BCS Standings 2012: Week 12 Rankings and Latest Bowl Game Projections

T.J. McaloonContributorNovember 11, 2012

BCS Standings 2012: Week 12 Rankings and Latest Bowl Game Projections

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    For the first time since the initial BCS standings were released, we will see a new No. 1.

    On top of that, there will be a new team that will be projected in the BCS title game. In fact, with those two projected teams, if they can stay undefeated at the end of their regular season, then they will end the SEC's streak of six BCS title games.

    However, aside from the fight at the top of the latest standings between the three undefeated teams—Notre Dame, Kansas State and Oregon—there are 22 other squads that are fighting for position to help improve which bowl game they will play in.

    Here is the latest BCS standings and where they will be projected to play in the bowl season. 

No. 25 Washington

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    Record: 6-4

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. Utah, 34-15

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 27 vs. Oregon State, 20-17

    Next Game: Nov. 17 at Colorado 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 23 at Washington State 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 22 Las Vegas Bowl

    Washington has had a great season as they've knocked off two ranked opponents—Stanford 17-13 and Oregon State 20-17—at home. 

    Coming up next for Washington is Colorado, who has one win in the Pac-12 and have lost its last six games by double-digit margins.

    After that, it's a date against in-state rival Washington State, who was Colorado's only victory this year. Washington State has lost its last seven games and in four of those losses failed to score more than 17-points.

    With two favorable matchups to finish the Huskies season, they should win-out and finish it's season with an impressive nine wins and a date in the Las Vegas Bowl on December 22nd.

No. 24 Oklahoma State

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    Record: 6-3

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. West Virginia, 55-34

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 10 vs. West Virginia, 55-34

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. Texas Tech 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 at Oklahoma 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 29 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

    Oklahoma State has rebounded nicely after it's season could have collapsed after a heartbreaking loss to Texas at home back in September, 41-36. Since that loss the Cowboys have gone 4-1 averaging 34.4 points per game.

    The Cowboys should get past Texas Tech next week because the Red Raiders have lost two of its last three games and barley survived a 1-9 Kansas team last week at home, defeating the Jayhawks in overtime 41-34. 

    Oklahoma State should lose to Oklahoma which will place the Cowboys in fourth in the conference where they will finish the season at. 

No. 23 Texas Tech

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    Record: 7-3

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. Kansas, 41-34 OT

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 13 vs. West Virginia 49-14

    Next Game: Nov. 17 at Oklahoma State 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 17 at Oklahoma State 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 27 Holiday Bowl

    Texas Tech survived at home last week when they defeated Kansas in overtime, 41-34. Aside from the narrow victory, head coach Tommy Tuberville was caught on the sideline slapping a headset off of one of his assistant coaches, which you can watch here.

    Texas Tech has lost two of its last three games and they've given up 173 points in its last four games. 

    With Oklahoma State's offense, that's averaging 43.9 points per game, playing the Red Raiders next week it's hard to imagine Tech being able to get a victory.

    They'll fall to No. 5 in the conference which will have them playing in the Holiday Bowl at the end of the season.

No. 22 Rutgers

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    Record: 8-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. Army, 28-7

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 13 vs. Syracuse 23-15

    Next Game: Nov. 17 at Cincinnati

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 29 vs. Louisville 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 28 Russell Athletic Bowl

    Rutgers will finish second in the Big East conference after a loss to eventual conference champion Louisville. With a 10-2 record, and because they play in the Big East, a New Years Day bowl game will be just out of reach.

    Instead, finishing second in the conference will send them Orlando, FL, to play in the Russell Athletic bowl. 

No. 21 Michigan

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    Record: 7-3

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. Northwestern, 38-31 OT

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 20 vs. Michigan State, 12-10

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. Iowa 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 at Ohio State 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl

    Michigan saved any chance they have at playing for the Big Ten championship with its win last week over Northwestern. 

