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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Who deserves to be the BCS No. 2?

By David Ubben

Today at ESPN.com, we're talking No. 2 in the BCS. Who deserves the nod? I made the case for Kansas State. Here's what I had to say:

If you peruse the Bowl Championship Series rules long enough, you'll find a nice little tidbit that says if you're ranked third in the BCS standings, you go to a BCS bowl. No questions asked.

Most refer to this as the "Kansas State Rule," after Kansas State was relegated to the Alamo Bowl after the 1998 season, being passed up for two-loss No. 8 Florida and No. 4 Ohio State, despite sitting at No. 3 in the standings.

Not much has changed since then, apparently. Bottom line: The Wildcats are short on style and long on substance.

You want blowouts that turn into second-half exhibitions? Well, Kansas State can't provide what Oregon can, but it did embarrass Miami in Week 2 and did the same to West Virginia last week.

You want quality wins, big games with substance? Kansas State has you covered. The Wildcats have the best win of any team in the country this season, going on the road and beating No. 8 Oklahoma, the first team to do so as a ranked team against Bob Stoops.

Last week, the Wildcats demolished the Mountaineers in Morgantown, thrusting quarterback Collin Klein to the front of the Heisman pack and demoting Geno Smith to an afterthought in the race for now.

Before the BCS polls had been updated this week, the Wildcats had three road wins against top-25 teams, thanks to a win against Iowa State a week earlier. That was more than any team in the country and more than the rest of the undefeated teams combined.

We know Florida can defend the Swamp, but its road wins against Texas A&M and Tennessee pale in comparison to what Kansas State has done on the road.

It certainly made an impact on Dana Holgorsen, the Mountaineers' coach.

"There's a whole bunch of things that stand out about them. They're one of the best teams -- maybe the best team -- in the country, I don't know," Holgorsen said. "Time will tell."

It will, but unlike Oregon, Kansas State has already done its heavy lifting. The Ducks still have to beat USC, Oregon State and Stanford to stay unbeaten.

Kansas State will be favored the rest of the way, and has a great shot to complete an undefeated season.

The biggest complaint about the BCS is it doesn't allow teams to prove their worth on the field. Kansas State has done that so far this season, and it deserves a chance to prove itself on the biggest stage in college football: the BCS National Championship Game.

And who will finish at No. 2? I made the case for OU or Kansas State to find themselves in the title game by year's end, likely facing Alabama.
Just win, baby. That's what Kansas State does. What else can you ask? It already has road wins against Big 12 title contenders Oklahoma and West Virginia, and who's going to challenge the Wildcats now? K-State hosts fellow overachiever Texas Tech this week, but Texas is the lone Top 25 team left on the Wildcats' schedule after that, the same Texas team that's lost to Kansas State in six of the past eight meetings and hasn't beaten the Wildcats since 2003. K-State will be favored in every game the rest of the season, and has to underachieve to lose a game. Anyone want to bet a Bill Snyder-coached team does that?

What about Oklahoma?
The Sooners are the nation's best team in the red zone, but one singular stumble this season, the only time they failed to score on 33 tries, came on a fumble inside the 5-yard line on a snap to Blake Bell. Oklahoma lost to No. 3 Kansas State by five. That's the definition of a fluke. Since then, the Sooners have demolished all challengers by 21, 42 and 45 points. This week, they get to play undefeated No. 5 Notre Dame and may have two or three more ranked opponents in their final six games. They need help from K-State, but by season's end, Oklahoma could have as good a résumé as any one-loss team in America.