Big 12: Rashad Harrell
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Here's a collection of tidbits, notes and quotes I've been saving for Friday afternoon. Enjoy them.
WHO'S HOT AND NOT
Hot: Kansas State receiver Ernie Pierce, who produced 11 catches for 176 yards last week against Oklahoma. He had six catches all season before last week.
Not: Colorado, which fumbled on two of its first four snaps and went downhill from there in a 58-0 shellacking at Missouri.
Hot: Baylor quarterbacks, who have gone seven straight games without throwing an interception.
Not: Baylor kicker Ben Parks, who shanked a 19-yard field goal and had an extra point blocked last week against Nebraska.
Hot: Kansas wide receiver Kerry Meier, who needs seven receptions to set the school's single-season record of 70 set by Richard Estell in 1985.
Not: Kansas punt returner Daymond Patterson, who has four muffs in his last four games.
Hot: Missouri defensive end Stryker Sulak, who has forced five fumbles in his last eight games.
Not: Nebraska's defense, which allowed plays of 43, 40, 47, 34 and 44 yards against Baylor last week.
Hot: Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who has combined for 1,083 passing yards and six touchdowns in his last three games.
Not: Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing, who had less than 200 yards passing last week for the first time in 13 games.
Hot: Nebraska quarterback Joe Ganz. When the final three games of last season are included, Ganz has fired 30 touchdown passes in his last 11 games.
Not: Oklahoma State's offensive line, which allowed five sacks last week against Texas after allowing seven in the previous seven games of the season.
Frigid: Colorado's offense. The Buffaloes are averaging 10.5 points per game in conference games. The next lowest team, Baylor, is averaging 20.2 points per game.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Here are some facts, figures and quotes for your edification to get ready for tomorrow's games. Enjoy.
WHO'S HOT, WHO'S NOT
Offense in the Big 12. There have been 43 times in college football this season where a FBS team has scored 52 points or more. The Big 12 has accounted for 17 of them.
Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin, the only FBS quarterback with no interceptions and more than 100 attempts. Griffin has 104.
Colorado kicker Aric Goodman, who has missed four straight field goals since being awarded a scholarship after beating West Virginia in overtime two weeks ago.
The Big 12, has two teams one-two in polls with Oklahoma and Missouri 1-2 in the coaches poll. It's the first time for that since Oct. 8, 2000, when Nebraska was No. 1 and Kansas State was No. 2 in the AP poll.
Nebraska, which has lost its last 19 games against teams ranked higher than 20th nationally and 10 straight games against top 10 teams
Baylor LB Joe Pawelek, who has produced double-figure totals in tackles in all five games this season.
Preseason All-Big 12 defensive end Ian Campbell of Kansas State , who was shut out last week without a tackle, despite Texas Tech having 90 offensive snaps.
Oklahoma and Missouri have both scored touchdowns on the first possession of every game this season.
Oklahoma State, which has lost 34 of its last 35 games against top-10 teams heading into Saturday's game at Missouri. The only win during that streak is a victory over Oklahoma in 2001.
Texas' secondary, which allowed 18 passes of 16 or more yards in the first three games of the season, but only eight 16-yard or more passes in the last two games. The Longhorns have limited opponents to three touchdowns in the last 10 quarters.
Colorado's offense, which hasn't produced a 400-yard game in total offense in its last six games.
Oklahoma, which has not lost a fumble this season.
Kansas' kick return team which ranks last in the nation with an average of 13.2 yards per return.
Texas Tech's running game, which needs only 49 yards to match last season's rushing total.
Colorado running back Rodney Stewart, who rushed for 27 yards last week against Texas after producing back-to-back 100-yard games.
Kansas State's defense. Let us count the ways. After allowing only 16 points in the first two games of the season, the Wildcats have been smoked for 133 points in the last three. KSU ranks 86th nationally in pass defense, tied for 87 in turnover margin, 89th in tackles for losses, 94th in scoring defense, 101st in rush defense, 102nd in total defense, and has started eight different players at defensive back.
It's a fact:
Here's something that might refute those Will Muschamp to a head coaching job rumors - at least at Texas. The Longhorns have not elevated an assistant coach to the head coaching job since Ed Price replaced Blair Cherry in 1951.
"We've still got some stuff up our sleeves. We've got some tricks," Texas cornerback Ryan Palmer, who told the Austin American-Statesman on the Longhorns' defensive plans for Oklahoma.
