The Texas Longhorns have a shot at upsetting Kansas State on December 1, but most football fans would probably agree that every week potential upsets are lurking.
Indiana almost upset Ohio State and Louisiana Monroe almost upset Auburn. Those potential upsets all had something in common: An intangible.
In Ohio State's case, the Big Ten's No. 7 Buckeye defense was facing the Big Ten's second-most prolific Hoosier offense.The Buckeyes were also coming off of a blowout over Nebraska. Auburn was 0-2 before taking on Louisiana-Monroe, but it also had a date with LSU the following week, setting the proverbial trap.
In the end, both of the favored teams won. They usually do, and that brings us to one of the most compelling games of the season: Kansas State vs Texas.
The No. 2 Wildcats (9-0) look unbeatable while the Longhorns (7-2) have looked vulnerable on defense.
Both teams are virtually tied in total offense, racking up an average of 441 yards per game. The defensive numbers are a different story—Kansas State yields an average of 360 yards per game while Texas yields an average of 447 yards.
But Texas has improved defensively in its past two games. After ceding 607 total yards to Baylor, the Longhorns then allowed only 273 yards against Kansas and 441 yards against Texas Tech, a team that averages 499.6 offensive yards per game.
Texas' defense—the one unit that was keeping the Longhorns from being more competitive—has improved.
Does Burnt Orange Nation have a shot?
Kansas State has also played Texas Tech and had almost the exact same defensive stats as Texas—the Wildcats gave up 442 yards.
The Longhorns' biggest issue is going to be how to stop the run. Texas is ranked dead last in Big 12 rushing defense while Kansas State is the Big 12's leader in rushing offense. Can Mack Brown fix this? Iowa state doesn't have much of a rush offense, but if Texas can hold the Cyclones to under 100 yards, that's a positive sign.
Everything points to a Wildcat victory, but Kansas State first has to deal with TCU and the potential of its offense led by someone other than Collin Klein. The Heisman front-runner was injured in last week's game against Oklahoma State—Klein left the game amid concussion concerns, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.
Texas has a much better shot of beating Kansas State without Klein under center, but if Klein isn't cleared to play against TCU, the Wildcats' perfect season will have pretty much blown up anyway.
Kansas State has an 18-4 record when hosting its final regular-season game in Manhattan, Kansas while Texas is 1-4 in Manhattan. Kansas State also has the 7-5 edge in this series' overall history.
Kansas State won't likely dismiss Texas as an inferior opponent and it certainly won't have that trap game potential to deal with, since Texas is the Wildcats' final opponent of the regular season.
But the Longhorns defense, if it continually improves at the same rate over the next three weeks, will be formidable.
And that means the Longhorns have a shot.