Two words best capture the greatness of Kansas University third-year sophomore cornerback Aqib Talib: Kinsmon Lancaster.
Remember him? He was the Louisiana-Monroe quarterback who burned the KU secondary so badly the Jayhawks didn't pull off the anticipated blowout and won, 21-19.
Also benefitting from a lack of a pass rush from KU, Lancaster passed for 377 yards, two touchdowns and was not intercepted by the Jayhawks.
A look at what Lancaster has done in his eight other games reveals his performance was far more about how inadequate KU's pass defense was without Talib, who missed the first two games of the season after violating a team rule, a low point in a KU career otherwise filled with highs.
Lancaster has averaged 117.7 yards passing per games against opponents other than Kansas. In those games, he has thrown three touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. Louisiana-Monroe is 1-7. Meanwhile, Talib is tied for the 10th in the nation with five interceptions, despite missing the first two games. His average of 2.63 passes defended (broken up plus intercepted) is first in the nation.
This week's picks:
Oklahoma State 35, Baylor 17: Unlike Lancaster, Cowboys wide receiver Adarius Bowman has starred against more than just Kansas. Bowman averages a stupendous 21.4 yards per reception and has 10 touchdown catches.
Colorado 27, Iowa State 13: Nobody who knows Dan McCarney, who announced his resignation rather than get fired, feels good about the classy man losing his job as coach of an Iowa State program he built from the ashes. The reasoning for McCarney not being up to the job: The Cyclones want to raise $135 million for facilities improvements. Look for Donald Trump to become the school's next coach. Just don't tell him it's the toughest job in the Big 12.
Oklahoma 28, Texas Tech 20: Eastern Washington, a Division I-AA school with a 2-8 record, defeated Montana State, 19-10. Montana State defeated Colorado, 19-10. Colorado defeated Texas Tech, 30-6. Therefore, Eastern Washington is 42 points better than Texas Tech. Given that, how can you pick the Red Raiders to defeat the Sooners?
Texas 34, Kansas State 17: For the Wildcats, the important thing here is not suffering any injuries that could hurt them the following week in a huge game against Kansas. The injury to Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson threw the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year race wide open. Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy, a redshirt freshman, has emerged as the favorite. Can he make it four in a row?
Boston College 41, Duke 10: Why this game? This isn't a Big 12 game. Because it's just fun to pick against Duke.
Maryland 31, Miami 17: The U will want to steal Rutgers University coach Greg Schiano, but if the State University of New Jersey knows what's good for it, it will make it impossible for Schiano to leave.
(The contest is currently closed. Good luck to all who entered.)