What we learned in the Big 12: Week 9

October, 30, 2011
10/30/11
10:00
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Here's what I learned on a hectic Saturday in the Big 12.

[+] EnlargeMissouri Tigers
Troy Taormina/US PresswireMissouri got a much-needed win by beating Texas A&M in overtime.
You do not want to play desperate teams in the Big 12. Missouri needed a win with its record at 3-4. Iowa State sat at 3-4 after four consecutive losses. Both notched huge road wins over ranked teams. For Missouri it was the first since 1997, too. Iowa State rolled over a stunned Texas Tech team that looked entirely helpless. Missouri bounced back from a 28-14 deficit to become the third team this season to erase a double-digit halftime lead against Texas A&M.

The Big 12 title race is trimmed to two teams. So it's goodbye to Texas A&M University. The Aggies needed some help, but they were still in the hunt. Not anymore. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will meet on Dec. 3, and barring upsets in the four weeks along the way, it's the only game left that will have any bearing on the Big 12 title race. Should be a classic, especially after last year's 47-41 Oklahoma win in Stillwater with the Big 12 South on the line. The other team in the race?

Kansas State really was a pretender. Kansas State is a good team. I (and plenty of others) contended all season it was not an elite team. Any questions? K-State hung tough in the first half, and looked like it was going to have a great season. But it's about to get real for the Wildcats, who were outscored 35-0 at home in the second half of a 58-17 beating by Oklahoma. Oklahoma State hosts K-State next week before a date with Texas A&M. The Wildcats then face Texas to complete a streak of four consecutive ranked opponents. Buckle up.

Dark days are happening and more are ahead in Lawrence. The numbers say plenty about this game. The defense was a lost cause all season. While Kansas had an improving offense, there was little chance the Jayhawks would win games with the kind of numbers the defense was allowing. Maybe that's still the case. Kansas was reduced to a one-dimensional team on Saturday, and the Longhorns ate them up in a 43-0 blowout. The Jayhawks gave up 441 rushing yards and rushed for minus-2. It had three first downs and gave up 34. Games don't get much more lopsided.

Oklahoma State is trying to make you believe in them. Maybe you still don't and I suppose that's fair. But this team doesn't have a stinker in its repertoire. Maybe K-State slows the game down next week and springs the upset. Wouldn't be an absolute shocker. Oklahoma in Stillwater is a toss-up. But this team is for real and its defense really is made up of a bunch of athletic playmakers. They'll give up yards, yes, but the offense is more than capable of making up for it. When the turnovers roll in by the bunches like they did Saturday, things get out of hand quick.

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