    If Michigan is to make it to the Big Ten championship game, then they will have to win-out and get hope that Nebraska loses to one of its last two opponents: Iowa or Minnesota

    However, even if Nebraska does happen to lose one of those games, it may not be enough as Michigan's game against Ohio State is the Wolverines biggest stumbling block. Michigan had a tough time last week at holding Northwestern's rushing attack as the Wildcats gained 248 yards. 

    With Ohio State's rushing game that has been averaging 256.1 yards per game, it's hard to believe that Michigan will be able to get past the Buckeyes. 

    They'll finish as the second-best bowl eligible team in the conference; which will earn them a trip to the Capital One Bowl.

No. 20 Louisiana Tech

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    Record: 9-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 at Texas State, 62-55

    Best Win So Far: Sept. 22 at Illinois 52-24

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. Utah State

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 17 vs. Utah State 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl

    Louisiana Tech is the token non-BCS school that cracks the Top 25 in the BCS standings. If they wouldn't have lost to Texas A&M, 59-57, then they would be in the Top 15 and on their way to breaking into the Top 10. 

    If that was the case, we would be seeing them in a BCS bowl game. Instead, this high-powered offense will have to settle for the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve. 

No. 19 Louisville

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    Record: 9-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 vs. Temple 45-17

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 26 vs. Cincinnati 34-31 OT

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. UCONN  

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 29 at Rutgers  

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Orange Bowl

    Louisville took a huge hit this week when they lost to Syracuse on the road, 45-26.

    The Cardinals still control its fate in the Big East conference as with two wins in their last two-games will give them the conference title. They'll be favored over a 4-6 UCONN next week who won its first conference game last week against fellow 4-6 team Pittsburgh. 

    And then in the season finale the Cardinals do have to travel to Rutgers,but should be able to take care of Scarlet Knights because of its offense which is averaging 33.2 points per game where as Rutgers has averaged 26.2 points per game.

    They'll win the conference and take on the ACC champion in the Orange Bowl.

No. 18 USC

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    Record: 7-3

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. Arizona State, 38-17

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 13 at Washington 24-14

    Next Game: Nov. 17 at UCLA

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 17 at UCLA 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 31 Sun Bowl

    Before the season started, the USC Trojans were thought of as a BCS title contender. However, after losing two of its last three Pac-12 conference games makes the Trojans barely even a Pac-12 title contender.  

    They should get past UCLA on Nov. 17, because they have so much more talent in their skill positions like wide receiver Marqise Lee, the running back duo of Curtis McNeal and Silas Redd and quarterback Matt Barkley.

    The win will give them the division crown and a shot at Oregon in the conference championship game yet again.

    A loss to the Ducks in that game sends USC, the fourth place team in the Pac-12, to the Sun Bowl. 

No. 17 UCLA

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    Record: 8-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 at Washington State, 44-36

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 3 vs. Arizona 66-10

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. USC

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 17 vs. USC 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 22 Las Vegas Bowl

    The Bruins have had a great season in that they've already qualified for a bowl game, something they were barely able to do last year, and they've won eight games.

    UCLA has a talented offense that is led by freshman quarterback Brett Hundley. However, they will not be able to get past a more talented USC team—which I've alluded to earlier in this slide show— when they meet on November 17th. 

    Even with a loss to the Trojans, UCLA will head to the Las Vegas Bowl as the fifth-best team in the Pac-12. 

No. 16 Oregon State

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    Record: 7-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 vs. Arizona State 36-26

    Best Win So Far: Sept. 22 at UCLA 27-20

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. Cal

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 vs. Oregon

    Bowl Game: Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl

    Last week I wrote that Oregon State's bowl future is dependent on how they play next week on the road against Stanford. If the Beavers win, then they can start booking tickets for the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

    If they lose, which I think they will, they will be sent to the Alamo Bowl when their season is over. 

    Well, they lost and now they'll be stuck in the fourth spot in the Pac-12 which will send them to San Antonio, Texas.

