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Poll Watch: Bye bye, Big 12 North
This might be a short entry, because the Big 12 Conference isn't providing much excitement in the polls these days.
http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Oct/25/polls_.jpg Big 12 Conference teams in the national polls, including combined rankings and movement
The Big 12 South has remaining in the polls, but the division could be considered a disappointment on several fronts:
• Oklahoma was expected to be a world-beater, a national championship contender and the conference's best team. After dealing with some early-season injury woes, the Sooners have had to fight to stay in the polls each week despite some impressive victories (35-13 at Kansas, 45-0 against Tulsa).
• Texas Tech was not projected as a title contender after losing wide receiver Michael Crabtree and quarterback Graham Harrell to the NFL and CFL, respectively. But this past weekend's 52-30 pummeling at the hands of a shaky Texas A&M team could be the program's worst loss since a 2006 slip-up at then-winless Colorado.
• Oklahoma State is enjoying a successful season considering the sporadic availability of star wide receiver Dez Bryant (NCAA eligibility issues) and running back Kendall Hunter (ankle injury). But the Cowboys have slipped from their perch in the preseason top 10 because of a loss against Houston and a shaky victory at Texas A&M.
When you look at the Big 12 North, the south looks mighty impressive.
http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Oct/25/opurum_.jpg KU running back Toben Opurum tries to power through Oklahoma defensive back Quinton Carter
The Jayhawks were punished in a big way for this weekend's misdeeds. Perhaps the pollsters took into consideration how poorly KU played against Colorado the previous week.
Consider this: In the past two weeks, the Jayhawks have played two good quarters of football. Media and coaches can't be blamed for writing off KU.
If you're a KU fan, chances are you have started marking the days off the calendar until basketball season. If you're a Missouri fan, chances are you are peeking in the hoopsters' practice gym trying to distract yourself from the football team's weekly Faurot Field follies.
The Tigers are 0-3 in Big 12 play. Granted, Missouri has drawn three of the conference's better programs, but the team has gained 253 yards in its last six quarters. Saturday's 41-7 loss against Texas was as one-sided as a conference game can be.
Many thought Nebraska, along with Missouri and Kansas, might have a chance to hold a spot in the top 25 for much of the season. Now that the Huskers have a 9-7, eight-turnover, home loss against Iowa State in the books, neither poll wants anything to do with them.
Those teams' failings have brought us to this:
Kansas State leads the Big 12 North, trailed closely by Iowa State.
http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Oct/25/thomas_.jpg Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas evades Colorado linebacker Jeff Smart
Kansas State didn't earn any votes this week in either poll, but a decent showing at Oklahoma followed by a victory against Kansas could possibly draw attention from the voters. Right now, Kansas State could only be left out because of an embarrassing 17-15 loss against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Kansas State's resume may be shaky, but it is two victories from bowl eligibility and has a hold on the division lead.
What do you think? Do the Wildcats deserve more respect from the voters, or should the Big 12 North stay out of the rankings?