Along with the end of Daylight Savings Time over the weekend came the end of home-field failings in Big 12 football. All five home teams prevailed on Saturday. That's the first time all of the home teams won on the same weekend. The only other time this season that the Big 12 teams playing at home had a better weekend record than the visiting teams was the second week in October when the home team was victorious in three of the four games.
Kansas State dropped its second consecutive game after beginning the season with an improbable seven straight wins, but it wasn't without a gallant effort. The Wildcats went toe-to-toe with powerful Oklahoma State and actually lead by 10 points in the second quarter. The game ended with the Wildcats inside the OSU 10-yard line, but unsuccessful in two pass attempts into the end zone as time expired.
Twenty-four hours before making the long-awaited announcement that it was leaving the Big 12 for the Southern battlegrounds of the SEC, Missouri couldn't erase a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit in falling to Baylor 42-39 and suffering its fourth conference loss. The Bears rang up a school-record 697 yards of offense against the Tigers, a number that, thankfully, will probably be twice what Mizzou will see from the more defensive-minded SEC teams.
As for Kansas, the Jayhawks surprised everyone by giving Iowa State a run for its money in Ames before falling a field-goal short at 13-10. Neither team looked like it did the week before (when Iowa State stunned Texas Tech in Lubbock and KU was blown out at Texas), which made for a very competitive game that the Jayhawks could just as easily have won if several plays would have gone the other way. Candy and nuts, right?
So what is it that we walked away with after Week 10 on the Big 12 football schedule:
Five Things We Learned From Big 12 Weekend Games
- Oklahoma won the battle with Texas A&M on Saturday but may have lost the war after losing senior All-American wide-receiver Ryan Broyles for the season with a torn ACL. Broyles suffered the college-career-ending injury during the Sooners' 28-point third-quarter explosion, cutting in to bring in a 30-yard pass from Landry Jones that set up one of the OU touchdowns in that quarter.
- Oklahoma State managed to hang on in the late going against a determined K-State team and, as a result of Alabama's loss to LSU in a battle No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the country, moved into second place in the BCS standings. But the Kansas State offense put up what should be a very concerning 507 yards of total offense against a very average Cowboys' defense that ranks eighth in the Big 12 and 110th in the country.
- Kansas State has Texas A&M at home and then goes to Texas before closing out the regular season against Iowa State at home in an early-morning game on Dec. 3. The Wildcats have a good chance of upsetting A&M at home and, given their history with Texas, you can't count them out at Texas, either, despite how well the Longhorns seem to be playing of late. On the other hand, there is an equal likelihood that Bill Snyder's team could be looking at a four-game losing streak and a 4-4 conference record heading into the finale with Iowa State.
- Texas Tech seems to be a team from which you just don't know what to expect from week to week. The Red Raiders beat Oklahoma at home, only the third team to do so in the past 13 seasons, then goes home to get beat by an Iowa State team without a conference win to that point, followed by a total blowout to a good but not great Texas squad. The Red Raiders gave up 439 rushing yards Saturday to Texas, the top running team in the Big 12. That doesn't bode well for the red and black marauders, who still have to face the second and third best running teams in Missouri and Kansas State in upcoming weeks.
- Bill Snyder has always been a master at getting outstanding special teams play from his Kansas State squads. The Wildcats are capitalizing again this season from special teams and defense. K-State has four non-offensive touchdowns in its last four games and a total of 81 since 1999. That ranks second nationally to Virginia Tech (82).
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