    That is unless the Beavers can pull off an upset of in-state rival Oregon on November 24. If the Ducks beat Stanford, and then Oregon State can upset the Ducks, then it opens the door for the Beavers to get out of the fourth-spot in the conference.

    However, with how explosive Oregon's offense looks, it is highly unlikely that the Beavers will pull off the upset. 

No. 15 Texas

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    Record: 8-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. Iowa State, 33-7

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 3 at Texas Tech 31-22

    Next Game: Nov. 22 vs. TCU

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Dec. 3 at Kansas State 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Cotton Bowl

    For those of you who remember my projections from last week, I wrote that Texas would overtake Oklahoma for the second spot in the Big 12 after they won its last two-games and Oklahoma lost two of its last three games.

    Well, for starters, I still think Texas will win out and defeat Kansas State. The Wildcats offense looks to be slowing down as they've gone from 55 to 44 to 23 points over the last three weeks. Plus Texas defense has improved during that same time span as they haven't allowed a team to score more than 24 points.

    However, after Oklahoma's 42-34 victory over Baylor, I just can't see the Sooners losing two of its last three games to West Virginia, Oklahoma State or TCU. 

    This will send the Longhorns to Dallas to play in the Cotton Bowl against an opponent they know very well. 

No. 14 Nebraska

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    Record: 8-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. Penn State, 32-23

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 27 vs. Michigan 23-9

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. Minnesota

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 23 at Iowa 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Rose Bowl

    Nebraska will benefit the most from the NCAA sanctions that were handed down to Ohio State and Penn State in the offseason. Because of the postseason bans, the Huskers will play Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game.

    The Cornhuskers shouldn't stumble from here on out, as its last two opponents—Minnesota and Iowa—have a combined conference record of 4-8. Minnesota has lost four of its last six games, while Iowa is currently on a four game losing streak

    Nebraska will win its first conference title, as they've already beaten the Badgers once this year, 30-27 on Sept. 29th, and represent the conference in the Rose Bowl.

No. 13 Stanford

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    Record: 8-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. Oregon State, 27-23

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 10 vs. Oregon State, 27-23

    Next Game: Nov. 17 at Oregon 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 17 at Oregon 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 2 Rose Bowl

    The Cardinal won what was a tie-breaker game against Oregon State which essentially will determine which team gets the Rose Bowl spot that Oregon will be leaving open. 

    Stanford plays Oregon next, and even with its defense that's averaging 17.2 allowed points per game, it will not be enough to hold back this powerful Ducks offense that's averaging 47.5 points per game at home. 

    If Stanford can keep this game close in a loss, they shouldn't drop too far in the standings the following week. With a win in the following week against UCLA, it will give the Cardinal nine wins and place them inside of the Top 14 of the BCS standings. Both would make the Cardinal eligible for selection to the Rose Bowl.

    The only way Stanford does not make the Rose Bowl is if they lose in its following game, on the road against UCLA. Or if Oregon happens to lose in the Pac-12 championship game against USC. 

No. 12 Oklahoma

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    Record: 7-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. Baylor, 42-32

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 13 vs. Texas 63-21

    Next Game: Nov. 17 at West Virginia 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 vs. Oklahoma State

    Bowl Game: Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl

    As I mentioned in my Texas slide, the Sooners have three games left on its schedule with a defense that is giving up 41 points per game, West Virginia, and two defenses that have allowed 26 and 24 points per game.

    Plus, with the Sooners only needing to win two of those games to clinch the second-spot in the Big 12, they have the luxury of playing its toughest game, Nov. 24 against Oklahoma State, at home. 

    With the Sooners winning its last three games they will be picked as one of the at-large teams to play in the Sugar Bowl. 

No. 11 Clemson

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    Record: 9-1

    Latest Victory: Nov.10 vs. Maryland, 45-10

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 25 at Wake Forest 42-13

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. North Carolina State

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 vs. South Carolina  

    Bowl Game: Dec. 31 Chick-Fill-A Bowl

    Clemson will not play for the ACC championship as they are stuck behind Florida State, a team that is not going to move from the No. 1 spot in the ACC Atlantic division. 

