CFN Analysis: Baylor's blasting of K-State
The Bears blew the doors off of Kansas State to stun the No. 1 team
By Richard Cirminiello
We saw tonight in Waco what the BCS National Championship Game might have looked like had it pitted the top two teams when the weekend began, Kansas State and Oregon. Both lost, naturally, so it's a moot point, but the Wildcats were made to look like an NAIA team on defense. And they just never had a chance against Baylor.
What in the name of Walter Abercrombie happened to the K-State defense, which had held up so well and created so many big plays for the better part of the year? Terrance Williams, Tevin Reese, Glasco Martin and Lache Seastrunk … all talented skill position players, but the Cats couldn't even slow them down tonight. The Bears won the line of scrimmage, and from there it was all about the speed and elusiveness of the backs and receivers.
I really don't know who'd get my Heisman vote at this time, but it would not be Collin Klein. While this debacle was far more about the ineptitude of the defense, the quarterback was terrible in his team's only loss. A Heisman winner rallies his squad, and at least makes this game competitive late. But Klein is simply a horrendous passer, and not an ideal player to be taking snaps when there's a deficit. Great kid and a tough runner, but he makes Tim Tebow look like John Elway as a pocket passer.
It turns out that K-State was vastly overrated. It happens. Just feel fortunate that the Cats got exposed tonight in Waco rather than on Jan. 7 in Miami.
By Matt Zemek
E-mail Matt Zemek
There was Texas in 1996, stunning Nebraska in the first Big 12 Championship Game. There was Texas A&M in 1998, stomach-punching Kansas State in the third Big 12 Championship Game. There was Colorado in 2001, knocking off Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game.
In 2007, Oklahoma beat Missouri in the Big 12 Championship Game. Last year, Iowa State shocked Oklahoma State in the middle of November.
The Big 12, a conference that has existed for just 17 seasons, has already developed quite a reputation for knocking its best teams out of college football's national championship game.
Add Kansas State as a new victim, and Baylor as a new spoiler.
History repeated itself on Saturday in Waco, Tex. One year ago at this time, Baylor pulled off one of the biggest wins in the history of the program by outscoring Oklahoma in a shootout. In 2012, it didn't seem likely that these Bears would be able to successfully turn the trick of a troublemaker, but BU's defense – yes, that's right; its bottom-of-the-barrel, last-in-the FBS defense – made play after play to straitjacket Collin Klein and provide ample momentum for Nick Florence and the rest of a capable offense. This wasn't just a victory; this wasn't the squeaker last year's milestone win over Oklahoma turned out to be. This was a beatdown upset, a blow-the-doors-off special that left Kansas State bewitched, bothered and bewildered.
Yes, you could say that Collin Klein hasn't been the same since he was injured against Oklahoma State. Yet, that reality doesn't account for all the other mistakes the Wildcats made, especially on defense. A tidal wave of defensive penalties in the middle third of the game prolonged Baylor drives and gave the Bears two precious commodities: added belief and added points. Klein needed help from his teammates, the kind of help he received one week earlier against TCU. He didn't get it, and now Notre Dame controls its fate in the national title chase. (Alabama's door was opened by Oregon's loss, if you want to be specific about this historically familiar mid-November day.)
The biggest key for Kansas State is simply this: Forget about this loss. The Cats can't allow this game to beat them again when Texas comes calling on Dec. 1. If Kansas State hangs its head in two weeks, it won't even win the Big 12 or make a BCS bowl, and THAT would be an awful way for such a special season to end.
By Phil Harrison
Follow me @PhilHarrisonCFN
The biggest winner of tonight is without a doubt Notre Dame. With the loss by K-State to the hands of Baylor, the Irish are a shoe-in for the national title game if it can get by USC. But that's for later.
Kansas State had been like a businessman going to work week-after-week with nary a scare or slip-up so far this season. Unfortunately against Baylor, it appears that businessman was late for the flight, lost his luggage, and bombed on his presentation before the biggest client of a career.
Perhaps we can blame a lack of close games on the fact that the Wildcats seemed to press and fall out of character when there was still a game to be had. Collin Klein--the steady hand that had guided the dream season to date--made questionable pass after questionable pass. He appeared frustrated and desperate because of a Baylor defense that had bottled him up early on.
And then there's the Kansas State defense. Certainly Baylor has an offense that can be dynamic and score points in bunches, but a tough-nosed and fundamentally sound K-State defense seemed to be immune to big explosions. Not so today. The Wildcat defenders got beat through the air on multiple occasions, missed assignments and lanes in the running-game, and flat-out played uninspired.
Another story line of course is the Heisman chances of Collin Klein. For the first time, we saw not just a chink in the armor, but an ugly grapefruit-sized dent that's going to be hard to smooth over. He's still there, but it may not be his to lose any longer. In fact, the race has been thrown as wide open as the Serengeti with Manti T'eo, Johnny Manziel, Kenjon Barner, and Braxton Miller all in the mix.
Oh college football how you surprise us all...
By Bart Doan
Follow me @Bart_cfn
We see it time and time again. The mantra that "the regular season is the playoffs" rears it's pretty/ugly head on a yearly basis, and it stopped for a few drinks at a bar in the Little Apple tonight. Kansas State got trucked, opening up the Heisman debate and the national championship one, which, depending on who you talk to, is a more legit voting process.
Baylor did it all, the way they had to, and Bill Snyder could only coach those kids up so much it appears. The overriding theme is how hurt has Collin Klein been these last two weeks? For the second straight week, he seemed pedestrain.
But Collin Klein doesn't play defense, and maybe he should. Because his teammates gave up a staggering 582 yards of football offense, and that is the reason Kansas State won't accomplish the impossible.
All night, Baylor destroyed, eviscerated, use any word you want, the Kansas State defensive line. To the tune of over 300 yards rushing, and that was the difference. If Collin Klein is great, it stands to reason that you keep the ball out of his hands. That's what happened, and that's what did in Kansas State.
By Terry Johnson
Follow me @TPJCollFootball
That loud noise that you just heard was fans in Tuscaloosa and South Bend simultaneously rejoicing.
Let's be honest: even the most optimistic Bear fan could not have seen this one coming. Despite having one of the most explosive offenses in the country, Baylor came into this game in ninth place in the Big 12, and needed a telescope to see Kansas State and Oklahoma. As with any matchup between the first place team and the ninth place team, few people gave the Bears a chance to win the game.
Yet, just like Iowa State over Oklahoma State last year, the seemingly overmatched Bears defeated the best team in the league, derailing any hopes of the conference champion playing for a crystal football this season.
There's no other way to say it: Baylor was the better team tonight. The Bears jumped out to a quick lead, and never let the Wildcats get back into the game. Every time it looked like Collin Klein and company was going to mount a rally, the Baylor defense turned them away. In fact, the only reason that the defense - which came into the game ranked dead last in total defense - gave up any points in the second half was because a turnover gave KSU the ball inside the Bear 1-yard line.
In other words, Kansas State was essentially shutout in the second half, by one of the nation's worst defenses. That means that even if every one finishes with at least one loss, it's going to take a miracle for the Wildcats to play for the national championship.