Campus Corner

The Star's blog on college sports, featuring Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri

Oklahoma back in BCS bowl picture

11/25/2012 7:21 PM

05/16/2014 8:23 PM

Big 12

Rising

Don’t look now, but Oklahoma is back in the BCS bowl picture. The Sooners’ 51-48 victory over Oklahoma State makes them an attractive at-large candidate if they don’t win the Big 12 and claim the league’s automatic bid. And with a victory this weekend, the Sooners can do no worse than tie Kansas State for first. But the finale is tricky, at TCU.

Falling

Texas found a new Thanksgiving partner this year in TCU, and the Horned Frogs proved to be a hostile guest in a 20-13 victory. Next year, Texas Tech visits Austin on Thanksgiving. The Longhorns missed their usual turkey day rival, Texas A, but those teams might be aligned in this year’s Cotton Bowl.

SEC

Rising

Tough to single out a bright spot, so much good happened over the weekend. The SEC was assured of a team in the BCS final for the seventh straight year when Alabama defeated Auburn. Texas A quarterback Johnny Manziel offers a strong closing argument for the Heisman with a five-touchdown game against Missouri. And the conference went 4-0 in non-league games, all against the ACC with Florida and South Carolina topping ranked rivals Florida State and Clemson.

Falling

Gene Chizik fell off a cliff. Two years ago he was holding the crystal ball trophy and celebrating Auburn’s first BCS championship. Sunday, he was fired. The Tigers have lost 10 straight SEC games and this year finished winless in the conference for the first time since 1980.

Big Ten

Rising

Good on Rex Burkhead. The Nebraska running back and leader still isn’t 100 percent, but he toughed it out by rushing for 69 yards and a touchdown in the Cornhuskers’ victory over Iowa. Look for more of Burkhead in Indianapolis, against Wisconsin in the conference championship game. He rushed for 86 yards against the Badgers in Nebraska’s victory earlier this year.

Falling

Wisconsin doesn’t take momentum in the Big Ten title game, falling 24-21 at Penn State despite Badgers running back Montee Ball becoming the NCAA leader in career touchdowns with 79.

Pac-12

Rising

A funny thing happened on the way to the Oregon-Southern California conference championship game -- Stanford and UCLA. Because the Cardinal and the Bruins defeated those rivals during the season, and won a bunch of other games, they’ll meet at Stanford on Friday for the Rose Bowl berth. Oh, and Stanford beat UCLA 35-17 on Saturday.

Falling

What in the world was USC coach Lane Kiffin thinking when he called for three runs up the gut against Notre Dame’s stout defense, and going for it on fourth down when his team, trailing by nine, needed two scores?

ACC

Rising

Miami, Fla., outlasted Duke 52-45 and finished in the first place tie with Georgia Tech for the Coastal Division crown in a year when coaches picked the Hurricanes fifth. Miami took itself out of the postseason picture with a self-imposed ban because of the ongoing NCAA investigation.

Falling

North Carolina State coach Tom O’Brien. Despite a 27-10 victory over Boston College on Saturday that pushed the Wolfpack’s record to 7-5, O’Brien was fired. He won’t coach the bowl game. O’Brien went 40-35 in six season, but a disappointing 22-26 in league play. The big victory over Florida State this season wasn’t enough to save his job.

Big East

Rising

Cincinnati and Syracuse can’t represent the league in the BCS because they lose the tie-breaker scenarios, but both can wind up with a piece of the conference title if they picked up victories this weekend and Louisville defeats Rutgers on Thursday. Much credit to Orange coach Doug Marrone, who has Syracuse on the right track.

Falling

Only in the Big EastLeague leaders Rutgers and Louisville lost to conference foes with losing records on Saturday, and that takes the shine off Thursday’s showdown between the teams at Rutgers. The winner gets the league’s BCS bowl berth, probably the Orange Bowl, but Saturday was a letdown for the conference.

Others

Rising

Good scheduling by the Sun Belt. The teams tied for first meet on Saturday in a winner-take all -- Middle Tennessee State at Arkansas State.

Falling

Only one team finishes winless, Southern Mississippi (0-12), an incredible reversal of fortune for last year’s Conference USA champions that went 12-2.

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