Losing Kerry Meier to a shoulder injury again is a tough blow because he has a nose for the end zone and is an amazing ball-faker and runner of the football.
Still, the show must go on. So here's a guide for everyone involved as to how to make the best of the situation for the Colorado game, a 1 p.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium:
The fans: Realize that Adam Barmann has a better chance of performing well if he is supported loudly and consistently and not booed for whatever mistakes he makes. Remember how he played against South Florida and in the final three quarters of the Nebraska game. Forget the rest.
The coaching staff: Pretend the team is behind by four touchdowns, tell Barmann to go for it, call aggressive plays that enable him to throw the ball downfield, and live with the consequences.
Barmann: You're a senior. Have a blast. Play aggressively. Remember South Florida and most of the Nebraska game. Forget everything else because it doesn't matter anymore.
This week's Big 12 picks:
Kansas 17, Colorado 16: The national horseshoe champions finally win a Big 12 football game.
Missouri 20, Oklahoma 17: The marquee matchup of the weekend could go either way. The Sooners are hanging tough despite the losses of quarterback Rhett Bomar and tailback Adrian Peterson, but look for an emotional crowd to swing this game in the Tigers' favor. Mizzou is looking to push its home winning streak to nine games.
The North (8-16) could use a victory against the South (15-7).
Oklahoma State is dead last in the South with a 1-2 record, which would be good enough for the Cowboys to be alone in the third in the North.
Colorado and Kansas State, tied for third in the North with a 1-3 record, would be tied for last in the South. Instead, tied for last in the North are Kansas and Iowa State with 0-4 records.
Iowa State 17, Kansas State 14: The Cyclones, winless in conference in part because of a dreadful defense, will be so keyed up to face an offense they can contain for a change that they will bring their best game and pull off the upset. Someone recruited by Bill Snyder will be blamed for the loss.
Nebraska 31, Oklahoma State 21: The North defeats the South again.
The Cornhuskers have a high-powered, clean offense that will be too much for the Cowboys to stop. Nebraska has just 12 turnovers in eight games. If Bobby Reid, knocked out of last week's game with a concussion, isn't ready to go, Zac Robinson, who performed fine in his place, will be under center for the Cowboys.
Texas 34, Texas Tech 21: Bottom line: Texas high school superstars want to play in Austin. Put a word after Texas and they are less likely to want to go there.
Texas A&M 28, Baylor 24: Aggies sophomore quarterback Stephen McGee has thrown one interception in 204 passes. That is not a misprint.
The Baylor defense leads the Big 12 with 14 interceptions.
What does it all mean?
The Aggies will rely on their consistent running game even more than usual and eke out a victory over improved Baylor.
(The contest is currently closed. Good luck to all who entered.)