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Upsets a mere rumor in early window as all six ranked teams hold serve

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If there is to be a Week 12 shakeup in the next edition of the College Football Playoff rankings, it won’t be as a result of the early television window.

In the noon block of kickoffs, six teams currently ranked in the CFP Top 25 squared off with unranked opponents.  And, in each of those matchups, the ranked teams held serve — in the majority of the cases by a comfortable margin for good measure.

There was, though, one potentially significant development to unfold during the early window.

  • No. 5 Alabama (-21) 38, Mississippi State 7 — The outcome was never in doubt and the final score doesn’t matter; the health of star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa moving forward absolutely does as the hip injury suffered by the junior late in the first half, and a couple of other injuries to Crimson Tide players for that matter, could play a significant role in helping to shape the playoff field next month.
  • No. 9 Penn State (-15) 34, Indiana 27 — The Hoosiers got as close as three points early in the fourth quarter as the Nittany Lions narrowly avoided a second straight loss, setting the stage for a huge Big Ten East matchup with No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus next Saturday.
  • No. 11 Florida (-6½) 23, Missouri 6 — *snore* *yawn* *ssstttrrreeetches* *scratches self* *snores again*
  • No. 14 Wisconsin (-15) 37, Nebraska 21 — Nice timing on that contract extension, Nebraska, as Jonathan Taylor rushes for 204 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries in the easy road win. This game marked the Badgers’ seventh-straight win over the Cornhuskers.
  • No. 15 Michigan (-13½) 44, Michigan State 10 — With pleas for civility ringing in their ears, Michigan beat its “little brother” in Ann Arbor for the first time since 2012 and earned a win in the rivalry for just the fourth time in the last dozen meetings.  It was also U-M’s most lopsided win in the series since a 49-3 blowout in 2002.
  • No. 22 Oklahoma State (-17½) 31, Kansas 13 — In Les Miles‘ return to Stillwater, the Cowboys had no problem whatsoever in extending its winning streak over the Jayhawks to 10 straight, with KU’s last win coming in 2007.  OSU’s Chuba Hubbard, who entered Week 12 as the nation’s leading rusher, ran for 122 yards in the romp.

In the 3:30 ET window, there are five more ranked vs. unranked matchups — No. 2 Ohio State at Rutgers, Wake Forest at No. 3 Clemson, No. 18 Memphis at Houston, No. 19 Texas at Iowa State and West Virginia at No. 24 Kansas State.  Later on, there are six additional such games — No. 1 LSU at Ole Miss, No. 17 Cincinnati at South Florida, No. 25 Appalachian State at Georgia State, UCLA at No. 7 Utah, New Mexico at No. 21 Boise State and Arizona at No. 6 Oregon.

Additionally, there are four games in which both teams are ranked — No. 23 Navy at No. 16 Notre Dame, No. 4 Georgia at No. 12 Auburn, No. 8 Minnesota at No. 20 Iowa and No. 10 Oklahoma at No. 13 Baylor.

No. 22 K-State cruises to 11th straight Sunflower Showdown win

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For the first time in a decade, there was football optimism in Kansas, sparked around a reimagined Jayhawk offense that put up 48 points in a close loss to Texas and 37 in a win over Texas Tech last week. Maybe this could be the year KU is the best team in its own state. The soldout crowd at Memorial Stadium — the first since 2009 — seemed to think so.

Kansas State let that optimism stick around for around one quarter.

The No. 22-ranked Wildcats marched to touchdowns on their opening two possessions — moving 88 and 78 yards consecutively, largely on the ground — and flattened the Jayhawk offense, cruising to a 38-10 victory.

Quarterback Skylar Thompson led the way, rushing for a game-high 127 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries while hitting 9-of-16 passes for 129 yards, while Henry Trotter rushed 19 times for 92 yards and a score.

All told, the Wildcats chugged for 334 yards and five scores on the ground.

Meanwhile, a Kansas State defense that shut down Oklahoma made Kansas look like Kansas for the first time since Brent Dearmon was promoted to offensive coordinator last month. Quarterback Carter Stanley was limited to 13-of-23 for just 115 yards with two interceptions. Stanley’s second pick more or less ended the game; trailing 14-3 with the ball at his own 38 and 1:25 left in the first half, Stanley turned an opportunity for a 14-10 halftime deficit into 17-3 when he fired the first play of the of the drive straight into the arms of K-State’s Da’Quan Patton.

