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K-State Slate: Magnolia State of Mind

Mississippi rules college football and other shenanigans from a great day of college football.

Callahan had been terrible going into this game. But now he's a hero
Callahan had been terrible going into this game. But now he's a hero
Tom Pennington

Yesterday was not as chaotic as the previous weekend, but may have been more exciting for all that. The two Mississippi schools established themselves as forces to reckon with, and Baylor moved into sole possession of the Big 12 lead. Oh, and things happened in the B1G and Pac-12 too, but who really cares?

We begin with sad news that was first reported yesterday. The Wildcat family lost one of its own when former K-State defensive back David "Rat" Garrett was shot and killed in Cleveland on Friday night. As reported here by Jon Morse, and later confirmed in the Wichita Eagle, there had been a fight outside the club and a shot was fired into the crowd that hit Garrett in the chest. Although he was later rushed to a hospital, he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

Garrett was a three-year starter in the K-State secondary. He joined the team in 2009 halfway through fall camp. Arriving from Fort Scott Community College, Garrett was an immediate contributor, starting the first four games and sparking the defense against UCLA and Iowa State. In 2010, Garrett was an honorable mention for All-Big 12 honors, Garrett led the team in tackles for loss that season and was third in the conference in that category. In 2011, Garrett was a preseason All-Big 12 pick and contributed to the Wildcats' surprise 10-win season. We offer our condolences to Garrett's family and friends and to Wildcat nation at large.

It was a banner day in the Big 12 yesterday. Texas and Oklahoma kicked off the festivities with the 2014 edition of the Red River Rivalry. A great defensive effort by a game Texas squad that gave up only 29 yards through two quarters made the game much too close for Sooner comfort, although a late touchdown from Samaje Perine sealed the deal. The win probably keeps Oklahoma's playoff hopes alive, though Texas served notice that it will be a force to reckon with in the future.

Any superlative used to describe the contest between TCU and Baylor will be woefully inadequate. In the highest scoring game ever played between two Top 10 teams, Baylor scored 24 points in the final eleven minutes to go to seal (or perhaps steal) an improbable victory. Ultimately, Baylor's offensive fire power wore down TCU's defense. The game was just as crazy as the 61-58 scoreline would suggest. The two teams combined for 119 points, 62 first downs and 1267 yards. Baylor had six touchdown passes of greater than 20 yards, the most by any Power 5 team in the last four seasons, and the most given up by TCU in two seasons.

Elsewhere in the conference, Iowa State let Toledo stick around a little too long before pulling away for a 37-30 victory.

A 55-yard field goal from Josh Lambert sealed a 37-34 victory for West Virginia over Texas Tech. Afterwards, Lambert jokingly suggested Dana Holgorsen was finally talking to him:

Finally, in a scoreline that surprised everyone, Kansas managed to keep it close against Oklahoma State, tying the score in the fourth quarter, but ultimately losing 27-20 when Tyreek Hill returned a kickoff 99 yards for the final score. The Cowboys, like K-State, are still undefeated in conference play but Baylor announced itself as the biggest contender for the Big 12's spot in the college football playoffs.

Of course, the folks in the state of Mississippi might have something to say about that. Even with the sound of cowbells dampened by pouring rain, CLANGA CLANGA CLANGA echoed loudly through the SEC as Mississippi State dominated a previously unbeaten Auburn squad. The Bulldogs built a commanding 21-0 lead in the first half. Auburn fought hard to close the gap in the second half, but miscues on offense doomed the Plainsmen and Mississippi State ultimately pulled off a 38-23 win, probably the biggest in school history.

Not content to let its in-state rival take the spotlight, Ole Miss scored an emphatic 35-20 win over Texas A&M to improve to 6-0. In front of the biggest crowd in Aggie history, the Rebels built a 21-0 lead and never looked back. Uncharacteristically, rather than celebrate their accomplishments, the players and the coaching staff cited miscues and a need to get better after the game. Watch out for the Magnolia state.

Arkansas nearly made it a trifecta of upsets in the SEC West, stifling Alabama for much of the game and leading 13-7 heading into the fourth quarter. A great defensive effort in the final quarter of the game and a rallying touchdown from Blake Sims puts the Crimson Tide permanently in the lead and the Razorbacks fell 14-13. This is Arkansas' 15th-straight conference loss and Bret Bielema's seat is definitely heating up.

There was far less excitement in the B1G and in the Pac-12, though a gimpy Devin Gardner helped Michigan limp to a surprising if anemic 18-13 victory over Penn State, and a 103-yard kickoff return helped Minnesota beat Northwestern for the lead in the B1G West. Out west, Oregon reminded UCLA who's boss with a 42-30 thumping, and USC knocked off unbeaten Arizona.

Another unbeaten team fell by the wayside yesterday, although hardly anyone noticed. First, Duke beat mistake-prone Georgia Tech to knock them out of the ranks of the undefeated.

Notre Dame managed to stave off a similar feat but they had to fight hard to put North Carolina away 50-43. ECU managed to avoid defeat, needing a furious second-half rally to beat South Florida.

Some other stuff may have happened yesterday (including Missouri's hilarious blowout loss to a Todd Gurley-less Georgia), but it all just seems like a footnote to the Baylor-TCU game and the shenanigans in Mississippi. The college football world has tilted away from its usual axis. And you know what? That is exactly how it should be.

Happy weekend, all.