No. 8 Kansas State and No. 9 Oklahoma square off in a matchup that will make or break both teams. Win and Kansas State proves once and for all that they aren't just an elite Big 12 team, they're a national championship contender. Lose, and people will point to their relatively soft schedule as the catalyst behind their success.
Oklahoma was shocked last week against Texas Tech. Their national championship hopes are out the window, Landry Jones' Heisman hopes are a distant memory and the Sooners are now scrambling to save their Big 12 Championship hopes.
This is a must-win game for both sides. Let's take a closer look at who is going to come away with a victory.
Where: Bill Snyder Stadium, Manhattan, Kansas
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Oklahoma -14
Take the points. Oklahoma is on the road, Kansas State is undefeated and given their epic collapse last week, it's impossible to assume the Wildcats are going to get blown away.
The Sooners should win this game, but it's not going to be a blowout by any means. This isn't the first time this season that Kansas State has been written off. They relish being under the radar and written off, to which their unblemished record is a testament.
Take the over. Both teams average over 30 points per game. This is going to be a closer matchup than advertised and when Oklahoma puts the pressure on Kansas State, it's going to turn into a shootout that drives the point total well over 59.
Key Injuries (via USA Today)
Dominique Whaley, RB, (Illness): Probable
Casey Walker, DT, (Undisclosed): Questionable
Jamell Fleming, DB, (Knee): Doubtful
Tom Wort, LB, (Concussion): Doubtful
Jimmy Stevens, K, (Quad): Doubtful
Ben Habern, OL, (Arm): Out
Shaun Simon, OL, (Leg): Questionable
Brodrick Smith, WR, (Undisclosed): Questionable
Sheldon Smith, WR, (Undisclosed): Questionable
Bryce Brown, RB, (Personal): Out for Season
Manase Foketi, OL, (Ankle): Out
BCS/Top 25 Poll Implications
Oklahoma State's national championship hopes were crushed last week, but they still have a great chance at finishing in Top Five and winning a Big 12 Championship. A loss will send them shooting even further down the rankings even further, potentially outside of the Top 15.
Kansas State has slowly but surely worked their way up from being off everyone's radar to being a national championship dark horse.
The Wildcats have taken down every opponent that has come their way, and unlike Stanford and Boise State, they have a string of signature games lying in their immediate future. A win over the Sooners would launch them into the Top Five.
Keys to Oklahoma Win
Don't lament the loss. Oklahoma has got to feel dejected after flushing their national championship hopes down the toilet, but if they lick their wounds they are going to find themselves recovering from multiple losses, rather than just one.
Oklahoma's secondary gave up 452 yards through the air last week. Keeping Collin Klein in check would give Kansas State no shot at keeping up with the pace the Sooners are going to set.
Keys to Kansas State Win
Air it out. Klein gets it done with his legs and arm, but their secondary proved vulnerable last week. Klein hasn't thrown for over 200 yards all season long. It's just not how their offense operates. Even so, they have to take what Oklahoma is giving them.
Klein is going up against Landry Jones. He's got to replicate the performance Seth Doege put forth if Kansas State is to have any shot whatsoever.
Prediction: Oklahoma 41, Kansas State 33
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