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Saturday, September 22, 2012
Plenty at stake tonight at Owen Field

By David Ubben

NORMAN, Okla. -- After three weeks of yawn-worthy matchups against mostly no-name opponents, it's finally time for some real Big 12 games.

No. 15 Kansas State and No. 6 Oklahoma will get it started tonight in a matchup of pretty contrasting styles. You learned plenty about Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein this morning on College GameDay, and if you don't know what all the fuss is about, you'll learn why later tonight.

Oklahoma's speed at receiver should take advantage of Kansas State's questionable secondary. Kansas State's strength and consistency up front in the running game should control the clock, control possession and hang plenty of points on the board.

It could be a long night for both of these defenses, but there's a whole lot of respect at stake in this one. Few, if any, Big 12 teams have faced a true test so far. Oklahoma looked sluggish in its biggest test of the season, a road game at UTEP.

Want pollsters and pundits to take you seriously? Take care of business in conference. Oklahoma's hanging around inside the top 10, but skepticism about these Sooners abounds. A good chunk of it would subside with a win against the Wildcats, especially a convincing win.

Kansas State looked good against Miami, but Miami wouldn't look very good against most teams in the Big 12.

The questionable early season scheduling should make for an unpredictable Big 12 season. The other result: A whole lot to gain for both teams in games like this. Five Big 12 teams are ranked from No. 6 to No. 17, and tonight is the first step on a road that will sort out who's who in this league.

To quote a certain New York Jet: Can't wait.