Texas Tech's win shows South still ahead of North

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Texas Tech's systematic 31-10 victory over Nebraska is indicative that there is still a wide gap between the Big 12 South and North.

The Red Raiders jumped on Nebraska early as quarterback Steven Sheffield blistered Nebraska for completions on 14 of his first 16 passes.

But the real revelation was the play of a Tech defense which stymied Nebraska throughout the game.

And it keeps Mike Leach's remarkable winning streak up to date against the Cornhuskers after winning his last four games against them -- including two in Lincoln.

The victory snuffs out much of the momentum that Nebraska was able to generate coming off its dramatic fourth-quarter comeback at Missouri last week.

Nebraska still has an advantage over Missouri. But their chance to push ahead of Kansas dissipated a little bit with the loss today.

The Jayhawks still face a punishing row of South Division opponents with games against Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech. But Tech's victory over the Cornhuskers effectively now provides Kansas a mulligan in one of those games.

Sheffield appears to have cemented his position as Texas Tech's starter, although his statistics weren't as good today as in his two previous starts.

The Red Raiders were limited to only 259 yards, but won thanks to a strong defensive effort that included two turnovers. Daniel Howard's 82-yard fumble recovery accounted for one touchdown and defensive end Brandon Sharpe made Nebraska quarterbacks miserable with four sacks.

Bo Pelini got Cody Green some playing time late in the game. But by then it was too late as Tech limited the Cornhuskers to only a field goal inthe first 51 minutes of the game.

The Cornhuskers have their work cut out during the next few weeks. And some of the early excitement about their 4-1 start was diminished after today's loss.

In 12 quarters against BCS opponents, Nebraska has failed to score a touchdown in 10 of them.