And then there were four...
#2 Kansas State: Bill Snyder has been playing with fire this season having Collin "Don’t Call Me Calvin" Klein play practically every offensive snap. This season, the Wildcats have won 5 games by 31 points or more and Snyder saw it prudent to leave his starting QB in those games. Klein was injured in the third quarter Saturday against Oklahoma State. Speculation is that he could have suffered a concussion since he was seen without his helmet on the sideline for the rest of the game – an NCAA rule for players with head injuries. To this point in the season, the back-up Daniel Sams had thrown the ball 2 times in a 41 point rout of West Virginia. Fortunately for KSU, he went 5-6 for 45 yards against the Cowpokes. If Klein can’t play Saturday against TCU, K-State is in big trouble. If Snyder plays him without proper recuperation time, he might be in BIG trouble.
#3 Oregon: Many in the press seem to be easily distracted by shiny objects. The Ducks light up the scoreboard – on both sides. Their 62-51 victory over now # 19 USC (6-3) is Oregon’s only win over a currently ranked team. After a practice game against Cal, the Ducks play #14 Stanford and #11 Oregon State. The game against Stanford will be one to watch because the Cardinal actually play some defense. Stanford has given up more than 17 points only one time this season (54-48 OT win over Arizona).
#4 Notre Dame: Luck of the Irish, right? They were lucky they were playing such a lame team in Pitt on Saturday. Might I remind you, the Panthers lost to Youngstown State 31-17. A week after thrashing Oklahoma in Norman, the Dames were in prime position for a letdown. Pitt had the game won in the 2nd OT when Irish running back Cierre Wood fumbled on the 1 yard line. All Pittsburgh had to do was kick a 33 yard field goal. Guess what happened. This "win" for ND is a "loss" in the rankings as they dropped from #3 to #4 in the BCS. Maybe the press is not so enamored with them as we think.
West Virginia: America’s sweetheart a mere month ago is now yesterday’s news. Three straight losses and several scorched sofas later, the Mountaineers sit unranked at 5-3 and 7th place in the Big XII. If they had stayed in the Big East, they would be 8-0 scoring 90 points a game and the press would be writing odes to the wonders that are Geno Smith and Dana Holgersen. As it stands now, it is possible they may have to wait until the season finale against Kansas to become bowl eligible. They travel to Okie State, home against Oklahoma, followed by more frequent flier miles to Iowa State. WVU clearly did not consider the travel factor very much when joining a conference whose teams are all 1,000 miles away.
Boise: While many of us partied into the night, San Diego State was kindly chaperoning Boise back into obscurity with a 21-19 upset on the blue turf. After watching Michigan State stumble around most of the season, you have to wonder how they beat the Broncos back in week 1. Now we know: the Smurfs are not good. The Aztecs ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown and turned a 3rd quarter blocked punt into another TD. Stat of the game: Average Punt for SDSU: 50.3. For BSU: 27.0. It is quite possible they do not win the MWC this season. Remember that BSU is moving to the Big East. They may want to talk with WVU about that move.
Virginia: We might finally be seeing what all the fuss about Phillips Sims is. He was 8 for 10, 115 yards and accounted for two TDs – one rushing and one passing – as the Cavs join the parity party in the ACC with their first conference win, 31-6 over NC State. Sims is still sharing time with Michael Rocco at QB but looking good.