Final thoughts on the Big 12's early games

Missouri 38, Kansas State 28: This was about what most expected, but Kansas State has to be kicking itself over its string of turnovers in the middle of the game. With a chance to tie the game at 21 at the end of the half, Kansas State fumbled a snap at the goal line that kicked off a string of four turnovers and three punts on seven possessions during the game's next quarter and a half. Without those plays, Kansas State might have been within a possession of Missouri, and if that's the case, anything could have happened. Missouri has to be encouraged with the bounce back of quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who looked like himself for 60 minutes -- accurate and decisive -- and added 89 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. He completed 17 of 25 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Gabbert's play was surely aided by coach Gary Pinkel's words to his quarterback on Saturday: "I told him on the biggest stage of college football, the biggest stage you can have, 'GameDay' and the whole thing, you executed at the highest level, and you are good," Pinkel said. "Never doubt how good you are."

Colorado 34, Iowa State 14: I'm not sure whom to be more surprised with. Like I said in this week's "Friday Four Downs," Colorado is a team with a lot of talent that was definitely capable of a game like this; they showed that in nonconference play with wins over decent teams like Hawaii and Georgia, both at home. Clearly, this was the answer the Buffaloes needed and a win that may earn interim coach Brian Cabral a very serious look by the administration at removing the "interim" label from his title at the end of the season. Cody Hawkins had one of his best games in recent memory, completing 16 of 24 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns. Wherever his dad -- former coach Dan Hawkins -- was watching, I'm sure he was smiling.

Iowa State, meanwhile, is in big trouble. The big news outside of the loss is senior quarterback Austen Arnaud suffered a career-ending knee injury on a fourth-quarter sack-fumble that put Colorado up 34-7. Jerome Tiller is a capable backup, but he'll be charged with beating Missouri next week, which will be the 5-6 Cyclones' last chance at qualifying for a bowl game. On paper, Missouri looks like the big favorite in that one, but you never know, especially if Mother Nature passes down some heavy winds like she did last week against Nebraska in Ames. By now, we should all know better than to count out a team coached by Paul Rhoads that no one thinks can win. Remember, this is the same team that went into Lincoln and beat Nebraska without Arnaud and running back Alexander Robinson.

Oklahoma 45, Texas Tech 7: This one's in the third quarter, but it might as well be over. Oklahoma is one of the league's hardest teams to figure out. The offense has looked sharp and the defense suffocating. Oklahoma looks like the best possible version of itself once again at Owen Field -- similar to the way it played against Florida State earlier in the year. In short, the Sooners are doing everything they didn't do in College Station a week ago when they lost to Texas A&M. They are winning the turnover battle 1-0, and have gotten big contributions from freshmen like Kenny Stills (4 catches, 86 yards, TD) and Roy Finch (29-yard TD run). I'd like to see Oklahoma play an entire season of neutral-site games. Then maybe we'd figure out exactly how good they are.

The big-picture story has been Ryan Broyles, who already has eight catches for 130 yards and three touchdowns. With that, the junior became the school's single-season and all-time leader for receptions, breaking Mark Clayton's record of 221. His final touchdown also gave him the most career receiving touchdowns in school history, with 32.