Big 12 Football Weekend

Friday, October 6th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) _ Texas and Oklahoma have more than just regional pride hanging on the outcome of this Red River Shootout. This one has national significance again.

For the first time since 1984, the Longhorns and Sooners are both ranked in the top 15 for their showdown at the Cotton Bowl. Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) is ranked 10th, just ahead of No. 11 Texas (3-1, 1-0).

In other Big 12 games Saturday, No. 2 Nebraska (4-0, 1-0) plays at Iowa State (4-0, 1-0); No. 4 Kansas State (5-0, 1-0) plays at Kansas; Texas A&M (3-1, 1-0) is home against Colorado (0-4, 0-1); Baylor (2-2, 0-1) goes to Texas Tech (4-1, 0-1); and Missouri (1-3, 0-1) is home against Oklahoma State (2-2, 0-1).

Oklahoma scored on its first three possessions in last year's Red River Shootout to take a 17-0 lead. The Longhorns came back to win 38-28.

While the Sooners may be out for revenge, both teams are trying to position themselves for control of the Big 12 South. This game, though it is only the second Saturday in October, may just be what decides the South champion and a spot in the league's championship game.

Iowa State is undefeated and quarterback Sage Rosenfels hasn't been sacked yet this season. The Cyclones have had more than 400 total yards in all four games and Ennis Hayward has had at least 100 yards rushing each time, including 241 against Baylor last weekend.

That may not be enough this week against Nebraska. The Huskers, who dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 in the national polls despite a 42-24 win over Missouri last weekend, lead the series 78-14-2 and have won the last five games by an average margin of 45.4 points.

Kansas leads the overall series 61-31-5, but Kansas State has dominated the instate rivalry recently with seven straight wins. The Wildcats have won the last five games by an average margin of 36.2 points, including last year's 50-9 victory in which they had 520 total yards.

Kansas State is the nation's top scoring team with 51.2 points per game, and has scored on its opening drive all five games this season. In its two losses this season, Kansas had 10 turnovers which led to 34 points for the opposing teams.

Colorado was ranked 24th in the preseason, but has lost all four its games this season, including 44-21 to Kansas State in its Big 12 opener. Coach Gary Barnett this week said his team is in disarray and looking for answers.

And now the Buffaloes go to Texas A&M, which has a 58-4-1 record at Kyle Field since 1990.

Texas Tech plays its fifth home game of the season against Baylor, which has lost 14 straight Big 12 games since 1998. The Red Raiders have won four straight against Baylor since the two teams joined the Big 12.

Missouri, which lost its Big 12 opener to Nebraska but outgained the Huskers 492-482 yards, plays Oklahoma State for the first time since 1997, when the two teams played two overtimes before Missouri won 51-50. The 1996 game also went to overtime, also won by the Tigers, 35-28.