Kansas State is on top looking down at the rest of the Big 12 as the Wildcats get ready for their biggest test of the year at West Virginia this Saturday.
Who outside of Manhattan, Kan., would have believed it? At the midway junction in the 2012 college football season, Kansas State - not Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas or any other conference football power - sits high and humbly atop the Big 12 Conference standings. Add to that the Wildcats' fourth-place standing in the first Bowl Championship Series rankings, which were released on Sunday for the first time this season.
It was a crazy weekend in the Big 12. The experts said that Kansas State and West Virginia needed to avoid getting caught looking ahead to their much anticipated showdown at West Virginia this coming weekend.
Coach Bill Snyder's Wildcats took heed of that caution and escaped their Farmaggeddon encounter at Iowa State with a narrow six-point victory. West Virginia, however got caught in an old-fashioned ambush at Texas Tech, where quarterback Geno Smith and his Mountaineer teammates were soundly thrashed by a five-touchdown margin by the same team that suffered a 21-point home defeat to Oklahoma the week before.
The West Virginia upset takes some of the luster off of the primetime matchup with K-State this weekend. Something else it potentially does, though, is make the Mountaineers a lot angrier and more focused than they might have been had they come into the showdown with Kansas State with the identical 6-0 record and top-five national that the Cats boast heading into the contest.
There isn't any way to describe the pounding that Oklahoma gave to Texas in the annual Red River Rivalry game other than total embarrassment for Bevo and the Longhorns, as the Sooners stampeded the Horns for a second straight year, 63-21. "It's just totally unacceptable for Texas to lose like that to Oklahoma, much less anybody," Texas coach Mack Brown said afterward." Ya think, coach!
Kansas fell behind 20-0 to Oklahoma State in a rain-delayed game under horrible weather conditions, but still managed to have a shot at the end to pull off the upset against the defending Big 12 champions. The Jayhawks tallied two fourth-quarter touchdowns and had a fourth down on the OSU 41-yard line late in the game that they failed to convert, sealing a 20-14 Cowboys' victory.
This was the first weekend of the season that all 10 conference teams were in action on the same day. In the only other conference game on Saturday, TCU pulled away from Baylor late to capture a big 49-21 road win at Baylor, playing for the second straight week without suspended starting quarterback Casey Pachall.
After last weekend's games, the Big 12 has five of the top-15 teams nationally in total offense (1. Oklahoma State, 2. Baylor, T6. West Virginia, 10, Texas Tech and 15.TCU).
Here are five other fascinating facts we took away from this past weekend in the Big 12:
Five Things We Learned From Week 7
- Kansas State senior quarterback and Heisman hopeful Collin Klein had three rushing touchdowns on Saturday, giving him 43 for his career. That is the most ever by a Kansas State quarterback and the second best all-time to Darren Sproles (45), now with the New Orleans Saints in the NFL.
- Kansas prevented Oklahoma State from scoring when the Cowboys marched into the KU red zone in the first quarter of their game on Saturday. It was the first time this season that OSU, which leads the nation in total offense, had not scored after reaching the red zone.
- The first BCS standings of the season has seven Big 12 teams ranked in the top 25 (4. Kansas State, 9. Oklahoma, 13. West Virginia, 17. Texas Tech, 23. TCU, 24. Iowa State and 25. Texas), which ties the SEC for the most teams from one conference.
- Four Oklahoma players had more than 100 all-purpose yards (RB Damien Williams, 177; FB Trey Millard, 164; RB/KR Brennan Clay, 155, and WR/PR Justin Brown, 140) in the Sooners' 63-21 rout of Texas Saturday in the 107th edition of the annual Red River Rivalry.
- Texas Tech's victory over West Virginia was the Red Raiders' first at home over a top-five team since upsetting then-No. 1 Texas in 2008, their biggest point-margin against.a top-five-ranked team and their first win at home over a Big 12 team in the last five games, dating back to 2010.
This Weekend's Big 12 Games
Kansas State @ West Virginia
Kansas @ Oklahoma
Iowa State @ Oklahoma State
Baylor @ Texas
Texas Tech @ TCU
Watch for the Big 12 Game of the Week preview - Kansas State vs. West Virginia - this Friday.
Follow Big 12 football all season long, including specific news and commentary on the two Kansas teams, at SB Nation Kansas City.