By Nate Latsch FOXSportsMidwest.com November 22, 2010
The Big 12 Conference’s North Division champion will be decided next weekend as both Nebraska and Missouri still have an opportunity to win the division and advance to the Big 12 Championship game on Dec. 4.
NEBRASKA AT TEXAS A&M
Nebraska went into Saturday’s game needing just one win in the final two weeks to clinch the North for the second straight season. But the Cornhuskers fell flat in a 9-6 loss at red-hot Texas A&M and are now 9-2 overall and 5-2 in conference play.
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, who has since come under fire for his sideline antics that included yelling at the officials and his injured quarterback Taylor Martinez, told reporters that he told his team that Saturday’s game would not determine the Big 12 North winner.
“The game’s irrelevant,” Pelini said he told his team. “At the end, we still control our destiny.”
Nebraska, which fell to 15th in the BCS Standings and USA Today poll and 16th in the Associated Press Top 25, can clinch the North with a win against visiting Colorado on Friday afternoon or a Missouri loss to Kansas on Saturday.
Texas A&M (8-3, 5-2) used two field goals from Randy Bullock in the fourth quarter on Saturday, including the game-winner from 19 yards with 3 minutes and 2 seconds left, to earn its fifth straight victory.
Running back Cyrus Gray had a career game for the Aggies. He rushed for a career-high tying 137 yards and had a career-high 65 receiving yards.
Nebraska’s rushing attack was less effective than Gray as the Cornhuskers rushed for just 142 yards on 37 attempts, led by Rex Burkhead’s 74 yards on 13 carries.
MISSOURI AT IOWA STATE
It wasn’t pretty, but Missouri’s 14-0 victory at Iowa State on Saturday night kept the Tigers in the conversation for the top spot in the North Division standings.
“To get a shutout on the road … is very difficult, so at the end I was very happy for our football team and certainly for our defense that they could maintain that,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel told reporters. “That says an awful lot about them. We bend a little bit, but we find ways to make plays.”
Missouri (9-2, 5-2) will next play rival Kansas on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City with an opportunity to win 10 games for the third time in four seasons.
The Tigers struggled to move the ball effectively on offense, gaining 306 total yards but converting just six of 16 third-down conversion attempts.
Quarterback Blaine Gabbert completed 16 of 26 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown