Monday, November 5, 2012
Peeking ahead to Week 11 in the Big 12/SEC
By David Ubben
We're closing in on the end of the season, but we've still got four good weekends of football left before it's time to suit up for bowl games. Here's what you can expect in Week 11:
The spotlight will only continue to intensify for Kansas State as the final month of the season drags on. That's not changing any time soon, and it'll be even tougher when they go on the road. K-State's been really consistent this year, but TCU has not. If the Frogs play up to their potential, this could be an upset waiting to happen, but K-State's not making many mistakes to let teams in. I'd be surprised if Collin Klein didn't suit up for this one, but expect there to be plenty of doubt through the week. TCU has no choice but to prepare for Klein and his backup, Daniel Sams.
Dana Holgorsen's return won't come with very much at stake, but it should still be fun. Oklahoma State and West Virginia both have three losses, but Holgorsen's arrival before the 2010 season turned Oklahoma State from an offensive disaster into a juggernaut. OSU scored a total of seven points in its two games before Holgorsen's arrival. They've been among the nation's best offenses since. West Virginia was too, but hasn't looked the part of late. There's not much hate from the Stillwater folk toward Holgorsen, who left for a job 99 percent of coaches would have taken under the same scenario, but it'll be interesting to see his reception.
It had been two decades since Iowa State beat a ranked team on the road when Paul Rhoads' Cyclones went to Austin and did the deed to Texas back in 2010. ISU will get another chance against a Texas team that showed up with a solid performance of its own on the road against a ranked team last week. That 2010 team in Texas turned out to be awful, but here's guessing the older guys remember that game well.
Speaking of revenge, Oklahoma's secondary got embarrassed by Baylor last year and RG3 put himself back in the Heisman race. Baylor's had a tough go this season with just one Big 12 win (and it came over Kansas), while Oklahoma has just one Big 12 loss. The Sooners get Baylor in Norman and would like to keep their slim Big 12 title hopes alive, as well as start a new home winning streak after K-State and Notre Dame have all but eliminated the mystique at Owen Field, which once saw OU win 39 consecutive games there from 2005-2011.
Try to stay awake if you can in Texas Tech and Kansas. Tech is a bad matchup for the Jayhawks. They've been one of the league's best rushing defenses and have the ability to spread out KU and score a whole lot of points. Quarterback Michael Cummings struggled against Baylor's defense, but Charlie Weis is sticking with him as the starter instead of turning back to Dayne Crist, though Crist got some playing time late in this week's loss to Baylor.
With the Crimson Tide coming off of a very physical and a very emotional win over LSU, the Aggies don't give Alabama the best matchup this weekend. LSU provided a bit of a blueprint on how to beat the Tide, and Texas A&M's high-flying offense is capable of generating some yards and points on this Tide defense. Containing Johnny Manziel will be Alabama's top objective, while the Aggies will be looking to stop the Tide's bullish running game. -- Edward Aschoff
Want to get a look at the full schedule? Here you go (all times ET):