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Oklahoma football: A win over Kansas State could help Sooners' image as title contenders

Closer-than-expected victory at UTEP and ho-hum win over lower-level Florida A&M might have poll voters wondering just how good Oklahoma is this season.
by Jason Kersey Published: September 16, 2012
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photo - Oklahoma Sooners' Corey Nelson (7) sacks Kansas State Wildcats' Collin Klein (7) during the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas State University Wildcats (KSU) at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. in Manhattan, Kan. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman  ORG XMIT: KOD
Oklahoma Sooners' Corey Nelson (7) sacks Kansas State Wildcats' Collin Klein (7) during the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas State University Wildcats (KSU) at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. in Manhattan, Kan. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

The two major college football polls provide clear evidence of Oklahoma's weakened standing in the college football world.

Even though then-No. 2 USC was upset Saturday, and subsequently tumbled out of the top 10, OU was leapfrogged by Florida State in both the AP and coaches' polls.

In the latter poll, the Sooners — on a bye this week — were also overtaken by Georgia and dropped to No. 6.

Could a heavy dose of Kansas State again be the antidote to Oklahoma's perception problem? Any win over the No. 15 Wildcats would be great for OU, but a dominant one — like in 2011, when OU scored the game's final 44 points and pitched a second-half shutout — would do wonders.

“We respected them last year; we respect them every year,” said senior defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland. “We know they have major talent at

quarterback and with their line. They can get some plays on our defense. We have to be prepared for it.”