MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia barely had toweled off Saturday night when Kirk Herbstreit told Texas-Kansas State viewers the Longhorns had only two “gimmes” left on the schedule: Kansas and West Virginia.
Yowza, Herbie! What a precipitous plunge for Team Gold & Blue—from beating UT in Austin last season to occupying space in the squalor district alongside the Jayhawks. As one can imagine, Herbstreit’s words sparked a flashfire across WVU message boards, where only Mountaineers fans are allowed to predict the sky-is-falling, not some TV outsider with perfect teeth, cerulean eyes and a strong jawline.
Wait, where were we? Ah, yes, this week’s updated power rankings, where KU and WVU might look like gimmes, but there’s still room at the bottom for Iowa State …
1. Oklahoma State (3-0)
Result: Coaches for the 11th-ranked Cowboys had the week off to prepare for West Virginia’s offense—and hopefully, to finish some yard.
2. Oklahoma (3-0, 1-0)
Result: The Sooners were idle leading up to this week’s “Battle to Salvage Big 12 Pride” at Notre Dame. Huge game with national implications, the kind of matchup Bob Stoops’ program is so accustomed to playing that even a trek to storied South Bend isn’t receiving special emphasis. “We don’t really care,” Stoops said. “We go to a lot of places.”
3. Baylor (3-0)
Result: The Bears defeated Louisiana-Monroe 70-7 with Lache Seastrunk averaging 15.6 yards per carry and scoring his sixth touchdown. “Every time he touches the ball there’s chance he might score,” said coach Art Briles, failing to mention that every time ANY Baylor player touches the ball there’s a chance he might score.
4. Texas Tech (4-0, 1-0)
Result: The semi-charmed life of Kliff Kingsbury sees his Red Raiders draw a record crowd of 60,997 for Texas freakin’ State, stop the Bobcats twice at the 1-yard line and win 33-7. Now it’s up to No. 24 in the AP poll, and he’s doing it with two freshman quarterbacks.
5. TCU (1-2, 0-1)
Result: Idle. “I don’t think everybody should be panicking,” says Gary Patterson a week after admitting he nearly gave himself a heart attack pushing the Frogs to get over their loss at Texas Tech. Mixed messages are not the way to land the Texas job.
6. Texas (2-2, 1-0)
Result: Beat Kansas State 31-21, but even that momentum-changing win came at a price—with top tackler Jordan Hicks lost to a season-ending Achilles injury. (Nick Saban’s players NEVER have weak Achilles.)
7. Kansas State (2-2, 0-1)
Result: Surpassing a long, proud lineage of K-State receiving talents such as Jordy Nelson and Taco Wallace, Tyler Lockett set a school mark with 13 catches for 237 yards. But alas, the Wildcats’ long, proud lineage of dominance against Texas ended with a 31-21 loss.
tie-8. Kansas (2-1)
Result: Beat Louisiana Tech 13-10 on Matthew Wyman’s 52-yard kick at the horn. The Bulldogs fumbled away two fourth-quarter chances inside the KU 5-yard line, the kind of backbreaking mistakes a team can’t withstand against Kansas (excluding the previous 22 consecutive FBS teams who withstood them).
tie-8. West Virginia (2-2, 0-1)
Result: The Mountaineers were waylaid 37-0 at Maryland, and after the game WVU’s offensive players put up the same number of quotes as they did points.
10. Iowa State (0-2)
Result: Idle for the second time this season. The Cyclones’ scheduler is as bad as their play-caller.