    Its toughest remaining game on the schedule is a matchup against in-state rival South Carolina on Nov. 24. Even without South Carolina's running back Marcus Lattimore, the Gamecocks still have a defense that can dominate led by Jadeveon Clowney.

    With a loss to South Carolina on Nov. 24, Clemson will go from playing in a BCS bowl game to the Chick-Fill-A Bowl as the second-best team in the ACC. 

No. 10 Florida State

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    Record: 9-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 8 at Virginia Tech, 28-22

    Best Win So Far: Sept. 22 vs. Clemson, 49-37

    Next Game: Nov. 17 at Maryland

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 vs. Florida 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Orange Bowl

    Florida State has only one game remaining on its regular season conference schedule, a road trip to 4-6 Maryland. This shouldn't be a problem for the Seminoles as Maryland has won only two conference games, and have a number of injuries to key starters.

    The following week, Florida State's offense should be too much for the Florida Gators to play keep-up with.

    Florida State should get past both of these teams before heading into the conference championship game against Miami, where they will defeat the Hurricanes yet again and represent the ACC in the Orange Bowl.

No. 9 South Carolina

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    Record: 8-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. Arkansas, 38-20

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 6 vs. Georgia 35-7

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. Wofford

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 at Clemson 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl

    When this season ends, South Carolina will just miss out on a BCS bowl game and the SEC conference championship game. However, missing out on those two games shouldn't get Gamecocks' fans down, as they should finish with 10-regular season victories.

    They'll get past Wofford, and then win in its season finale against Clemson, because of that swarming defense that's surrendered only 18.5 points per game. 

    They will finish as a very good two-loss conference team in the SEC, sending send them to Orlando to play in the Capital One Bowl. 

No. 8 Texas A&M

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    Record: 8-2

    Latest Victory: Nov.10 at Alabama, 29-24

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 10 at Alabama, 29-24

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. Sam Houston State 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 vs. Missouri

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Cotton Bowl

    Do you remember who I projected earlier in this slide show to reach the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day?

    After the Aggies pulled off the upset of the 2012 season, when they went into Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and knocked off the No. 1 team in the country, they will get rewarded with a short trip to the Cotton Bowl to take on its biggest rival, the Texas Longhorns.

    Texas A&M has the easier path, compared to Texas, to the Cotton Bowl. They have an easy opponent next week in Sam Houston State and then a weak Missouri Tigers team to end the season.

    With the hype surrounding quarterback Johnny Manziel and the Heisman Trophy, it will be interesting to see how the Aggies coaching staff approaches these last two games. Will they let the young quarterback try to pad his stats? Or will they try to keep him healthy and rest him if these games became blowouts? 

No. 7 LSU

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    Record: 8-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. Mississippi State, 37-17

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 20 at Texas A&M 24-19

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. Ole Miss

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 at Arkansas 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 3 Fiesta Bowl

    LSU will win its final two games of the season and finish with 10 victories. However, because of the loss to Alabama last week and the loss on the road to Florida back on October 6, the Tigers will finish outside of the SEC championship game and a chance at playing for a BCS title.

    However, because of Florida's eventual stumble against Florida State, it will open the door for the Tigers to make its way to the Fiesta Bowl.

No. 6 Florida

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    Record: 9-1

    Latest Victory: Nov.10 vs. LA-Lafayette, 27-20

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 6 vs. LSU 14-6

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. Jacksonville State

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 at Florida State

    Bowl Game: Dec. 31 Chick-Fill-A Bowl

    Florida has a great defense, however, its offense will be what holds them back from playing in the Fiesta Bowl. Because of the lack of a passing game, Florida State will be able to hone in on stopping the Gators rushing attack which will knock them out of BCS bowl contention.

