Title chase changed by Baylor
Notebook: Seven teams bowl eligible; WVU looking for 6th win
This wasn't how it was supposed to go.
Heading to Waco, Texas, wasn't supposed to be anything more than a speed bump for Kansas State, which was No. 1 in the BCS rankings and on its way to the national championship game. No style points were needed, no help from the humans or the computers. Just two more wins -- Baylor on Nov. 16 and then at home against Texas Dec. 1 -- and the Wildcats would play for it all.
But as we often learn in late autumn, college football never does what it's supposed to do. Case in perfect point: the Wildcats' 52-24 loss to Baylor, a game they never were really in.
The Bears struck first and, for the first time all season, brought a defense with them. They knocked KSU quarterback Collin Klein around, pressuring him from the outside, hitting him hard and forcing the former Heisman Trophy favorite into three interceptions.
"It's a tough one," Klein said afterward.
When the season began, Baylor beating Kansas State wouldn't have been considered much of an upset. But the Wildcats had forged an identity as a tough, hard-nosed football team with the ability to stop multiple types of offenses (wins against Oklahoma, West Virginia and Oklahoma State were proof). The Bears, on the other hand, weren't able to stop anybody during the majority of the season, relying on an offense built on vertical passes to stay in games.
Needless to say, the Wildcats didn't know what hit them.
"We just don't know what went wrong," tight end Travis Tannahill said. "We had a good week of practice. We felt prepared, everything we've done the last 10 games."
With the loss, Kansas State is not only out of the running for the national championship but is also in danger of having the Big 12 title slip out of its hands. The Wildcats have to win their season finale — Dec. 1 against Texas at home — or what was once a season for the ages will have been spoiled.
Baylor (5-5, 2-5 Big 12)
• Quarterback Nick Florence has a lot of tools to use in that offense, from Terrance Williams to Lache Seastrunk to Glasco Martin. When he's using them all in concert, as he did against Kansas State, the Bears are hard to beat.
"We know we have a good football team," Florence said Saturday after the 52-24 home win. "We hadn't put it all together and tonight we did against a quality ball club."
• This Seastrunk guy might be pretty good. A sophomore, Seastrunk had an 80-yard touchdown run to go with his 185 yards on the ground — 9.7 yards a carry. He's scored four times in the last two games after just one touchdown in the first eight weeks.
• The Baylor defense came to play, intercepting KSU quarterback Collin Klein three times. Key was cornerback Joe Williams, who had two of those interceptions to go with 11 total tackles. Linebacker Bryce Hager had 10 tackles, two for loss, one sack and two quarterback hurries.
• Shocking note after drubbing the No. 1 team in the nation: the Bears still need one more win to become bowl eligible. Think about that.
Next Game: vs. Texas Tech (in Dallas) Nov. 24
Iowa State (6-5, 3-5 Big 12)
• The Cyclones became eligible for the postseason for the third time in Paul Rhoads' four years in Ames with a 51-23 win against Kansas.
• The new guy in Iowa State's never-ending quarterback carousel, redshirt-freshman Sam Richardson led six touchdown drives against the Jayhawks, throwing for 250 yards on 23 of 27 passing for four touchdowns, the most yards by a freshman quarterback at ISU since Bret Meyer in 2004.
• Iowa State's offensive output — the most points since 2010 — will need to be matched this week against West Virginia, which is putting up 41 points per game. The Cyclones are thankful at least the Mountaineers are giving up 42.
Next Game: vs. West Virginia Nov. 23
Kansas (1-10, 0-8 Big 12)
• The Jayhawks came out strong on Senior Night, with just a three-point deficit at the end of the first quarter. Then Iowa State busted out for 28 in the second quarter to pull away in the 51-23 win.
• Dayne Crist came off the bench to throw for 156 yards and a touchdown after starter Michael Cummings struggled.
• Kansas has Thanksgiving off before one final game against West Virginia in Week 14.
"There will be some down time later on this week to spend time with their families and friends," coach Charlie Weis said. "But the bottom line is at least they get one more crack it."
