The lights are on, the band has played its final tune, and the chairs are on the tables. It's time to shut down another Saturday and man are they already going fast.
The Big 12 suffered its first two losses of the young season, there were a couple big wins, and maybe the best part, there's only one more week with FCS opponents on the schedule.
Let' start with the good.
It wasn't a thing of beauty, but Iowa State is 2-0 after claiming the Cy-Hawk trophy for the second straight season with a 9-6 win over Iowa.
Linebacker Jake Knott intercepted James Vanderberg's pass with just over a minute left when Iowa was driving for the winning score, or at least the game tying field goal.
Steele Jantz had another good day statistically (24-36 for 241 yards) but the turnover bug that he struggled with a season ago showed itself once again. The Cyclones had a chance to put the game way late in the fourth with the ball at the two yard line but Jantz threw a pick that Iowa took back to midfield. He also threw another interception and fumbled on a botched handoff in the red zone.
But hey, a road win against Iowa is never a bad thing. And looking at the big picture for Iowa State, starting 2-0 is huge (when 0-2 seemed equally as likely prior to the season) and certainly puts a bowl eligibility well within reach with a tough Big 12 schedule ahead.
Kansas State had an absolutely dominating performance over Miami on Saturday. Everything went right and then some for Bill Snyder's team. Two games into the season, it looks like Kansas State is picking up right where they left off last season.
The Wildcats have one more tune up next week against North Texas before they travel to Norman for their first Big 12 game of the season. Oklahoma was the one team last year that dominated Kansas State last year and the showdown with the Sooners should give us a good idea to how far K-State has come this season.
So far, so good and it's not a reach two games into the season to say the Wildcats are an even better team in 2012. Given the fact OU hasn't looked like an indomitable force yet, that game will be very telling in how the Big 12 race is going to shake out this season.
Texas Tech put to rest any notion of an upset by Texas State when Cody Davis picked off a pass and took it back 88 yards for six and a 7-0 lead. Sure it was Texas State, but I don't remember Tech's defense making too many big plays like that last year and it was a play that set the tone for the rest of the night. Tech then kept their foot on the gas extending that lead to 28-0 early in the second quarter.
Seth Doege was on the money completing 25-32 passes for 319 and five scores. Doege and Michael Brewer completed passes to 12 different receivers and there were 10 guys with at least two catches and not one with more than five. Who knows if that will hold going forward, but with distribution like that, it certainly will make it tough for opposing defenses to key in on any one guy.
Texas did what they were supposed to do shutting out New Mexico 45-0. David Ash looked efficient again but it's hard to garner much given the competition. The Lobos were able to mount some offense until quarterback B.R. Holbrook went out with an injury. New Mexico held the ball for 20 minutes in the first half and had three drives of eight plays or more using their option game. Even so, they never sniffed the end zone which is all that really matters.
Oklahoma 69 Florida A&M 13. Next.
TCU took care of business with a dominating performance against Grambling State. Here's guessing the Horned Frogs are leading the nation in completion percentage. Quarterbacks Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin were 17-17 passing against Grambling. Not a bad start, I'd say. TCU heads to Kansas next week for their first ever Big 12 game.
Alright, so it was another decent day for the Big 12 overall, but that's a perfect transition into the not-so-good on Saturday.
Kansas lost to Rice. At home. Not exactly the kind of kind of start Charlie Weis was hoping for, but then again, maybe it's not all the surprising either given the fact Kansas isn't exactly playing with a full deck. But that's still a game Kansas has to win, especially taking a 24-16 lead into the fourth quarter.
Going forward, maybe the most concerning thing for the Jayhawks is that Dayne Crist hasn't exactly gotten off to a great start. He completed 47% of his passes in the opener and improved to 57% on Saturday, but he also threw his second and third interceptions on the season. His final pick on Saturday set up Rice's game winning field goal drive to end the game.
We all new KU's defense would be bad, but there was at least hope for the offense. Maybe there still is, but the competition is only going to get easier the rest of the way.
Oklahoma State provided an entertaining nightcap, that is if you're an Arizona fan. The surprising thing isn't necessarily that Oklahoma State lost, but they way it happened. And by that I mean they looked nothing like the team that won the Big 12 title in 2011.
The yards were there (636 for the game) and Joseph Randle looked every bit like that Big 12's best running back for most of the night. But 15 penalties for 167 yards? The Cowboys have set plenty of school records lately, but that's one they would have been better off leaving alone. Five of those 15 penalties were personal fouls, as well. One step forward, two steps back or something like that.
There were also plenty of dropped balls and three Wes Lunt interceptions. On the bright side, Lunt also made more than a handful of great passes but so goes the learning curve playing a true freshman. He'll get better (he's already plenty good) and so will the Cowboys assuming they clean up their act in the penalty department.
The defense may have been the most alarming aspect of the night for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys were missing their defensive coordinator for the second straight game which didn't help matters, but Arizona had their way throwing the ball against what is (or was supposed to be) a very good OSU secondary. That doesn't exactly bode well heading into Big 12 play in two weeks. The good news is that the Pokes won't see the best offenses in the league until the second half of the season so there's plenty of time to figure out whatever went wrong against Arizona.
You don't have to quit drinking, you just can't do it here. What I'm trying to say is that's it for another weekend. Speaking of that, that's a quote the bouncer at my favorite watering hole in college used to say at closing time. Nobody really ever liked it when he started yelling that. We only get so many weekends of college football a year so I guess I don't like it much more now than I did then. But anyway, until next Saturday, here's to spending the rest of the week wondering how many points West Virginia is going to put on James Madison next weekend. Cheers.