Who's hot and not in the Big 12

October, 3, 2008
10/03/08
6:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Here's a look at who's hot and who's not around the Big 12, as well as a few other nuggets to provide some interest heading into Saturday's games. Enjoy.


Sizzling:

Missouri's offense with Chase Daniel in charge. With Daniel running Missouri's No. 1 offensive unit, the Tigers have yet to have a single three-and-out possession.


Hot:

Oklahoma State's offense. The Cowboys have produced two of the eight best "total offense" games in school history in the last three games -- 699 yards against Houston and 612 against Troy.


Not:

Missouri's defense, which has struggled all season, mainly because senior safety William Moore has been injured much of the year. The Tigers are last in the league in total defense, allowing 378.5 yards per game.


Hot:

Oklahoma, which is one of three FBS teams not to fumble this season. The Sooners lead the nation in red-zone offense, converting 19 attempts into 18 touchdowns and a field goal.

Not:

Oklahoma's special teams. The Sooners are ranked 104th in kickoff return yardage allowed per kick, 51st in punt return yardage allowed per punt and 95th in net punting average.


Hot:

Missouri, which has trailed for 13 seconds all season.

Not:

Missouri's cornerbacks, who have produced only two interceptions in the Tigers' last 19 games.


Hot:

Freshman Kansas State defensive end Brandon Herald, who has notched three sacks and eight-and-a-half tackles for losses after only four games.

Not:

Colorado's depth in the offensive line. Since the start of fall camp, the Buffaloes have lost six offensive linemen because of injuries, academics and suspensions.


Hot:

Kansas State wide receiver Brandon Banks, who leads the nation in yards receiving per game (115.8 ypg) and has produced at least one touchdown in all four games.

Not:

Baylor, which has lost 39 of its last 41 games against ranked teams since joining the Big 12. The Bears have lost 13 straight games against ranked teams since beating Texas A&M 35-34 on Oct. 30, 2004.


Hot:

Kansas State running back Lamark Brown, a converted wide receiver who has emerged as the Wildcats' leading rushing threat after producing 137 yards on 29 carries last week against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Not:

Kansas State's rush defense, which has been gashed for more than 300 yards in back-to-back games by Louisville and Louisiana-Lafayette.


Hot:

Nebraska's special teams, specificially at home against Missouri. In the Cornhuskers' last six home games against the Tigers, they have produced four punt returns for touchdowns.

Not:

Preseason All-Big 12 kick returner Marcus Hereford of Kansas, who has produced an average of only 11.4 yards per kick return.


Hot:

Kansas State's offensive line, which hasn't allowed a sack in the first four games of the season.


Not:

Oklahoma's offensive line, which allowed four sacks and produced only 25 rushing yards last week against TCU. It was the lowest rushing total for the Sooners in 82 games, dating back to a 37-27 victory over Alabama on Sept. 7, 2002, where they produced minus-23 yards.



Hot:

Multi-talented Missouri wide receiver/kick returner Jeremy Maclin, who has accounted for multiple touchdowns rushing (five), receiving (13), on punt returns (two) and kickoff returns (two). The only other active players with at least career touchdowns in all of those categories are seniors Derrick Williams of Penn State and Brandon Tate of North Carolina.

Not:

Texas Tech's opponents so far this season. Of the four teams the Red Raiders have beaten, they have combined for one victory over a FBS program - Nevada's triumph over UNLV.

Frigid:

Colorado's special teams against Florida State last week. The Buffaloes had a punt blocked through the end zone for a safety and allowed a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Returner Josh Smith also fumbled a kickoff at the 4-yard line and kicker Aric Goodman misfired on a 27-yard field goal attempt.



Weird statistical trend: Missouri is 10-3 in games where Chase Daniel has attempted 40 or more passes. Before he earned the team's starting job in 2006, the Tigers were just 1-12-1 in games where a Tiger quarterback had 40 pass attempts or more.


The chart, part I

Missouri wide receiver/kick returner Jeremy Maclin is one of the most versatile players in the nation. But he's been overshadowed in most Heisman polls so far this season.
Here's how Maclin's numbers compare with those of Desmond Howard, who was the last wide receiver to claim the Heisman in 1991.

 Desmond Howard
Jeremy Maclin
Receptions per game
5.5
6.5
Rec. yards per game
86.4
97.8
All-purpose yards per game
165.8
193.5
TD average per game
2.1
1.5

Obviously, if Howard could break a couple of big plays in the next several games, it would immeasurably boost his Heisman hopes.

Source: ESPN.com research.


The chart, part II

Texas is on a remarkable recent streak, winning 34 of its last 37 road games. Here's a look at the road games that Texas has lost during that time.

Nov. 16, 2002 at Texas Tech 38-42
Nov. 11, 2006 at Kansas State 42-45
Nov. 23, 2007 at Texas A&M 30-38

Note: Texas' record in neutral-site games during that period is a more pedestrian 9-9, which includes six losses to Oklahoma in Dallas and three bowl-game losses.


Jawjacking:

Here are some of the more notable quotes around the Big 12 this week.

"I don't know how many ways you can say it creatively,but we're going through the gauntlet. If you want to spend time handing out game balls because you beat West Virginia or having funerals because you lost to Florida State, that's wrong. You just keep repooling and working it out."

Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, on his team's roller-coaster nat
ure over the last two weeks.

"This is not like the NFL, where you might go to the playoffs with a 9-7 record. You don't have that many opportunities in college football, because every game matters. It would do us a lot of good to come out and play well."

Kansas State coach Ron Prince on his team's mindset heading into its game against Texas Tech.


"I've never gone into a game making concessions. I won't start this week. We're going to play the best we possibly can and try to shut them out."

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini on trying to derail Missouri's explosive offensive attack.

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BIG 12 SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12