Next Game: at West Virginia Dec. 1
No. 7 Kansas State (10-1, 7-1 Big 12)
• The Wildcats aren't conditioned to play from behind, but that's what they were forced to do against Baylor. Since the ground game wasn't established, John Hubert never got going (43 yards) and Collin Klein -- as the Bears had prepped for the pass -- was hurried 10 times and sacked twice.
• Since 2008, Kansas State has given up 40 points or more 15 times. The Wildcats lost 13 of those games.
Next Game: vs. Texas Dec. 1
No. 14 Oklahoma (8-2, 6-1 Big 12)
• The Sooners would prefer not to be engaged in these kind of shootouts, but that's life in Morgantown. Landry Jones hit Kenny Stills for a touchdown with 24 seconds left to beat West Virginia 50-49 in a wild game heavy on offense. Jones broke his own school record with 554 passing yards, then tied a career-high with six touchdowns.
"I'm incredibly proud of the team for holding it together as they did and to come back," Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops said.
• A loss would have knocked Oklahoma out of consideration for a BCS at-large berth. Now comes Bedlam against Oklahoma State, which has played well lately. It'll be a redemption game for Jones, who completed 54 percent of his passes with two interceptions in last season's 44-10 loss to the rival Cowboys.
Next Game: vs. Oklahoma State Nov. 24
No. 22 Oklahoma State (7-3, 5-2 Big 12)
• Clint Chelf picked apart Texas Tech in the huge 59-21 win, posting 299 yards and three touchdowns. J.W. Walsh, previously thought to be out for the season with a knee injury, made his reappearance as a change-of-pace option, with a touchdown rushing and passing.
"It just brings a whole 'nother dimension," Chelf said. "Anytime [Walsh] comes in, people are going to think he's coming in to run and just pound it up in there. But on the first drive, he threw a touchdown pass."
• Chelf, the third-team quarterback to begin the season, will start against Oklahoma even though Walsh and Wes Lunt are available.
• Wideout Isaiah Anderson caught four balls for three touchdowns and 174 yards. He came into the game with 10 receptions total.
Next Game: at Oklahoma Nov. 24
No. 18 Texas (8-2, 5-2 Big 12)
• The Longhorns will revive an old Southwest Conference rivalry Thursday night against TCU, a team the Longhowns own a 61-20-1 record against all-time.
Next Game: vs. TCU Nov. 22
Texas Tech (7-4, 4-4 Big 12)
• It seems so long ago the Red Raiders were a dark horse to win the conference. But they've lost three of their last four games — with the lone win in overtime against Kansas — and have one conference game left to salvage what was once a promising season.
• Texas Tech gave up 59 points to Oklahoma State and the coming game against Baylor could result in much of the same. The Bears are scoring 43.6 points a game, No. 5 nationally and just a tick behind Oklahoma State.
Next Game: at Texas Tech Nov. 24
TCU (6-4, 3-4 Big 12)
• The Horned Frogs are coming off a bye week, their first since sitting out the first weekend of the season.
"That's one thing we're discussing with the schedule," head coach Gary Patterson said. "One of the schedules I've looked at, three guys had bye weeks before us next year and we still have [nonconference opponents] which, to me, isn't the right way to do things. You don't want somebody to have two weeks to prepare for you and get healthier."
Next Game: at Texas Nov. 22
West Virginia (5-4, 2-5 Big 12)
• Seven Big 12 teams are bowl eligible. None of those teams are West Virginia. That's crazy given how hot the Mountaineers started — 5-0 with wins against Baylor and Texas. But in their five consecutive losses, most recently the thrilling 50-49 setback to Oklahoma, West Virginia has given up an average of 49.6 points per game. Two of the contests, including the one to the Sooners, could have been won with just one defensive stop.
"They ended up making one more play than we did," head coach Dana Holgorsen said.
• All season long Tavon Austin has been one of the most dangerous receivers in college football. Do we now call him a running back? Lining up next to Geno Smith in the shotgun, Austin dazzled everyone in the stadium and at home, running for — wait for it — 344 yards and two touchdowns on just 21 carries. For good measure, he hauled in four passes for 82 yards. The kid's an incredible talent.
Next Game: at Iowa State Nov. 23