"I don't like feeling like the little boy at the grocery store, when they pat you on the head and they say, 'Nice job. You almost did it.' I know the intentions are good, but I don't receive those very well," Iowa State coach Gene Chizik, who told the Des Moines Register, about his inability to win in three recent tight losses.
"It's easy for me to close my eyes at night and go to sleep. I've been coaching for 20 years, and it hasn't always been that way," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, to Yahoo Sports.com about his evolution as a coach.
"Chase Daniel is the best quarterback in the nation. If you ask me, nobody is a counterpart to him. I'm going to say that now, I'm going to say that at the end of the game, I'm going to say that at the end of the season," Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who told the Kansas City Star about the Missouri quarterback's value to his team.
"I didn't really think I had a chance to see the field. But I never gave up ... I just kept fighting," Kansas State walk-on cornerback Rashad Harrell, who told the Wichita Eagle about earning a starting job with the Wildcats despite long odds.
"I think when you start doing things that are exotic and you start beating down on guys, that doesn't solve anything. They're trying and they're working. The reality is we've got the Colts this week. We're playing the Patriots next week and then we're playing the Bears. That's the nature of it," Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, who told the Boulder Camera about his team's development despite a tough schedule.
The chart, part I
Turnover margin usually correlates to success. But it hasn't been the case this season for Iowa State, which is the only team in the FBS top 10 in turnover margin to have a losing record. Here's a look at the top 10 teams in turnover margin this season and their records.
1. Vanderbilt +1.8 5-0
2. Minnesota +1.67 5-1
3. Florida +1.6 4-1
3. Iowa State +1.6 2-3
5. Wake Forest +1.4 4-1
5. Tulsa +1.4 5-0
5. Air Force +1.4 3-2
5. Arkansas State +1.4 3-2
5. BYU +1.4 5-0
10. TCU +1.33 5-1
10. Utah +1.33 5-1
The chart, part II
2 quarterbacks dominate the list of those FBS passers with the most 20-yard passes this season. Here's how they rank.
Quarterback School Number of 20-yard passes
Chase Daniel Missouri 26
Joe Ganz Nebraska 26
Sam Bradford Oklahoma 25
Graham Harrell Texas Tech 25
Todd Reesing Kansas 25
Source: ESPN.com research
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
There's a heartwarming story in this morning's Topeka Capital-Journal that says a lot about human perseverance.
And also how far recruiting has dropped at Kansas State.
KSU beat writer Austin Meek has the interesting tale about walk-on cornerback Rashad Harrell's long, strange route into the Wildcats' starting lineup. Harrell played high school football at Miami Central High School, where he sustained an ankle injury that scared away most college recruiters.
From there, Harrell ended up at Rainy River Community College in International Falls, Minn. -- a distance of 1,728 miles from his home and several layers of clothing that were added, I'm sure.
After he finished there, he ended up at Clemson as a preferred walk-on. The high cost of going to school there sent him back home before surfacing again as a walk-on at KSU.
"He wasn't a recruited walk-on," Kansas State coach Ron Prince told the Capital-Journal. "He was a guy who came and tried out for the team. I was like, 'Oh, great. That's awesome.' Next thing you know, he's out there. He's tough as nails. He's still learning how to play at this level, but I appreciate his effort."
Harrell was in the Wildcats' starting lineup for Saturday's 58-28 loss to Texas Tech, providing two tackles against the Red Raiders' challenging pass defense.
Here are a few other stories around the conference at lunch today. See, it's not all about Texas-Oklahoma this week, is it?
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Bryan Burwell writes about the changing expectations in Missouri's program.
- Texas Tech players remembered their monumental 70-10 victory over Nebraska -- still the largest margin of defeat in Cornhusker history. Amazingly, Tech led that 2004 game in Lubbock only 21-10 at the half. The only player left from that game on Nebraska's roster is quarterback Beau Davis, who struggled with turnovers on his first five series in that game, posting a passing efficiency rating of minus-74.9.
- Veteran Colorado beat writer B.G. Brooks of the Rocky Mountain News said the Buffaloes are about where he thought they would be when he made his preseason prediction on their season.
- In nine of the last 10 games between Texas and Oklahoma, the team that won the turnover battle won the game. That's placing increased emphasis on both teams.
- Iowa State is bracing to contain the world-class speed of Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin.
- Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman provides everything you need to know about Texas-Oklahoma game in a detailed question-and-answer analysis of the game.