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And then there were two.
OK, so there are still eight undefeated teams, but there were only three I was really looking at as serious BCS Championship contenders. But the stars weren't aligned correctly above Norman, Okla.
The Sooners ran into a buzz saw in Texas Tech, but seriously, outside of a naive Red Raiders fan, who saw that upset coming? Tech had just lost back-to-back home games to Texas A&M and Kansas State and historically struggles when playing on the road.
But this was Norman. The Sooners hadn't lost in Norman since the beginning of George W. Bush's second term. They've only lost at home three times during Bob Stoops era. It's a place most opponents limp out of embarrassed and disheveled.
Junior Tech QB Seth Doege was magnificent and the Red Raiders held off a predictable late OU rally. Doege outdueled Oklahoma QB Landry Jones, who just saw whatever Heisman hopes he might have had fall by the wayside.
In the process, Tech single-handedly changed the entire national title picture. There's no doubt that the two elite teams in the country is LSU and Alabama. The Tigers and Tide are head and shoulders above everybody else. But there's one problem with this theory -- they play each other next week. And last I checked, there are no longers ties in college football. Someone has to win, and more importantly, someone has to lose.
The imminent LSU-Bama matchup opens the door for the other teams with BCS title hopes, but no one benefits more from the realy SEC title game coupled with OU's loss than that other college team in Oklahoma. No, I'm not referring to Tulsa or Oral Roberts. Obviously, I mean Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys moved up to third in the AP poll as well as the BCS standings. The computer polls absolutely adore Oklahoma State with all but one of the artificial intelligence standings ranking the Cowboys No. 1 overall. There's still a challenging schedule awaiting the Cowboys, though, with games against Missouri, Baylor, Kansas State, Texas Tech and of course Bedland against Oklahoma still on tap. All five of those teams have been ranked in the Top 25 at some point this season and all five are also capable of knocking Oklahoma State from the undefeated ranks.
The cries for Boise State to finally get its shot at the national title will begin soon, but I'm not on that bandwagon. While I will admit the Broncos are a great team, and personally rank them fourth overall, the schedule is a problem. Clemson is going to be more tested than Boise State and the Tigers play in the weak ACC. But anyone on Boise State's schedule needs to watch the Air Force film. Air Force got physical with the Broncos and they didn't like it one bit. Something like five Boise State defenders had to be helped off the field with injury. The Falcons beat up on them, and provided a formula for a team like TCU or San Diego State to beat the Broncos.
Stanford is the next team to have a claim to the BCS title picture. The Cardinal are just now hitting the cream of their schedule with USC this week and Oregon in two weeks. They just beat their first ranked opponent by easily handling Washington on Saturday. But is beating USC, Washington, Oregon and Notre Dame en route to a perfect season enough to get Stanford into the national championship game?
Clemson and Kansas State have some BCS title aspirations, but I would give Kansas State the nod over the Tigers if the Wildcats should run the table the rest of the way. K-State would have wins against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech if it does finish undefeated. That's an impressive resume.
Clemson? Virginia Tech is now its banner win with Auburn and Florida State fading. Beating a South Carolina team missing Marcus Lattimore at the end of the season isn't overly impressive, either.
But here's reality, and every BCS "expert" is currently hyping this fact, the loser of the Alabama-LSU game could rally, win out the rest of the way, and end up with a rematch in the BCS title game. That's right. The first meeting between these two teams might just be a preview for the eventual national championship.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves now. There's still more than a month left in the regular season. Just last week everyone was convinced Oklahoma would still be undefeated right now. There are still storylines yet to unfold.
Week 8's Top 10 Performances
10. Marquise Wheaton, CB, Sourthern Miss
5 tackles, .5 TFL, 2 INT, 41-yard TD return
In an important Conference USA game, Southern Miss had a brilliant defensive performance to shut down a high-powered SMU offense in a 27-3 victory. I personally can't remember fewer points put on the board by a June Jones offense. Wheaton had two interceptions, including one he returned 41 yards for a TD to cap the game's score in the fourth quarter.
