By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star
• RISING: Oklahoma State hammered Texas 38-13, running its winning streak at Austin to three. The Cowboys got 197 passing yards and 95 rushing from Clint Chelf and handed Longhorns coach Mack Brown his most lopsided home loss. Oklahoma State plays host to Baylor on Saturday with first place on the line.
• FALLING: Streaks fell with West Virginia’s 31-19 loss at Kansas. The Mountaineers’ run of bowl games in 11 straight years ended with their seventh loss. And the Jayhawks’ 27-game losing streak in Big 12 games is over. “I apologized to the 12 seniors for not getting to a 13th game,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. “I warned them this is different than the Big East. … You can’t just show up and be average. I don’t care who it is.”
• RISING: “The Prayer at Jordan-Hare” was answered. Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall’s fourth-and-18 heave bounced off a Georgia defender and into the arms of Ricardo Louis in the final seconds for a 73-yard score. What elevates this play is the stakes. The Tigers were about to drop to also-ran status in the SEC West, making the Iron Bowl against Alabama meaningless. Plus, Georgia could have remained in the East Division race with a stop. Instead, college football’s play of the year unfolded.
• FALLING: Florida, with bruised bodies and egos, took it to South Carolina in Columbia. But the Gators couldn’t hang on, falling 19-14 for their fifth straight loss. But Florida put it all into this one. Coach Will Muschamp emerged from the halftime locker room with bandaged hand. “I hit a chalkboard,” Muschamp said. “Dumb.”
• RISING: Southern California kicker Andre Heidari missed an extra point after the Trojans’ first touchdown, but his 46-yard field goal in the final minute was perfect, giving USC a 20-17 home victory over Stanford that has some believing the interim tag should be removed from coach Ed Orgeron’s title. On a down note, five people were injured in a field-storming celebration.
• FALLING: Somebody was going to win a conference game when Colorado met California. Now, there’s no question who is the Pac-12’s worst after the Buffaloes’ 41-24 victory. The Bears need to beat Stanford to avoid a winless Pac-12 season.
• RISING: Michigan State was ready for its showdown at Nebraska. The Cornhuskers were not. The Spartans converted five Nebraska turnovers into 24 points in a 41-28 victory. The outcome all but seals a Michigan State-Ohio State Big Ten championship game. The Spartans have to win one of their next two, at Northwestern and against Minnesota, to seal the deal.
• FALLING: Illinois played Ohio State on even terms — after spotting the Buckeyes 28 points. The result was a 60-35 loss for the Fighting Illini that keeps them winless in Big Ten play and takes them out of bowl contention.
• RISING: Duke’s 48-30 throttling of Miami, Fla., gave the Blue Devils their sixth straight victory and made them a game clear in first place in the Coastal Division. Bigger sports day at Duke: Friday, when the basketball team landed commitments from two of the nation’s top five rated prospects — Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones — or Saturday? “It is real,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said.
• FALLING: Virginia is in a free fall. The Cavaliers lost 45-14 at North Carolina, the program’s seventh straight loss and its sixth by double digits. Tar Heels quarterback Marquise Williams had a touchdown passing, rushing and receiving. How did Virginia beat Brigham Young in its opener?
• RISING: Auburn didn’t corner the market on fantastic finishes Saturday. Central Florida got a diving one-handed touchdown grab by J.J. Worton and pulled even with Temple with about 1 minute remaining, then somehow forced a punt, got the ball back with 19 seconds remaining, and got into field-goal range. Shawn Moffitt booted a 23-yarder for the improbable game-winner.
• FALLING: Houston drew a tough assignment from the conference with back-to-back trips to Central Florida and Louisville. The Cougars played the Cards tough before falling 20-13. Still, John O’Korn leads true freshman quarterbacks with 23 touchdown passes.
• RISING: For the second time in less than a month, the record for rushing yards in a game has fallen. Cartel Brooks of Division III Heidelberg University (Ohio) rushed for 465 yards in 38 attempts in a 42-14 victory over Baldwin Wallace. Brooks topped the mark of 455 yards set by Octavias McKoy of Western Connecticut on Oct. 26.
• FALLING: Opportunities for a happy Saturday are soon closing for Connecticut (0-9), Southern Mississippi (0-10), Hawaii (0-10), Miami, Ohio (0-10) and Georgia State (0-10).
To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/BlairKerkhoff.