A lot of folks around these parts have been saying all year that Kansas State was being overlooked among the national media and pollsters. Sitting alone atop the Big XII at 6-0, the only poll that really matters has corrected that oversight as the first BCS standings have the Wildcats at #4. With games still to come against #13 WVU, #17 Texas Tech, #23 TCU, and #25 Texas, KSU has an outstanding opportunity to move into the top two spots over the next few weeks.
Assuming, you know, that Texas doesn't reel off 6 straight losses and ruin KSU's strength-of-schedule component. Personally, I don't think that's likely to happen; despite getting smoked in Dallas Saturday, I still think the Kansas game is In. The. Bag. Take it to the bank.
I'm not going to dwell on the OU game. I am on record somewhere predicting pretty much exactly what happened. We got outcoached and outplayed and neither of those things was a surprise to me based on 15 years of Mack Brown experience and 5 games of the Manny and Bryan show. I wasn't nearly as angry this year as I usually am after an OU loss, simply because it wasn't a surprise this time.
For you pessimists out there, though, I will take a look at our upcoming schedule. A few weeks ago, when Baylor and WVU went all PlayStation on each other in Morgantown, we were feeling pretty good about ourselves. We'd just smoked an SEC team, and we knew our defense was better than Baylor's. Neither WVU nor BU looked particularly scary. OU was struggling with everybody. TCU was crumbling. Tech was overrated. We felt like we had a pretty good chance of finishing out the season with 1 or 2 losses.
Fast-forward to today. WVU beat us. "No worries," said we. "Top-5 team had a couple plays go their way, and we only lost by 3. We're almost back." Then OU beat us. Other things that don't bode well for the 'Horns: Baylor, who plays a lot like WVU, suddenly seems like trouble. TCU, playing without their star quarterback, beat Baylor in Waco and suddenly looks like trouble. Texas Tech beat the ever-living snot out of WVU and suddenly looks like real trouble. Iowa State played KSU to within 6 this weekend and looks like they could be trouble. Even freaking Kansas played OSU to within 6; maybe that game isn't in the bag after all.
So now, instead of finishing out the season at 11-1 or 10-2, I have a bad feeling we're looking at something more along the lines of 7-5 at best, and 6-6 is not out of the realm of possibility.
After taking it easy in weeks 1 through 4, with home games against various girls' schools and other patsies, the scheduling gods hammered West Virginia with consecutive road trips to Texas. After surviving an upset bid in Austin last weekend 48-45, the Mountaineers returned to the Lone Star State this weekend, visiting the Red Raiders in Lubbock. No doubt they were mystified at the flying tortillas and flat, barren ugliness of West Texas - particularly when compared to last weekend's visit to Austin - and their confusion carried over to the field as they got trounced by Tech to the tune of 49-14. And it wasn't that close.
TCU, after shitting the bed against Iowa State last weekend, turned around and pummeled Baylor in Waco Saturday night, holding the Bears to less than 300 yards passing and less than 120 yards rushing. Look for the Bears to come to Austin all fired up this weekend. God that was hard to type.
There was a bunch of other stuff that happened in the college football world this weekend, including LSU knocking off the Fighting Visors, Notre Dame beating Stanford on a blown call, and tOSU squeaking by a 2-3 Indiana team...but frankly I didn't watch any of it, having lost my appetite about a quarter into the RRS.
I do have one thing that will likely make you laugh (or at least giggle in your cubicle): Doug Farrell (TXStampede) shared an article that I think bears some discussion. Hit the link to see the original as posted on the Omaha.com website; the relevant text is below:
I don’t know if it’s still lingering depression from the UCLA game or seeing what the rest of Big 10 looks like this year, but I’m starting to finally lament the fact Nebraska left the Big 12 as it stands today. What if just Mizzou, Colorado, and A&M left and we stayed. Then throw in TCU. Now you have ten teams in the Big 12 like this season but the Huskers are in there. How much do you think fans would kill to see this slate of games annually?
I know we all hate Texas, but man if we had stayed, the OU rivalry would be back on an annual basis, and we would get that shot at Texas every year, along with our old Big 8 friends KSU & Okie-State. Heck, look at what it would be if just Colorado and A&M bailed. Throw out TCU & put Mizzou back in the mix. I know it was a good move for the university financially and academically, but you can’t honestly say as a fan you are psyched week in and week out for the fixed schedule we have in the Big 10 (yawn) vs. would could have been now if Nebraska stayed in the Big 12. …
There’s no one to hate in the Big 10. That is a problem. There are plenty of characters(villains) to hate back in the Big 12, and that just fueled the passion of the fan base. I’m starting to see more and more of an apathetic outlook from Nebraska fans. I think a lot has to do with not having any teams in our current conference to focus the hate towards. … I loved that Mizzou, KSU and even KU hated Nebraska. I loved the back and forth with their fan bases. That passion and spirited debate seems to be dissipating every week and every season, and that is sad to see. Now we just debate among ourselves about how bad or good we really are more so than at any time I can remember the last 30 years.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but as I run through this in my head the more frustrated I get. For a man as reserved and patient as Dr. Tom appears to be, I’m surprised he didn’t step back and play out what I presented above in more of a long range outlook. Maybe he did. But if he did and this is what we are left with, then wow. That would be a huge fail. Leaving because of the Texas threat or perceived threat is kind of weak looking back. Our best revenge on Texas for me would have been staying the course in Big 12 (the TV money was eventually coming) and start earning respect on the football field and start beating them at a more consistent pace than 1 out every 9 tries.
If you can get buyer’s remorse from switching conferences I think Nebraska will start to finally feel that this season. To reference Eugene Levi (car salesman) speaking with Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) at the car dealership in the beginning of "Vacation"- he thought he was getting the blue sports wagon, but ended up with the Wagon Queen Family Truckster. "You may hate it now, but wait ‘til you drive it". In the case of the Big 10 it’s the opposite- "You may love it now, but wait ‘til you drive it."
Now, I have no idea if this opinion is shared by other Nebraska fans or not. Personally, I miss the 'Huskers - and not just because they were an easy win. There was some serious vitriol developing between Texas and Nebraska and, as evidenced by long-standing tilts with aggie and Oklahoma, a dash of hate goes a long way toward building a strong rivalry. Imagine if we'd added WVU and kept NU; that would be a conference schedule I could live with. I won't miss Mizzou at all. I don't miss aggie (yet - talk to me after I skip Thanksgiving dinner to watch us
beat lose to a 4-6 TCU team). Nebraska, however, I do miss.