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Bowl Chaos Season
AUSTIN MURPHY
November 19, 2007
Illinois's upset of No. 1 Ohio State shook up an already tumultuous race for the national championship. With three weeks left, here's who is in the best shape to play for the title
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November 19, 2007

Bowl Chaos Season

Illinois's upset of No. 1 Ohio State shook up an already tumultuous race for the national championship. With three weeks left, here's who is in the best shape to play for the title

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And hope for others to stumble?

"I never root for teams to lose. You can't wish the worst on people."

It would take a hard heart to wish any ill on the Kansas Jayhawks. They climbed to No. 3 in the BCS, upping their record to 10--0 by whipping Oklahoma State. Kansas hasn't been 10--0 since 1899.

Yes, that would be a trio of Big 12 teams clustered in the top five. The game of the year in this most surprising of conferences will be played not in Norman or Austin or Lincoln, but at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., where the Jayhawks will take on No. 5 Missouri. The winner's reward: a likely matchup against fourth-ranked Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game.

The Tigers, by the way, scored a double victory on Saturday. After its 40--26 win over Texas A&M, Missouri got a verbal commitment from Blaine Gabbert, a 6'5", 230-pound quarterback from Parkway West High in suburban St. Louis upon whom Rivals.com has bestowed five stars, its highest ranking. Indicative of a new order in the Big 12 North, Gabbert backed out of a commitment he'd made to Nebraska. He told reporters that he wanted to succeed Chase Daniel.

I COULDN'T BELIEVE the way it ended. Juice just took over. Every time I turned around he was converting a third down." The speaker was Daniel, who found a TV set following Mizzou's win and watched the Buckeyes tumble.

Benched for brief periods earlier in the season, Williams was playing the best game of his career. But his light shone brightest in those last eight minutes. Following the Gamble, he converted those three third downs. The last came on a third-and-two from the Ohio State 30 with 2:19 left.

The call was a zone read, with special instructions. Williams could fake the handoff to Mendenhall, but under no circumstances was he to part with the ball.

"What if they have two guys outside waiting for me?" Williams asked Mike Locksley, his offensive coordinator.

"No matter what, pull the ball."

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