Sunday, November 28, 2010
What we learned in the Big 12: Week 13
By David Ubben
Nebraska can get it done on offense even without Taylor Martinez. Lost in all the discussion about trophies and e-mails was a really good performance from Nebraska’s offense. There wasn’t much finesse to it, but Nebraska racked up 407 yards of offense and converted 11 of 17 third downs. Cody Green did what he had to, completing 10 of 13 passes for 80 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Roy Helu Jr. and Rex Burkhead got it done on the ground. That’s a good sign for the Huskers, who will have to score a decent amount of points to win the Big 12 title next week. It may have only come against Colorado, but those 45 points are 14 more than the Huskers have scored in five games, and they did it without Martinez. That’s nothing but encouraging.
Nebraska will need the offensive talents of Brandon Kinnie, left, and Roy Helu Jr. against Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game.
The Big 12 might get two BCS bids after all. Thanks to Boise State’s loss, a second BCS bid is definitely in play. Missouri, at 10-2, might sneak into the Orange Bowl, but we'll see how the rest of the country shakes out in the weeks to come. That will decide plenty. Getting two teams in looked like a long shot for the past few weeks, but sometimes we forget how drastically things can shift with one loss to a team at the top of the polls.
Turnover on Texas’ staff is a near certainty. Mack Brown has been forthcoming about his displeasure with his coaching staff all season, and he’ll begin his evaluation period on Monday. This was a historically bad season for the Longhorns for a handful of reasons, and when Brown figures out which of those reasons can be fixed with new coaches, expect him to make a move.
Oklahoma really can win on the road. That was the same Oklahoma offense that’s been patrolling Norman the past two years, but the Sooners were finally able to unleash it on the road when they needed it. After getting some practice at Baylor last week, the Sooners shut plenty of folks up in the process — myself included. “To silence all the doubters, ooooh, I’m gonna have to enjoy this one for a day and a half, maybe. That’s the longest I’ll ever enjoy a victory,” said linebacker Travis Lewis. “It’s sweet to silence the doubters, play like we’re capable of playing … Their fans are some of the biggest mess-talkers I know, and I’m one of the biggest mess-talkers I know. And they outdid me by 10. Coming into this environment and getting a win, it’s huge.”
It’s time to get ready for a Big 12 title game unlike any other. As much as Nebraska wanted to beat Texas this year, it wants to win the Big 12 title even more. The Huskers and their fans will be dreaming of watching commissioner Dan Beebe hand over the Big 12 Championship trophy, and they’ll no doubt show up to Dallas in force, hoping to do anything they can on Saturday to help. Cowboys Stadium is going to get loud. With a few exceptions, perhaps, Oklahoma will probably have most of the remaining Big 12 fan bases behind them, but this should be a memorable game and atmosphere, preceded by plenty of nostalgia.