Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | Home RSS

Oklahoma State, Kansas Don’t Do Big 12 Any Favors

September 10, 2012
By JIM ELLIOTT - Staff Writer ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

It wasn't just that the Big 12 teams finally lost for the first time this season last weekend, it was how they did it.

Frankly, it was Big East-like.

Defending league champion Oklahoma State, which went into Saturday's game against Arizona ranked 17th in last week's Associated Press poll, was schooled by Rich Rodriguez's unranked Arizona squad, 59-38.

Yes, the Cowboys lost a bunch from last year's team, including a pair of first-round draft picks, and they've got a true freshman playing quarterback, but they did little to balloon that air of superiority we've been hearing about for close to a year now.

Having one of your ranked teams lose to an unranked team from the Pac 12 that is in a complete rebuilding mode and had lost six straight against ranked foes just isn't good.

The Cowboys plummeted all the way out of the poll, though it could be worse. Arkansas, which was No. 8 entering play Saturday, was beaten 34-31 in overtime by Louisiana-Monroe. And it became the answer to a trivia question in the process. Which team has had the second-largest fall out of the poll?

Kansas, meanwhile, lost to at home to a Rice team that gave up 343 rushing yards to UCLA a week earlier. It was the first time Rice had ever beaten a team from the Big 12.

Granted mediocrity was expected out of the Jayhawks, but even those with meager expectations had Kansas winning this game. And it should have. The Jayhawks were up 24-13 late in the third quarter before losing on a field goal as time expired. Dayne Crist doesn't look any better in blue and white than he did in blue and gold.

There were some good things seen in within the league last weekend, though.

For one, nine of the 10 teams are, at the very least, receiving votes in the poll, which is quite a feat. The five teams that are ranked are all in the top 16 - No. 5 (tie) Oklahoma, No. 9 West Virginia, No. 14 Texas, No. 15 Kansas State, and No. 16 TCU.

Behind quarterback Collin Klein, Kansas State blasted rebuilding Miami 52-13. Kline threw for 210 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns.

No matter the score (9-6), Iowa State picked up a big victory for its program by beating Iowa.

Texas Tech did what was expected by blowing out Texas State as QB Seth Doege threw for 319 yards and five touchdowns.

Texas shut out New Mexico for the third time in three meetings with the Lobos. Oklahoma rebounded from a suspect performance in its opener to blast Florida A&M, 69-13 behind junior college transfer - and touchdown maker - Damien Williams. He's already rushed for five scores this season.

TCU blew Grambling out of the water, 56-0, as two quarterbacks went a combined 17-for-17 and Gary Patterson became the school's all-time leader in victories.

All told, Big 12 teams went 6-2 on Saturday with the winning teams pitching a pair of shutouts and giving up an average of seven points.

This week's schedule

TCU at Kansas

Louisiana-Lafayette at Oklahoma State

West Virginia vs. James Madison

Sam Houston State at Baylor

North Texas at Kansas State

New Mexico at Texas Tech

Western Illinois at Iowa State

Texas at Ole Miss

There doesn't appear to be a lot of excitement there, other than TCU and Kansas opening league play a little ahead of time and West Virginia and Baylor getting back in action after a bye week.

The Mountaineers face James Madison, which is ranked fifth in the FCS poll, at Fed-Ex Field in Landover, Md., on Saturday. Two years ago, the Dukes became just the second FCS team to beat a nationally ranked FBS team when they beat Virginia Tech.

That's unlikely to happen Saturday.

The best thing WVU is going to get out of this - other than a good practice - is a guaranteed $2.3 million, or roughly $500,000 more than it would get for a home game at Mountaineer Field.

Jim Elliott can be reached via e-mail at:

I am looking for: