesn't add up. Not sure if the Okie Lite defense was on holiday or something, or maybe Washington State really is that awful. I'm lost on where to put the Cowboys in the Big 12 South and am even more confused on whether they'll make an impact in the conference race (as in, be able to pull an upset against a contending team, not be one themselves).
Big Man On Campus: I have a feeling I'm going to be typing this one a lot. Kendall Hunter looks to be completely back after his disappointing injury-riddled season last year. The senior grinded out 157 yards on 28 carries and added two scores. Surprisingly, his longest run was only 24 yards, unusual for a player with gamebreaking ability, a game this high scoring, and a defense as bad as Troy's.
Baylor-34 (2-0, 0-0)
Buffalo-6 (1-1, 0-0)
The Skinny: This was another game that was more lopsided than it looked, as Baylor scored all but seven of their points in the first half. I'm looking forward to the matchup between the Bears and TCU next weekend, but I don't give The Fightin' Briles (Briles', Briles's?...Whatever) too much of a chance against the Horny Toads. With Robert Griffin III healthy, though, *Kevin Garnett* anything is possible *Kevin Garnett*.
Big Man On Campus: It has to be RGIII, who threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns (with a pick) and rushed for 27 yards and another couple of scores.
Texas A&M-48 (2-0, 0-0)
Louisiana Tech-16 (1-1, 0-0)
The Skinny: The Ags got off to a slow in the first half, but still led 21-10 at intermission due to a tough defensive performance. The game was ugly, as the two teams combined for 10 fumbles in the first half alone. A&M obviously got back on track in the second half, outscoring La Tech 27-6 behind big performances from Christine Michael (14 carries, 107 yards), Jeff Fuller (10 catches, 160 yards, one TD), and, of course, Jerrod Johnson.
Big Man on Campus: Despite the monster performance from the incredibly talent Fuller, I'm gonna go with Jerrod Johnson (in case you couldn't discern that from my excluding his stats earlier). The Vince Young clone (sorry, I couldn't resist) passed for 349 yards and four touchdowns and added 50 yards rushing on eight carries.
Texas-34 (2-0, 0-0)
Wyoming-7 (1-1, 0-0)
The Skinny: Another slow start for the Horns resulted in a 7-6 deficit to Wyoming with a little over five minutes left in the half. You could almost hear the bearish yawns of Greg Davis as he finally awoke from his nine-month offseason hibernation. The UT offense quickly clicked into gear and Texas led 20-7 at half. I fully expect another typically slow start in Lubbock this weekend, with UT down something like 14-0 or 17-3 after three possessions (not necessarily because of bad defense), only to charge back in the late second quarter and second half. I hope I'm wrong.
Big Man On Campus: True freshman Mike Davis has been tantalizing UT fans since before he even decided to commit to the Horns. The polished and confident wide receiver is already expected to ultimately replace the legendary Jordan Shipley, starting this season. Well he sure did look like him against Wyoming, catching seven balls for 104 yards, including a thrilling 45-yard catch and run for a TD.
Kansas State-48 (2-0, 0-0)
Missouri State-24 (1-1, 0-0)
The Skinny: K-State got it done in both phases of the offense, passing for 290 yards and rushing for 203. 24 points is a lot to give up to Missouri State, but most of the Bears' points came when the game was no longer in doubt.
Big Man On Campus: Since it's the Wildcats, the BMOC obviously has to be...Carson Coffman? Daniel Thomas did work in gaining 137 yards and two TDs on 21 carries, but Coffman stole the show with 280 yards and three touchdowns on 18/26 passing.
Texas Tech-52 (2-0, 0-0)
New Mexico-17 (0-2, 0-0)
The Skinny: On the surface, this looks like a pretty good dominating win for the Raiders. But please remember, this is the same Lobos team that got obliterated 72-0 against Oregon in week 1. New Mexico is currently the worst scoring defense in the entire country. They also committed a preposterous 16 penalties for 145 yards in the game. That should only be done by Miami Hurricane teams intentionally accumulating personal fouls for fun and any NFL team that has Alex Barron. So while I'm still worried about Tech this weekend, this isn't exactly the reason why.
Big Man On Campus: Taylor Potts had a ho-hum 22/34, 293-yard, three-TD performance for a Texas Tech quarterback. Enjoy it for now, Taylor.
Two of the top three teams in the conference have turned in two okay performances. The other top team has turned in one bad performance and one phenomenal one. So, using some wizard math or something, I figure they're all about the same. I'll give OU the top spot for now based on having by far the most impressive win.
4. Texas A&M Aggies
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys
8. Kansas State Wildcats
9. Baylor Bears
10. Kansas Jayhawks
11. Iowa State Cyclones
What do you guys think?