You didn't really think the SEC would be shut out of the National Championship Game, did you?
The Kansas State Wildcats had everything in place to play in the big game. They were undefeated, they were ranked first, and they had a game against one of the conference's worst teams up next. But, just like in Week 12 last season, a major upset took out an undefeated Big 12 team.
This time it was Baylor (5-5, 2-5), whose only conference win before Saturday came against winless Kansas. The Bears had been terrible on defense all season, so it seemed unlikely that Collin Klein and the Kansas State offense would have any trouble earning the win. It was the Baylor offense that stole the show, though. The Bears put up 580 yards in the 52-24 win, and the game was never really all that close.
Klein came into the game with just three interceptions on the season, but Baylor forced him to throw three last night alone. The win means that the Bears will have to beat Oklahoma State or Texas Tech to become bowl eligible, but that seems like a much more real possibility than it did coming into this weekend.
As for the Wildcats (10-1, 7-1), the loss means that there's work to do in order to even win the conference. Oklahoma has been waiting for any opportunity to jump back into the conference title picture, and Saturday presented just that. The Sooners (8-2, 6-1) are now tied in the loss column with Kansas State. They still need a loss from the Wildcats for an outright conference title, but Kansas State has a hot Texas team up next.
Oklahoma went into Morgantown on Saturday and got a bit of a surprise when the Mountaineers lined Tavon Austin up at running back. The move was a huge success, as Austin ran for 344 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately for West Virginia (5-5, 2-5), Austin couldn't play defense. The Sooners scored with less than a minute remaining to take a 50-49 lead, which would turn out to be the final.
Landry Jones was the latest player to rack up huge numbers against the West Virginia defense, throwing for 554 yards and six touchdowns. WVU looked a lot like its old self on Saturday, moving the ball up and down the field, but the defense just wasn't good enough to close out the win. With Iowa State and Kansas left, the Mountaineers are still looking for that elusive sixth win in order to make a bowl game.
Those two teams squared off on Saturday, and Kansas (1-10, 0-8) proved once again that it's the worst team in the conference. Iowa State (6-5, 3-5) got a huge day out of freshman Sam Richardson, who threw for 250 yards and four touchdowns. The Cyclones became bowl eligible with the 51-23 win and will finish their season next week at home against West Virginia.
Kansas has just one more chance to get a win in conference play, and that will come after a bye week. The Jayhawks will travel to play West Virginia, hoping to end the ten-game losing streak. This is a team that has been able to surprise a few teams with close games, so it's not an automatic win for the Mountaineers.
The only other game of the weekend was between Oklahoma State (7-3, 5-2) and Texas Tech (7-4, 4-4), and just like last season, it was a blowout. Many were talking about revenge for Texas Tech, as the Red Raiders were beaten 66-6 last season. This year, the game was close for about a quarter and a half, but the Cowboys pulled away on their way to a 59-21 win.
Isaiah Anderson had 174 of the team's 231 receiving yards, and Oklahoma State's high-powered offense again looked like the conference's best. Oklahoma State has now won five of its last six games, with the lone loss coming to Kansas State. The Cowboys can still technically get a share of the conference title if they can beat Oklahoma next week, and Kansas State loses to Texas.
The Longhorns had the week off, but they can also get a share of the title with an Oklahoma loss and a win over Kansas State.
It looked for a while like there would be no need to talk conference championship scenarios. Kansas State was winning each week, and winning big. But Baylor threw a wrench in those plans, and likely ended any National Championship hopes for the Wildcats.
Now, it's just about regrouping and closing out a conference championship.