Archive for Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Commentary: North teams starting to fight back

Efforts by Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri show divisions aren’t so lopsided anymore

October 11, 2005


It could have been a glorious Saturday for the Big 12 North. The division that has taken its knocks dished out a few as well.

Colorado had its way against Texas A&M;, which was supposed to be a Big 12 South contender. Missouri handled Oklahoma State.

Until the last 12 seconds, Nebraska looked like it would topple Texas Tech and avenge last year's 70-10 shellacking.

Colorado appears to be the best of the North. The Buffs have played a tough schedule and come through the fire with only a loss at Miami.

The Buffs get Nebraska on Nov. 25 in Boulder in what looks like a showdown for the North title.

But first, Colorado travels Saturday to Austin. It wouldn't be shocking at all if the Buffs gave the Longhorns a stiffer test than OU provided.

"I think that it is really important that we go in there with a little bit of a swagger and play with some swagger," Colorado receiver Evan Judge said. "So we can go in there and make some things happen."

Regaining lost swagger was what the Nebraska-Texas Tech game was all about to the Cornhuskers. Losing in the final seconds was almost secondary to proving to everyone, including themselves, that last year's nightmare is over.

"Once we got settled down and composed ourselves, we knew that it wasn't going to be like last year," linebacker Bo Ruud said. "We're a different team."

This Nebraska team has found itself offensively in the last two weeks. Maybe it took that long for junior-college transfer quarterback Zac Taylor to get comfortable, or for the offense to get in sync. Whatever, the Huskers have developed a nice rhythm mixing the run and the pass.

Nebraska's defense also found something against Texas Tech. After the Red Raiders went up 21-0, coordinator Kevin Cosgrove started blitzing with a three-man front. Tech didn't score another touchdown until the game-winner in the final seconds.


1. Texas 5-0 (2-0): Tunnel wasn't so tough on Horns this year.

2. Texas Tech 5-0 (2-0): Cotton Bowl bound - or better?

3. Colorado 4-1 (2-0): Buffs are building toward Nebraska game.

4. Nebraska 4-1 (1-1): No tears over Tech loss, just confidence.

5. Texas A&M; 3-2 (1-1): Does the corps have a MASH unit?

6. Oklahoma 2-3 (1-1): It had to end sometime.

7. Baylor 4-1 (1-1): Bears go from road kill to road warriors.

8. Kansas State 4-1 (1-1): New quarterback? No problem for Wildcats.

9. Iowa State 3-2 (0-2): Maybe the Iowa victory was the season for Cyclones.

10. Missouri 3-2 (1-1): Defense made even Oklahoma State look good.

11. Kansas 3-2 (0-2): Jayhawks' defense deserves better than this.

12. Oklahoma State 3-2 (0-2): Catching the Aggies at right time, wrong place.


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