Kansas State took the ball to open the second half and marched 75 yards in nine plays, as Thompson’s 12-yard run all but put the game away with 10:52 to go in the third quarter.

Kansas added a cosmetic score with 35 seconds to play, a 1-yard carry by coaches’ son Manny Miles.

The win gives Kansas State (6-2, 3-2 Big 12) 11 straight victories over Kansas (3-6, 1-5 Big 12), matching K-State’s streak from 1993-03 as the longest by either team in the 117-game history of the Sunflower Showdown series. Kansas still holds the all-time lead, 65-47-5.

Skylar Thompson’s legs put No. 22 K-State up on KU at the break

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Skylar Thompson has bedeviled Kansas on the ground and through the air, and as a result No. 22 Kansas State leads the Jayhawks 17-3 at the break in Lawrence. The Wildcats’ quarterback leads the game in passing and rushing, hitting 6-of-9 passes for 68 yards while rushing 11 times for 91 yards.

Kansas State scored both touchdowns on its first two drives — marching 88 yards in 10 plays and then 78 yards in 10 plays. Thompson notched the first score on a 1-yard keeper, and then Harry Trotter gave K-State its second score on a 9-yard rush.

The Wildcats threatened to blow the game open when Jahron McPherson intercepted KU’s Carter Stanley on the first play of the ensuing possession, but K-State punted from Kansas territory, and the Kansas defense seemed to corral the Wildcats for the remainder of the half until Stanley fired another interception, this one to Da’Quon Patton at his own 46 with 1:25 left in the first half.

Kansas State turned it into a 38-yard field goal at the halftime gun.

Stanley was ineffective after the first drive, closing the half 6-of-11 for just 47 yards with the two picks. Kansas State limited Pooka Williams to just 34 yards on eight carries.

Mizzou, Kansas in talks to bring back football series, too

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Missouri and Kansas are getting back together, at least on the basketball court. The Border Showdown is back on next December, and, now that the feeling of rekindled love is in the air, the two sides are talking about a football reunion, too.

Mizzou AD Jim Sterk told St. Louis Post-Dispatch beat writer Dave Matter that the schools have had discussions about playing again in football for the first time since Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC after the 2011 season.

The Border War was FBS’s second-most played rivalry — trailing only Wisconsin-Minnesota — with 120 meetings between the series’ birth on Dec. 31, 1891 and its (temporary?) death on Nov. 26, 2011. The series was played almost exclusively in Kansas City from 1891 through 1910 and returned in 2007.

Mizzou holds a 57-54-9 all-time advantage, with wins in three straight and five of the last six.

Though Missouri does indeed have games on the books through 2032, the Tigers are only booked out through 2025, with openings on the schedule beyond that.

So, how does Sept. 5, 2026 at Arrowhead Stadium sound to everyone? Good? Okay, let’s get it done.

Big 12 fines K-State, TCU, reprimands Kansas over Week 9 field-storming incidents

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A weekend of upsets in the Big 12 that hurt the conference’s playoff chances also put a dent in a couple of members’ bank accounts, although we’re quite certain each was glad to cough up the cash for the greater good.

Over the course of the afternoon and on into last Saturday night, unranked Kansas State stunned No. 5 Oklahoma in Manhattan; unranked TCU dropped No. 15 Texas in Fort Worth; and Kansas scored its first win over Texas Tech since 2001 and its first-ever win over the Red Raiders in Lawrence.

All three of the wins resulted in fans storming the respective fields. All three of the field-storming incidents also caught the attention of the Big 12 office, which announced on Wednesday that each of the home universities involved has been issued a public reprimand.

Additionally, as this wasn’t their first such incident, both K-State and TCU were slapped with fines of $25,000 each.

“Our institutions have a duty to provide a safe game environment,” said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. “Although the Big 12 does not currently have a policy prohibiting spectators from entering playing areas for post-game celebrations, it is of utmost importance that home game management provides adequate security measures for our student-athletes, coaches, game officials and spectators. That expectation includes providing safe passage from the playing field to the locker room, and protection of the visiting team bench area.”