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Big 12 Quoteboard

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Last weekend gave us a surprising upset and a near miss in the world of Big 12 football while this coming weekend is bringing us the biggest rivalry game in the conference. Obviously there's a lot to talk about around SBN's Big 12 blogs so let's take a stroll through and check on the chatter.

We have had plenty of close games in non-conference play by Big 12 teams this season. A&M came from 14 down in the fourth quarter to beat Florida International, Oklahoma struggled with Utah State, Air Force, and Cincinnati, Oklahoma State struggled with Troy, and Nebraska struggled to put away a game South Dakota State team, ultimately winning 17-3. What is the obvious difference between all of these teams and texas? Veteran leadership, especially on offense. - II Am The 12th Man

First, we shouldn't judge anything off of Hawaii. Let's face it, Cal doesn't fumble on the one yard line or miss a field goal like the Warriors did last week. A good team puts 14 points on the board against the Buffs and then we have issues to see how CU responds. We saw how the Buffs looked against Toledo last year and then how they looked against Wyoming. Just saying lets caution any optimism until we see what they do against the Big 12. Right now, I believe this is still a team that has a lot to prove both on the offensive line and when they play on the road. - The Ralphie Report

Not since the end of the Bill Callahan clusterfool has there been a weekly report card like this. Sure, the Huskers had their clunkers here and there, but nothing quite like this. Some would argue that since Nebraska won, you can't grade them poorly. But then by that same logic, you can't grade the Huskers well when they play well, but come up a little short on the scoreboard against upper-tier competition. Another argument could be made that this might be the only week Nebraska could put forth this effort and still come away with the win, but I belive the lack of respect for the opponent (by both players and fans) was a root cause of the outcome. - Corn Nation

As I sit here, just having watched Texas get it* absolutely handed to them at home by a team that K-State took care of, currently watching an OU team allow Cincinnati to keep hanging around, and thinking back to the sort of underrated movie magic that this Oklahoma State team has shown thus far, I can't help but feel that the prospect of the Cowboys taking the South has to at least be considered doesn't it? It doesn't? Well I've already written the intro sentence so I'll go ahead and make a case for it.... or at least outline three indicators that this may be the Cowboy team that does it. - CCowboys Ride For Free

The team seemed determined and focused with Jerome Tiller in control. They didn't look like they were "On Fire" but they certainly got the job done, particularly on defense. Not a lot I can say here other than some solid improvement. On the Penalties side, I'd say we're slightly improved over the last two weeks, but discipline still needs some work. Particularly on the offensive line and special teams. - Clone Chronicles

2-2. Perfectly respectable. After the roller coaster ride that was our first four games, the Jayhawks have stabilized right in the middle. I don't think anyone would be surprised nor displeased with a 2-2 start, though the way we went about it is a bit unorthodox.

New Mexico St. was always going to be a blowout. The Aggies are one of the worst teams in Division 1, and as it appeared a lot of our NDSU type mistakes had been fixed, a win was all but certain. - Rock Chalk Talk

We could not get out of our own way, and credit UCLA for capitalizing and sticking to their game plan. Honestly, there wasn't much difference between this game and the Texas Tech game. Both were sloppy, and both lacked direction, identity and leadership on offense. It was ugly, for sure. If this is a "rebuilding year," UCLA brought sledgehammers and a wrecking ball. Now we must pick up the debris. There's still time to turn it around, and we could find out the fate of this season with Oklahoma and Nebraska looming. Losses would mean the first three-game losing streak in the Mack Brown era. Wins would mean staying in control of a possible Big 12 title and BSC appearance. - Burnt Orange Nation

1. WHO ARE THE TOP THREE TEAMS IN THE BIG 12? | I asked this last week and, oh my, how things can change in a week, who are the top three teams in the Big 12? Should you start to consider teams like the Kansas St. Wildcats and the Oklahoma St. Cowboys along with the Oklahoma Sooners and the Nebraska Cornhuskers? - Double-T Nation

Might as well and start with my biggest issue in this game, Kevin Wilson.  During the first half of this game, I found myself wondering what imaginative, creative being has possessed our offensive coordinator.  The play calling was almost as good as the FSU game and I specifically recall seeing several new plays.  The offense also threw the ball down field more than they had in any other game which was another thing I had hoped to see.  Then the real Kevin Wilson showed up in the 2nd half and the OU offense reverted back to the predictable offense we've all come to know and hate.  A screen pass on 3rd and 15 probably isn't going to work Kev.  A high school defense will eventually catch on to the same swing pass to the RB after you've called it for the 15th time in one game.  How does it make sense to run that same swing pass to the short side of the field and essentially give the defense an extra defender in the side line?  His decision to run the ball late in the 4th quarter on a 3rd and 7 was one of the worst play calls I can ever remember him making and that is really saying something.  In my opinion, he coaches the game with "try not to lose" mentality as opposed to coaching to win.  We had so many give up drives thanks to his terrible 2nd half play calling that we repeatedly handed the momentum to Cincy as if he wanted to lose the game.  Now clearly we know he wants to win the game, but it would be nice to see him call a full game with that kind of mentality rather than simply trying to hold on and run out the clock. - Crimson And Cream Machine

Okay, so quoting Paul McCartney's "when I die..." song might be a bit melodramatic for this topic.  Still.  Somewhere, Don McPherson, Dick MacPherson and the rest of the late-1980s Syracuse Orangemen popped some champagne last night.  Mizzou's streak of 252 consecutive successful PATs ended in the third quarter yesterday.  It took a perfect storm, really -- bad snap, iffy hold, rushed kick, and a near-block to boot.  About two inches to the left, and it either wouldn't have hit the upright, or it would have ricocheted in.  Mizzou was approximately 2-4 games short of setting the all-time consecutive PATs streak set by Syracuse from 1978-89.  Not going to lie: we were pretty shaken by this, at least temporarily.  Say what you will about Gary Pinkel and staff, but they have figured out how to coach quarterbacks, centers and kickers.  The current PAT streak now stands at two.  Just 260 more to go. - Rock M Nation

I don't see a lot of change from my preseason thoughts. The game at KU now is more winnable than I thought it might be, but not by a lot since I didn't think KU would be all that good this year.

If we played Missouri at home, then I might be more confident about that, but I still don't see KSU getting a win in Columbia. Not with this defense, anyway.

It's hard to get a read on Oklahoma State. K-State's defense probably can slow them down enough to shorten the game and keep us in it, but if they get off to a fast start, we'll be in serious trouble. Baylor still is going to be a tough game, but it's clear they aren't noticeably better than they were last year, before Robert Griffin III went down.

I still consider Nebraska and Texas likely losses. We have not proven we're all that good at stopping the zone read, and I'm worried Taylor Martinez will run through the defense at will if we don't get better. With Texas, their defense is going to be nothing short of nasty by November, and points will be pretty hard to come by.

Long story short, I think 4-4 is well within reach, but it won't be an easy road. - Bring On The Cats