    Instead of playing in Tempe, Arizona, Florida will pack its backs for Atlanta, Georgia to play in the Chick-Fill-A bowl. 

No. 5 Georgia

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    Record: 9-1

    Latest Victory: Nov.10 at Auburn 38-0

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 22 vs. Florida 17-9

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. Georgia Southern

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 vs. Georgia Tech 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Outback Bowl

    Georgia will play in the SEC championship game for the second straight year. And, just like last year when they lost to LSU, they will lose to Alabama. If Georgia had a mobile quarterback, like Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, then the Bulldogs would be able to keep the Crimson Tide defense off-balance like the Aggies did.

    However, the Bulldogs will lose in the SEC championship game again and miss out on another BCS bowl game.

    The loss in the title game will send the Bulldogs to the Outback bowl to take on another Big Ten team. 

No. 4 Alabama

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    Record: 9-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 at LSU 21-17

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 3 at LSU 21-17

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. Western Carolina

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 vs. Auburn

    Bowl Game: Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl 

    Alabama saw its chance at repeating as BCS champions evaporate when they lost at home to Texas A&M, 24-29. 

    With the loss they are sent down the BCS standings as the best one-loss team. However, because of the three undefeated teams in front of them it looks like they will not make it back to the championship game. 

    The Crimson Tide's defense and running game will carry them past Georgia in the SEC championship game and then into the Sugar Bowl. 

No. 3 Notre Dame

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    Record: 10-0

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 at Boston College, 21-6

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 27 at Oklahoma 30-13

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. Wake Forest 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 at USC

    Bowl Game: Jan. 7 BCS Championship Game

    The Fighting Irish have two games remaining that separate them from a perfect regular season. One of those final games is against a sub .500 teams, and the other is against a preseason BCS title contender. 

    Notre Dame should have no troubles getting past a 5-5 Wake Forest team next week in its home finale. And then the Fighting Irish defense will shine against USC in the Fighting Irish's final game of the season. 

    With the win, and Kansas State's loss to Texas, it will send the Fighting Irish to the BCS title game.

No. 2 Oregon

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    Record: 10-0

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 at Cal, 59-17

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 3 at USC 62-51

    Next Game: Nov. 17 vs. Stanford 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 at Oregon State  

    Bowl Game: Jan. 7 BCS Title

    Oregon will end its season with the BCS title game that it deserves. They have the best offense in the nation—averaging an amazing 54.8 points per game—and a defense that has allowed only one conference opponent to score more than 26 points, USC on Nov. 3 when they put up 51. 

    The Ducks' offense will be enough to carry them in its final two regular season games, against Stanford and Oregon State. As they proved against USC the offense can make up for the defense, if they cannot hold its opponent from putting up points in an effort to try to keep up. 

    This time around, Oregon will look to make up for its shortcomings from the 2010 BCS title game against Auburn. 

No. 1 Kansas State

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    Record: 10-0

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. TCU, 23-10

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 6 at Oklahoma 24-19

    Next Game: Nov. 17 at Baylor

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Dec. 3 vs. Texas 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 3 Fiesta Bowl

    Kansas State is currently No. 1 in the BCS standings. They will stay in that position until the final BCS standings are released, upon which they will be supplanted by Notre Dame.

    However, it will not be because of Notre Dame's strength of schedule. Instead, it will be because of an upset in the Wildcats' final game at home to Texas. We saw last week what this Kansas State team looks like when quarterback Collin Klein doesn't have his best game. Yes, they did win against TCU, as the defense carried them, but Klein only scored two-touchdowns but failed to rush for more than 50-yards.

    Texas did well against Texas Tech two weeks ago, its last victory over a ranked team. A solid game plan against Klein, plus a turnover free day from quarterback David Ash and a dominating performance from the Texas running game, will push the Longhorns over the Wildcats. 

    The loss will still give Kansas State the Big 12 conference title and BCS bowl game berth. However, it will open the door for the Fighting Irish to take over as the No. 2 team in the final standings.