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SPORTS WEEKEND | WEEK 8 PRIMER

Another Chance to Make a K-Statement

October 13, 2000|CHRIS DUFRESNE

This is a great October matchup with one important caveat. No matter what happens Saturday, both schools still have to face

No. 1 Nebraska.

If Oklahoma beats Kansas State, it sets up a huge game between Oklahoma and Nebraska on Oct. 28 in Norman, Okla. A Kansas State victory leads to a Nov. 11 showdown against Nebraska in Manhattan, Kan.

Still, Kansas State-Oklahoma should get the blood boiling. You can argue that, to Kansas State fans, Oklahoma is a more hated nemesis than Nebraska.

The schools have only met three times since 1987, but Oklahoma has dominated the series, 63-16-4.

The backdrop here is with the coaching staffs. Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops worked for Kansas State's Bill Snyder from 1989-95 before leaving to become defensive coordinator at Florida.

When Stoops was hired at Oklahoma in 1999, he raided the Kansas State staff for three assistant coaches: his brother Mike Stoops, Mark Mangino and Brent Venables.

The coaches have been branded traitors by Kansas State fans, but Bob Stoops hasn't lost any sleep over the hirings.

"If it causes hard feelings that they don't want to spend the rest of their lives there, then that's the way it goes," Stoops said of the coaches who left Kansas State.

It is safe to say the coaching staffs on both sides won't be hit with many surprises.

Kansas State has risen to No. 2 by wiping out six helpless opponents by an average of 41 points a game.

Oklahoma is coming off a 49-wipeout against arch-rival Texas.

Stoops said he doesn't mind playing another high-profile game so soon.

"I think it's perfect," he said. "I think it's just the way you want it."

* The line: Kansas State by 9 1/2.

RATING THE TV GAMES

**** Whoa, Nellie

*** The yardwork can wait

** OK to pay bills while watching

* For XFL scouts only

** No. 20 Notre Dame (3-2) vs. Navy (0-5) in Orlando, Fla., 9 a.m., Channel 2.

One more loss for Navy and even the Village People may abandon ship.

* The line: Notre Dame by 20 1/2.

*** No. 21 Purdue (4-2) at No. 17 Northwestern (5-1), 9 a.m., ESPN.

In Evanston, it's a football game/pancake breakfast.

* The line: Purdue by 4.

*** Minnesota (4-2) at No. 6 Ohio State (5-0), 9 a.m., ESPN2.

Gophers have a puncher's chance to wreck Buckeyes' homecoming game.

* The line: Ohio State by 12.

** No. 16 Southern Mississippi (4-1) at Tulane (2-2), 9 a.m., FSN.

We wish Tommy Bowden's 1998 Tulane team could reunite for this one.

* The line: Southern Mississippi by 15.

** Texas A&M (3-2) at Baylor (2-3), 9:30 a.m., FSN2.

Aggies' in-state spin on Colorado loss: Hey, it at least it wasn't 63-14!

* The line: Texas A&M by 26.

*** No. 19 Auburn (5-1) at No. 10 Florida (5-1), 12:30, Channel 2.

We're guessing the Gators won't tear down the goal posts if they win.

* The line: Florida by 9 1/2.

** Cincinnati (2-3) at Louisville (4-1), 12:30 p.m., FSN.

Take a rain check and wait for the basketball game.

* The line: Louisville by 5 1/2.

** Maryland (2-3) at No. 5 Clemson (6-0), 3 p.m., ESPN2.

The two stars are Maryland tailback LaMont Jordan and Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler.

* The line: Clemson by 29 1/2.

** Stanford (2-3) at No. 23 Oregon State (4-1), 3:30 p.m., Channel 9.

Any time a TV crew heads to Corvallis there's a chance for Blair Witch Project III.

* The line: Oregon State by 9.

** Mississippi (4-1) at Alabama (2-3), 4 p.m., ESPN.

You can bet ESPN thought both teams would be ranked when it signed off on the programming paperwork.

* The line: Alabama by 4 1/2.

*** No. 1 Nebraska (5-0) at Texas Tech (5-1), 4 p.m., FSN.

Long trip to Lubbock marks beginning of Nebraska's national title stretch drive.

* The line: Nebraska by 20.

*** UNLV (3-2) at Colorado State (4-1), 6:30, ESPN2.

Otherwise known as alternative programming for disgruntled USC fans.

* The line: Colorado State by 7.

*** No. 11 Washington (4-1) at Arizona State (4-1), 7:15, FSN.

Network promises to be off the air before sunrise Sunday services in the East.

* The line: Washington by 6.

* Southern Methodist (1-5) at Hawaii (0-4), 9 p.m., FSN2.

What are the odds the FSN announcers will wear Hawaiian shirts?

* The line: Hawaii by 1.

5 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1. Undefeated teams. They're getting harder to find by the week. Only seven unscathed schools remain in Division 1-A: Nebraska, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Texas Christian and Ohio State. That pool will shrink to at least six after Saturday's Oklahoma-Kansas State game, will shrink again when that game's winner faces Nebraska.

2. A Mountain West Conference game worth watching. While Paul Hackett struggles at USC, former Trojan coach John Robinson has apparently turned the corner at Nevada Las Vegas two years after taking over an 0-11 team. UNLV is 3-2 heading into Saturday's key Mountain West Conference game at Colorado State. In the last two weeks, UNLV has outscored Air Force and Nevada, 72-20. Colorado State Coach Sonny Lubick says he has seen no better player in the country than UNLV sophomore quarterback Jason Thomas, who transferred from USC one season after Robinson was fired.

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