Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Big 12 Stock Watch: Week 11
By ESPN.com staff
Time for another round of stock tips, courtesy of yours truly:
Rising: Starting "backup" quarterbacks
Last week, six teams across the Big 12 started a different quarterback than they did in the season's opening week. Only Colorado (Cody Hawkins) lost, and they did against Kansas, who trotted out junior Quinn Mecham and made a furious fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Buffaloes.
Nebraska survived a 31-30 game at Iowa State with Cody Green, forced to play because of injuries to Taylor Martinez (ankle) and Zac Lee (hand).
Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill helped the Aggies upset then-No. 8 Oklahoma, making his second start after Jerrod Johnson was benched.
Kansas State beat Texas with Collin Klein at the helm, making a surprise start in place of Carson Coffman.
Texas Tech beat then-No. 12 Missouri. The Red Raiders had to push Week 1 starter Taylor Potts back on the field in the second quarter after backup Steven Sheffield, making his first start after Potts' benching, struggled early.
Falling: Away teams
In Week 7, Oklahoma was the only team out of six Big 12 schools that won at home when it beat Iowa State 52-0. Texas won at Nebraska, Oklahoma State won at Texas Tech, and Missouri won at Texas A&M, among others.
No such luck this weekend. Five of six home teams protected their house on Saturday, and Iowa State was within one failed fake extra point of making it 6-for-6. Missouri lost at Texas Tech, Oklahoma lost at Texas A&M, Texas lost at Kansas State, Baylor lost at Oklahoma State and Colorado lost at Kansas.
Rising: Colorado running back Rodney Stewart
Don't look now, but 5-foot-8, 175-pound Speedy Stewart is third in the Big 12 in rushing after a 175-yard, three-touchdown performance against Kansas. Suiting up for the downtrodden Buffs means Stewart is perennially underrated, but he's got 910 yards (No. 15 nationally) and eight touchdowns so far this year, and has topped 85 yards in six of nine games so far this year.
Falling: Oklahoma State kicker Dan Bailey
Whoops. Bailey pushed a 31-yard field goal wide right at the end of the half on Saturday, his first miss of the season and first miss in 19 attempts this year. Bailey's miss means there are only two kickers left in college football with perfect records. Oregon's Rob Beard is 8-for-8 and Notre Dame's David Ruffer is 13-of-13. Bailey still has the next-best percentage of any kicker in the nation (94.7) and has made more kicks than any other kicker in the nation, except Southern Miss' Danny Rhapmann, who has made 21 of 23 kicks. Bailey's still got a good shot at the Lou Groza Award, as well as All-Big 12 honors.
Rising: Big leads
Kansas State and Oklahoma State raced to huge leads early, Kansas State going up 39-0 on Texas and Oklahoma State opening the game with a 34-0 lead against Baylor. Both won convincingly.
Colorado? Not so much. The Buffs famously blew a 45-17 fourth-quarter lead in a 52-45 loss to Kansas. Meanwhile, Missouri led 17-3 with a pair of early long touchdown runs, but eventually lost 24-17.
Falling: Nebraska's ball security
The Huskers added five more fumbles on Saturday against Iowa State, losing two. They now have a staggering 31 fumbles on the year, though they've lost just 11 of those. No team in the Big 12 has more than 22. Texas A&M has lost the same number of fumbles, with 11. Those 31 fumbles are three more than the next-most in the country, 2-7 Vanderbilt's 28.