9. Josh Kaddu, LB, Oregon
10 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks
Kaddu was everywhere in Oregon's 45-2 victory against Colorado as the Ducks defense didn't surrender a single offensive point to the Buffaloes. Kaddu leads the Ducks in TFL and sacks this season as Oregon's defense is once again underrated.
8. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
Passing, 12-19-0-195, 1 TD; Rushing, 13-92, 4 TDs
Klein is more of a RB than a QB, but whatever one wants to label him as, he's playing tremendously. Klein accounted fro 287 yards of a total offense and five TDs as the Wildcats remained undefeated in a 59-21 victory against Kansas. Now Klein prepares for his biggest test to date as he leads the Wildcats against Oklahoma.
7. Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
Rushing, 14-138, 3 TDs; Receiving, 1-13, 1 TD
After backup Jeremy Smith outshined him last week, Randle decided it was his turn, scoring four TDs in the Cowboys 45-24 dominance of Missouri. Oklahoma State is beginning to play its best football and at the right time, too, now that it has moved up to No. 3 in the BCS poll.
6. Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Passing, 24-32-0-229, 4 TDs; Rushing 4-11, 1 TD
Nassib was an underrated QB as a junior with no one paying attention to him on a national scale, but he helped get the Orange to a bowl game. The same can be said about his senior season. Again, he's completely overlooked, but without the presence of standout RB Delone Carter, now playing for the Indianapolis Colts, Nassib continues to perform well. In a 49-23 upset of West Virginia on Thursday, Nassib accounted for five of the Orange's seven TDs, including four passing. He deserves more accolades than he's receiving.
5. Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
7 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 INT, 2 PBU
Hightower's season statistically has been somewhat pedestrian, but that has more do with the amount of talent surrounding him as they share big plays more than it does with his own ability. Hightower had his biggest impact of the season as the Crimson Tide defense was dominant in a 37-6 victory against Tennessee. It was a much-neeed performance with the Alabama offense struggling in the first half. The score was tied 6-6 at intermission.
4. Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
Receiving, 6-184, 3 TDs
McNutt became Iowa's all-time leader in receiving TDs in the Hawkeyes' 45-24 victory against Indiana. The senior receiver has 24 receiving TDs in his career, including eight this season, which is the number of TDs he scored in both his sophomore and junior seasons. His three TDs on Saturday was a single-game career high.
3. Case Keenum, QB, Houston
Passing, 24-28-0-376, 6 TDs
Keenum is on pace to set every major career NCAA passing record this season. In Saturday's 63-28 victory against Marshall, Keenum passed Timmy Chang to become the all-time FBS leader in total offense with 17,173 yards. There are two more records within reach. He's only four TDs way from equaling Graham Harrell's career scoring mark and 801 passing yards from overtaking Chang's career mark in that stat. Something tells me with at least six games left to play on Houston's schedule, he's going to shatter those marks.
2. Keith Nichol, WR, Michigan State
Receiving, 1-44, TD
It was Nichol's only catch, but it was a great one. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time. With time ticking away in regulation, Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins launched a hail mary, hoping his prayer would be answered to avoid overtime with No. 4 Wisconsin. The ball was deflected by Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis, who typically plays receiver, mistimed his jump and didn't deflect the ball enough. It went through Abbreeris' hands, bounced off two Michigan State receivers and made its way back to Nichol who was waiting for the ball at the 1. Nichol caught it and fought three Badgers off as he just managed to cross the goal line, handing Wisconsin its first loss of the season, 37-31.
1. Seth Doege, QB, Texas Tech
Passing, 33-52-0-441, 4 TDs; Rushing, 6-(-24), 1 TD
Doege appeared determined to lead the Red Raiders to the biggest upset of the season. This is the biggest win for Tech since the iconic victory against Texas delivered by Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree. But that win took place at home in the friendly confines of Jones Stadium in Lubbock. This one was down in Norman -- a place where the Sooners don't lose. Doege is just the latest in a recent long line of prolific QBs at Tech. His story of how he got to this point is actually a compelling one filled with two major knee injuries he suffered in high school. He actually only played one year of high school football because he lost his junior and senior seasons to injury. His lone season was as a sophomore. Former Tech coach Mike Leach had seen enough and stuck with his scholarship committment to Doege. Now he's the big man on campus.
Hull's Week 8 Top 25